Stuck In the House Edition: An Exercise Video Review

I have been trying to write a post all week. Every time I have a free moment someone is on the computer or I am needed. Sorry for the delay.

Like many of you, we have been snowed in. Perhaps a more accurate description would be “iced in”. A great freeze has enveloped Atlanta and created a state of emergency that has kept everyone home. All members of the Clarke family have been struggling with a nasty cold this week so we might as well be stuck inside.

Last week I purchased an exercise video at Target while they were on sale. (They are on sale this week too.) I picked up a video called “Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training”.

Jackie Warner is described as a “trainer to the stars” and star of the hit TV show “Work Out”. I have never heard of her but the video received rave reviews from other people on Target’s website. (I love having access to the web on my phone-so convenient.)

I’ve used the video twice. I’ve only used the 40-minute Total Body Cicuit. The video has other 15 minute segments: Abs only Circuit, Lower Body Circuit, Upper Body Circuit, and a Total Body Circuit. I was not able to use weights for the arm exercises because I am giving the muscles in my neck a break. I used alternate exercises during those parts or performed the movements without weights.

Pros: There aren’t very many lapses in the workout so your heart rate is kept up. Some of the exercises would be considered “compound exercises” meaning that more than one body part is being targeted. I like compound movements because they are a good use of your time and force the muscle groups to work even harder. (The quads get a particularly good workout.)

There are two people who workout with her. After she gets the viewer started on a particular exercise she stands with each of those people (two women and a man that rotate) and reviews their form. Addressing form is really important when working out with weights. This decreases the likelihood of injury and clarifies anything that was not communicated clearly, which often happens with videos that are fast paced.

Along with the initial exercise for each section of the body, Jackie then returns for a “Power Burn” which is supposed to take that muscle group to the point of exhaustion. Not enough workout videos use this effective technique.

Cons: That being said about the “Power Burn”, I think it is important to switch up the rate, reps, and sets at which you are performing an exercise. If you use only this video for a month and exercise at the very fast pace, your muscles will acclimate and the effectiveness will drop. I also thought that she should have mentioned that it is important not to “bounce”. Some people go so fast through a set that they aren’t being effective. The momentum is what is getting them through the set, not the actual strength of the muscle.

What is the answer to this problem? Well the next time I use the video I will slow down. I will do slower sets but will really focus on the squeeze, for example, in a bicep curl and slow down as I stretch that muscle back out. The next time I pull out the video after that, I will flex quickly but really resist the weight as my arm comes back down. As Jackie states, I will “keep that mind/body connection” being very aware of the movement. And then the third time I use the video, I will follow along with her but use a heavier weight.

When exercising, it is important to keep the muscles guessing. You want to keep your muscles at peak metabolism-boosting performance.

Overall, I think Jackie Martin offers a good video that will especially serve the beginner for a long time. With a little variation, as I mentioned previously, a person could mix this video with other videos or cardio routines through the week for some variety. I would suggest that a person of intermediate or advanced fitness also include some extra cardio exercises, as this video didn’t allow enough time for the heart rate to be raised in a way that would satisfy someone with that level of fitness.

I think Jackie Martin’s video “Power Circuit Training” is a worthy purchase if you like using exercise videos as part of your exercise regimen.

Next time I will review a video byt Bob Harper from the “Biggest Loser”.

Hope this review helps you meet your New Year’s fitness resolution!

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