Today I tried a workout from what looks to be a very versatile disc for beginners and intermediate exercisers. It seems to be out of print, but it could probably be found used on Amazon or ebay. It’s called 1 Minute Workout: Total Body Toning with Minna Lessig. It contains over 115 one minute exercises, and the menu gives you lots of options to mix and match them. To choose a workout, you answer three questions about your desired workout in the dvd menu – focus, intensity, and length. There are two levels of intensity (level 1 and level 2) for each focus, and you can choose from upper body, lower body, abs, or total body. Workouts can range from a one minute abs workout at lower intensity to a 72 minute total body workout at the higher intensity level. The dvd will then choose exercises for your workout at random from the specified categories, and play them for you based on your answers. There are also three different 3 minute warm ups and three different 3 minute cool downs, played at random when you choose warm or cool down from the main menu. A 7 minute bonus stretch is also included. This looks like a dvd that could grow with you for a bit as your fitness level improves, yet still offer a lot of variety. There is also nice insert that comes with the dvd, offering you an overview of the sequences used for the workout selections, as well as a complete list of the exercises. I’ll add that information after my review.
This is a light week for me, so I chose a short Lower Body workout from level 2 - 24 minutes. When I was deciding what to pick, I noticed something in the menu choices that wasn’t quite balanced. For Upper Body, the longest workout you can choose is 42 minutes from level 2. With Lower Body, the longest you can choose is only 24 minutes, from level 2. That seems a bit odd. Little did I know that when I picked 24 minutes, for some reason that was not how long my workout was going to be!
The warm up and cool down need to be selected from the main menu, and are done separately from the main workout. The bonus stretch is also done outside of the main workout, if desired. Since I wasn’t planning on a super tough workout, the short warm up was fine for me. It was un-weighted, and used a lot of leg movements with added arms to get the blood flowing. The cool down included dynamic stretching, but was a bit on the short side.
For the main workout, the insert from the dvd indicates that the Lower Body workout will select exercises the “lunges/squats” list and the “lower body combo l/r” list. (see below for the list) There are 28 exercises in these two lists, so I wasn’t surprised to see some repeats. Minna cues well, and always introduces each workout at the beginning of each one minute segment. And while there was enough time to set up for each exercise and grab the appropriate weights, often the segments felt too short, since she also shows you how to do the exercise before starting. She also offers some good pointers on form, but this probably won’t be a good choice for someone brand new to weight training. Once familiar with this workout, the intensity could be increased by adding more reps while Minna demonstrates. I was however, starting to feel the floor work exercises, especially after it started to repeat. Though, I’m pretty weak at floor work since I rarely do it, heh.
What was surprising to me in the workout, was that it did not stop after 24 minutes. My first thought was that maybe that was because the floor work was done one leg at a time, for one minute each side. So I thought that maybe there would be an extra minute of workout time added for each floor exercise that was done. I paused the dvd, looked at the exercise list, and thought that there might be an extra 10 minutes or so because of that. But – after 50 minutes, I stopped the workout and returned to the main menu, then the cool down, simply because I didn’t have time to continue. So that was pretty strange. I have no idea how long it would have continued, but I’m certainly curious. Now I wonder how long my upper body and abs workouts will be!
But, despite the never-ending time weirdness, this was a decent workout and I liked it. Minna is encouraging and friendly, and uses very good form for the exercises. The workout seems to offer a lot of variety, and I’m curious to try more routines from it in the future, when I’m looking for something less intense.
Below are the exercises that appeared in my 24, er, 50 minute workout today. While some were repeats, they were spaced apart pretty well and actually didn’t feel repetitive to me. These aren’t the order I did them in, though.
- Alternating front lunge
- Alternating front lunge with opposite arm reach
- Front lunge with lateral bend
- Plie squat (done twice)
- Plie squat with calf raise (done twice)
- Alternating reverse lunge (done three times)
- Side lunge
- Alternating side lunge with opposite arm reach
- Side lunge with lateral bend (done twice)
- Side squat
- Squat (done four times)
- Squat/reverse lunge combo (done twice)
- Squat with calf raise (done three times)
- Stationary lunge with back leg lift (done twice)
- *all exercises below were done one minute per side
- Bridge with leg lift
- Inner thigh leg lift (done three times)
- Leg circles
- Outer thigh leg lift
- Rear leg extension (done twice)
- Side leg lift with knee pull
- Single leg bridge (done four times)
Below is the insert that is included with the dvd, listing the exercises as well as which exercises will be included with each menu choice, click on an image to see a larger view.