Tag Archives: tried and tested

Tracy Anderson’s Targeted Training Boot Camp

815nhiriekl-_sl1500Time: 58 minutes
Areas worked: ALS
Equipment needed: 1lb hand weight (Tracy uses 3lb weights), 4X ankle weights (Tracy uses 2x 1.5lb & 2X 2.5lb)

This DVD similar to Precision Toning in that the workouts are divided into different sections that each focus on a different body part so if you’re pressed for time you can just complete one of the more bite sized workouts. This DVD is broken into three 20(ish) minute sections: abs, glutes and then finally hips & thighs. You can do each section by itself although Tracy would prefer that you do all the sections together to make it a full workout. Each section involves a warm up and a cool down section and don’t worry arms are included as well.

Although this is called a boot camp the DVD is actually at an intermediate level, with lots of breaks in the workout where Tracy stops to talk you through the moves, so it’s not really a full hour. Although this workout is intermediate, some of the moves are quite unusual so you’ll definitely need to engage your brain.

This workout is filmed in the same industrial/factory setting as Cardio Dance Express, Tracy looks super sleek dressed in black lululemon and her makeup is flawless.

The background music is crazy dance music which doesn’t really fit with Tracy’s slow controlled instructions.

Abs

The ab section is good in that there is a lengthy explanation for each move, the reps aren’t too high but that doesn’t mean that some of the moves aren’t challenging.

It’s great that in this workout Tracy talks you through your form, which is really important prep for if you want to progress onto her harder workouts.

In this section Tracy works arms with weights to cool down and stretch at the end,  you can really feel the stretching in the abs, which is nice as Tracy doesn’t always do this in her workouts.

Hips and thighs

Although the moves are a bit complicated/challenging, they’re totally doable, I really love that Tracy acknowledges that the moves appear complicated and explains the reasons for why they are designed as they are. There are only a few moves on each side, so while doing this for the first time and Tracy said there’s only one more move before you switch to the next side I blew a sigh of relief, but then was a bit worried once she’d finished the moves on the other side and decided to add the second ankle weight, but thankfully it was just for a simple standing leg move so wasn’t that painful.

Glutes

You might wonder why the glutes and hips and thigh sections are separated as surely they’re similar movements as they’re all working your legs, however during the hip & thigh section you can definitely feel it working specifically your hips and after the first glute move you can really feel it working deep in your glutes so Tracy’s definitely doing her job! The first move is killer, Tracy really launches you into it at full force.

Tracy Anderson Workout Add Ons

Tracy Anderson’s Muscular Structure DVDs in Order

Every Single Tracy Anderson Muscular Structure Workout

Gwyneth Paltrow It’s All Easy

itsalleasy

This is the follow up to the best recipe book I’ve ever tried- It’s All Good, which follows similar principals in that it’s healthy but doesn’t stick as ridgedly to Dr Junger’s Clean programme as much as many of the recipes include sugar, dairy and wheat. The It’s All Easy element is that all these recipes can be made in under 30 minutes.

Here are the recipes including a review of each one I’ve tried. I’ll update this as and when I try more recipes from the book.

Favourite Recipes

Breakfast

Scrambled Eggs with Parmean and Rocket

Spring Veggie Avocado Toast

Sandwiches

Pan Bagnat

Dinner

Socca Pizzas

Za’atar Roasted Carrot and Avocado

Recipes that I wasn’t personally keen on

Singapore Rice Noodles

Tracy Anderson TAVA Destinys Child Lose My Breath

img_5917Cardio time: 3 minutes
Breakdown time: 2 minutes
Equipment needed: None

In week 89 of streaming we got our second portion of streaming TAVA cardio. Keeping with the Beyonce theme this dance is to Destiny’s Child “Lose My Breath”. I really love this dance, I definitely didn’t master it but I hope with time that I do. The breakdown section could have done with being more thorough- last week’s breakdown section was 9 minutes long so it’s quite a difference. The breakdown in this section was similar to that in the TAVA DVD in that it was just going through the moves once and saying what you were doing as you were going on, which I’m sure is great if you’re a dancer but if you need more than one movement explained in each move you definitely need more detail. Unlike last week’s 7/11 TAVA you only got to dance to this song once, making the cardio time only 3 minutes with a bit of a party time free for all at the end.

