Currently, I am working through the following P90X videos:

01 Chest and Back
02 Plyometrics
03 Shoulders and ARms
05 Legs and Back

NEVER MIND! That's too hard on my joints right now.

As of July 18, 2010, I'm doing the Urban Rebounder, Intermediate Level.

Oh, never mind. As of Aug 8, 2010, I working through a beginner's running program.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Current Exercise Video's

I have many. Right now these are my focuses:

Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. The reason I love this one is because she works two exercises at the same time and I see results. I don't like how it takes forever to go from one exercise to another, but when I'm giving it my complete all it is nice for the chance to catch my breath.

Hip Hop Abs. Right now I have been doing the Fat Burning Cardio workout. Which is all about the abs so I don't understand why it's titled a cardio workout. It is only 30 minutes and straight to the point while staying fun and thorough. It really works all the ab muscles. My favorite part is the Night Fever combo and the Get Busy combo. He must have really looked into the rules of making exercise video's because he doesn't break ANY of them. He is a good amount of time without taking too long, doesn't waste our time with instructions, fun to watch, keeps it interesting and is good at cueing, just to name a few.

I also enjoy these videos.

Urban Rebounder Because I could not even make it up the stairs without my heavy breathing promoting my being asked if I had been working out, I started this workout. At first I could only go for 5 minutes. Then, throughout the weeks of adding just one more routine each week I finally made it all the way up through the 12th routine. Using the right rebounder is important. I had been using one that had fabric straps and only after two months they wore so much that I was jumping in little concave holes. So, I would buy another one. And, then another one. Finally, I found one with metal springs holding the rebounder to the metal rim. It bounced so easy that I think much of my struggle with the video was by using the wrong equipment.

TTapp I like the videos that I have which target the specific areas. So, one day I can do legs, another day arms, another the mid-section. I also have the complete workout, the leg floor workout, and the Hit the Floor. When I get in a TTapp mood I have a lot to work with and they are easy to incorporate with my other videos because the one's I have are specific. I use the methods that I learned from TTapp while doing my other videos, where possible. For instance, I keep my hips curled up underneath of me where the exercises allow it. Some, like dead lifts, are not safe that way. While doing lunges and squats I try to keep my big toe curled up. This works the muscles differently somehow and makes a big difference. Both of those, and some more, are posture guides offered by TTapp and I use them with all of my videos.

Week One

Monday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Tuesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 5 exercises, through the wide squats with upright row. I used 3# weights throughout the workout and still only did one-half of the push-ups.
Wednesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Thursday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 5 exercises, again, through the wide sqauts with upright row. Same amount of weight and push-ups. Progress is being made. I felt stronger through the lunges routine and I worked harder on the push-ups. I'm still a little shaky from them.
Friday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. I had a lot of fun with this today. I found myself really hopping to the music and giving it my all. I might as well have been out dancing. Except I wouldn't have been doing the moves quite in this exact fashion.
Saturday: I didn't sleep good at all last night. It was a long and tiring night. So, I did not work out today. Will resume again on Monday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How to Create an Exercise Video

Through the years I have owned between 30-40 exercise videos. I started using them when I was only 16 years old. I loved them. There were a couple of times I did them twice a day because I had so much fun. Through the years I kept buying more and more. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of VHS tapes of old exercise video's and have slowly accumulated DVD's of current and fun routines. Through all of these videos I've noticed things that I WISH they knew BEFORE they created their video. If only they had consulted me! So, I'm adding this information to my blog so that hopefully, they will do a google search for "how to create an exercise video" and find my very helpful instructions. In my opinion, at least.

These items are in no particular order.

1) I thought this one was of least importance because I thought most trainers have realized this through the years, but Billy's Bootcamp Ab Routine makes this mistake! Remember that we are mirroring everything you do. Don't instruct use to use our left leg while you start using your own left leg. It will cause frustration because I will use my right leg as that is what is mirroring your moves. I haven't seen that mistake in a while, but I don't own every video out there to confirm it.

