At-Home Weight Workouts: A Few Favorites
When I hear the phrase “weight training,” I imagine a far more muscular version of myself hoisting laden barbells in a dank-smelling weight room filled with burly men and blasting, angry music. It is, in a word, terrifying. My nightmarish perception of weight lifters is probably grossly inadequate, but it serves to keep me out of the free weights section of my fitness club. Even if I felt comfortable hanging out with the lifting crew, however, the fact remains that I have a hard time achieving an effective weight workout at the gym. What’s my solution? Home workouts, courtesy of the fitness video industry. I enjoy spicing up my home workouts with new DVDs, but my own library is comprised of solid favorites like the following titles.
10 Days To a Better Body
Slim, Strong, & Sexy
Lift Weights At Home
I rarely do a weights-only workout. Instead I prefer to follow DVDs which guide me through rotating intervals of intense cardio and strength moves. Cindy Whitmarsh’s Results Fitness title, 10 Days To a Better Body, is one of my favorites. In the DVD’s two 30 minute workouts, Whitmarsh alternates between one minute of strength moves and one minute of cardio, making using of plyometrics (jump training), different sets of hand weights, and body weight strength moves. She even incorporates abdominal work, which I always appreciate in a fitness video.
A similar circuit workout is Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. This DVD includes three 20 minute workouts of increasing intensity. Each workout consists of three intervals that include three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of abs. As with Whitmarsh’s Results Fitness DVD, Michaels uses light hand weights and body weight techniques. Every time I start one of the Shred workouts I think it’s going to be easy, then find myself cursing Michaels’ name by the end.
Michelle Dozois has an circuit workout that I use regularly, Your Best Body Circuit. In this DVD users can choose a 50 minute workout or an abbreviated 30 minute version. Dozois leads viewers through a few minutes of cardio followed by a few minutes of strength. She uses a few different sets of hand weights, a resistance band, and body weight. This is a little more forgiving than the interval titles from Whitmarsh and Michaels, but it’s also longer. Pick your poison.
On the rare occasion that my workout consists solely of weight training, I tap into the above interval divas’ other titles. Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones is a solid pick. This 40 minute routine is based on high repetitions and low weight poundage, helping users to a achieve a toned, sculpted look as opposed to bulk. I really like this DVD because even thought it is a weight workout it also has aerobic benefits.
Michelle Dozois also offers a sculpting-only workout. Slim, Strong, and Sexy Body Sculpting delivers two 30 minute strength workouts. One focuses on the upper body and abdominals, while the other trains the lower body and abs. As with her circuit workout, Dozois’ sculpting DVD uses different levels of hand weights, a resistance band, and body weight.
A killer strength DVD that’s fairly new is Jackie Warner’s Personal Training With Jackie: Power Circuit Training. This video has a number of different options for workout length and focus areas. If you’re looking for an aerobic weight training workout, go for the all-out 40 minute total body circuit. Warner uses light hand weights, high repetitions, and body weight exercises to make you sweat profusely.
When I first discovered yoga, I used it primarily as a way to stretch and detoxify my body. Yoga can deliver an amazing strength workout, too, using only a mat and your own body weight. My favorite yoga DVD is Sadie Nardini’s Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga. Choose from a number of different builds of the class, ranging from one hour to 90 minutes. Users can also opt to do one of the short chapters that make up the full sequence, which can be as short as the 8 minute abdominal toning section. This practice is intense, invigorating, and focuses on ab toning. I really enjoy Nardini’s sassy style, too.
YogaDownload provides downloadable yoga classes. Offerings range from free 20 minute classes to 90 minute classes available from a variety of backgrounds. They offer weight loss classes, power yoga, vinyasa power yoga, and even a Bikram-style hot yoga option. This site beats just about every yoga DVD that I have ever used, with the exception of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga. You can snag the free classes from the YogaDownload site as well as from iTunes. For the dedicating weight trainer, there is even a class on yoga with weights that kicks my butt every time I attempt it.