Video Review: Double Down with Amy Dixon and Paul Katami

It has been a while since my last review, so I am very excited to gush about Amy Dixon and Paul Katami’s latest collaboration. If you have seen my reviews in the past you know I am a fan of both Amy and Paul’s workout DVDs.

Doubledown is a 50 minute combination of total body strength and cardiovascular plyometric exercises. The circuit set up is unusual, but in a good way. Each circuit consists of two minutes of total body exercises and two minutes of cardio work. So that is four minutes per circuit with 8 circuits. The two minute strength segment is split up into two parts. Paul starts with one exercise for one minute, then in the second minute you “doubledown” and add onto the move. This gets your heart pumping and the targeted muscle group(s) burning. Once you complete Paul’s two minutes, Amy takes over the cardio portion of the circuit. Her circuit is split into three 40 second intervals. With each interval the intensity increases. This gives you a little time to recover from Paul’s intervals before you start gurgling your heart again with high impact plyometrics.

I did this workout twice last week. The first time alone and the second time with my HIIT sister. Both times I was amazed by how fast this workout goes by. It is a shot in the arm, then you are off to shower and continue with your day. I did have to add some of my own stretching after the video to attack my legs a little better. I often find videos don’t give the legs enough attention when it comes to stretching.

If you bore easily with workout DVDs and want to burn some fat and calories in a short amount of time I definitely recommend this DVD. I purchased the digital download for just $15, which is a steal for how often I will do this DVD in future years. As a workout DVD whore I have recently been turned off by the videos being put out. They are getting too short and lack creativity. My faith is restored.

I give this workout 5 stars for sure. I hope there is Doubledown 2 coming out soon…


Product Review: DOD Fitness

The fitness industry is booming, and with that we are seeing all kinds of new products come to market.  It’s hard to stay up to date on what is out there.  Luckily, I have a really great contact at 411 Video Info to keep me in the loop!  Today I am going to be reviewing a fairly new product line from DOD Fitness.  The goal of these products is to make exercise easy and comfortable for everyone.  Currently there are three product types that help eliminate pain many people experience in everyday exercises.

First I want to talk about the wrist wedges.  These are designed for people who experience wrist pain while performing body weight exercises on the hands.  I have seen this issue first hand in yoga class.  Not everyone has the wrist strength to remain in poses that require the wrist to bed back 90 degrees, and holding a pose past your threshold could result in a strain.  I personally have no use for this product, but I know that there is a large demographic who does.  I would say about 50% of my peers in yoga class could benefit from this product while flowing through a standard sun salutation (poses like Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing dog, Chaturanga, and Plank Pose).   This product has the potential to increase the effectiveness of a beginner’s yoga practice by reducing the wrist strain during basic flow or long holds.

The knee donuts are what I found to be the most useful product for me.  I had Osgood-Schlatter in my knees as an adolescent and still have a knobby area of bone growth that can be painful when combining pressure with hard surfaces.  It is not shooting, just unpleasant.  I used the knee donuts while performing Modified Kettlebell Pushups on one knee  (an Amy Dixon move).   The knee donuts allowed me to perform a max amount of reps in one minute because it eliminated my normal pain by cushioning my knees.  I am also currently getting over an injury to my meniscus and the donuts not only eliminated any pain, but also the anxiety that I may tweak the same injury again.   The knee donuts are great for any exercises that require you to be in a tabletop position as well, which could benefit anyone who practices Pilates with knee pain.  I could even see myself using the donuts while cleaning my bathrooms or gardening, since I tend to be kneeling for long periods of time.

Last we have the neck circle.  This product I personally found little use for.  The intention is good, the circle keeps your head in a neutral position while performing exercises on your back, thus reducing tension.   I feel the demographics for this product would be physical therapists, senior citizens and individuals with a muscular imbalance that causes neck strain.  I do believe I will come across a client who will need this product, but not nearly as often as the wrist wedges and knee donuts.  I am constantly hearing gripes of knee pain and wrist strain getting in the way of exercises, but neck pain is often linked to a postural issue or muscular imbalance I would look to correct as a personal trainer.

If you are interested in learning more about DOD Fitness or purchasing their products, visit there website here.


Video Review: Amy Dixon’s Raise Some Bell

Lately I have been in a rut with my workout DVDs.  After a while the same workout on a regular basis gets repetitive and dull.  So I have become consumed in creating new and creative circuit style workouts for myself almost everyday.  I do start to miss being instructed, and since I have been lacking a workout buddy the past couple of weeks, the gym is getting a little lonely.  So last night I had the company of Amy Dixon, a 15 lb kettlebell and my puppy Petey during my sweat session.


Raise some Bell is a kettlebell routine, which I am sure you could have guessed.  The workout is a total body routine that lasts 40 minutes including warm up, cool down and a stretch.  There is also a 7 minute “Ultimate Kettle bell Core Workout” on the DVD.

The warm up was great.  I loved how Amy warmed up our  wrists.  It is not your first thought to prepare your wrists, but I pulled my right wrist during kettlebell workouts in the past so I can appreciate the attention to detail.  We dynamically moved through stretches and exercises that prepared us for the powerful moves to come while bringing our heart rate up.  I can definitely see this warmup working in more than just a kettlebell routine.

The Workout consisted of powerful ballistic moves such as swings as well as exercises you would typically do with your basic dumbbell.  The way Amy creates a combination flows well and I enjoyed putting together the exercises.  It allowed me to get a feel for each more before adding on.  My favorite exercise from the workout was the “Rainbow”, It’s a swing with a 180 degree continually pivot on one leg, I felt it over my entire body.  I am a sucker for anything ballistic.  I used a 15 lb kettlebell for the entire workout, but I wish I had a 10 or 12 lb bell for both the hammer curl and the jerk.  I found myself struggling to balance the bell by the horn during the curl.  15 lbs was not to heavy for my right arm during the jerk, but I struggled a bit on my left arm.  I should probably invest in a lighter bell not only for my clients, but for myself as well!

Some of the moves were a little complex, and it took me a few reps to get them down, surely my second time completing this video will be more beneficial than the first.   The moves were powerful and challenging, I felt like superwoman while I was jerking out my reps.  Kettlebell training definitely gives me a high that is different than running and plyometrics and I cannot get enough of it.  I will say, I am pretty sore today.  I need to make a commitment to break out my bell more often after experiencing my body’s reaction to the workout the next morning.

The workout takes a lot of thought and coordination to safely complete the exercises, so the time flew by quickly.  I did not believe Amy when she said we were on our last move of the day.  I do wish the workout was a little longer. I prefer my workouts to be about an hour.

The ab workout is separate on the DVD menu so I completed the 7 minute routine after I cooled down.  I would have liked to tackle abs before the cool down.  The exercises were functional and an all over core workout rather than targeting the superficial muscles, which I liked.

All in all, I give this Kettlebell routine 4 out of 5 stars.  I really loved the exercises and combinations but it was just a little too short and I wish the ab routine came before the cool down.  I will definitely be doing this workout again though.  It is great for when you need a solid workout and you have less than an hour to fit it all in!