should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know
should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide
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I'm Mickie. I run One Strong Southern Girl from Small Town, TN. I love what I do. I want you to remember me because I helped changed your life.
Find a rug about 5×8 and use that as a visual for how much room you’ll need to do most home workouts. I’ll mention it in my review if you need more room than that.
I wear a heart rate monitor when I work out. This helps me keep track of the length of my workout as well as how many calories I burn. I share this information with you on my reviews. Listen closely: the number of calories I burn will NOT be the same that you burn. It may be close but it may not be anywhere near the same.
I put this information in my reviews for one reason. You can use the numbers as a reference point for the amount of cardio and level of intensity a particular workout may have. If you look at two different reviews and see that they’re the same length of time but I burned 100 calories more in one, then you can assume that that video has a greater cardio component.
If you’re trying to lose weight that information may help you select your workout. If you’re having a rotten day and don’t want to do a really intense workout then you can use those numbers to help you decide what video to pick. Conversely, maybe you’re feeling gross and are craving a really intense workout. You get the idea. You can use the information as you see fit.
I have 4 heart rate monitors. Why? I don’t know. They’re all different colors. Two of them are Polar FT4’s, one of them is an FT7, and I recently purchased a Polar A300. I like all of them.
TIP-If you love a lot of bells and whistles and you want to track your fitness progress online then buy the A300. If you just want to know how many calories you’re burning then get an FT4 or FT7.
TIP 2-By the time you read this recommendation about the heart rate monitors I’m using they’ll probably be considered vintage (which is why I’ve removed any links out to them). The most important feature in a HRM (IMO) is that it pairs with a chest strap to get the most accurate information. However, there’s a good chance that technology will get good enough that you can get very accurate data without a chest strap at some point as well so…just do your research before investing.
The information under choreography refers to how much coordination or existing aerobic background you will need to do the workout. It does NOT refer to how intense the workout is. Look at the definitions below:
Anyone can do the moves. If you’ve never played any sport and you can’t do a single dance move, you can still do all the steps in this video. You (probably) won’t trip. You won’t get frustrated because you can’t do what the instructor is doing. You won’t have to stop the video and play it in slow motion to figure out WTH they’re doing.
You will need some aerobics experience to do all the steps the first time. If you have some natural coordination you’ll be fine. If you’ve been known to trip over lint in the carpet you may need to do this workout a few times to get down all the moves. You may get frustrated once or twice the first time you do the routine but you’ll have it down by the 3rd time.
You won’t get down every move the first time you do this video. You may have to stop the video and watch what just happened a couple of times to be able to do it on your own. You may trip on your own feet or the step. If you’re like me you may want to throw things the first time you do this video. It’s ok. Just slow down. Expect to do this workout 5 times before you ace all the moves. Don’t be intimidated by this choreography rating. These workouts are the most fun once you’ve mastered the moves.
You can assume every workout video that I review is most likely for the Intermediate to Advanced level athlete. That means if you’ve never done aerobics in your life then you may be angry at me if you purchase one of these videos as your starting point. Most of them are intense. The choreography may be Simple to follow but you can count on the workout being hard.
You have to start somewhere, but be prepared to struggle with these workouts until you’ve been working out for a while. Do NOT give up on me.
I would highly encourage the intermediate/advanced level aerobics participant to try any of the workouts I review. Remember, they can all be modified for your level as you’re progressing to the best badass you can be.
You won’t see me mention the year each video was produced. Many, many videos that were first sold years ago are still very good to have in your library. In some cases you can save some money by opting to purchase an older video. Most of the time you can tell immediately by the fashion choice of the instructor (and their team) if I’m reviewing a video from another decade but it usually doesn’t matter to me. If the workout is safe and effective then I’ll review it here and continue to use it in my personal fitness routine.
Total body strength, cardio, and a great abdominal section. It also needs to be safe, effective, and fun. There must be good cueing by the instructor and there can’t be a ridiculous amount of equipment required to do the workout. I also want a video that gives me a few seconds here and there to get a drink and there MUST be a good stretch.
Um…yes. My reviews are meant to have a splash of humor. You may not get my humor. That’s ok. I’m weird. Not everyone gets me. I suggest you ignore my *possibly failed* attempts to make you smile and focus on the purpose of the post–to get you excited about your next workout.
If it doesn’t appear that I’ve reviewed the exercise program you’re most interested in it could be for one of the following reasons:
I haven’t gotten to it yet. Email me and ask about it. I’ll let you know if it’s coming up soon. I may even put it on my schedule ASAP just for you.
I have no plans to review that program. I focus on intermediate/advanced exercise programs. I’ve tried out many programs that I’ll most likely never write about on this blog because I don’t consider them intermediate or advanced.*
I’m not snubbing any workout program. There are many, many amazing exercise programs for people that are just starting out (you have to start somewhere) but that’s not my focus here.
*Are you a beginner? I’ve started reviewing some beginner programs! Check out my review of Essentrics TV and Body Groove.