Embrace or Attack
A few days ago I randomly ducked into Big Lots to look for crackers. I emerged 40 minutes later with my arms full of Thai Kitchen noodles, organic corn chips, coconut milk, whole wheat crackers (but not the ones I was looking for), whole wheat gnocchi, and two new workout dvd’s. #random
They were only $5- I couldn’t help myself!
Mari Winsor is a great Pilates teacher. We have different styles but I really appreciate her attention to detail and form. Her workouts always feel fast paced but not rushed.
Pros: it’s a good length (the express workout is about 20 minutes) and appropriate for many levels because she gives regressions, progressions, and loads of form cues. Unlike many Pilates dvd’s I’ve done I feel like this one is actually pretty good for beginners because of the progression of the workout and the depth of information on Pilates fundamentals.
Cons: this workout is pretty basic exercise (nothing that I don’t already have in my Pilates toolbox) so I don’t think I would do it more than once or twice a month.
Love her or loathe her, Jillian Michael is a force. The women is building her empire and I kind of find it admirable.
When she burst onto the scene with the debut of The Biggest Loser I was immediately repelled by her aggressive and extreme approach to fitness. Years later my mom read her book on metabolism and was really impressed with Michael’s unique and in depth take on the subject. Eventually I started to warm up to the idea of her and got the Shred dvd about a year ago.
I like her general style; work hard through interval training with a focus of resistance work and full body, functional movements. Her workouts tend to be achievable but challenging for my level of fitness and they are generally fast paced.
The thing that still drives me insane about Michael’s is her attack-the-body mentality. She seems to view exercise as a necessary evil in order to stay “skinny”. I know that she believe’s in exercise and fitness for disease prevention and mental health as well but so much of her language is focused on getting through a workout so you can enjoy your body. Personally, one of the times I enjoy my body the most is during a workout!
The fact that the front of this video claims that you can “lose up to 5 pounds a week” is absurd and just another example of Michael’s extreme approach. As much as I cringe at the title telling me that some of my body parts are giving me “trouble” I did appreciate it when my husband saw it sitting on the counter and remarked “but you don’t have ‘saddlebags’, a ‘muffin top’, or ‘wobbly arms’!”. Boy do I love this man. (It’s not that they’re not there it’s that I choose not to think of them as “trouble” and he chooses not to see them.:))
This video is not what I expected but in a good way.
Pros: Michael’s was toned down; she doesn’t yell once! The workout is strictly resistance for a solid 40 minutes so it’s no/low impact (the warm up has a few jumping jacks I think. The sets are pretty short which keeps the pace moving. I don’t like high repetition and I found the number of repetitions perfect. I used 5-9 pound weights and felt gently worked but wasn’t sore the next day. This workout didn’t make me break a sweat and was energizing but not tiring, which is perfect for days when I am low energy and/or don’t want to shower afterward.
Cons: I generally prefer to get a little cardio with my strength through interval type workouts. This will be a monthly regular but it’s too basic to do often for me, although I tend to like to switch it up no matter what.
Do you like instructors who seem to tolerate exercise only as a “necessary evil”? I can imagine that if you really don’t like to move this may make an instructor more relatable but honestly I have a hard time believing that anyone can’t find at least one form of movement that they enjoy. What about the attitude that the body is a constant problem that we must continually “fix”? I am really curious to hear if anyone else also has a strong reaction to this attack-the-body type fitness. It’s not the hard, intense workout aspect that I’m wary of (I kinda love that oh-my-gosh-I-am-shaking-and-might-puke feeling) but rather the resistance to accepting our bodies limitations and unique qualities that turns me off.