Top critical review
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Not really a "beginner's video"
on May 14, 2010
I have taken Pilates classes on my own and decided to get a video, since I'm often bad about leaving the house to attend classes. This is my first exercise video ever, so my critique may not take into account what's normally expected from other exercise videos. I like this video a lot and I don't think the moves are complicated; in fact, they're pretty straightforward. But after taking Pilates classes that catered to rank beginners, I found aspects of this video frustrating at times.
First of all, the speed is intense. Sometimes, I forget to breathe trying to figure out the exercise -- Siler is either doing harder ones than I was taught or with some modifications. In my classes, there was typically a 2-3 minute pause for breathing between exercises; something that not only made it easier, but helped me push through a 50-minute set. This video has 45 minutes of exercise with little pause at all. So there's more moves than I am used to, and it's done really fast with no breaks. I could hit pause on the remote, but who wants to deal with that after your 20th roll-up?
Also, index skips would have been a nice feature. When I'm worn out doing roll-ups or their derivatives, I would like to move on to other types of floor work -- but I have to use a FFWD feature to get it done. My Pilates instructor, before we took a break from the winter said that in order to do mere upkeep, you needed to do three types of exercise for each of the following sets: the back series, the stomach series, the side series and standing. This is to help you keep your body in balance. Because there are no well-planned skips, it makes it challenging to try to balance your modified workout as you're trying to learn the series.
Nevertheless, the moves are simple, but some of them are intermediate or advanced forms,according to Brooke Siler's book on Pilates. I plan to do as much as I can until it gets easier. I'm kind of okay with the fact that it's a little too hard for me; but I also have the experience of having had some classes to try to make sense of it. Might be harder for someone just starting out.