Finally an exercise video that excites a couch potato like me. LA based trainer Jackie Warner has a workout DVD ( One-On One Training with Jackie) that includes a 2o minute upper body workout. After watching it curled up in a chair, I actually got up, grabbed my 3 pound handweights and joined in. It starts with a short but targeted warm-up rather than a looong warm-ups seen in other exercise programs. The Warner warm-up focused on the upper body, stretching and activating the arms and shoulders.
Warner clearly explains which exercise does what. The movements are straight forward and even I could follow along. Rather than the traditional 3 sets of 10 reps, Warner does each exercise for about a minute — about a total of 45-60 reps. Its the same number as in standard sets but done continulously for increased intensity. The pace is fast enough to be interesting, but measured enough to allow me to smoothly finish each movement. There were enough reps in each series to allow me to pick them up and get in a true muscle burning work-out.
The 20 minute workout included several cardio intervals and one series of pushups. I skipped both. My muscles were already burning from the weight training and I wanted to save myself to concentrate on the arms. Maybe as the weeks go by, I’ll add cardio and push-ups, but right now I’m not up to them.
Warner has a clearly defined goal for fitness– a v shaped body with strong broad shoulders that narrows down to hard abs and a small waist. All parts of her exercise program are designed to work together to produce this contour. I like the idea of a comprehensive goal to a workout rather than a seemingly random series of exercises.The upper body workout ended as well as it had begun. The cool down was a short stretching session that soothed my quivering muscles.
But will it work?
Last month I took a sobering series of before pix of my not so perfect arms and plan to take another set of pix after a month of doing this 20 minute workout every day. This week I measured the circumference of my upper arm and will take another measurement at the end of the month long exercise program. Some experts have said that exercise will shrink and firm the arms while other claim that they will increase in bulk. We’ll see who is right.