Supreme 90 Ultimate Ball

I’m reviewing Supreme 90, this is the last in the series.

Warm up and cool down are common on all Supreme 90 workouts and were reviewed separately.

Work out: Ultimate Ball

Length: 30:34

Diameter : 32 inches

Color: Blue

Ennuendo: Aplenty

Equipment: Ball (Ultimate preferred, Penultimate will do in a pinch)

Format:

30 second ball exercises with 30 seconds rest

Review:

I’ll try to get my ball puns out of the way first.  Prepare to get your balls sweaty. Hold your ball with a grip that’s gentle, yet firm, or else you risk popping it.  The demonstrators balls were gray (and looked old), but mine was blue.  Now that’s out of the way, let’s roll along…

Ultimate Ball wasn’t all that challenging.  The exercises were either static plank-type or very slow reps.  Each one used the ball in some way.  The pace was sluggish.  Core exercises aren’t the kind of things that leave you gasping for breath like workouts with weights so you end up just standing around between moves because you don’t need to catch your breath.  It would be easy to supplement this workout with some push ups or squats instead of 30 seconds off.  You could almost take Cardio Challenge and start it at the same time and do 30 seconds core, 30 seconds weighted cardio.  Now that would be an awesome workout.  There was only one totally useless exercise: side crunch.  The demonstrators didn’t know how to do it and neither did I.  What the demonstrators ended up doing was an awkward crunch next to a ball.

Tip: make sure your ball has lots of air in it.  I thought mine was fine, but it was deforming a lot more under weight than the demonstrators’ balls.  A flat ball wants to shoot out from you on some moves.

Score (out of 10): 7

Compared to P90X:

S90 scores another win here as I can’t think of any equivalent P90X routine.  There is P90X Core Synergistics, but that is a bad comparison because you are actually tired afterwards.  Ultimate Ball is almost relaxing because the pace is so slow.

 

That’s it!  No more exercises to review.  I’ll put a wrap up post with links to all the reviews soon.  Hope you’ve enjoyed.

-Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Cardio Challenge

I’m reviewing Supreme 90

Warm up and cool down are common on all Supreme 90 workouts and were reviewed previously.

Work out: Cardio Challenge

Length: 31:07

Equipment: Dumbbells, mat (optional)

Format:

30 sec exercise, 30 sec off.  Repeat a lot. Light weights or just body weight.

Review:

This is my favorite work out so far.  I’m highly skeptical of cardio workouts because how much cardio can you really do in the few square feet of your living room in a half hour? Especially if you’re like me and regularly go out and run for half hour/hour at a time during the week or go bike for 2/3 hours at a stretch on the weekends? I was pleasantly surprised that with a light amount of weight you get pretty thoroughly worked out in Cardio Challenge.  The pacing is good.  30 seconds recovery and a good description of the next exercise gives you ample time to switch your PowerBlock or other adjustable dumbbell.  Good variety of exercises, this is more of a total body workout than the Total Body workout.  There are no repeats, but variations mean you come back and do a similar move but with a twist — that’s exactly how a workout should be.  I think this particular workout would be well suited for a runner.  With light weights you aren’t going to be jogging through a lactic acid burn the next day, but it’s still going to build up muscle so that you don’t get that emaciated striated runner’s build.  If you are trying to get huge ripped muscles: this ain’t it.  Go to Gold’s.  My only note/tip for this workout is to go light weight for most of the exercises.  This is supposed to be cardio, you aren’t doing 8-12 slow reps with a heavy weight, you’re doing 30 seconds fast (15-20 reps) with light weight.  Since the instructor gives really vague statements like “Don’t make it heavy this is cardio, but don’t go too light either!” I’ll give a specific example.  One exeercise is a bent over row, a move that’s also in the weight lifting work outs.  I’d normally do 8 reps with 30’s, on this workout I used 15’s for the 30 seconds (not sure on reps, 20 maybe?).

Score (out of 10): 9

Compared to P90X:

The cardio workouts in P90X are Kenpo X and Plyometrics X and to a lesser extent Core Synergistics and MAYBE if you are really liberal Yoga X (I never did Cardio X, so I can’t speak for that).  I’d say that these (Kenpo and Plyo) don’t really compare chiefly because they don’t use weights.  Plyo has a different focus so if I was comparing Cardio Challenge to one P90X workout it’d be Kenpo.  Kenpo was a great workout for me the first couple weeks, but after that I got used to it and my heart rate didn’t go up very much.  I don’t think I’d have that problem with S90 Cardio Challenge because I could always go from 10s to 15s or 15s to 20s (or a 2.5 lb increment if I feel like using the PowerBlock adder weights).  S90 wins this round.

