Low Intensity Experiment: Continued

Afreet

Cathlete
That other Low Intensity Experiment thread is getting too big, and I think I've moved on to a new phase in any case, so welcome to the new thread!

I just tried Physique 57 for the first time yesterday and I liked it - I thought Tanya (the instructor) was a little much ("Party for your thighs??" I think not), but that won't stop me from doing the workout again. I liked it, but at least initially, I think Squeeze is harder and I enjoyed it more.

I've been doing Essentrics/CS, Squeeze, Tracy Anderson and Pure Barre for the last week or so, with occasional cardio (walks, a handful of interval runs) and my ARMS. Look INCREDIBLE. Defined, and slightly (about 1/2 inch each) smaller. Waist is smaller and my abs are looking good.

I suppose any time you try something new your body responds quickly at first, but DANG. I am paying for it, big time - after I did the original Squeeze for the first time, my triceps were in AGONY for three days. After Squeeze Stronger, it was my biceps and hamstrings. Physique 57 was a bit gentler, but I thought my quads would be dying today - somehow they seem to have bounced back quickly.

I am currently down 5 pounds since starting the experiment! My diet has been mostly clean (by my definition - very low in refined carbs and sugars, which are always my nemesis) but I did have cake last weekend. It was delicious. I am not sorry.
 

bitmover

Cathlete
I love your updates on this experiment -- I'm somewhat enviously watching.... I want to try it, but somehow I can't jump in whole hog. I'm starting a second round of STS with my check-in group next week, and I do think I'll sub in barre work for the lower body, and I'm wondering about trying to add in one full body barre workout one day a week. Think I'm crazy? I do wonder if mixing barre & traditional upper body work is counter-productive.

The Sq Stronger upper body work is tough -- I can't remember original Squeeze so much.

Keep us posted, and I'll let you know if I take the plunge!

-Beth
 

kariev

Cathlete
Good idea about starting a new thread. Mabe we all should start a low intensity checkin? If you all want that I'll start it. Today I did 1/2 of the slim series workout tear it up. I followed it with the turbo jam 30 min interval workout. I had a lot of fun doing that. I haven't done turbo jam in forever. I can't wait to get my ballet bar. I need to pull out my squeeze workouts again. Mabe i'll do one tomorrow.

Afreet: how many days are you working out?
 

jennifermaria

Cathlete
Afreet, you are not good for my wallet :p. Now I feel like checking out Squeeze! My arms are always my trouble area, and I've yet to find ANYTHING (Cathe, Kettlebells, The Firm, RCR, etc.) that's ever gotten them to look the way I'd like them to look: defined, but not huge. I don't blame any of these videos, of course--they get me closer to "the goal," but lucky me, my genetics are such that I store my body fat in my upper body (back fat, anyone?).

Clean(er) eating is getting me there slowly, but I'm still not to where I'd like to be. Maybe a different approach in strength training is what I need to experiment with as well!
 

Afreet

Cathlete
I love your updates on this experiment -- I'm somewhat enviously watching.... I want to try it, but somehow I can't jump in whole hog. I'm starting a second round of STS with my check-in group next week, and I do think I'll sub in barre work for the lower body, and I'm wondering about trying to add in one full body barre workout one day a week. Think I'm crazy? I do wonder if mixing barre & traditional upper body work is counter-productive.

The Sq Stronger upper body work is tough -- I can't remember original Squeeze so much.

Keep us posted, and I'll let you know if I take the plunge!

-Beth
Yeah, I kinda can't believe I'm doing this. I think it was just that I finally started to feel a little burned out and needed a change - and I was in a good place mentally to make some adjustments to my routine.

In response to Kariev's question about how often I'm working out, I do something every day. If nothing else, the dogs and I walk for an hour a day. Sometimes I do an interval run with them (I did that 3 times last week, 45 minutes each, then a 15-minute walk in the evening).

Depending on energy, soreness, and mood, I'll add a Squeeze workout, CS/Essentrics, or other barre/resistance workout. If I do the interval run, I do something easier, and if my only cardio is walking, I'll do something more challenging. My promise to myself is that I can do as much or as little as I want, as long as I keep my diet in check. If I get back to a point where I'm distractingly hungry all day, I will back off.

