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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Physique Chez Moi

I purchased all three Physique 57 DVDs back in September.  I've been meaning to review them, but my first attempt at the Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout was thwarted by my lack of stuff.  I figured I had weights, so I'd be all set.  It turns out that I owned one five pound weight and one ten pound weight.  I didn't have sets.  Also, I thought I'd get by without a playground ball, but that didn't really work.  I gave up after about 10 minutes and decided to wait till I was full equipped.

I planned on going to Modell's to purchase the weights, but kept putting it off because I'd have to carry them back to my apartment.  I use eights and fives, so that would be 26 pounds of weights.  Finally, I decided to order them from Amazon with the free shipping option.  The weights arrived Thursday, so on my way home from work Friday, I stopped at Physique 57 to pick up a playground ball.

Walking home from midtown carrying a bright green playground ball was awesome; several people asked me where I was playing dodgeball. 

In any event, yesterday I was finally ready to give the DVDs a shot.  Classic is led by Tanya.  I've never taken her class in person, but on the video she is very funny and super high energy.  This is key because instead of the dance re-mixes of popular songs that you get in a live class, the DVD has generic excercise video type music.

If you've taken Physique 57 classes, you'll find the Classic sequence familiar: arms, thighs, seat, abs, back.  The main difference is that there is no "thigh intermission" between seat sides. 

If you don't have a ballet barre handy at home, Tanya invites you to use the back of chair or sofa to simulate one.  This is fine for seat work.  The thigh work on the chair just didn't do it for me, though.  I got nowhere near the burn I normally feel would in class.  I didn't work as low into the positions because I didn't trust the chair to stay put, and I felt like I was putting more strain on my knees.  In all fairness, I happened to be having a bad knee day yesterday because I ran a bit too much this week, so I'll let you know how it goes next time.

All in all, it's a good workout.  I got the DVDs because I thought they'd be nice on rainy days when I don't want to trek to class, or to add in an extra Physique class now and then without the added expense.  The Classic video should serve that purpose well, but, for me, it could never replace going to class entirely.

If you are a workout-at-home kind of person, you should know this is definitely an apartment-friendly workout.  I didn't have to move any furniture and was able to do everything in a small space.  That said, if you haven't tried Physique and you live in Manhattan, I say go in person even if you ultimately plan on using the DVDs.  It's worth having the instructors correct your form once or twice so that you get the most out of the workout. 

I'll be checking out the Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout and the Arm & Ab Booster soon.  I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-


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Reader Comments (2)

Thank you for your review! I have the DVDs and I was interested to know how they compare to a live class. Can you please explain what is the "thigh intermission" they do in class?

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNik

Hi Nik, thank you for your comment! The "thigh intermission" is a third round of thigh work that comes in between the two rounds of seat work that you'll have in a Beginner, Open or Intermediate class. So, in those classes you'll do 1) warm up 2) arms 3) first round of thighs 4) second round of thighs 5) right or left side of seat 6) thigh intermission 7) the other seat side and then all the abs. The moves in the thigh intermission aren't any different from what you normally do for thighs.

-Gym Belle-

November 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterGym Belle

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