AM and PM Walking

Runtime: 60 minutes
Debbie Rocker

Stay With Me

We’re back on the walking trail with this week’s DVD, AM and PM Walking. Instructor Debbie Rocker leads us through a 29-minute AM walk and a 26-minute PM walk.

In the bonus interview on the DVD, Rocker compares life to an athletic event. The theory is that you are training to be fit for living your life. She feels that you can use the same techniques that are used by professional athletes, but dial it down to your fitness goals and level of fitness.

Some of those techniques center around focusing on the workout, and “staying on the road” even when you don’t feel like working out. I definitely liked Rocker’s attitude about just doing some exercise, even if it’s not super intense or super long. It takes off some of the pressure to do it just right.

During the AM workout, which I tried first, I kept finding myself spacing out instead of listening to Rocker’s instruction. It amused me that she said “Stay with me!” every couple of minutes, as though she sensed that she was losing me. The fault is likely not with the DVD or the instructor; I think the problem is that I was working out in front of bookshelves, and I kept getting distracted by seeing books I wanted to read.

At first blush, the AM and PM workouts seem the same (although she’s wearing a different outfit, and makes references to the time of day, so I suspect they are not really the same workout). Both are just under 30 minutes (29 for the AM and 26 for the PM), they start with the same warm-up sequence, and they’re all about a simple walking workout.

On closer inspection, there are some differences. The AM workout has more strength training moves, and the PM workout has a sort of relaxed ‘let it all go’ vibe for the end of the day that I appreciated.

There’s a lot to like in both of these workouts. They’re clearly designed for the beginner. One of the exercisers is doing modifications (and this notably includes modifications for those that are less flexible, which you don’t see too often). Rocker spends a lot of time on each move, which is great for the uncoordinated. In the PM workout, she even talks about how she purposely chooses uncomplicated choreography, so you can focus on the intensity and the movement itself.

However, there are a couple of things that lower the accessibility of this workout in my view. First, she does not mirror the moves. This is generally not a problem for something like walking, because you’re alternating legs, so you’ll end up with the same number of repetitions on each side … but she made such a big deal about starting on the right foot (her right foot) every time that I frequently felt off track.

Second, while she clearly tells you ahead of time what you’ll be doing next (a big plus to uncoordinated me), it was not always a consistent length of time between instruction and doing. Sometimes she would start the move right after she told you about it; sometimes she waited so long that you’d wonder if she’d forgotten to switch to the new move. Sometimes she would tell you that you’d start the move in 4 counts, and then start it in 2.

With this inconsistency, it can be confusing to know when to change over to the new move. The saving grace here is that you do one move for many repetitions, so even if you’re late in switching over, you still have plenty of time to get in the reps.

Despite these issues, there’s something about Rocker’s attitude to exercise that I really like. I think I’ll try to stay with her, and stay on the road to fitness. I just have to choose a road that’s not lined with bookshelves, so I can stay focused on the journey.

AM and PM Walking on November 15, 2015 rated 4.0 of 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *