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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2009
I am always trying new workout dvd's and feel I've been stuck in a rut. Most workouts seem to be incorporating similar (if not the same) moves, which are getting BORING. The one factor that caused hesitation before purchasing this was Squeeze Stronger isn't an aerobic/cardio workout. The only other workout I've done similar was Jari Love's Get Ripped & Chiseled - I felt angry after it? Cardio is my happy medicine. I was pleasantly surprised, and LOVE Squeeze Stronger!!

Two sections:
Upper Body & Waist SQUEEZE - 39 min
Lower Body & Abs SQUEEZE - 43 min

Equipment needed; 1 or 2 sets of dumbbells (1-8 lbs)
Small rubber ball
Squeeze Stick or Broom stick

Upper Body - 3 sets of high rep exercises, pushups - arms wider than mat & arms close to body, one arm tricep move done on side...just a taste of what is on this segment. You will be shocked at the need to use weights as light as 2 lbs!
Waist SQUEEZE - watch out, use your broom and get ready to feel out of shape on this. Tracy moves side to side so fast, I look forward to working up to that! I probably ended up doing half of what she was able to do =)

Lower Body & abs SQUEEZE - oh my goodnes, this is unreal...Tracy hits all muscles in your legs, it will burn big time! The small rubber ball is used with some squats-press ball using arms/chest, while doing plies & squats. Pretzel series on each leg - I was screaming during this because it goes on FOREVER! IT's a good pain, don't want to scare you (although I'm not sure I'll be able to walk tomorrow) =) . She pushes (squeezes..haha) you to a level you'll feel unsure of, but hang in there, it WILL produce results! Ab series, just as intense. She uses the squeeze stick for some of the abs. High reps, high intensity, awesome workout! Follows up with a nice cool down/stretch.

What I appreciated about Tracy's DVD is that the music is different, but in a feel good kind of way. Background, camera shots, and Tracy's encouragement made this so enjoyable...even though there isn't any cardio, I felt so much better afterwards. She does an excellent job explaining form, plus keeps stressing the importance of breathing. I am so impressed with Tracy Effinger, she is an inspiring trainer & unbelievably fit! I highly recommend this to intermediate to advanced exercisers. EXCELLENT FITNESS WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2009
After trying the original Squeeze workout (and not liking it), I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Mostly, because heavier weights are used adding intensity and the whole setup makes more sense (no roof top scenes, thank goodness). It is by no means as good as the other reviewers say, there are better DVDs out there, but it's pretty good. I would compare it to Tamilee's I Want That Body - 2 to 3 sets of supersets. I also found Tracy's body very inspiring and instructions/cueing great. What I didn't like was the music (strange instrumental, loud and obnoxious) and her heavy breathing the entire time. Yes, you will be sweating, but you will not be out of breath, there is an absolute minimal aerobic element if at all, especially during stretching (weird). 4 stars from me.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I go through a lot of DVDs trying to find the one that won't be boring after a month or two. I look for DVDs that have longevity and will inspire me. There are few DVDs out there that actually deliver (maybe I expect too much, but I want to be challenged). Both Squeeze DVDs hit the mark for me. The thing I love about Tracy Effinger is she puts time and thought into making this DVD something workable. There are several chapter options on the DVD so you can do what you have time for and what areas you want to hit. (That's one of the things I've liked about some Amy Bento DVDs, too.) Some DVDs just do a premix of the full-length version which feels jarring to me. On both squeeze DVDS, it flows better so even if you do less exercises, you're still getting an effective workout. I have no hesitation buying something from Tracy. I know it's quality, I know it will deliver and I have seen the results on my own body. This DVD is a great long-term addition.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This DVD was my first experience with instructor Tracy Effinger and her Squeeze series of workouts. At almost 78 minutes, Squeeze Strong is a LONG workout, and although you are only using light to moderate weights for much of the routine, it is definitely quite challenging! Tracy works out alone, cuing live, but the artistic filming style flashes to images shot of her in another studio/outfit as well as alternates between color and black-n-white.

The main format that Tracy uses throughout this workout is to perform supersets for each muscle group, complete exhausting that area before moving on. In general, she completes 3 sets of 15 repetitions, although sometimes the number of reps varies depending on the exact exercise. She starts the short (3m) Warm-Up with sets of deadlifts alternating with knee raises. For the deadlifts, Tracy recommends using your "heaviest" weight (8-15 lbs.), but given that she does these pretty quickly (AND that it was just the warm-up!), I stuck with 5-lb. dumbbells, which felt right.

