|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain BalanceA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Yoga DVDBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBreath-Centered YogaBreathingCalm EnergyChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEverything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMindfulness for BeginnersMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrescriptive StretchingPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Happiness of PursuitThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!WalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for the Young at HeartYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Miracle Brain
by Ernest Schultz (Director)
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Sep 8th 2009
This DVD is one of the latest releases from the Acacia catalog. It is led by Violet Zaki, who holds a black belt in karate and who instructed a prior workout for Acacia, Weight Loss Cardio Sculpt. In this video, Zaki is working out with two background exercisers, Deazie (who has also been a background exerciser for The Firm) and Chanelle, who serves to modify some of the more high-impact moves. The women are shown in a large studio with what appears to be stone floors and scaffolding-like balconies lining either side; the music is generally high energy and upbeat.
The cover of this DVD states that it provides "2 20-Minute Fat-Blasting Workouts" although there are actually several different options for customizing your workout experience. The Main Menu of the DVD includes an Introduction (brief overview of the workout by Zaki), Workout Options (described below), Bonus Features (a 3-minute kickboxing tutorial for those unfamiliar with the punches and kicks used; a bonus segment from the Weight Loss Cardio Sculpt Workout; and finally, Zaki's bio), Also from Acacia (video clips from other workouts), and Credits. If you select Workout Options, you are taken to a submenu screen which provides the various workout choices. First, there is a "Play All" option (51m), allowing you to play both 20-minute workouts back-to-back along with the separate Warm-Up (5m) and Cool-Down (6m) chapters. Next, you can select each of the two workouts, Power Sculpt (20m) and Drills & Combos (20m), individually, with the option of playing them either with or without Zaki's brief introductions (<2m). As mentioned above, the Warm-Up and Cool-Down are chaptered separately, so these can be selected from the submenu screen as well.
Zaki uses the Warm-Up to simply introduce the various punches and kicks used in the workouts one by one. The standard punches include jab, cross, hook, and uppercut, while there are three basic kicks, front, back, and roundhouse. If you have chosen the Play All option, the Power Sculpt workout comes first. In her introduction to this workout, Zaki suggests having two sets of dumbbells for this session, but she recommends keeping the weights light, no more than five pounds. [Note: in a poor editing decision, the workout introductions were included in the Play All sequence, which breaks up the flow of this longer workout; luckily, not only are these brief, but also they are chaptered and can be skipped over.] The general pattern for the Power Sculpt workout is that Zaki begins with a "heavy" weights exercise, usually a dynamic movement that keeps the heart rate up. She follows this by a series of either punches or kicking movements using lighter weights. Finally, there is a "cardio blast" segment—for example, one combination included jumping jacks, jump rope, side-to-side shuffles, and front-to-back shuffles (all modified to low impact by Chanelle). This sequence of heavy weights--light weights--cardio blast is repeated several times throughout the Power Sculpt session. Zaki describes the final five minutes as "pure cardio": here she sets the weights aside and takes the cardio up a notch with moves that have an almost plyometric feel (e.g., knee hops) for an intense finish to the workout.
The Drills & Combos portion is all cardio; no weights or other props are used for this workout. As the title suggests, Zaki instructs simple punch-kick sequences here. She begins with an all-punch combination: jab-cross-hook-upper-double jab-cross-shuffle. Next, she moves on to an all-kick routine, first beginning with a basic front kick-back kick, but then upping both the difficulty and the complexity level by adding in jumping jacks, a side squat, and a roundhouse kick facing the side. From this point on, Zaki blends the punches and kicks to form mixed combinations, but for the most part, she keeps the choreography relatively straightforward. Some of the moves are even a bit fun and different, such as a side-to-side punch (which actually appears in both workouts) and a double block with a squat. The Cool-Down features Asian-inspired music as Zaki leads you through stretches for all of the major muscle groups that were worked, including the quads, hamstrings, and shoulders. She concludes the Cool-Down with a move borrowed from yoga, side angle pose, for a complete full body stretch.
As an intermediate exerciser, I initially was skeptical of whether this DVD would work for me, but after trying it, I think that it would be appropriate for beginning to intermediate exercisers. Beginners would be advised to use the two workouts individually, keeping their weights for the Power Sculpt Portion quite low (or perhaps even forgoing the weights altogether at first if needed). More experienced beginners can use slightly heavier weights, and advanced intermediates like myself can do both workouts together and add weighted gloves to up the intensity a bit further to their level. One final note: this DVD also comes with a 16-page, full-color illustrated booklet of recipes from Cooking Light magazine. Although I haven't tried them yet, they do look tempting, particularly the Sesame Shrimp Salad and the Southwest Salmon Caesar--yum!
© 2009 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students at SUNY Geneseo. She is also a Top 100 Reviewer at Amazon.com and the official yoga media reviewer for iHanuman.com