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General life blah and Spartacus: Ab Attack! review

Friday, March 22, 2013

Crazy, crazy few weeks. I've been neglecting my posts, but I've been discovering awesome music, snapping up a pile of new workout DVDs, and trying to get myself ready to move to Texas.

The past two weeks have ended up being a bit of a crapshoot nutrition-wise. Some days, I ate clean and healthy, others... not so much. I have since redoubled my efforts on that front. It's the first where I tend to slip.

I've managed to make a pretty big dent with my cleaning efforts. The majority of the room is actually still kind of terrible, but the closet is PRISTINE. I have a TON of things I'm now donating and stuff ready to be shipped to Texas. Still going on the heaps of paper and years-old mail, but it's slowly shaping up. I'm hoping to burn a few hours on this project Sunday and then kick back for the rest of the day. I've got a work thing tomorrow that I sort of wish I hadn't said I would do, since this week ended up being nuts and I need some R&R, but every week is nuts, so might as well go and learn something.

Speaking of work, I also recently jumped into a new cosmetics direct-selling business, Younique (link here, if anyone's interested www.youniqueproducts.com
). It's hard and exhausting and extremely rewarding all at the same time. It's kind of a "because it's fun" side project and a plan B rolled into one. I haven't really started the job search in Texas yet, so in case the time comes to move and I still don't have one, I didn't want to be COMPLETELY unemployed. It's also nice to have some extra income although the gains are pretty small at the moment. Younique sells lovely, all-natural mineral makeup, but they're also really new, so the brand recognition isn't there yet. That makes it tough to sway people from the tried-and-true Avon and Mary Kay and such, but it's also kind of exciting to be a part of a start-up. Well, to me, *anything* dealing with makeup is kind of exciting, and I love trying new looks, but helping to build and shape an up-and-coming brand is surprisingly gratifying.

Kind of as a result of this, I've taken a few more of my workouts out of the gym and back into my living room. I have collected a TON of DVDs, most of which I still have yet to try. However, I did get to ONE of the new ones... Spartacus: Ab Attack! The Spartacus workouts have been getting a TON of hype in both Women's Health and Men's Health magazines as some of the toughest ones out there. A challenge was put forth by the Starz channel to create a workout "worthy of the name Spartacus", which is apparently a show on their network (that I have obviously never seen). Workout was created, DVDs were packaged and sold... and I totally bought them. All four. Or Five? Or... whatever. I got 'em all. I started with Ab Attack! really because... there is a grimy, sweaty, stubbly, muscle-y guy (Spartacus, perhaps?) on the cover without a shirt. This alone, is a very good thing and earns a star right off the bat for this DVD ;)

It's a 30 minute workout with intervals of 40 seconds of work, 40 seconds of rest that takes you through about 10 exercises in a circuit that you go through twice. At the end, there's a 5 minute "finisher" which combines an addtional 2 exercise circuit.

All the hype in the description really made me fear that this workout was going to KILL me and that I would be curled up in a fetal position crying the next day. I did it anyway. As it turns out, NOT SO! However, it was still an AMAZING workout. DVDs vary greatly in the quality of instruction and health information given. This IS tough and it encourages you to give it all you've got, but it does so with the respect your body and do what you can caveat, but in a sincerely positive, not patronizing way. It gives a lot of different modifications for making the workout easier or more challenging depending on your ability or needs. All of them are challenging, and most should be achievable by anyone with at least a moderate level of fitness. There is a lot of work done on the floor and on your knees, so if this is a problem for you, I might pass. Otherwise, it's actually a lot of fun, too. It's not the same old, same old as ab routines go. There were exercises that I was like... wait a minute... I genuinely ENJOY doing this. WTF. I am the world's laziest exerciser, I'm not gonna lie. I HATE hard workouts. I do them anyway, because I appreciate them AFTER they're done, but... this was different in that I actually had fun WHILE I was doing it, and if there was something I wasn't really excited about (like mountain climbers, ugh), I didn't have to do it for too long. There is a tracker at the bottom of the screen that shows you how far along in the workout you are, so that kind of helped when it got tough. You don't really need *anything* to do this workout, it's mostly bodyweight exercises, but a mat and some kind of weight, dumbbell or kettlebell, would be helpful for a little extra comfort and challenge. You WILL feel it, but it's not any sort of killer burn. It could definitely be repeated throughout the week without overtraining.I actually had the most soreness in my quads because of the Turkish Get-ups at the beginning, but I liked those :) While the focus of the program was the abdominal muscles, it really is a pretty well-balanced full-body workout. I was expecting such a hard and painful slog -- one I would begrudgingly commit to for the sake of one day seeing some flat abs -- that I was honestly SO surprised when I ended up loving this. Bottom line: Don't let the manly-man tough talk on the box fool you. If you are looking for a challenge and are sick of crunches and other boring ab moves, give this a try. It's tough, it's fun, and it's efficient AND IT HAS A HOT, SHIRTLESS GUY ON THE COVER! I cannot stress this enough. Just go for it, your abs will thank you, and you will thank *me* ;p

I don't know if I'm all out of updates or just out of steam, but I think I need to go tool around on ICHC for awhile. BECAUSE KITTENS, THAT'S WHY.

I'm going to bust out the 20 Minute Fat Torchers sometime in the next week, so there should be another review in the near future, but if any of you have tried Ab Attack! or any of the other workouts in the Spartacus series, I would love to hear your thoughts :D

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I had to add you as a spark friend because I ordered Spartacus Workout today and was looking for some workout buddies. It should be here in 5-10 days. (whatever.) Keep me posted on how it is going and I will do the same. I too am in the lazy workout race. emoticon
    1719 days ago
    Not much more space than it would take you to do some crunches in. About enough that you can comfortably lay out flat, and you won't even neeed THAT much for most of the video :)
    1835 days ago
    Thanks for the review. I live in a small studio apartment. How much room do you need to Spartacus: Ab Attack videos?
    1835 days ago
    woohoo! kickin out the jams lady, i love it. keep sorting, packing, tossing, donating and rocking, big time love!
    1855 days ago
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