Work Out At Home Wednesdays v.2

It's 6pm on October 29th and Frankenstorm is definitely making its way inland. The howls are pretty scary and the lights are flickering. I hope to finish this post before the lights go out. My exact words to my boyfriend: "lights are flickering, I better finish my workout!"

Today's DVD is:

Liz Gillies Core Fitness: Progressive Pilates Four 10-minute Target Tone Workouts. 

A mouthful for sure.

Workout Goals: DVD jacket promises, "four effective workouts focused on the abs, butt, arms and thighs. Liz's 3-dimensional approach to classic Pilates mat exercises will tone, firm and re-shape your body using focused concentration and precise form. You will improve muscle coordination, increase energy and improve your overall fitness."

Time: Total of 50 minutes. There is a 40-minute program with 4 "self-contained" mini-workouts that you can do on their own, mix and match, or combine them all. She also added a surprise, 10-minute total body routine.

Impact: Low impact as most of the moves are done laying down on the mat.

Space considerations: All you need is space for a yoga mat.

Equipment: A yoga mat and three to five-pound weights for the arm routine.

Neat feature: Count down clock that shows up at the five-minute mark of each routine to let you know you are half way through. I found it helpful to know I was almost done and happy when I saw there was one-minute left!

Fun Factor: Not really tons of fun except when she says things like, "sounds like sushi but its a lot more fun" in reference to some of the ballet terminology.

Cheese level: No cheese. Serious Pilates moves. The instructor is great at cuing and says "just enough." She doesn't speak just to fill time.

My experience: I have never done Pilates before and as much as I've heard that it's nothing like yoga, I still expected it to be exactly like yoga. It's not. There's some stretching, some dance-like moves, and some toning. Liz really keeps her promise on keeping each routine to 10-minutes. It's great when you are pressed for time but I found that every time I finally got the move, she was on to the next. I'm sure it gets easier to follow with time. I had my heart rate monitor on but it wasn't necessary for this routine as most of the work is done laying down on the mat, which kept my heart rate fairly low. I started at 83bpm and it went up to a max of 115bpm during the arm routine.

The Buns and Thighs routines were okay but I didn't really feel like I was working out until I got to the Arms routine. That was tough. Holding the poses and doing the exercises with five-pound weights for ten minutes was a challenge The ab workout was pretty good as well. I was surprised after I made it through the 40 minutes and saw the bonus routine. I hadn't read the DVD jacket before I started the workout. Total Body was good and felt more like what my impression of Pilates was. Lots of planking!

Overall, I broke a sweat and found the workout to be pretty challenging for a Pilates beginner. It really did feel good to stretch out my super tight hamstrings. Wonder how I will feel tomorrow?

Fyi, its 6:30pm and we still have power! 'Til next time.