Let's get physical...I wanna get physical...
December 16, 2013 12:23 PM   Subscribe

In an AskMe that will surprise no one given its proximity to the New Year, I'm looking for cardio/workout DVDs that will have me working up a sweat in 2014!

There will be very little outdoor activity for me until at least late April and then I can begin running/hiking again.

What I do currently:

*Wii Fit
* Pilates for Dummies
* A not-bad intensive walk DVD but the lady is super Christian and it freaks me out despite
the fact it really helped in the first couple of years to get me off my ass
* Basic weight training
* Occasional yoga

What I would like:

* An effective intense workout that can be done in an hour
* Something that doesn't tax my lower back too hard (which sadly rules out CrossFit ever)
* But requires minimal equipment (I have weights and those weird stretchy bands.)
posted by Kitteh to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Check out Jillian Michaels's 30-Day Shred. It's on YouTube, or you can buy the DVD from Amazon.
posted by coppermoss at 12:39 PM on December 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

For cardio: I really, really love rebounders. ~$50 at a big box store for many hours of bouncing up and down, can be stored on its side in a closet or under a double bed. In terms of effort, they are somewhere between running and walking.

I generally just bounce up and down in front of sitcoms, but there are also rebounder-specific workout videos.

Also, I like the 30 Day Yoga Challenge videos, available on YouTube.
posted by pie ninja at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2013

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:03 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was going to suggest 30 Day Shred. I haven't tried it myself but the reviews are almost universally good. Also, if you can get to a Zumba class, I really liked Zumba. It's hard to describe but I feel like it's like dancing without having to really know how to dance. It's very high energy and fun but I also had a great instructor who was very good at modifying exercises (if you can't jump and down and move your arms, just jump up and down and clap! if you can't do that, just hop and wave!).
posted by kat518 at 2:09 PM on December 16, 2013

Best answer: Nthing Jillian Michaels' DVDs: Ripped in 30, 30-Day Shred, etc.
posted by hush at 2:27 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I did not care at all for Zumba.
posted by Kitteh at 6:59 PM on December 16, 2013

If you’ve had an injury, you are now vulnerable to more of them (related to the old one, or not), and it’s very easy to get thrown by a workout most people can do. Since you are working around chronic pain, I would not recommend using any off-the-shelf program, DVD or otherwise, unless you know in advance which moves are triggers and can think of substitutions that will offer comparable challenge in safe ways.

(I mean, you can always just march in place or do air squats for ‘bad’ exercises, but often, people [ahem] identify those the hard way - it’s way too easy to get caught up in following the cues. Also, you’ll cut down the effectiveness of the workout. Which might be ok, but it sounds like you’re motivated to make every minute count.)

I would pay a physical therapist (not a personal trainer, their training quality is extremely variable) to design an individualized workout for you, as a one-off. (I’m not a PT. I’ve been helped by one, though.) You could do it for a month or so and get a new one when you're sick of it.

Alternatively, you could design your own, by choosing 6-8 exercises (one for each major muscle group, alternating upper and lower body, beginning with the largest muscles, i.e., quads or hamstrings). Do each for a bit (8-12 reps, or 30 seconds, or 1 minute), followed by ~60 seconds of cardio, and then repeat the whole sequence. That’s basically what Jillian Michaels does in 30DS.

Because of your back problems, I would also stick to finding ways to make basic moves intense (by modifying the weight or tempo of the strength movement, or increasing the length or intensity of the cardio in between strength movements), rather than doing the fancy two-in-one exercises that are popular in a lot of programs. Much easier to stick to good form when you only have to conceptualize and perform one movement pattern at a time.

It takes a bit of trial and error and reading to get sets/reps/weight/exercise symmetry right, though, particularly when you’re thinking about how to optimize recovery from other activities. (Most young people can work through initial DOMS and recovery just fine, but if you’re over 30, it’s worth paying attention to that.) So I would initially use very light weights, and space this workout about 3 days before/after your weightlifting day. And then just listen to your body to see how quickly your muscles can adapt/recover.

EXRX exercise directory

The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises has tons of little variations on exercises, and decent advice on program design.

If you’re not up for any of that, there's a world of passionate home exercisers reviewing DVDs at collagevideo.com . Sometimes, they break the workouts down move by move (see their forum). You could check out DVDs you're thinking about in advance to have a plan of attack for unsafe exercises. (I am passionate about people minimizing risk of injury so they can stay active for longer than one bikini season.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:38 PM on December 16, 2013

I do home aerobics but get bored easily so youtube is the solution.

"cardio" is an excellent search term ("cardio dance", "cardio kickboxing", "cardio workout", etc.)

You can even find some great classics on there, I admit to trying both Jane Fonda and Tae Bo.

For something less sweaty, I love the Yoga Studio app.
posted by abecedarium radiolarium at 6:36 AM on December 17, 2013

Two yoga recommendations:

Bryan Kest has an ashtanga-style yoga video that kicked my ass! Strenuous, and I think the video has three different levels of difficulty so you can work your way up. I enjoyed the teacher's mystical-'80s vibe too.

Rainbeau Mars—'Sacred Yoga Practice - Vinyasa Flow - Pure Power' I was incredulous about the looks of this video, but my sister recommended it to me and I ended up liking it a lot. It's also a nice short program, easy to fit in.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 10:02 AM on December 17, 2013

One word: bodyrock
posted by WayOutWest at 1:16 PM on December 17, 2013

Best answer: I like Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred -- it's great for starting to get fit when you're not and working you up to new levels of fitness. But it sounds like you already work out and could start at a higher level. In which case, I'd go for JM's Hard Body. It's a 45 minute workout (instead of the 25 of shred) and she assumes you want to be strong (instead of lose weight). It's a more positive experience and still pushes nice and hard. (For both, she requires light weights and recommends a mat and sneakers.) Or if you want something more mellow, Bollywood Dance Workout is lovely. I get a good workout and feel incredibly relaxed after doing it.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:09 PM on December 17, 2013

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