If you've been reading my posts recently you know that I've been in quite a workout rut. The problem with working out at home is that when you do workout videos you become so familiar with not only the routine, but also the banter that you can I pretty much say the same jokes simultaneously with the trainer. (Such as Jillian Michaels references to Karate Kid and the running man.) When I do a new workout it always elicits such excitement from me because it's just different. Kind of like when you go to the gym and always get on the treadmill, it gets boring after awhile, you need something new to spice things up! And the next thing you know you're in a spin class biking to 80s hits with joy and then going home and downloading Down Under by Men at Work on your iPod for when you do jump on the treadmill. Did I just describe my workout regimen from my 20s?
And so after getting the Tracy Anderson DVD I really fell in love with mat work. You see, in the past I had always been hesitant...actually no, not hesitant, just a blatant refusal to do mat work because it wasn't cardio. I thought cardio was the most important and really only component when it came to weight loss and just working out in general. I had a Billy Blanks video that I occasionally did in college and I would always fast forward through the mat work because I wanted to jump straight to the kicking portion. It wasn't until my post pregnancy workout craze that I developed an understanding of the importance of mat workout combined with cardio.
Ok, so I'l be honest. Not only did I dislike mat work because it didn't contain plyometrics (Not fireworks, that's pyrotechnics.), but it was just hard for me. Doing repetitive crunches or leg lifts was painful and I hated that I couldn't do something! So giving up like a frustrated toddler is the way to go! And through my workout craze I began pushing myself and doing more of the mat work, combined with cardio, to build my strength and muscles.
And so after getting the Tracy Anderson DVD I actually really enjoyed isolating muscles and working them to burn (As Brooke Burke says in her DVDs). And so I thought I would indulge in that which I had avoided for quite some time, the horrific Pilates. It always appeared so intimidating to me, like that scornful AP Government teacher I had my senior year of high school, nothing you did would make her happy. Despite being absent for six weeks with a broken leg, her torment still haunted you from her braced limb in her bedroom (No, I'm not still bitter from getting a 3 on the AP Exam). But I figured since I was able to conquer Tracy Anderson, I could do the same with Pilates!
So I searched youTube videos for Pilates workouts and I came across Casey Ho's Pop Pilates workout.
Casey takes modern, pop music and combines it with Pilates moves to make a challenging yet lightheaded workout. Don't get me wrong, it's not an easy workout, lightheaded in that she negates the intimidation factor of Pilates by her quirky demeanor. It was like a workout with your best friend, working hard while goofing around at the same time! While I wasn't sweating like in a step aerobic workout, it definitely got my heart rate up and had me glistening (Casey's words).
Since that video was only 30 minutes, I combined it with another one of her 30 minute videos.
When I did these workouts in this order, it was painful because she ends with abs in the first and begins with abs in the second. It was mighty painful people, mighty painful. Now I know to do them in the opposite order!
In the video she references her blog, Blogilates. Apparently Casey was a pilates instructor in college and upon graduation rather than venturing into med school as planned, she somehow ended up being a professional blogger and fitness instructor. She was ranked in some magazine second to Jillian Michaels as Most Influential Fitness Personality. Oh, and she designs and sells clothes as well. How have I not come across her blog before?
And after reading through her blog I found a slew of videos that she posts, for free!! While they aren't long workouts, combined together you could put together a good workout! She takes mundane moves and really spices them up, kind of like her Sexy Broom Workout, now that one was a killer!
And then I noticed that she has her own DVD! Hooray! So I immediately purchased her DVD, after being able to test out her workouts on her blog. I waited with bated breath every day in hopes of it landing on my doorstep, and when Hubby picked it up from the mail at 8pm, I had it opened and prepped in the DVD player for the next morning and oh my, it did not disappoint!
I rarely have no criticisms about pretty much anything, because of the true cynicist that I am, but on this one I have absolutely no negative commentary! This is a very challenging workout that truly works out every muscle. She states that it is intermediate to advanced, and for this beginner Pilates worker outer, it's quite rough. Oddly, I don't even remember working my calves, but the next morning my calves were killing me! Many of the moves... ok a majority of the moves were new to me, yet I persevered! There were some things that were familiar to yoga or things I've seen in Bob Harper workouts, like the spiderman and the number four stretch, but moves like the earthquake, candlestick dippers and the chest pressesque type move were new and completely killer. Seriously, the earthquake was a shocker. I was expecting some kind of intricate movement, who knew that when you had your legs straight and upper body at a 45 degree angle your abs would shake so much!
I really like mixing this workout in with my normal cardio/bootcamp workouts. While I don't get my heart rate as high as a cardio workout, it's an amazing strength training routine. Casey explains well in her DVD that dancers do Pilates instead of lifting weights as strength training to go along with dancing. I think of it like lifting weights, except that you're using your own body weight!
While the only Pilates workout I can compare this to is the Crunch Fat Burning Pilates workout...
the Pop Pilates workout is ten times better. While the Crunch workout is not exactly representative of authentic Pilates, it does some of the moves but definitely at a beginner level which doesn't challenge me. (If you're an avid Pilates fan, you probably are laughing at me for thinking this workout was going to be authentic.)
Seriously, if you are looking for a Pilates DVD or a new workout regimen, I highly recommend you checking out Blogilates.com and doing some of the workouts. While Casey really challenges you, she's far from intimidating and highly silly in a fun way, not an obnoxious way. (She reminds me of my own humor.) While the music on her DVD is no fun (Oops, a criticism! But I'm sure it's pretty expensive to purchase the songs to put on her DVD.), the ones on her website are great.
And hey, I have to give props to a blogger that made it big doing what she loves from her own apartment knocking into a plant while doing down dog!