Variety is the spice of life!
I’ve been reading a book about choosing exercise activities that are appropriate for your personality (it’s called “The 8 Colors of Fitness”, for those that are interested.). A lot of the points that they made for my personality color (saffron, which is fittingly also a spice), were pretty vague and could apply to most anyone.
One area where they were spot on about my personality, though, is that I need a lot of variety or I get bored … and stop exercising.
It’s true that you can achieve variety through doing a lot of different DVDs, but each DVD is the “same old same old” once you’ve done it a few times. Not so with this week’s selection, One Minute Workout.
The idea behind this DVD is that you pick the focus of the workout (upper body, lower body, abs, or total body), pick the level of intensity you want to work out at, and the number of minutes you want to work out. Then it chooses appropriate strength training exercises meeting those criteria and builds a custom workout for you.
The DVD contains a database of 115 different exercises, so there’s plenty to choose from when it builds your workout. It even has 3 different 3-minute warmups and 3 different 3-minute cooldowns, and chooses one at random for each workout.
Because it has such a large set of exercises to choose from, you get a different workout every time. Genius!
Even if you do have variety within a single workout DVD, that can present its own set of problems for uncoordinated people. A lot of variety means a lot of different moves to master. Again, not an issue with One Minute Workout.
Each of the 115 exercises on this DVD are presented in a one-minute segment (hence the name). Within each segment, instructor Minna Lessig demonstrates the exercise for you, then you do that same move for the rest of the minute. In some of the segments, there is a super short stretch at the end of the minute (e.g. a shoulder roll, or shaking out the legs). Then it’s on to the next one-minute segment.
Therein lies the brilliance. There is no stringing together of a bunch of different moves that you have to remember. Lessig shows you the move, you do it immediately a lot of times, and then you can forget about it because you’re moving on.
The workout is not perfect; I did get a little lost on some of the warmup moves. The cooldowns went a little better though, since they were much slower-paced than the warmups.
The bonus features are of varying degrees of usefulness. The DVD has something called a Fast Track Workout, which seems to just be pre-selecting a total-body short workout, so the only configuring you have to do is choosing Level 1 or Level 2. It hardly seemed like this was worth an extra menu option.
The best bonus feature, in my opinion, was a special feature called Stretches. It is seven 1-minute segments that focus much more on stretching the muscles than the cooldown segments do. If you have time for it, this would be great to do after the cooldown.
I reviewed another Minna Lessig DVD a few months ago (Minna Optimizer: Balanced Blend), and remarked that I liked her instructing style despite the format of that DVD, and that I would look for her other workouts. One Minute Workout is the Minna Lessig workout I was looking for.
It would be nice if you didn’t have to manually select the warmup and cooldown, and it would be neat if they would incorporate some of those stretching moves into the workout; but these are just nitpicking. This is an awesome strength training DVD, especially for the uncoordinated.
Lessig’s instruction is specific and she pays a lot of attention to good form. Her attitude is encouraging without being annoyingly perky. I was ambivalent about her previously-reviewed cardio workout, but strength training is where she shines.
Add in a pinch of saffron and a healthy dose of variety … this is the strength training workout for my personality, and for my level of coordination.