The Dance Store introduces a new exercise DVD that effects
toning and shaping with use of light dumbbells. This program
is designed to improve muscle definition without adding
any bulk whatsoever. In fact, a leaner figure is the predicted
outcome. Sarah, a former dance competitor, leads you through
all of the classic and most popular weight lifting movements,
showing the correct form and technique for each exercise.
Like gymnasts, competitive dancers are noted for being incredibly
strong while also being very slim and flexible. This program
shows you how to achieve strength and slimness simultaneously.
The Volume 1
workout is 54 minutes. Volumes 1&2 are both contained
on one DVD!
No experience is required and the
whole routine is easy to perform in a home setting.
This DVD is suitable for beginners, but it shows challenging
variations for those who wish to go further. With a relaxed
pace and very few scene transitions, it is extremely easy
to follow. There is no jumping, kicking, or dancing involved.
In most movements, you follow Sarah from "behind,"
making following very easy. This DVD was "pre-tested"
prior to release to ensure that the routine was comfortably
paced, enjoyable, and easy to follow. Our participants were
delighted. The routine requires light dumbbells (1,2, and
3 pounds), which are inexpensive and easy to obtain from
department stores. The workout covers the whole body - legs,
chest, back, arms, and midsection. It begins with a warm
up, goes through stretching, strength training, and then
cool down stretching. The warm up does involve a combination
step aerobics and strength training figure, but it is low
impact and easy to follow. In developing the routine we
had three main goals: 1) make the routine as comfortable
and as easy to follow as possible, 2) use movements that
have high benefit to effort ratio (that are the most productive
and efficient), and 3) employ and illustrate the most important
principles of shaping through weight lifting.
Strength training for women has
become very popular. New
research has helped eliminate the misconception that strength
training leads to bulk. In contrast, studies show, for programs
such as this, that use light weights through many repetitions,
that you lose about two pounds of fat for each pound of lean muscle
gained. How can this happen? Strength training DOES increase lean
muscle mass, but this muscle stimulates metabolism since muscle
burns more calories than fat. Thus fat is lost as muscle is gained.
Since muscle is denser than fat, that is, smaller for the same
amount of weight, your limbs become smaller, not larger. What
about the bulky cover girls on the weight lifting magazines? Unfortunately,
this image has caused most women to reject the idea of weight
lifting. Programs that cause such an outcome involve constantly
"overloading" the muscles with increasingly heavier
weights. In addition, genetic predisposition and steroid use may
be involved. Our program does not use the MORE, MORE, MORE approach
toward the aim of getting the muscles as big as possible. Again,
for this program, the predicted outcome is a leaner figure.
This DVD is unlike any other
on the market:
- It begins with a concise lesson on form
and technique for each movement. This is like a private lesson
with a personal trainer. The style is one-on-one in an informal
way. It's just you and Sarah. Unlike most instructors, Sarah
presents in a way that is caring versus being intimidating.
- All movements are performed in tempo to
relaxing music. The tempo of each music clip is matched to each
movement. Most videos simply use frenetic techno as background
music and no attempt is made to perform repetitions in time
to the music.
- All major principles of strength
training are brought out. These include:
- Program structure. The program
should have a structure that includes a warm up, followed
by stretching, followed by strength training, followed by
cool down stretching.
- Movement sequence. The program
should follow the general recommendation that larger muscles
such as the quadriceps and the muscles of the chest should
be worked first, followed by smaller muscles, with the abdominal
and lower back muscles saved for last.
- Balanced. The program should
work the antagonistic muscle pairs, for example, the biceps
opposite the triceps and the quadriceps opposite the hamstrings.
This helps ensure symmetry, correct posture, and natural
and correct movement and action.
- Complete. Rather than
being a "buns" DVD or an "abs"
DVD, this routine gets upper body, lower body, and
midsection in one 53-minute routine.
- Use of good form. Maintaining
good form helps in preventing injuries and it effects working
the muscles correctly. In addition to this, a certain amount
of satisfaction and pride in what you are doing comes from
using good form. Conversely, bad form or cheating usually
effects an incomplete or an unbalanced muscle workout. Whereas
the MORE, MORE, MORE approach tempts a person to cheat,
there is no reason at all to cheat with this program. You
will never be encouraged to lift more than what can be lifted
with good form.
