Monday, August 19, 2013

Michelle Dozois: Peak 10 More Cardio Interval Burn (Review)

Though this is a follow-up to the original Peak 10 Cardio video, this is the first one I purchased and, therefore, the first one I will review.  This is unlike any cardio workout I've done.  And, let me tell you, it's hard

Michelle Dozois does cardio very well.  Her Peak 10 More Cardio Interval Burn (2012) will test you - and keep on testing you until you are drenched with sweat.  I've only ever done the whole video 2-3 times because it's almost too much.  I almost always leave out one 10-minute interval.  All of her Peak 10 videos are formatted the same way.... 

The warm-up includes a nice bit of light cardio and stretching.  You body wakes up, you heart picks up the pace, and you'd better grab a towel to keep within arm's reach.  

There's a short "basecamp" where you catch you breath.  Then on to the 2-3 minute "ascent," which is usually low-impact cardio designed to get your heart rate up: side burpees, side knees, jabs, kicks, etc.  After all that you feel slightly recovered (from the last peak) and move on to the "climb" - punches and high knees, jacks and side lunges, jogs with knees up, etc, etc.  Sweat is dripping off of you and your body is protesting.  Then, for about a minute you hit the "peak" - one crazy move that will test your limits.  These are burpees with tuck jumps, air jacks, side lunge jump...basically something with a high jump/leap in it.  Eek.  You wish for death - and then the bell rings and you're done.  This all happens in five minutes.

Repeat that whole thing on the other side.

Do it four more times for 50 minutes of heart-pounding cardio.  

There's a nice cool down and stretch at the end.  And I enjoy the stretching, as always. (In her Peak 10 videos, Michelle does a great job of changing up the stretching; it's never the same but is always effective.)

I would really like to know how many calories this workout burns.  It's crazy.  If you'd like to see a clip, go here - but be warned: the clip does not make it look as hard as it really is.  Recently, I've started hitting the pause button between intervals - just to catch my breath for an extra minute - and to have more time to towel off.  I genuinely enjoy this workout.  Though I hate going to the floor (for burpees, jacks, etc), I know why it's done: it gets your heart-rate up there and tests your strength.  I used to barely be able to do three burpees.  Now, in the 45-60 second peak, I can do many, many burpees.  That doesn't mean I like them, but I'll grudgingly do them.    

I love Michelle and her team - some of whom are in all her videos.  They really are an inspiration.  And Michelle - how in the world does she talk while doing burpee tuck jumps and all these crazy things?!  The woman is amazing.  

Bottom line: For a cardio challenge, you can't go wrong with this.  If you can't get through it, do as much as you can and gradually add on an interval at a time.  This workout is not for the faint of heart - but you will burn some serious calories.

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