Monday, January 21, 2013
A spark friend on one of my teams asked me about this dvd so I thought I would write a short review of it here.
I first heard about this DVD based on a daily spark blog (which, sadly, I can't find now) and it sounded like something that would interest me, and I was right.
I like the Body Groove because:
1) the exercise workouts are relatively short, ranging from 23 minutes to 39 minutes. These workouts are made up of 6-7 songs, and you also have the option of playing these songs individually. That would be kind of like one of the BLC's GOYBAD videos (Get Off Your Butt And Dance, for those of you not in the BLC) except with some guided choreography.
This is good for me for two reasons. One, I just don't have the strength, stamina, etc., to handle most longer workouts. I wish that weren't the case--and if I keep working out regularly, I KNOW I can build up the endurance to handle the longer and/or more intense workouts, but just as you buy clothes that fit you NOW I buy workout dvds and games that I feel I can handle NOW--that will challenge me without pushing me so far that I end up burned out or injured.
The second reason is that, frankly, time is a constant issue for me. I sometimes get frustrated when people say things like "saying you don't have time is just an excuse" when I'm stretched so thin some days I just want to cry (grad school can do that to you, LOL). The truth is, I don't let having insufficient time keep me from working out--but I'm also realistic. I can usually find 20-40 minutes for a workout; an hour and a half is a lot harder to come by. I can always string multiple short workouts together to make a longer one (I've done that before, and I'm sure I'll do it again); it's a lot harder to cut a longer exercise program short and keep things balanced.
2) There are 5 workouts (also called Misty's playlists) to choose from, so there are a lot of different options in one exercise dvd. Most of my other exercise dvds have only a few workout options--so this is a LOT of variety for the money. Also, you have the option of playing the songs individually, so you can basically create your own workout by combining individual songs you like.
I like this for two reasons. The most important one for me is that I'm easily bored when it comes to workouts, and it's hard to motivate myself to do something (especially when it means using a precious 30 minutes I could spend doing something I actually enjoy) when I dread doing it. So I learned early on that variety was important if I wanted to work out consistently because it keeps the workouts fresh. It also makes it easier to find a particular workout that fits my particular mood for the day. Stressed out and want to hit something? Put in Tae Bo. If I want to boogie, I put in Misty's Body Groove. But even with in the Groove, there are options-there are a lot of different moods in her workouts. So on a day I want some aggressive, funky, and modern, I might chose one workout, and on a day I want something more jazzy, country, or kind of Middle eastern, I pick another work out... plus if I want I can choose individual songs to suite my mood too.
3) I like dancing. I won't say I'm any good at it--but I enjoy it. A lot of traditional workouts I find... well, less than fun. Boring, at best, miserable at their worst.... when you are doing a dvd and thinking "When is it going to end?!?" it's really hard to motivate yourself to do it another day. When the exercise is FUN, you are more likely to do it.
4) Misty Tripoli's choreography is really, really basic, and she really doesn't care which foot you are using, etc, so it's a lot less complicated than the other dance cardio dvds I have. I have a fair amount of experience with a variety of dance moves, but even I can get tripped up sometimes trying to cha cha or whatever and keep up with the beat and the complex foot work etc., and I know others have had similar complaints about dance cardio dvds. (I still like them, because I like dance--especially Latin ball room and Swing--so I'm a glutton for punishment, but it's still nice to have something that doesn't tax my dexterity!) Instead of focusing on carefully choreographed moves, Misty Tripoli encourages the dancer (you) to explore the music. For example, her choreography might have you doing two steps and a pause--that's it. What you do with that is completely up to you, though she gives you suggestions, and you can get ideas by watching the other dancers on the dvd.
This means that not only is every time I do a workout it's slightly different because I'm adapting the moves in new and different ways, but it also makes it eminently adaptable to my personal physical ability. All workouts say that you can modify their workouts according to your ability--but it can be hard sometimes to know how (other than taking breaks because you can't do that many pushups in a row yet or whatever). With Body Groove, because it's focus on listening to what the music and your body tells you, it's easier. If she's doing jumps and you can't, it's easy to adapt. If she's doing squats and you can only kind of bob in place, that's fine--as she constantly says, there's no wrong way to do this--it's what YOU feel like doing.
The flip side is that YOU have to sometimes push yourself--as she says in one of the workouts, only YOU can move your body. She can't move it for you. But I rarely find it hard to push myself because I'm having fun bobbing and prancing etc. around my living room, and I know that I get my heart rate up in the process.
If you need a structured program and find it daunting to dance when you are basically told "move as feels good to you," maybe this isn't the program for you. I like the originality and creativity that she brings to the workout, but I'm sure it is not for everyone.
5) This is not a high intensity workout. If you are usually doing really intense workouts with things like "extreme" in the title, you might not find that this one will get your heart rate up enough. Most of the exercises are low impact--there's one workout that involves jumping, and even then I don't usually jump because of my bad hip. It does allow a fair amount of customization on just how intense the workout is--you can definitely do it harder and more intensely than I do!--and it's It's a good workout for me, for where I am in my fitness journey, but I know that there are a lot of people here who routinely do much more intense exercise and this might not get their heart rates up sufficiently.