 

There is only one workout left to review, Ultimate Ball (snicker).

-Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Legs

Quick recap. I started to review the workouts in the Supreme 90 Day workout program, but since I recently updated my twitters to go to my faceplant and my blegs to my twits this will be the first review to go from my bleg to your face.  And Bob’s your uncle.  Basically this is the first one that might get some reads.  If you want to see the other S90 workouts I’ve reviewed they are here.

Warm up and cool down are common on all Supreme 90 discs and were reviewed previously.

Work out: Legs

Length: 22:53

Equipment: Dumbbells, Ball

Format:

1 core set (3 exercises X 2), the rest of the workout is like a bad company that doesn’t really have an org chart and thinks that’s a feature.  It’s a bunch of random squats and lunges, and at some point in the middle he says repeat it and you do some of them again. One ball set is called a Triple Header (maybe Triple Heater) and is thrown in there randomly.  Just don’t worry about the structure and follow the leader.

Review:

If your leg consisted solely of glutes and if your lower back was part of your leg then this workout would live up to its name.  As it is I left it with fresh calves and even fresher quads.  That’s not to say I’m not tired, I did get a decent workout. Twenty minutes of squats and lunges will take the spring out of anyone’s step.  There is quite a lot of variation in terms of different kinds of lunges and squats, but little variation in terms of other muscles used.  Since the same group is hammered with no rest my lunging muscles were all lunged out and I just couldn’t give a squat at the end.  The ball was used effectively except the “Bulgarian Split Squat” was real difficult to imitate and is more useful with a chair instead.  The leader’s charisma really shines through on one exercise he does with the group and he is encouraging them to stick with it and do the last couple reps with him… except two of the demonstrators are done already and are just watching him.  Truly inspirational.  Like most S90 work outs if you are using adjustable dumbbells be prepared to pause if you want to change the weights at all.  The demonstrators only use two weights though and they don’t appear to use more than 15 pounds.

Score (out of 10): 6

Compared to P90X:

P90X legs are done the same day as back (pull ups) so your legs get brief rests.  Also P90X has a whole hour so they do some useful static exercises like wall squats.  P90X also wins by recognizing that legs also have quads and calves.

 

-Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Back and Bi

This is the fifth workout review from the Supreme 90 Day program.  See the common warm up and cool down that workouts share.

Work out: Back and Bi’s

Length: 46:24

Equipment: Dumbbells, Ball

Format:

4 super sets (1 core followed by 3 back and bi).  Each super set is 3 exercises repeated 3 times

Review:

I learned something today.  In Supreme 90 speak Circuit is the term for Super set.  Following the pattern of not having a pattern this video has a demonstration cut scene before each set.  The pacing is nice and easy to keep up with if even if you are doing a real amount of weight.  I’m no super man, but the guy demo models are sometimes doing curls with what looks like 15 pound weights.  Aside from the core circuit the each set has two types of rows followed by a curl.  Ample variation and no repeats.  The way the ball is worked into the workout is usually by doing an exercise normally done reclined on a bench except putting your shoulders on the ball and doing the exercise from a bridge.  Very easy to imitate.  The trainer guy is starting to bug me by making lots of timing mistakes.  Almost every video he’ll make a mistake like saying it’s the last time through on the 2nd of 3 repetitions of the circuit or saying it’s the last circuit when there’s another circuit left.  Since there’s no progress bar like P90X if you were focusing on the workout you don’t know if he’s right or not.  This bothers me so much because it’s his one job and he doesn’t do it right.  Also this isn’t a live show, you get to do multiple takes to get it right.  Still the workout was good.

Score (out of 10): 7

Compared to P90X:

There is a back and bi’s P90X and it’s a killer.  Instead of one third curl exercises it’s more like one half curl exercises so your biceps swell to big numb basketballs by the end.  Also P90X B&B utilizes pull ups and rows instead of just rows.  This is extra killer because you can’t fake a pull up.  With a row you can do bad form and make it more of an arm and less of a back work out or cheat yourself and not do enough weight.  Not possible with a pull up.  But if you aren’t a pull up machine (too heavy, too woman) S90 is better.  I feel like I got more lower back work out with S90 than P90X on this one.  Overall P90X wins out for the variety and pull ups, but S90 is good when you have less time available.