2) Here is another one that I find infrequently, yet still should be mentioned. Years ago I had a set of three videos that were made by Sports Illustrated. I loved them. The only critique that I can remember having about them was that the one trainer wouldn't bop to the music. We like to keep tempo with the music while doing our exercises. It is one of the purposes of having the music. It's fun to keep tempo with it. So, don't bop faster or slower than the music. Stay in tempo. It makes it feel like dancing that way.

3) One of my most important suggestions is to create and maintain a rhythm. I like to get into the groove and maintain it. When something or someone interrupts the momentum it makes it easy to stop right at that point and give up for the day. "Well, I've stopped anyway and all this time I've been trying to just keep at it. But, now that I've stopped I might as well stay stopped." For instance, one of my favorite exercise routines is TTapp. Well, the lady likes to talk and she can't seem to exercise and talk at the same time. She has to be one of the most guilty of this exercise sin. We'll be moving along and she will count all of the exercises to 8, we are in a grove of 8, moving like we are to the tune of a metronome. Then, suddenly she'll stop to give an instruction and I have to stand there waiting to get going again. MAYBE the first time I watch the video I need that, but not by the 3rd, 10th, or 50th time. By then I want to pull HER hair out 'cause I've already pulled all of mine out. A great example of the right way is through my Rebounder video. He is good at staying in the rhythm. Good thing, too, because if he ever stopped I would have taken the first opportunity to end that one. My lack of cardio-vascular strength fights me through that entire routine. Instead of breaking the rhythm for instructions, simply do one or two slow, not toooo slow, while you talk about them. Or, give them while you do the exercise. You're probably going to do at least 8 reps anyway, so we will catch up. Then, next time and the next time and the next time we do your video we already know what you are expecting and not wasting our time anymore.

4) Count! You are a professional and we are going to be doing these over and over and over and over and over again. There's nothing like doing 8 on one leg and then 12 on the other because someone lost count. Then, next time I have to remember to start with the other leg to keep everything even, which is hard to keep track of. It's your job to do that, not mine. I have one video that I haven't even finished or done a second time because of this. She jokes that trainers are bad at counting so although she intends for 8 counts, she keeps losing count. She thought that was funny. NOT funny! If you mess up, redo the recording of that section. OR, hire someone to be behind the camera giving you cues. Be a professional and learn to count for the sake of the video or get help. Jari Love does a great job of counting. In fact, I love how at difficult times she counts backwards. Somehow that just makes all the difference.

5) That brings me to avoiding big mistakes. Mistakes may not always be a big deal while other times they are a big deal. In my Rebounder video he does the same routine 12 times. He counts to 8 and we turn to the right for 4, go back to the middle for 4, then turn left for 4. Sometimes we go "around the world" in that same pattern. During routine number 10 he forgets to go to the left for 4. Oops. No big deal. He's done it right all 11 other times. I actually look forward to the little goof. It allows me a little cheat without actually cheating. Mind you that with this error he never broke rhythm, that would have been bad. On the other hand, TTapp, (which I actually love her program - just not her execution of it) during one of her videos has a balancing routine. After going through the routine for the one leg, it's time to switch to the other leg and do the same routine. But, she starts with the wrong leg the second time! Every time I do the video I have to wait for her to figure this out. This is not good. CUT! Do it over right!

6) Patterns. I love patterns. I love to know either how many reps I am going to do for ALL exercises or to see a time for which we are going to meet to complete each exercise. I love to know what to expect. Without it I find myself giving up just when there were only 5 more reps to go. Had I only known! It also gives a mental end in site. "Just hang in there, she only does 8 for 4 times and then we move on. That's not too long!" is better than "I think she does about 60 of these, I'll just stop now"