Tracy Anderson TAVA Beyonce 7/11

Tracy Anderson TAVA Heavenly

Tracy Anderson’s Cardio DVDs in order

Every Single Tracy Anderson Cardio Workout

Tried and Tested: Sports Massage

sports-massage-back-of-leg-1200x800I normally get Thai massages about once a week because they’re lovely and relaxing, use hard pressure and I love the stretching element as well, it feels much less passive then most massages. I’ve been away from home for a while and I’ve had pain in my left erector spinae for the past few days so I’ve been desperate to get a massage. Unfortunately Thai massages aren’t offered where I’m staying so I decide the next best thing would be to try out a sports massage.

I’ve never had a sports massage before, I’ve heard the horror stories about them being incredibly painful but I was up for a challenge.

The massage was really good and I was impressed that the therapist could zero in on the areas where there were a lot of knots, so it was much more of a tailored massage than the ones I’m used to. Also she was able to tell me what was likely to be causing the knots- the erector spinae pain was from slouching a lot, which unfortunately I do a lot of; I’m doing it right now! I must invest in an ergonomic set up. I also had knots in my thighs which were from the powerful poses I’ve been doing recently in yoga. I didn’t have many other knots, I’m sure if I had gone when I was able do lots of cardio and legs exercises this would’ve been a different story.

The massage was totally not scary or painful, in fact the Thai massages I’ve been having have involved more pressure. However later on in the day I really ached in the areas that she’d focused on and the pain continued the following day. She may have decreased the size of my knots but was being sore for over 24 hours afterwards worth it? I’m trying to decide. Has anyone had a sports massage what are your thoughts on it? Whatever the case it’s definitely not something to get to relax you.

On the plus side, the sports therapist was full of lots of useful information, including how the presence of fascia means that when we massage one muscle we can feel it in a different part of the body and this is why acupuncture works. I had always assumed that acupuncture was pseudo science but as top athletes such as Rebecca Adlington have it and now hearing about it from this sports therapist I’m feeling more open to it. Perhaps I’ll try it for my chronic pain symptoms.

frownies

As the therapist mentioned fascia I of course asked her about the fascia blaster but she unfortunately didn’t have any information about it. We also talked about taping the muscles and I asked whether taping the face (you can buy tape specifically to do this called Frownies) to move the muscles to diminish wrinkles would work and she confirmed that yes it would, so I’m going to try them out.

I asked her how often I should get sports massages and she recommended for me they should be about once a month.

I don’t think I’m ready to give up Thai massages as they’re so relaxing but I will think about including sports massages into my routine

Slimming and Anti Cellulite Massage

The Face Gym

facegym-bookI’m really into facial exercises; I have both of Eva Frasers workout DVDs and I bought a Rio 60 second facial toner, so when I saw Isamaya Ffrench (for those who don’t know she’s an awesome makeup artist who’s work you would’ve seen on Vogue, Rihanna, Kim K & numerous catwalk shows)’s instagram post of her having a facial gym workout I knew I had to get one!

Took my face to the gym today #Selfridges #facegym @luisavoia 💪🏼

A post shared by Isamaya Ffrench (@isamayaffrench) on

Since I had a facial massage 4 years ago on holiday, that gave me instant plumped up skin and a younger looking face I’ve been dying to get into facial massage but unfortunately I’ve been unable to find anywhere that does this or any DVDs that I can buy that can teach myself. If anyone knows of any please let me know! So it’s wonderful news that the Face Gym workout combines facial massage and electrical muscle stimulation.

The therapists are super nice, like really lovely instant best-friend nice, which is wonderful because in my experience some beauty therapists can be pretty intimidating/judgemental: “you really shouldn’t leave it so long between waxes”.

