Flavorful Experiences

Dedicated to experimenting and experiencing new ways of cooking, eating, working out, and home decor.

Workouts on Trial: Episode 4

I stated in the prior episode that I didn’t want to do the Fitness Magazine workout, since it just seemed unappetizing at the time. However, it appealed to me on the next go-around, so I did it.

Part of the reason I didn’t like the Brazilian Butt Workout the first time I looked at it was due to its shoddy directions. One thing, though: it is REALLY, REALLY hard to write exercise directions. You can be as clear as crystal, and the person reading it will go, huh? Hence why most people should really just take a high quality class or small group personal training- it’s so much easier to understand what to do, plus you get the added benefit of peer pressure to increase your intensity and a personal trainer who can correct any form issues they see (or provide ample modifications if you need them). You’ll also get a fully balanced program, rather than a hodge-podge of stuff thrown together that may or may not benefit you.

Okay, I’m back off my soap box. 🙂

Workout on Trial

Back to the Brazilian Butt Workout. It’s supposed to be a 5-minute workout to “lift & tone” your butt. (I have my own opinions on the word “tone,” but I’ll keep them to myself for right now.) It consists of five exercises, each done for 1 minute, then you’re supposed to be done (I think. Like I said, the directions…)

Why am I being so hard on this workout? I did end up liking it! Truth!

The Eval

1: Injury Potential

Very, very low. You could, in theory, pull a groinal muscle on a couple of the exercises but that’s about it. As long as you’re smart and always keep your weight over your heels, you should be fine. There’s no jumping, no odd positions, or anything that raises flags for me. If you compare this workout on the injury scale to the BodyRock.TV one I did in Episode 3, it’s a 1 while Zuzana’s is a 5.

2: Fat Burning Potential

Here’s where the rubber is going to meet the road. No doubt about it, similar to Episode 1’s workout, putting a slew of exercises together one after the next is going to make your muscles sore the rest of the day (and probably through the next). Also, because each of these exercises use what are arguably two of the largest muscle groups in your body (glutes and thighs), it’s going to have a pretty decent caloric burn. It’ll also make those two groups hella strong very quickly. But not if performed exactly as the workout states: in 5 total minutes. No matter what, you’re not going to get enough of a caloric burn from this workout to burn off significant quantities of fat. And since this workout isn’t interval training, it’s not going to induce the later in the day metabolic-uptick that helps when a workout is short.

So, there’s two things you could do: turn it into an interval-style workout or do it as a finisher. Neither of them would likely make my bootcampers very happy with me! 😉

3: Boredom Factor

There’s not really enough time involved in this workout to get bored with it. Plus, there’s a benefit of needing to time each of the exercises.

4: What This Workout is (Technically) Geared For

This workout is technically geared for…um, getting people off the couch for 5 minutes? Really, with the way it’s written, I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish here. Yes, with tweaks it could easily “tone & lift” your butt. With tweaks.

Can I go on my “toning” rant now?

No? Well, I’ll just say one thing then: you could have the muscles of a Spartan, but you’ll never know it if there’s a layer of fat covering them. In fact, an interesting thing is that severely obese people usually have a muscle mass that can be as high as a muscle head. The problem is the fat:muscle ratio is way out of whack.

Josh Hillis, one of my colleagues, said it best:

“There is no “toned muscle” or “long lean muscle”.  There is muscle.  Or there is fat.  There is more muscle or less muscle.  And there is more fat or less fat.

When people say they want to be “long and lean”, what they really mean is that they want “a little more muscle and a lot less fat.”  

When people say “nice toned muscle”, what they mean is that they want “a little more muscle and a lot less fat.””

5: Tips to Improve This Workout

Like I said previously (even if the tone of this article doesn’t really suggest it), I did like this workout. My leg muscles were still protesting stairs 10 hours later. I’ll likely repeat it, regularly. But, it can be made better. It can be made into a strengthening, fat-burning machine. And all it takes is choosing which path you want to take:

  1. Make it interval-style, or
  2. Do it as a finisher
  3. Or you could do both. Who am I to say how much torture you should place on your muscles?

How to make it interval-style: After completing a warm-up, do the circuit 1 time. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 1-3 more times (less if you’re a beginner, more if you’re advanced).

How to make it a finisher: Do the same as above, but do it AFTER you’ve completed a full strength workout. You can also do it without the rest periods, but that’s only for the sadists.

Endurance: If you do it without rest, keep in mind that you’re working on your muscles’ endurance more than anything else- more than fat-burning, more than strengthening. Endurance isn’t a bad thing, but it’s just a piece of a puzzle.

And you now have three new workouts, based off one entirely identical set of 5 exercises.

6: Whatever Else

I believe that my biggest problem with the workout had nothing to do with the exercises themselves, but with the advertising as a “lift & tone” workout. If you do the workout exactly as outlined, you’ll be slightly sore (newbies who’ve never exercised may have trouble navigating stairs the next day). However, just because you’re sore doesn’t mean that you’re going to “lift & tone” your butt. (*See rant(s) above.) In all, I recommend this workout as a piece to an overall puzzle, with modifications: a) do it more than one time in a workout, and/or b) do it with another workout. After all, it’s only 5 minutes. If you repeat it 2 more times with 1 minute of rest between each, it’ll still be less than 20 minutes of your time!

Your Experiences

Have you ever used a finisher before? What’s your favorite go-to?

Disclaimer: Always take precautions when starting an exercise or nutrition program. Consult with your doctor. Flavorful Experiences and its authors are not liable for any injuries incurred as a result. Be smart!


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This entry was posted on October 8, 2012 by in Workout Experiences and tagged , .
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