Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Michelle Dozois: Peak 10 Cardio Strength (Review)

A while ago, I talked with you about some of my favorite workouts.  I've since decided to review some specific videos here, just in case you feel like you need to switch up your workout. 

I mentioned how I'm loving Michelle Dozois, especially her new Peak 10 series.  These are fast becoming my very favorite videos to do - because they are the most effective.

The first of these I bought was her Peak 10 Cardio Strength (2010).  The format is simple.  There are 5 ten-minute segments and each one starts with weights and then moves to cardio - there's a basecamp, ascent, climb, and then peak, which is a very strenuous cardio move that will leave you breathless.

Michelle's Srength videos do not include a warm-up - "the warm-up is a workout," she says.  And so you start with weights.  None of the exercises with weights are too strenuous.  You'll need a lighter set of weights and a heavier set.  My main problem is always that I only have one set of weights - 6.6 lbs.  That makes it difficult when light weights are needed - or heavy weights.  Sometimes, I just use one weight.  You can definitely tweak these moves to accommodate whatever your situation is.  The only tough part about the weights is that Michelle moves fast, so you better know some basic terms like flies, dead lift, row, clean-and-press, etc.  And, just to prove that the warm-up is a workout....this warm-up includes burpees.  Eek!  I hate burpees!

Okay, basecamp - the beginning of each new segment.  Catch your breath here and do it fast.  

Next, is the climb - weights with squats, lunges, etc.  Doable as long as your weights aren't too heavy.  And don't worry, you never do one move for too long.  This lasts about two minutes.

And then the ascent.  About three minutes of fun cardio.  It's a challenge, believe me, especially the few segments where you have to get down on the floor for push-ups and mountain-climbers.  But just think of this - the cardio in the "Cardio Strength" videos is a breeze compared to the "Cardio Interval" videos!

Finally, the short peak.  These are generally one move that is difficult and jumpy.  I do have trouble with some of these where I have to jump and get my knees up - tuck jumps etc.  But I do the best I can and, thankfully, this is only about 30 seconds of heart-pounding craziness.

After these five minutes, you repeat it all on the other side (where applicable).  At least you know what's coming which is sometimes good and sometimes bad!  

Repeat this concept in the next four 10-minute segments.

At the very end of the workout is a cool-down and stretch.  Michelle always has some great stretches - they're never boring and you really feel like you're soothing your muscles after all the jumping.

I rarely do this entire workout.  I usually only do four segments.  Seriously, since the warm-up is a real workout, I get tired quickly.  For a while, I was doing this workout once a week and, after 5-6 months, I got a little bored with it.  But if I change it out with something else every other week, as I'm doing now, it works a lot better.  

You'll get tired of hearing this, but I love Michelle, even her older stuff.  She's perky without being annoying and her cueing is great.  Oh, and I'd kill for her body.

Bottom line: If you want a challenge and you're tired of boring, unchallenging workouts, try this.  I dare you.

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