Look Better Naked

Look Better Naked is a DVD containing two workouts by Jessica Smith. The workouts are apparently a companion to the book Look Better Naked published by Women’s Health Magazine (Rodale). There is a one minute introduction in which Jessica says the workouts are based on a 6 week program in which you do 4 workouts per week: 2 strength and 2 metabolic. The DVD contains one 20 minute strength and one 20 minute cardio (metabolic) workout plus a warm up and cool down/stretch. If you choose “play all” you do everything–the warm up, the strength, the metabolic cardio and the cool down for a 54 minute workout. Or do them separately for two approx. 30 minute workouts (including the warm up and stretch).

The DVD includes a 4 minute “behind the scenes” where they talk to the background exercisers and show a clips of what goes on behind the scenes of making these DVD workouts. Then they talk to Jessica about her background. She says she used to be 40 pounds heavier and was very unhappy. So she made some changes and started working out 10 minutes a day because that was all she could do. She increased her workout time incrementally then felt comfortable joining a gym. She started to love working out and thought that maybe she could help other people so she started teaching classes, which led to making workout DVDs. She said everyone struggles with their weight and doesn’t always want to workout. She still wants chocolate cake, but then adds “everything in moderation.”

This was a great workout DVD. When I did it this morning I chose “play all” and did a 54 minute total body cardio + strength workout. It starts with the cardio and ends with the strength work. Though there is impact and plyometrics, it is nothing crazy. Tracie Long level plyometrics, not advanced Cathe plyo. However, the cardio is more intense than Jessica’s Walk On and Walk Strong workouts. The strength work is not more intense, but it is metabolic so it will keep your heart rate elevated. This DVD is more in line with the level of her 10 Pounds Down workouts. The cardio is done interval style but it was never HIIT level, at least not for me, and I am currently intermediate level. It might be HIIT level for a beginner.

The warm up is 6 minutes and the cool down/stretch is 5:30 minutes. Jessica has two background exercisers. One of them shows beginner modifications/low impact modifications. She does not show low impact for everything–just the highest impact moves. All of the exercises are done in sets of 4 and 8, so you you never do anything so long you cannot give it your all. The strength training is the same but there are a lot of combo moves (upper and lower body working at the same time) and balance moves. The combo moves make it difficult to lift heavy. I had to modify most of the balance moves but I was able to do everything else at Jessica’s level. For every exercise a pop up appears, telling you what exercise you are getting ready to do and how many reps you will be doing–but warning! It isn’t always correct! Sometimes it says you will do less reps than you actually do!

Metabolism Workout: 20:30 minutes (32 minutes with warm up and cool/down stretch)

  1. Jog forward 4 steps then do 2 hopscotches (jacks w/ hamstring curls) then jog backward 4 steps and do 2 hopscotches; hopscotches change to 2 squat jacks; squat jacks change to 2 X jacks
  2. Step out wide then back in 4x + 4 squat jacks + 2 squat jumps
  3. Step forward with a little squat, step side with a little squat, step back with a little step then do 2 narrow squats; steps change to leaps and the narrow squats change to 2 hopscotches; leaps change to hops and hopscotches change to X jacks
  4. 8 X jacks
  5. Repeat #3 starting with other lead leg
  6. Repeat #4
  7. Low impact lateral skater taps; changes to alternating curtsy lunges; changes to curtsy lunge + side squat + curtsy lunge, alternate sides
  8. Alternating front lunges w/ cross chop arms
  9. Pulse 3x in lunge then jump lunge to switch legs; changes to 1 pulsing lunge between each jump lunge; changes to alternating jump lunges (no pulse)
  10. Repeat 7-9
  11. Jump rope; jumps change to single, single double heels; changes to cross jacks
  12. Bend forward, place hands on floor and step one foot back into lunge, step foot back in and stand, alternate legs; changes to full squat thrusts (jump feet back to plank then jump them back in and stand)
  13. Start in straight arm plank then rotate into side plank, alternate sides
  14. Standing with feet together, do figure 8 scoops (arms straight, hands clasped)
  15. 8 full squat thrusts; 4 more but with a jump when standing
  16. Repeat 13 & 14
  17. Crescent knees, changing direction with each crescent knee (you are facing the side and do 2 crescent knees to change direction) (she calls them “side step overs”)
  18. Duck under bob and weaves
  19. Alternating diagonal step knee; add a jump to step knee
  20. Repeat 17-19
  21. Walk out to plank and do alternating spiderman crawls (step one foot forward outside of same side hand–except you are also moving same side hand forward while lowering into a push up), alternate sides
  22. 8 Mountain climbers
  23. Repeat 21 & 22
  24. Alternating reverse lunges with rotation (hold arms straight in front of you w/ hands clasped, rotate clasped hands/arms toward front leg when lunging)
  25. Repeat 21-24

Strength Workout: 22:30 minutes (34 minutes with warm up and cool/down stretch) Equipment: fitness mat and dumbbells. Jessica and crew only had one set of dumbbells so the weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Reverse lunge w/ cross chop down to opposite hip (one 8# DB)
  2. Squat w/ cross chop, alternate sides (one 8# DB)
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Squat w/ figure 8 (one 8# DB)
  5. Single leg deadlift (15# DBs)
  6. Bent over double arm row with heel push back (balance move) (15# DBs)
  7. Alternating front lunge to the side, rear fly while in lunge (8# DBs)
  8. Repeat 5 & 6 on other side of body
  9. Repeat #7
  10. Alternating renegade row (18# DBs)
  11. Push ups
  12. Chest fly w/ knees raised and feet raised off floor; add a crunch; changes to single arm alternating chest fly while keeping head/shoulders raised (15# DBs)
  13. Repeat 10 & 11
  14. Side lunge (lowering DBs down to floor at bottom of lunge) and at top of lunge do straight arm lateral raise while also lifting leg straight to side (do this combo slow for 4 reps then fast for 8 reps) (5# DBs)
  15. Front lunge + knee raise w/ opposite leg + overhead press, alternate legs (5# DBs)
  16. Repeat #14 on other side of body
  17. Repeat #15
  18. Split stance squat (single leg squat) w/ bicep curl (8# DBs)
  19. Stand on one leg w/ other leg extended out behind you and do overhead tricep extensions (balance move) (8# DBs)
  20. Squat w/ V chest press (5# DBs)
  21. Repeat 18 & 19 on other side of body
  22. Repeat #20
  23. Sit on mat with legs extended straight in front of you, hands clasped and arms extended straight in front of you, roll down to mat then roll back up, keeping arms/clasped hands extended straight in front of you
  24. Lay on back, head/shoulders raised, arms and legs extended straight to ceiling, lower one leg a few inches from the ground while also lowering opposite arm a few inches from the ground overhead, alternate sides; changes to raising and lowering both arms and legs at the same time (jack knife)
  25. Sit up with rotation (lay on mat with legs extended straight in front of you, hands clasped and arms extended straight in front of you, do full sit ups and at top, rotate straight clasped hands/arms to side, alternate sides)
  26. Repeat the jack knife (second part of #24) to a slow 3 count tempo
  27. Elbow pull plank (in elbow plank, pull elbow up to side while rotating torso slightly (like a row but with no weights), alternate sides
  28. Elbow plank V lift (lift hips up into a pike then lower back to plank)
  29. Repeat #27 & 28
  30. Lay on stomach with arms bent under chest and palms on floor, extend one arm straight in front of you while also raising opposite leg, alternate arm/legs; changes to raising and lowering both arms and legs at same time; keep arms and legs raised and hold isometrically
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