Metabolic Strength Vol 3 & Vol 4

Vol 3 & 4 is the next DVD in Tracie Long‘s Metabolic Strength series. This DVD contains two more 30 minute workouts Well Built and Full Steam Ahead. I loved Vol 1 & 2, so I totally expected to love Vol 3 & 4 just as much. But I didn’t. I did love Vol 3 Well Built but I am not a fan of Vol 4 Full Steam Ahead. I did these workouts just like I did Vol 1 & 2–back to back, so that might be one of the reasons I didn’t like Vol 4. They are both very challenging workouts, so I came to Vol 4 already worn out. Vol 3 is another excellent 30 minute total body strength training workout. Vol 4 is a metabolic workout that combines strength and cardio. It is very plank based. I am not a fan of mountain climbers. I always do them when they are presented in a workout but I never like them. There are a lot of mountain climbers in Vol 4 along with other plank based moves. My shoulders were already well worked from Vol 3, so all of the plank based moves in Vol 4 started hurting my shoulders. Plus, it was really hard. I don’t have a problem with hard workouts, but I was struggling by the end of Vol 4. So, maybe if I did Vol 4 first, I would like it better. But done after the awesome Vol 3, I didn’t like it at all. Oh–another thing about Vol 4–there are balance moves in both the warm up and in one circuit of the workout. The warm up balance moves I could modify by holding on to something but the balance moves during the kick circuit were not so easy to modify. So, yeah. Not a fan of Vol 4.

The main screen lists both workouts. When you choose one it takes you to a chapter menu for the workout. You can either choose the individual chapters or choose “play all.” Both workouts have warm ups but only Vol 3 has a very short stretch. When I finished them I did a long stretch from Cathe‘s Total Body Stretching. I needed it after these intense workouts! Between each chapter you are taken to a screen informing you of what is coming up next. Unlike Vol 1 & 2, there wasn’t a lot of equipment set up.

Vol 3 Well Built is 30 minutes; 5 minute warm up, 30 second stretch. Equipment: dumbbells. I do not know the weights Tracie was using so what is listed below is what I used. I chose my weights pretty well and I only had one up arrow for increasing my weights in the future.

Medium Weights (Upper/Lower Combos):

  1. Step squats side to side (with a narrow squat between sides) holding one DB at shoulder; add single arm overhead press after each set (one 15# DB)
  2. Step one foot back in split stance w/ torso hinged forward, do a single arm row and bring back foot in to knee lift (one 15# DB)
  3. Still in same split squat from #2, lower into a squat bringing DB to floor then stand w/ single arm overhead press (one 15# DB)
  4. Double arm tricep kickbacks; changes to one single tricep kickback to each side + one double arm tricep kickback (9# DBs)
  5. Single leg squats; changes to lowering into single leg squat then straighten working leg while still hinged over then bend leg and stand (single leg squat into single leg deadlift, back to single leg squat then stand) (18# DBs)
  6. Repeat 1-3 on other side of body
  7. Rear delt flys (8# DBs)
  8. Repeat #5 on other side of body

Heavy Weights:

  1. French press w/ squat (hold one DB in both hands by the bells, do French press then bring DB to chest level and squat, bringing elbows to knees); single squat changes to 3 squats after French press; changes to 3 French presses + one squat; ends w/ 8 French presses (one 18# DB)
  2. Renegade row each arm then walk hands off DBs to floor and do one push up (20# DBs)
  3. Forearm knee plank hold; raise onto toes and hold; raise one foot and tap the opposite heel 3x then alternate tapping toes to heels
  4. Wide plie squats w/ bicep curls; changes to alternating hammer curls; changes to just plie squats (9# DBs; I will increase the weight of my DBs in the future)
  5. Forearm knee plank hold; raise onto toes and push one arm out straight in front of you 2x then tap opposite foot out to side 3x tapping further each time
  6. Repeat #2
  7. Bridges w/ DB(s) on hips–first singles then hold isometrically then pulse hips at top of bridge (repeat these 3 different tempos several times) (one 20# DB)

