Thursday, December 4, 2008

AOSX: The 1200 Workout

Art of Strength has a series of downloadable workouts, the AOX series. I was intrigued enough to purchase one of them, The 1200 Workout.

Not. Worth. The. Money. Even at the sale price of $29.95. For that kind of money I was expecting something I could actually work along to. But no. The video component ran slightly over 15 minutes, no longer, and consisted of Anthony demo-ing each exercise a couple of times, then telling us how many reps to do, then moving on to the next thing. I got very tired of having to stop my workout so I could put the video on pause while I completed my set. I appreciate that we were being tacitly encouraged to go at our own pace, but even so I would've preferred to miss a few reps instead of constantly having to pause the workout. Frankly once I'm completely at ease with all the exercises I won't be using the video at all, just the accompanying "workbook," which is merely a list of the exercises in each round along with the number of reps to be performed.

As for the content of the workout, it was fine. There was an interesting mix of kettlebell, dumbbell and bodyweight exercises, a few of which were new to me. Corkscrew pushups, for instance. You start out in pushup position, but with the feet a little closer to the hands than usual. You then bend at the knees and take the hips back toward the heels, as if you were coming back into extended child's pose, but with the knees still off the ground. Then you twist to one side and bring your body forward into chatturanga, untwisting as you go. Then you reverse the motion to the other side. That's one rep. If you really wanted to get creative you could keep coming forward until you were all the way up in upward facing dog before reversing the motion. Then it'd be kind of like a hybrid of a divebomber pushup and a corkscrew pushup. I don't know if I actually dislike any of my clients enough to make them attempt that, but it might be kind of fun :)

The one thing I didn't care for, content-wise, about the workout was the ungodly number of snatches. Each round ended with a set, and each round had you doing two more reps to each side than the previous round, so you started with 10 and ended with 20 per side (there were 6 rounds in total). That's a lot of snatches--180 total, unless my math is off. And that's assuming you only do each round once. That was what I opted to do. The advanced version calls for each round to be performed 3 times, and frankly that seems like overkill since even without taking any real rest between sets I needed a half an hour to get through each round once. I can't even see wanting to do the full intermediate version, which calls for each round to be performed twice.

I think since I prefer no repeat workouts anyway, what I may do is throw in a tabata every after every second round, using bodyweight exercises or kettlebell exercises such as clean and press that aren't included elsewhere in the workout. That'll give me about a 45 minute pretty intense--dare I say, metabolic?--workout.

In the greater scheme of things it probably doesn't matter much that the video isn't useful except for teaching exercises that may be new because I'm fine working out on my own and probably would opt to do that a good bit of the time anyway. I just think that for the price I should've gotten something I could work along to when that's what I want. Given what I suspect it cost AOS to put this downloadable workout together, I think it should've been priced a good $20 lower.