Tracy then moves into arms work; here she recommends using 3-8 lbs. First up is biceps. The three exercises in this superset (6.5m) are a "W" curl, a close-grip bicep curl, and an alternating twisting bicep curl. I stayed with my 5-lb. dumbbells, which were definitely heavy enough for me! I also used the same weight for the shoulders superset (6m), which included a front raise, a lateral raise (Tracy begins with the hands "behind the seam of your pants"), and a bent over rear delt raise. In the next segment (5.5m), Tracy recommends that you lower your weights to 1s, 2s, 3s or even use no weight--I started with 3-lb. but quickly decreased to 2-lb. This series involves a set of exercises that are only performed once each: for the chest, scissors, chest fly, and pec deck. Then, leaning forward, shoulder extensions with arm circles plus triceps pulses. Waist work follows. Here Tracy uses her "Squeeze Stick," but a regular broomstick would work fine. Again using supersets, she alternates side bends and side twists with knee raises with "side kicks"--these are performed holding onto the back of the chair with both hands and lifting a leg up high, and they really work the back of the waist (trust me--I definitely felt them the next day!). The second waist round adds a standing intercostal crunch. Tracy finishes off the arms work with push-ups: one set traditional (on knees), one set triceps push-ups (on knees), and one set one-armed triceps push-ups (on each side).

Whew--on to legs! Tracy begins with standing leg work using the chair for balance. She performs a series of plies which include athletic v-plie, "sissy" squat plie, and ball squeeze plie variations (Tracy squeezes a playground ball between her hands; you could easily skip the ball or use a small dumbbell instead). Although this segment is only 6 minutes long overall, Tracy adds plenty of little variations to make it challenging. From here you go down to your knees for the brief (2 minutes) knee dancing segment. Those familiar with Callanatics or Lotte Berk will recognize this move, which involves reclining the body back and then coming back forward, leading in a pelvic tilt; Tracy starts slow but speeds it up and uses alternate tempos. Before moving on to the floorwork, Tracy does a short (4.5m) yoga-like stretch series. The next segment is KILLER, and at 12 minutes, it's also the longest sequence in the workout. Starting in a seated position, Tracy performs the pretzel, another traditional move from barre workouts, but I really liked how she explained/setup this exercise. She moves into what seemed like endless variations, so although you begin with the leg behind of you, you eventually will have both legs in front of you and will finish with a series of clams moves; then, of course, you have to repeat the entire sequence on the other side.

Finally, you move on to abs. This was the one segment I wasn't crazy about on the DVD. At 10 minutes, it felt overly long to me. Tracy uses the stick again here, and the moves feel Pilates-inspired, such as the roll-down and the rowing. Following the abs work, you will lie down on your mat for back dancing, or a series of quick pelvic lifts. This nicely finished off the butt, with several variations including hip circles; I only wish that it had been longer than 3 minutes. Tracy concludes the workout with some nice reclined twists as well as a brief seated stretch for the hamstrings. Unfortunately, given the length of this workout, this short final stretch (it is only 4 minutes total) clearly felt insufficient; I definitely would have preferred less abs, more stretching!

And believe me, you will need the stretching--the first day after I did Squeeze Stronger, the entire back side of my body was sore, from my upper back through the sides of my waist to my butt and hamstrings! Oh, and I definitely felt it in my arms as well. Tracy states in her Introduction that beginners can do this workout by taking it slowly, but personally, I would recommend this DVD for experienced exercisers only. I probably won't be using the entire workout myself again anytime soon; instead, I will rely on the Premixes--which include Upper Body & Waist (40 minutes) and Lower Body & Abs (43 minutes)--as well as the Mix & Match Menu. Overall, this DVD was definitely a good purchase for me, and I know that I will get a lot of use from it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 29, 2009
I bought Tracy Effinger's first Squeeze workout (which I think has been re-released and re-titled as Squeeze: 30 Day Body Transformation) when it first came out a couple of years ago, and really liked it, but held off on buying this one until recently since I tend to lift heavier weights. (As a point of reference, I tend to use Cathe Freidrich or, more recently, Jari Love videos for my weight workouts.) A few weeks back, though, I decided to take a break from heavier lifting, and picked up this video as a way to try something different. So far, I've been loving this workout!

Squeeze Stronger is definitely much tougher than the original Squeeze. As some other reviewers have mentioned, Tracy has you do three sets of most of the exercises. I'm always amazed when I do this workout (or the original Squeeze) at how hard it is for me to complete all the exercises since I'm only using five- or three-pound weights. Tracy is excellent at getting a nice burn in the muscle.

The main thing I look for in a workout video is how engaging and motivating and fun the instructor is; no matter how good the workout might be, I just can't get myself to do a workout if I don't "click" with the instructor. Tracy is one of those wonderful instructors who does motivate you to work hard -- and her positive, low-key style just makes the time fly by, as she encourages you to "squeeze" out every last rep.

I also love how this workout and the original Squeeze are filmed. They are very "artsy" in the filming, and jump back and forth between Tracy doing the main workout, and alternate shots of her doing the workout in another locale. The filming reminds me of Cindy Crawford's workout videos. The music is also good; it's a bit jazzy, and keeps you going when you're about to give up.

I've only been using this and the original Squeeze workout for about a week, so it's too early to post my results from using them. I'm planning on using them for a few weeks, and will be sure to post an update with any changes to my measurements after completing a rotation with them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
This is a terrific DVD! I'm actually surprised there aren't more reviews of it. It is a great workout! It surprised me, but I actually liked the music and the video effects. I also liked the fact that she seemed like she was working hard. Some of it might be manufactered, but I found Tracy inspiring. I have a couple other videos where the trainer seems like she isn't putting out any effort and keeps getting up to discuss the form of the people working out with them. Tracy is not like that at all, and has no assistants.