Peck Fly & Pullovers:

  1. Lay on back on floor, knees bent and feet on floor, do pullovers (13# DBs)
  2. Chest flys (13# DBs)
  3. Combine 1 & 2 (one slow pullover + 2 quick chest flys); changes to one pullover + one chest fly (13# DBs)
  4. Modified side elbow plank (on knees) w/ top arm/DB extended overhead, raise and lower hips; add isometric holds (one 9# DB)
  5. Chest press in up, up, down, down pattern; add 2 double arm chest presses after each up, up, down, down (18# DBs)
  6. Repeat #4 on other side of body

Vol 4 Full Steam Ahead is 32 minutes; 4 minute warm up. Equipment: medicine ball, dumbbells, sliding device. I used a 5 pound medicine ball, a set of 15 pound dumbbells and one 20 pound dumbbell. This workout has a lot of circuits. Some circuits I really liked and some, not so much. As mentioned above, it is the plank based circuits and balance circuits I am not a fan of. I really wanted to like the Kicks circuit more since I love kicking but since there was so much balancing, I wasn’t a fan. I also felt some of the moves were kind of awkward at the speed Tracie was doing them.

Med Ball:

  1. Stand w/ legs wide and chop med ball to each side of body as you shift to each side, then raise ball overhead, lower into wide plie squat and push ball out in front of you
  2. Pivot to side and lunge once slowly + 2 pulse lunges holding ball in front of chest; add holding ball overhead while pulsing and weaving ball under front thigh when lunging
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Lower into wide low squat, ball on floor between legs and elbows pressed against inside of knees, place hands on floor and jump back into plank then jump feet back in to squat
  5. Stand again with legs wide and circle ball to side, overhead, to other side
  6. Repeat #4 & 5
  7. Repeat #1
  8. Repeat #2 on other side of body
  9. Repeat #1
  10. Side lunge side to side with a chop to the side as you lunge


  1. Front kick + back kick + front kick + hold at top of back kick and kick leg out 3x (balance move)
  2. 3 jump squats + one front kick, alternate legs
  3. Repeat #1 & 2
  4. Alternating crescent knees (she calls them hurdles)
  5. One crescent knee + one side kick, alternate sides
  6. 2 crescent knees alternating legs + hold at top of side kick and kick leg out 3x (balance move)
  7. Repeat #2
  8. Repeat #1
  9. Repeat #2
  10. Repeat #1
  11. Repeat #1
  12. Alternating front kicks

Mountain Climbers:

  1. In straight arm plank, bring knee under body to opposite elbow 3x, alternating sides then do 4 quick mountain climbers
  2. One slow push up + 2 spiderman lunges (bring foot up to outside of same side hand); changes to 3 jumping spiderman lunges + one push up
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Stationary lunges; changes to hopping stationary lunges
  5. Repeat #2
  6. Repeat #1

DB Swing:

  1. Place one end of a heavy DB on the floor in front of you and hold the other end in both hands, hinge forward with legs wide, lift DB off floor and swing it between legs 4x then place it back on floor; add 3 goblet squats (one 20# DB)
  2.  Renegade row variation (in straight arm plank, row DB up while also rotating into side plank, bringing DB to top of ribs/chest; add 2 quick traditional renegade rows after each renegade row variation (15# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Repeat #2 on other side of body


  1. Sliding mountain climbers
  2. High plank to low plank back to high plank + 2 pikes (sliding feet in while raising hips)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2
  4. 4 squats
  5. Alternating 3 knee repeaters
  6. One 3 knee repeater + one burpee
  7. Repeat #1-3

Side Plank:

  1. Modified side elbow plank (knees bent) w/ med ball between knees, place top hand behind head, lower and raise hips then rotate torso, bringing elbow toward hand on floor; hold at top of side plank while reaching top arm toward ceiling and lift hips higher 2x then lower and lift hips
  2. Kneel w/ knees about hip width apart, bring ball from hips to overhead behind head; changes to chopping ball diagonally across body; changes to passing ball hand to hand around waist

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