7) Another pattern is the choreography. It's okay to have fun and challenging choreography if it makes sense. I have one video that I could never catch on to his pattern. I think it was because he did such silly nonsensical moves that provided no purpose that I saw no sense in it's difficulty and quit for good. It seemed like busy foot work. Most of the time we can catch on after only a few days. Avoid not making your pattern clear, though. When I went to the gym I attended the aerobics/step class. I love the step. This instructor, though, was a horrible leader. She would slow us down to introduce a step, repeat it a couple times to help us get it down. That's okay. Even when we are very familiar with the step, doing it a couple of times slow allows us for a quick breath. Just remember to stay with rhythm and don't take TOO long. The problem she had is when she said, "Okay, now tempo" She would do something completely different! It took me about 2 weeks to realize that she was adding it to the pattern she had already been doing before showing us this new part and did not warn or explain her intentions, nor allowed us to practice the new part at tempo before moving into the previous pattern. I expected to practice that new part at tempo and then for her to say "Now, from the beginning" to cue us to start the pattern over.

8) Cueing. That's a good one. If you have us in a position where we cannot see the TV, cue us when you have us change positions. I don't want to look up wondering when in the world we are going to change and find that you already did. I love good cue'ers. Even when I am looking at the TV. Rebounder is really good at that. Besides, when I'm working my little tail off, and since I work really hard at what I'm doing and loose myself in the workout, it's nice to have someone keeping track and giving me a heads up for the next move. Remember, you don't have to stop the momentum, discussed earlier, to give that cue. That's a big no, no! One of the stretching moves in TTapp, after doing the arm exercises, she wants to tell us to stretch for a count of four, won't even start until after she's explained in detail this little stretch, gives what seems to be a cue, "k, let's start", but then waits a second to adjust and says "now" before she finally starts. That's breaking both the rhythm, cueing and the wasting our time video mistakes!

9) Floor Work. It's not the 80's and 90's anymore. We don't have to get on the floor and do leg lifts and sits ups to get strong and toned in those areas. There are so many great videos that work our legs, hips and abs without getting onto the floor that in order to set yours apart from the competition you will need to maintain that creativity. Turbo Jam, TTapp, Hip Hop Abs do a phenomenal job and don't make us get on the floor. (With the exception of TTapp's two specific floor exercise videos, but they are so unique that she can get away with it. Furthermore, they are easy on my neck as I don't need to lift it) One of the reasons I feel this is so important is bias. I physically am unable to do side leg lifts. My jaw problems prevent me from lifting my head for consistent amounts of time without causing me pain. I know for other folks it is the back problems. So, videos that keep us off the floor with fun, effective, and creative moves are appreciated.

10) Introductions. It's nice of you to introduce your crew, but don't make us wait while you do. I have a video that makes me stand there each time waiting for her to finish making introductions. Rebounder doesn't take as long, but we are still waiting. By the 10th time I'm usually saying the names right along with you. I understand the appreciation for the crew. Can it be fit in somehow during the workout without interfering with time, tempo, count or momentum?

11) Walking around. This may be a personal preference. I do not care for watching the trainer walk around and point out his crews correct moves, or whatever the reason for the move-around. The main trouble with that is the counting isn't consistent because you are paying more attention to what you are saying. It also steers you away from maintaining a pattern. I also wonder if the workout is too tough for you and you would rather get up and focus on something else. I find it distracting, too. After I've watched you give these instructions once, next time I'm trying to focus on working hard on the exercises. Then, since you are off count, I'm thinking "hurry up and get back - I already know this stuff!" If the exercises need to be explained so much that you feel compelled to get up and move around during the workout to use one of your crew as an example then have an instruction section of the DVD for that purpose. Billy Banks and Windsor Pilates are both good examples of always getting up or moving around during segments. I just don't like it.

12) Finally, my personal preference. I know there are videos out there that would solve this problem. But, I like to mix and match my own favorite videos. Most of the time I don't care for all the videos in a set. So, I tend to look online for videos that meet my criteria and it can be difficult. My criteria is that most of the time I do not have an entire hour to work out. I do have 30 minutes, though. I want my 30 minutes to be hard work and specific and thorough. Furthermore, I need to alternate the videos. That can be challenging unless I can find videos that don't all work on the same muscles as the other. That is why I do the Hip Hop Abs alternated with the Get Ripped video. I know that the video I really, really like in the Hip Hop Abs focuses on cardio and heavy abs concentration. Then, I can do the Get Ripped video which is lots of arms, shoulders, legs and hips. Even if it does abs, which it does in an indirect way, it's okay 'cause they're abs. I have cardio videos that do a lot of leg work throughout the cardio. Then, I can't do my Get Ripped the day after. It's hard to find videos that I can mix and match. So, it would be nice if they (meaning the advertisers) would add onto the video information for which day I should incorporate this workout into my plans. That way, while I'm browsing through all my options for a video to fill a particular gap, I don't get it home and realize that it just won't do... they snuck some moves in there that competes with tomorrows workout.

