Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom

Runtime: 66 minutes
Minna Lessig

Not In My Wardrobe

The worst part of this week’s selection is the title: Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom. The intent is to name each workout segment after the article of clothing you would look better in after doing that workout.

This approach assumes that the main reason for working out is to improve one’s appearance, and I didn’t really appreciate the constant references throughout the workout about how good I was going to look in a tank top, bikini, or boy shorts.

Anyone who knows me knows that I haven’t appeared in public wearing shorts since the early nineties. I don’t think I have ever even owned a bikini.

The DVD has a 3-minute warmup, four segments of 13-17 minutes each (one for each garment mentioned in the title, plus a total body segment), and a 3-minute cooldown.

In the intro, instructor Minna Lessig talks for a minute or so in a general way about when to use which segments, but it is not very clear. It sounds as though the intent is to do the warmup, one main segment, and the cooldown, then rest for a day or two before doing the workout again … or possibly just not going back to that workout segment for a day or two? It was hard to tell.

I found it frustrating to have to constantly navigate from the main menu. For example, if you are going to focus on arms, then you have to select the warmup; then when that is done go back to the menu and select the arms workout; then when that is done go back to the menu again and select the cooldown. I would have preferred to see pre-programmed workouts.

Lessig (who clearly looks great in a tank top and boy shorts) leads the exercises, with two background exercisers. One of them is doing beginner modifications throughout.

The warmup moved quickly and changed from one exercise to the next much too frequently for me. I found it difficult to keep up, and had to fall back on marching in place a few times. Lessig’s normally excellent cuing couldn’t keep up with the rapid changes between moves here.

Lessig’s instruction style seemed better suited for the somewhat slower-paced main workout segments. For each exercise, she would first demonstrate it one time by herself, then everyone would do it slowly for a few reps, then do several more reps at a faster pace.

I can see where the demo and slo-mo parts might be annoying for advanced exercisers, but I found it invaluable to see the move in action and try it slowly first. Lessig’s tips on good form were also helpful.

I really struggled with doing some of the exercises at the faster pace; I felt like I was sacrificing good form in order to keep up. So, I just slowed my own pace and didn’t complete as many reps.

The big difficulty I had with this workout, though, is that Lessig would frequently combine the traditional weight-lifting exercises with cardio movement to keep the heart rate up. For example, doing tricep kickbacks, but stepping the foot out to the side with each kickback.

This ended up being a little like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time. I kept finding my foot stepping to the back or my arm moving more to the side, in an effort to have all my limbs going in the same direction.

I think I prefer the total body segment of the workout, as she dispenses with all the comments about looking good in skimpy outfits, and just focuses on the workout. Here, too, she does lots of complex exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, so it can be a little challenging, but it is a decent workout.

What I really prefer to do though, is the previously reviewed One Minute Workout, which features Lessig’s quiet encouragement and detailed explanations of the exercises, without trying to stuff cardio into a strength training workout. Oh, and there are no garment-related references.

Just like tank tops, bikinis, and boy shorts are definitely not for me … the Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom workout is not quite right for me either.

Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom on November 22, 2015 rated 3.0 of 5

Leave a Reply

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