I like working out and being challenged, so taking this opportunity to try totally new and different workouts has been perfect for me! I think it's useful to know that changing your routine can benefit your body, and the change doesn't always have to be harder/faster/longer/more physically intense. It can also be good to back off and try something gentler. :)
 

Afreet

Cathlete
Afreet, you are not good for my wallet :p. Now I feel like checking out Squeeze! My arms are always my trouble area, and I've yet to find ANYTHING (Cathe, Kettlebells, The Firm, RCR, etc.) that's ever gotten them to look the way I'd like them to look: defined, but not huge. I don't blame any of these videos, of course--they get me closer to "the goal," but lucky me, my genetics are such that I store my body fat in my upper body (back fat, anyone?).

Clean(er) eating is getting me there slowly, but I'm still not to where I'd like to be. Maybe a different approach in strength training is what I need to experiment with as well!
If it helps, I think the original Squeeze workout DVD has the best arm work, I really liked it, and I think it's only around $15 on Amazon...

My arms have always responded quickly to quickly to consistent resistance training - I just wish my lower body would do the same.
 

meowracer

Cathlete
Afreet, you are not good for my wallet :p. Now I feel like checking out Squeeze! My arms are always my trouble area, and I've yet to find ANYTHING (Cathe, Kettlebells, The Firm, RCR, etc.) that's ever gotten them to look the way I'd like them to look: defined, but not huge. I don't blame any of these videos, of course--they get me closer to "the goal," but lucky me, my genetics are such that I store my body fat in my upper body (back fat, anyone?).

Clean(er) eating is getting me there slowly, but I'm still not to where I'd like to be. Maybe a different approach in strength training is what I need to experiment with as well!
My arms are not a problem area but they lacked definition because for so long, just going to the gym, I focused mostly on my legs. My arms were so weak in comparison to legs and I had to do something so I searched for what would work and Pyramid Upper Body did amazing things, to the point where people were noticing. I did it consistently for a while - maybe a couple of months - and did it 2-3 times a week. I totally memorized it and started doing it without the DVD even b/c I knew all of her pointers by then and enjoyed just listening to music and also played with it some too - it was the up and down, just as is on the DVD, that whipped my arms into shape and game me nice strength. After that, I would maybe do only up or only down and add in upper body from another DVD.
 

jennifermaria

Cathlete
Afreet: you are very lucky, my arms always take the longest to respond to training (unlike my lower body, which gets into shape no matter what I do--the running helps, too).

meowracer: I used Pyramid UB too, and that is one of my faves. Haven't used it in a while--I think I'll break that out, now that I'm on the last week of Red Carpet Ready. Did you use the UB DVD once a week or twice?

Edited to add: oops, didn't see that you said you did PUB twice a week...

I haven't tried kickboxing with weights... Typically what I see is that since the fat in my arms hangs on for dear life, when I develop muscle (and I do pretty quickly), I get all beefy-looking. I don't have that lean, cut look--I just look like a mud wrestler LOL.

RCR has leaned me out a bit more, but I've still got a lot of fat to lose in my arms and back. I'll get there, but it'll need to happen from eating :).
 
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kariev

Cathlete
afreet: so do you alternate 1 day of light or interval cardio and one day of squeeze, pure barre, p57, ect? i have one hour and i'm trying to decide how to divide it. I have been doing 1/2 of the light weight workouts and 1/2 hour of cardio but i'm finding that doing cardio everyday is making my appetite grow. So i was thinking of doing 45-60 min of cardio every other day and 3 days of the other workouts. I'm noticeing a common occurance with me: whenever i do cardio i automatically think i'm able to eat a few bites here and there and those cals are adding up. Not to mention i just binged today b/c my appetite was raging from doing cardio everyday for the past 10 days straight! I also wanted to ask if you used to or would consider doing circuit workouts again? are they to much lifting than you want to do. I'm talking about cathe's drill max, BM2, terminator, etc.

Starting tomorrow i'm only going to do 3 meals a day b/c for the past month trying these mini meals has made me eat more and i'm always hungry. It doesn't work for me. I do best at 1500cals and eating larger meals.
 

bitmover

Cathlete
kariev, just wanted to chime in here and say that cardio definitely makes me eat more -- I think my body must be an amazing caloric regulator -- I definitely make up the calories when I do tough cardio. I tend to do cardio days and strength days, but once in a while I do something like 4DS where it's shorter sessions more often. FWIW......
 

LastTango

Cathlete
The more I read about this, the more interested I am. There are many different videos out there apparently. Which do you recommend? My legs are in pretty good shape, but I could use some more work on my arms. Sounds like Squeeze might be good for that. What is Essentrics/CS???
 

Afreet

Cathlete
afreet: so do you alternate 1 day of light or interval cardio and one day of squeeze, pure barre, p57, ect? i have one hour and i'm trying to decide how to divide it. I have been doing 1/2 of the light weight workouts and 1/2 hour of cardio but i'm finding that doing cardio everyday is making my appetite grow. So i was thinking of doing 45-60 min of cardio every other day and 3 days of the other workouts. I'm noticeing a common occurance with me: whenever i do cardio i automatically think i'm able to eat a few bites here and there and those cals are adding up. Not to mention i just binged today b/c my appetite was raging from doing cardio everyday for the past 10 days straight! I also wanted to ask if you used to or would consider doing circuit workouts again? are they to much lifting than you want to do. I'm talking about cathe's drill max, BM2, terminator, etc.

Starting tomorrow i'm only going to do 3 meals a day b/c for the past month trying these mini meals has made me eat more and i'm always hungry. It doesn't work for me. I do best at 1500cals and eating larger meals.
Hi Kariev:

I'm only doing more intense cardio 3 times per week. I'm the same way - high-intensity cardio makes me crazy hungry if I do it too often.

So far, I haven't been doing a strict rotation of anything, but I think I'll plan on 3-4 of the tougher workouts (like Squeeze, P57) and continue with as much Classical Stretch as I want.

I actually LOVE circuit workouts. I've always thrown those in on my "boredom" days and will probably continue. I love Cathe's Low Impact Circuit, and actually quite like Jillian's No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism (I previewed these for free on Exercise TV).

But again, I'm trying not to be guided so much by a strict exercise rotation - I basically do what I feel like doing as long as I am able to keep the diet in check. I like food and exercise a lot, so it's easy for me to go too far on both (and that turned out to be very counterproductive).

Since I'm not perpetually ravenous, I am finally able to eat three meals per day with a small snack, and that's really working for me.
 

Afreet

Cathlete
The more I read about this, the more interested I am. There are many different videos out there apparently. Which do you recommend? My legs are in pretty good shape, but I could use some more work on my arms. Sounds like Squeeze might be good for that. What is Essentrics/CS???
I really like Squeeze! Here's a link to Tracy Effinger's website. If you follow Tracy's cues and focus on your form, these are TOUGH. She uses 2-pound weights for the whole arm routine. I scoffed at that and busted out my 3-pounders, only to drop them in favor of my 1-pounders about halfway through. The ab routine on her original full-body Squeeze DVD KILLS me. Her workouts have a nice flow, are nicely produced, and they just seem to fly by.

Here's a link to an explanation of Essentrics and Classical Stretch (CS). Be warned: some people find Miranda Esmonde-White really annoying. She has filmed 20-minute workouts for PBS, so if your PBS channel carries them, you might preview some to see what you think. I think the two newer Essentrics DVDs with Sahra (Miranda's daughter) are very solid and well-done.

I found Classical Stretch on PBS years ago and used to do them as a post-run stretch, never considered doing them a "workout" until recently. But it's kind of like Tai Chi - you can put as much into the graceful movements as you want, and some of her moves are really challenging. I think these are very valuable in terms of flexibility, joint mobility and balance, and they make me feel really good and energized when I'm done.

I also leaned heavily on the review section over at Video Fitness (link) when I was considering new DVDs. So far, in terms of the more challenging barre routines, I like Squeeze, Pure Barre Pershing Square and Physique 57 - these are all somewhat similar, and I think Squeeze by itself would have covered the "tough barre" category for me. I tried some new Pilates DVDs...but it turns out I still don't really care for Pilates. :p
 

kariev

Cathlete
thanks for answering afreet. i did a search last night on Brooke Burke. She looks so amazing since having her children and I was curious as to how she worksout. She seems to be doing a more low intensity thing too. She does 3 days a week of cardio like hiking, walking, biking, etc and she also does 3 days a week of pilates. She says that diet plays the most important role. I think she looks so amazing. I"m at a toss up today of either doing the termnator video or the squeeze stronger. I'm thinking that mabe doing the termanator today would be too much since yesterday i did CC vol 6 which kicked my butt. I'm trying to decrease my appetite so doing a hardcore circuit may increase it even more. I was thinking of doing something like this:
3 days of cardio either kickbox, spinning, running with CC, incline walking or the elliptical for 1hr and doing either p57, squeeze, pure barre, or a circuit on the other 3 days.
 

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