Come back soon for the remaining 3 workout reviews.

-Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Tabata Inferno

This is the fifth workout review from the Supreme 90 Day program.  See the warm up and cool down that are common to all S90 workouts.

Work out: Tabata Inferno

Length: 37:47

Equipment: Dumbbells

Format:

6 Tabata sets ( A set is 20 seconds all out, 10 seconds rest X8, 1 minute between sets)

Review:

Welcome to the inferno that is tabata!

I sometimes liked this, sometimes didn’t.  It builds up a good sweat and I like the resistancy cardio-y aspect of it.  Two of the sets are just 2 exercises repeated 4 times (ABABABAB) and that gets really boring.  Those mundane sets make it hard to keep up the intensity.  The other 4 sets are 4 exercises repeated twice (ABCDABCD) and are much more engaging.  Minus one point for variety of exercises.  Many sets have repeats from earlier sets and by the last set all 4 exercises are repeats.  Also minus one point for organization.  All Supreme 90 workouts have the same warm up and cool down videos on the disc, but the TI workout goes ahead and begins with a warm up that’s almost identical to the one included on the same disc.  I thought maybe this was just a problem with editing and the warm up track wasn’t supposed to be on the disc, but at the end Phony Horton references the separate cool down track so I don’t know what they were thinking.

Score (out of 10): 6

Compared to P90X:

It’s got some leaping exercises, kind of like Plyometrics, but there are also pushups and some weight exercises, but it’s a cardio workout.  There isn’t a direct comparison.  Not enough jumping to fully compare to Plyo but that’s probably the closest.  Too much cardio to compare to compare to one of the resistance P90X workouts.

 

Come back soon for the next workout review!

-Steven Gangstead

Hey Running Buddy

Cool thing happened while running today.  This happens occasionally, but not very often.  I crossed paths with a runner early in the run and then miles away I came across her again.

My jogging routes meander all over the place but usually take the form of “big loop that starts and ends at my house.”  I don’t like passing near my house anywhere in the middle because it tempts me to stop.  I left before 6:30, came across a lady jogging on one side of a neighborhood and then 3 miles away saw her again along the sidewalk in a commercial area.  She was the only other runner I saw in the whole 45 minute run.  The circumstances were such that we could only have met at those two places if we were both going for long runs on these particular routes.  I thought it was pretty cool, maybe it was that running daze that you get in, so I hope she didn’t think I was too enthusiastic when I shouted “HELLO AGAIN!” the second time.

It’s going to be a good day.

-Steven Gangstead

Supreme 90 Chest Shoulders Tris

This is the fourth workout review from the Supreme 90 Day program.  All S90 work outs use a common warm up and cool down.

Work out: Chest Shoulders Tri

Length: 34:53

Equipment: Dumbbells, Ball

Format:

First set targets core muscles (2 exercises, repeat 2 times).  Then

3 super sets (3 exercises, repeat 3 times).

Review:

After the intro core set (which I think all workouts may have) it is 3 super sets.  The pace one notch below Frantic.  I call it “I think I may miss the train” (you know, where you are too embarrassed to run all out, so you do an awkward shuffle run while you hold your backpack still).  The demonstrators aren’t racing and they don’t transition between sets in the superset like triathletes so you can mostly keep up with them.  This was a great improvement over previous work outs reviewed so far.  I found if I did 8 reps while they were doing 12 I would be done with time to change my adjustable weights for the next exercise.

The sets were pretty good and the use of ball made it more interesting.  The shoulders and tris get a little more workout than the chest.  At one point the rashness of the production shows itself when all three of the demonstrators finish the second repeat of the super set, put their dumbbells away and look at the host.  They all share an awkward moment before he realizes there’s still a repeat left and tries to spin it like it was just them who forgot and not everyone in the studio except the one producer frantically waving his clip board off stage.  That guy still has hopes of advancing his career past infomercials.

Score (out of 10): 7

Compared to P90X:

Chest Shoulders Tri on P90X is ten times the workout this is, but sometimes you don’t feel like killing yourself.  Also the use of the ball adds some levity and I enjoy it.

 

I will try to keep the pace of the reviews at about two per week.  There are 6 more workouts to review.

-Steven Gangstead