Super Slimdown Circuit by Kathy Smith
To begin with, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The images on the cover are really silly and the title emphasizes body shape in a way that makes me think “weight” versus “build”. I had tried other Kathy Smith workout DVDs and I know that she doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on losing weight as she does on toning the body (don’t get me wrong, she definitely mentions weight loss, but it’s typically talked about as a product of muscle development). The back of the DVD is also rather vague:
Secrets to a Great Upper Body Workout: The upper body program defines chest, back, arms & shoulders
The descriptions for the other two workouts are similar. I don’t know about you, but I was unsure of whether this would involve aerobics, cardio, weights, steps, or even a lecture. Luckily it was a library copy so the risk of disappointment was negated by the ease of return. So, I popped it into the laptop and awaited the surprise.
And what a surprise! I’m a big fan of using weights (5 lbs) to tone and not the typical jumping about. The first workout, the Upper Body, utilized weights, but what made it even better was the length to which she goes into explaining what muscles you’re focusing on and how to do each exercise. This isn’t a case of “Now do this and that and this – keep it up!” but a step-by-step guide prior to each set. These exercises aren’t easy, either. They really do work the muscle, and she reminds you of the correct form each time.
The Lower Body Workout was equally intense and it wasn’t all squats. Each exercise is designed to work a particular muscle group and you can really feel it working it if you do it correctly. I was working muscles that haven’t seen so much attention since their creation. I could hardly keep up for some of them, but that’s another plus to this DVD: it gives you tips on how to take it more slowly and how to amp it up (you know, for those days where this becomes a piece of cake – pffft! More like those days where I eat a piece of cake!).
Both of the above workouts are around 30 minutes long, and she also does a series of stretches afterward for those muscle groups. Another LOVE moment!
The Peak Fat Burning workout is completely different. This is more like the jumping about I was mentioning earlier. As the description states:
Heat up your metabolism to burn more calories.
I’m going to try this tomorrow, but I did watch it all the way through today to prep me for the moves. It doesn’t contain too many “clumsy” moments – I am not a dancer nor do I think I will ever be one. I flop about with great gusto and it’s a terrible feeling. This routine didn’t contain any horrible moments. Most of the moves look doable and they’re very structured. She also preps each “interval” (these are 2 minute segments where you power through a series of moves to raise the heart beat). It also lasts a good 40 minutes in total with the stretches at the end.
Rating: 5 stars.
I wish the title actually reflected the attention to building muscle than slimming down, but I suppose slimming down is more marketable and sexy. I’m glad I tried it out, and I’ll keep this one in my routine.