There are options for a full workout, two premixes, or selecting your own workout. The menu for selecting your own workout is very slow, and sometimes it is hard to see what is actually selected, but the workout more than makes up for the menu problems. The premixes do not include the "warm up" that is included in the full workout.

WARM UP:
Three rounds of deadlifts, she recommends 8-15 lb handweights, combined with marching knee raises.

UPPER BODY and WAIST:
I really loved this workout. "Thorough" is the word that comes to my mind when I did it. I plan on making this a regular part of my routine. All exercises, except pushups, are done standing. For my first couple times through I used 3 lb weights, although I quickly progressed to 5 lbs for the biceps and shoulder work after doing the routine a few times. My shoulders were getting fatigued by the time I got to the chest, back, and tricep portion.

Bicep curls: three sets each of three variations. I believe her when she says you would have nice biceps if you did this portion three times a week.

Shoulder: three sets each of three variations, designed to hit the front of the shoulder, top of the shoulder, and back deltoid

Scissors:
Front raises with arms crossing, one arm high the other low. She mentions good posture while doing these.

Chest, Back & Tricep:
Variations of chest flies and chest press.
Four versions of tricep kickbacks.

Waist:
2 rounds of side bend variations and standing side kicks. You will need a broomstick or her the stick she has designed for the side bending. I did these exercises and really did feel it in my waist.

Pushups: 2 sets, one wide grip, one narrow. Knees bent.

One arm tricep pushups

Up through here the Preset routine took about 30 minutes. Stretching is at the end.

LOWER BODY:

I did not do this portion of the DVD. The sections are:
V Plie
Sissy Squat Plie
Wide leg ball squat
Knee dancing
Stretching sequence
Pretzel/Clam combo - this section is 12 minutes and looks like a killer.

ABS:
Proof that an ab routine does not have to be long to be effective. My abs felt nicely tight after completing this 10 minute routine. My abs are pretty strong, and rare for me, but I actually had to take a few second break at one point. A broomstick or similar is required for this.

BACK DANCING:
Several bridge variations.

FINAL STRETCH
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
I like to exercise at home as it saves me time so I can squeeze it (no pun intended). I thought this would be a high quality, weights based exercise with some resistance training, pilates, lotte berk type exercise for nice lean muscles.

It's OK, and it's certainly a pleasant video. However, the cuing is awful and I haven't a clue why she's doing so many of these exercises so quickly--especially the ones that become "jerky". Having done pilates one on one back in the day when I had time for that and having done all the lotte berk workouts, I was shocked to see some of these same movements done with no effective teaching/cuing and at a rapid speed which frankly seems undesirable under the best conditions but at home, by yourself, most likely without a mirror? Recipe for disaster!

I think the focus, types of exercises, amount etc is quite good. The execution really should be improved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
My search is over, I can finally stop buying all those dvd's that sound like they have what I'm looking for. I will never be without this workout. It's so well produced and modern. It's super fun and I'm still in shock how effective it is, so quickly. I'm rotating all of Tracy's dvd's because they are the only one's I have found that get you in shape without boring you to death. I really appreciate Tracy's instruction and personality throughout her workouts. I hope she gets the support she needs to keep doing what she's doing because she is one of a kind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I can't decide if I love Squeeze Stronger more than the original Squeeze. I think I love them both equally. I'm new to this type of workout, but I'm hooked! In Squeeze Stronger you're doing high reps with low weights, combined with stretching.

Why I love Squeeze Stronger:

*it's tough! Especially those chest exercises; I'm quickly dropping from 3 pound weights to no weights as my chest muscles are screaming. And I consider myself an advanced exerciser who loves heavy weight training like P90X or Cathe's STS series.

*Tracy's personality. She's very down to earth and funny too. She gives encouragement at just the right time.

*The exercise flow. You're quickly moving from one set to the next, with no down time. I never get bored.

*The leg routines are killers! I thought I had strong legs, but they were shaking when doing both the pretzel and the plie series. Who would have thought that using no weights could cause so much `pain?'

*the quick switches between Tracy in red workout clothes and Tracy in blue workout clothes. It's a nice distraction from the muscle burning.

I wasn't too sure about the quick pace of the deadlifts in the warm ups, but I've gotten over that. I've found it's a good way to get my heart pumping and the blood flowing to my muscles.

I highly recommend this DVD for anyone wanting a tough workout that will help them get leaner and stronger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2009
I have tried over a dozen of the Lotte Berk Method and Lotte Berk based Method videos and this is by far the best one I have tried. The exercises are tough and move quickly. Tracy takes you through 80 minutes of body pumping exercises with all my favorite moves including pretzel, knee dancing and seat dancing. She also incorporates some bar moves I have never seen that really worked my abs. The music in the background and the graphics kept me motivated. Also I noticed some gorgeous expressive artwork used in the backgrounds. When the credits rolled I was pleased to learn the art was also by Tracy! I look forward to trying her other videos.Lotte Berk Method For Beginners: Muscle Eats Fat
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