Disclaimer: I am not a fitness expert, just a fat chick trying to get fit.
Self: Bikini Ready Fast
I used this DVD for my workout this morning. Usually I aim for at least a 45 minute workout each morning, but I was running a little late due to the fact that somehow the snooze button on my alarm kept getting hit. This workout is about 30 minutes long.
Now you might say the title of this DVD does not scream “YO FAT CHICK, THIS IS A WORKOUT FOR YOU”. I don’t own a bikini. I’m guessing that even when I get down to my goal weight, a bikini is not in my future. Not because I don’t think I can ever look good in one, but because I’m about as pale as a person can be and I burn easier than almost anyone I know. The more swimsuit I have to cover up my vulnerable skin, the better! So, in my case the title lies. I will not be bikini ready fast if I do this workout. The main reason I bought this DVD is because Ellen Barrett is the instructor. If you keep reading my reviews in the future you will start to notice that I seem to have a little crush on the woman. It’s true, I find her workouts doable yet challenging. I own many of her DVD’s and I want to be her when I grow up. But with bigger boobs. not that her boobs aren’t wonderful, I’m just used to having bigger boobs and a certain amount of curves. I’m happier that way. But I digress. Talking about boobs does that to me.
Note: the woman in this picture does not seem to be anywhere in the DVD. I’m suspecting she is on the cover to show you what a bikini ready body looks like.
It is suggested that you use 2 – 5 pound weights for this workout, and wear supportive footwear, though I did it bare foot.
The workout has a brief cardio/stretch warm-up, and then you get into strength training, Ellen Barret style. Which means a good amount of cardio, quite a few but not too many reps, and not too heavy of weight. Throw in a lot of balance moves and moves to get your heart rate up, and you have a decently balanced workout focused on toning. The workout is typical of most of Ellen Barret’s workouts in that she has two assistants. One does modified (easier) moves, while the other one looks buff. The warm-up part had no moves that I couldn’t do and effectively got my heart rate up.
The middle of the workout starts with 3 sections where you use weights to work the upper and lower body by doing bicep curls, side raises, squats and long circular arm reaches. Each section does the moves slightly differently, with the main arm moves ending with quick pulsing of the arms. I had never seen Ellen include pulses of arm moves in her workouts before, and it was certainly challenging.
The next part has some more pilates like moves with very large arm movements and standing ab work, tricep presses, lots of arm reaches, and some lunges. Ellen doesn’t give a lot of cues on form in this part, but I’ve noticed that keeping your abs engaged during this part makes all the difference in how hard you work.
The last section, you jump. Now I know that I’ve said that I don’t jump. But Ellen got me to jump. She has you doing side to side plyometric (I had to look it up) jumps from one foot to the other. My range of motion wasn’t even close to hers, but I found this very challenging, especially when she slows down and has you balance on one foot for a while. The assistant that is showing modified moves does all these moves with at least one foot on the ground at all times, so there is easily a way to keep this low impact if you need to. The jumping and landing on one foot is going to be great for me, helping me work on my balance, which is fairly pathetic. You also do some one leg squats and some standing one leg crunches in this part.
The cool down/stretch at the end is very short. Too short in fact. I did some of my own stretching at the end to make up for it.
This workout is not one that I would recommend to someone who has never ever worked out before. There is a feeling that it is assumed that you’ve seen and done a lot of these moves before. Now, she does cue very well, so a person that hasn’t worked out a lot and is still getting comfortable with moving would be able to catch on quick, I think. This is also not a hardcore workout for experts either, but none of those would be reading a fat woman’s blog about her attempts to get fit anyway. Well, at least not with the idea that they are going to get any expert information! I suppose this would be rated as a muscle toning workout. But for me, it’s more than that. I sweated and I will feel the muscle aches from this workout for sure.
There is also a bonus 5 minute pilates ab routine included on the DVD that I attempted. Ellen balances on her tailbone a few times and rolls up from lying prone, and those moves my tailbone would not allow. Otherwise there were some modified crunch like moves that were interesting, and I felt it in my abs. It’s a segment all by itself, so it won’t be something I do often.
I will definitely have this workout in my rotation, it’s perfect for those days I don’t have time for a full 45 minutes.
Workout Intensity: Low Impact to High Impact, depending on if you modify your moves or not. I was sweating within 2 minutes of the beginning of this workout. This workout can be somewhat intense if you want it to be, especially if you use heavier weights.
Moves that were hard to do(because of my weight and back problems) : There was a section with plank pushups that convert into a spinal roll up that I decided to just to knee plank pushups. Getting up and down as fast as they were would have been hard on my back because you have to curve your spine as you do it. No balancing on my tailbone for me!