13) Okay, one more thing. The reason I tend not to like videos that I have to purchase in groups covers a few areas. One of the videos usually is phenomenal, while others are just okay. It's like seeing a movie and the sequel just didn't measure up. Maybe the creativity didn't measure up, too many moves that seem like time fillers, or they make me get on the floor. One suggestion that I have is regarding those videos that trainers like to make for those days we don't have as much time. Have you ever noticed that they are also too easy? That still makes me feel like I cheated. If I only have 10, 15 or 20 minutes for a quick workout I want to know that you are busting my but with a variety of moves to target that days goals and making the most of those minutes. I don't want to find myself doing 8 minutes of boxing moves and 2 minutes of warm up and cool down. (I don't like boxing moves so I picked on that one. Sorry.) (I noticed that Hip Hop Abs 5 Minute Ab routine gives us 5 full minutes of a killer ab workout without getting on the floor. He followed this rule very well. )Push us just past our limit during that short time frame. Make us wish we had the extra time to do your other full workout video because now we can barely move. Kick our buts for not having the time!

14) I found another one while using one of my recently new DVD's. I love the workout, but there is one little challenge. The workout alternates between cardio and weight routines. Between each routine the camera is not on the participants. It is actually introducing the next segment, which is fine. When we return to the crew, the camera-person is zoomed in on the instructor and she begins the routine and we can't see what she is doing until the camera finally moves back and we can see the entire body. So, I've been working on memorizing which cardio is when so that I can start with them, even though I can't see what their feet are doing, yet.

For now that is what I can think of off the top of my head. I would like to add that despite my critiques of TTapp, it is actually one of my favorites. Which is why I'm so hard on her. I love the exercises. They are original, effective, and work muscles while standing rather than resorting to the floor. Even her floor routines are phenomenal. She just needs to learn how to execute the leadership of these moves a bit better.

With all that said, I'm glad to have expert trainers that think of all these creative and effective moves to get me in shape, motivated and entertained. I know I couldn't do it. That's why I get the videos!

I may return later for some more. I hope this has been helpful!

In the beginning....

This week I've started again my exercise regime. Wish me luck! I will need it. This has been going on for a few years now! I will start and then stop after only a short while. Sometimes a few weeks and sometimes I will quite after 4 months. Either way I have not stayed consistent. Maybe if I share my story, get some feedback and encouraging comments (hint, hint) it will motivate me to continue. Another time I will share more of my weight loss history. For now I will report this weeks exercise journey as well as post "how to create an exercise video" according to Erika!

This Week....
I did Get Ripped on Monday. I only did about 4-5 exercises and I didn't try TOO hard because I knew that the next couple of days would be killing me. I even did the push ups, one-half of them. Usually I always skip over the push-ups 'cause I very strongly dislike them. I decided I might as well build everything all together, including those muscles, too.

I did Hip Hop Abs on Tuesday. That's soo much fun! Then, on Wednesday I got into the hot tub during exercising time 'cause I was still too sore to move from Monday's workout.

Thursday we had an early appointment that got into the way of my exercise time.

Friday I was lazy.

Saturday I did the second half of Get Ripped, up until she got onto her knees - which I believe turned out to be the last exercise before the cool down/stretching.

Although, this could be considered the first week, I'm not. This is the week that takes forever getting started and is inconsistent because my body is adjusting to the sore muscles. Next week will be the first week. I have an eight week goal and plan to complete the same videos each week for that eight weeks. Then, I will switch to another two videos for variety.