I am pretty overweight, but used to exercising, and apparently have a healthy heart (not sure how that happened!). Before this, I was doing mostly the Billy Blanks Tae Bo Basic (the original main workout from way back when), which I loved, but which some days felt like it took no effort at all to do, and I really didn't want my body to get so used to any exercise that there wasn't a point in putting myself through it.
I loved the idea of Pace, and thought the price wasn't too outlandish, and even if it turned out to be crap, I could spare $60. I've spent a lot more on fast food in a week.
I haven't done this exactly as you're supposed to. In 8 weeks, now, I only just this morning tried the 6th workout on the 1st disc, but I do mix it up all the time. Some days, I do Tae Bo, which I still love. Some days, I do Pace and get to choose which workout I want to do. I know which ones on this disc are easier for me, and which are harder. I know which work which muscles the hardest. So I pick according to how I feel each day, how tired or energetic I am, how I plan to eat that day, which muscles are feeling neglected, which muscles are feeling too sore to go on, etc...
I will likely update this review as I go on, because I still have a long ways to go. But this week was Week 8 of my personalized (awesome) diet and exercise program, and I have a lot of opinions to share with you. I'm sure I will develop more as time marches on.
First, what I LOVE:
I love that each segment is only 4 minutes. Some mornings, it is all I can do to get out of bed, and to talk myself into a 25 minute workout is occasionally impossible. But I get up, put on my workout clothes before I even have my eyes open yet, pull my hair up, put on my bandana, and come out to the living room. I drink some healthy energy tea while I check my email. And about 30 minutes later, I talk myself into just doing the first 4 minutes. From there on, it's much easier to do the next, and then the last.
I love that there are only 3 segments.
If my heart rate cooperates, which it usually does, this only takes me under 17 minutes total, with built-in breaks! Gotta love that. (For those to whom this is important, a typical morning for me is roughly: 68/140, 90/160, 98/185. I always keep track.)
I love that each set is only 30 seconds. If I hate the move, or find it tricky, or it's really hard, or I feel like I'm dying, it's only 30 seconds.
I LOVE the on-screen counter. Sometimes, I just stare at that counter intently, and kick my own ass until I finish those 30 seconds, and can move on to something else.
I love having the modified option. Less because I am such a big girl, and more because my house and floor are so old and rickety, I do not like to do any moves in my living room that tax my floor any more than necessary. I don't do jumping moves, and I try to limit my moving around to the areas of the floor that are less creaky. Sometimes for that reason alone, I do the modified version, because she never jumps, and the moves are gentler on my poor old house. For the same reason, this would be a great workout for someone who lives in an apartment, above others.
I love the variety. Only a few times in the first disc have moves been repeated. More often, there is a variation on a move we've already done, and most often are brand new moves.
I love that he shows the moves slowly before you get started, so you can gauge the workout to your abilities before you start.
Now for what I don't like:
The trainer does not always stay with the on-screen counter. He is often off by up to 4 seconds. If he were simply finishing a move he is in, I would understand, but sometimes he does one or two additional moves into the next 30 second segment, and I hate that. After the first few times, it's easy to go on without him, because you know the move that is coming, and at least he always ends the final 30 seconds on time. Praise God. :)
I don't like any of the "push-up" type moves, for a number of reasons. One of them is the head rush you can get when you get back up. And since they're always in the middle, you have to go on after. When you're asking someone to give something their ALL, and workout their very hardest, it's downright dangerous to encourage a move that can make them unbalanced.
Very rarely, even the modified version doesn't work for my needs. For instance, there is one push-up move where he says you can rest against a piece of furniture if you can't go down to the floor, but I don't really have that option in my set-up either. Another time, he says you can go to your knees if you can't do the whole thing, but I have temperamental knees, so that isn't an option either. So those are frustrating for me. But once you have some knowledge of the moves under your belt, you can substitute another move that does work for you during those 30 seconds.
I don't like that often-times the last move of the segment is one where the modified version isn't very hard. The last 30 seconds is when you're supposed to go all-out, work your hardest, and make sure you get your heart-rate up. But when he's doing jumping jacks, it's difficult for me to really get into it the way I'm supposed to when the modified jumping jack isn't that hard.
My only last thing I want to say, which is part complaint and part note, is about the heart rate counting/monitor...
I had a heart rate monitor when I started, but couldn't find it. After a couple of weeks of not really trusting my own distracted (exhausted) counting, I finally searched and found and dug out my HRM (which I only bought last year, and the battery was still good on). It had great reviews when I bought it, but when I started using it with Pace, I saw it for what it was. It turned out to be crap, and highly inaccurate...
I usually didn't get any farther during the video than just after the last 4 minute segment, upon which I would immediately power-off, and leave the room. But one day I noticed that after the last set, he advertised a Dr. Sears endorsed HRM. I looked it up, and the web link no longer exists, and my computer tells me it might be a phisher. Not sure what I think about that, but when I looked up the same monitor recommended, online, it was quite pricey. I think about $250. Seems like a much cheaper one could be made for, and actually included in, this plan. It's much more important to this exercise than the cheapy calipers, which I've never used.
A heart rate monitor is not necessary for this plan, so don't let that deter you. But a good and accurate one would definitely make things easier, and assure me that my own count wasn't faulty.
All in all, I would say this is worth trying. It's not very expensive, and if nothing else, you might learn a few new moves that you can incorporate into your other exercises. At best, it'll rock your world.
I have so far lost 20 pounds in the last 8 weeks (exactly at-goal, progress-wise), and have a long ways to go. I'm hoping Pace will keep me company the whole journey.
I'll keep you posted.