A visit to the face gym is basically an amazing combo of a facial workout and a facial facial (lots of lovely serums etc). And is pretty reasonably priced with prices starting at £40 for 30 minutes.

There are loads of different “workouts” available- don’t worry these are all passive with the therapist doing all the work, I went for a signature workout which has a bit of everything: de-puffing-ball work, reiki, massage, electrical muscle stimulation, jade rolling, derma rolling. My husband and I both got workouts at the same time (they used different products on him)- he’s a bit of a cynical misery guts sometimes so I had to bully him into it, but he ended up really enjoying the “workout” and is really happy with the results. I’m really happy with the results too; it’s amazing how different your skin can look after 30 minutes of non invasive work and almost a week later my skin tone is still noticeably improved.

Sadly there are currently only locations in London, although there will be locations in New York and Italy in the future. I really wish there were more locations now, but it’s a blessing for my finances as otherwise I would go all the time.

Tracy Anderson’s Cardio Dance Express

81x-TnYAt8L._SL1500
Time: 58 minutes
Equipment needed: None

On this hour long DVD the cardio workouts are made into 10 minute segments. We’ve already had 30 minute segments-  Dance + Cardio, 20 minute segments- Slim + Sculpt Cardio and 15 minute segments- Cardio Dance for Beginners so I’m assuming unless she’s going to go after the super time poor this is as small the segments are going to get.

Tracy looks amazing in this workout; very sleek and modern; dressed all in black, a slicked back pony tail and amazing makeup. I love the industrial/factory style setting too.

Interval 1- Basic steps

For this first routine tracy does a brief warm up at the beginning. Instead of a breakdown section or a guess which moves comes next follow along routine, Tracy does the cardio but gives you commands and builds on each one, so it’s grapevines to begin with then another move added on then back to grapevines and so on until the routine is finished. The moves are easy to follow, it’s great that Tracy gives you queuing. The music is pretty good- kind of generic upbeat workout music but it’s great that it’s a different soundtrack to all her other DVDs.

Interval 2- Dance Vitality (what does that even mean?!)

I really like this one, the music is really good- 80s electronic dance style and it feels like more of a proper dance routine. Also it’s not all jumping so you get a bit of a rest at times. Once again this starts with a warm up arms section and ends up with arms and then stretching.

Interval 3- Cardio Party

This music has changed again for this one, I really like that we’re getting so much new music. This one starts off at a high intensity with lots of fast leg movements so the support of your sports bra will be tested! Thankfully this pace doesn’t continue for the whole thing and the rest of the routine is graceful ballet dancer style movements.

Interval 4- Sweat Fest

This interval includes some moves from the last routine but adds some more moves. Tracy is really motivating and adds lots of words of encouragement. These routines aren’t that bad as you know before it hits 10 minutes you’ll get some cool down movements and stretching.

Interval 5- Calorie Blast

Unfortunately this interval teaches a routine that many of us will already know from Tracy’s Dance Cardio Workout DVD- it’s routine 3. Although there are a couple of changes it is this routine, which is a shame, you wonder if they didn’t realise that we had already been taught this dance. I suppose it’s a fresh environment and we’re learning the dance as we’re going as opposed to doing a breakdown section and then doing the dance up to tempo. I hope this is an anomaly and we don’t have this happen again on new dance DVDs.

Interval 6- Dance Intensity (I think they were running out of names here)

This routine is nice and simple and amazingly the time flew by.

Tracy Anderson’s Cardio DVDs in Order

Every Single Tracy Anderson Cardio Workout

Tracy Anderson Cosmo Slim Your Waist

TA Cosmo slim your waist
Time: 8 minutes
Area worked: Stomach
Equipment needed: Chair

These moves don’t just work your waist, they work your lower abs and your hips too. I found the first move to be pretty challenging, I think this may be due to not being able to do a lot of lower ab work and that my abs have become so much weaker then they used to be. Looking forward to carrying on with this and gaining some strength.

Every Single Tracy Anderson Muscular Structure Workout