- The benefit of working the negative.
Most experts agree that the weights should be lowered slowly
and some studies suggest that the "negative" part
of the movement (the lowering of the weights) is more effective
than the positive or lifting part of the cycle.Performing
the repetitions in time to music helps ensure that the lowering
part of the cycle occurs no faster than the lifting part
of the cycle.
- Effects life long training.
This DVD shows you how to perform most of the
"classic" syllabus figures in weight lifting.
After learning the moves, you should be able to walk
into a gym with confidence and execute the routine
without the video.
- Sculpting, not bulk building.
This DVD does not encourage the MORE, MORE, MORE approach.
Instead, it encourages long term participation in
moderate strength training using relatively light
- Is Inclusive. Another feature
of this program is that it accommodates a wide range of
fitness levels, while challenging all levels. For most exercises
we show a way to make the exercise easier and we show a
way to make the exercise more challenging.
half the price of a single private lesson with a personal
trainer, this DVD represents an outstanding bargain! This
video is also LESS expensive than most strength training
videos on the market! Whereas most exercise videos are about
45 minutes in length, this video is longer than most, running
over an hour and a half. Stereo, CD-quality music is used
for all exercises. The first workout is only 54 minutes,
with the remainder explaining form, technique, and the principles
Volume 2 section consists of essentially non-stop lifting
action. This great 30-minute workout includes strength training,
cardio training, intensive calorie burning, and cool-down
stretching. Though intense, we show how to adjust the intensity
- The workout routine
The DVD begins with an 8-minute step aerobics figure designed
to effect a thorough warm up. Weight lifting may or may
not be used, depending on individual preference and ability.
The figure does not involve jumping or bouncing. Several
variations of this step aerobics figure are discussed
in the DVD. The most advanced version is shown at right.
Our pre-test group agreed that the warm up is indeed effective.
Next, is 4 minutes of stretching, where we stretch the
muscles to be trained. Following the recommendation that
larger muscles should be worked first, we begin with squats.
Beginners are advised to descend only a few inches. As
we wish to work both muscles of the "antagonistic
pair," the next exercise is hamstring curls. Next
is calf raises. This completes the "legs" part
of the workout. Remember, we discuss easy options and
more challenging options for each exercise.
Again, following the "big to small" and the "base
of the limb" to the "end of the limb" theory
of proper sequence, we go to working chest muscles (pecs) followed
by working upper back muscles. Next, we work shoulders and arms
and, finally, we work abs and lower back. This routine teaches
you the correct technique for all of the "classic"
syllabus figures in weight lifting, including: 1) the military
press, 2) bicep curls, 3) the overhead tricep press, 4) tricep
(dumbbell) kickbacks, 5) upright rowing, 6) front upright raises,
7) side lateral raises, 8) shoulder shrugs, 9) the "back
flye," and 10) dumbbell side bends.
- What happens if I start getting bulky?
A small percentage of women may add more muscle than desired.
For such individuals, the muscle "hypertrophy" (that
is, muscle enlargement) is highly reversible. If you stop lifting,
or lift less, the the muscles should atrophy (get smaller).
Most studies conducted to determine the effects of weight lifting
on women do not find significant muscle hypertrophy. Perhaps
the leading and most often quoted researcher in this area reports
that most women are able to drop a dress size or two as a result
of the "leaning effect" of strength training.
- Is the workout safe?
We advise everyone to consult their physician before beginning
this or any other exercise program. Every exercise program contains
some risk of injury, and this one is no exception. Development
and assessment of the program involved a large team that included
an exercise physiologist, a physical therapist, an aerobics
instructor, a physician and many volunteers who "pre-tested"
the routine. Most of the exercises and stretches are longstanding
"school figures" used for decades in strength training
programs. Still, this DOES NOT ensure safety of the program
for all individuals.
- Is this DVD suitable for seniors?
It is suitable for many, but it might not be the best choice
for individuals with balance problems of for individuals who
have no experience with light dumbbells or exercise videos.
There are many videos designed specifically for seniors. These
will generally show the lifts performed while seated. For seniors
who are not experienced with exercise programs, I suggest the
videos that address the needs of many seniors.
- I'm pregnant, is this tape suitable
Probably not. There are many videos designed specifically for
those expecting, and these would be a smarter choice.