A Much Needed Push


Ever since I stopped nursing and gained back 10 unshakeable pounds, I’ve sporadically toyed with different fitness options. The gym proved too expensive and time consuming (transit time, waiting for equipment, etc.), and as much as I love walking, it doesn’t impact the same way a targeted workout does. So when the folks at PUSH offered me an opportunity to test their customized personal training DVDs, I was both intrigued and intimidated. The intimidation passed quickly though; PUSH’s concise yet comprehensive workouts will make novices to gurus alike feel the burn in a friendly, efficient, and economical manner.
The PUSH customization process allows you to specify fitness goals, select a trainer, choose between 30 vs. 40 minute workouts, identify problem areas (body parts that need extra attention, previous injuries, post-natal concerns), and specify the equipment you have to work with at home (e.g., stability ball, step, dumbbells). You also can select specific cardio routines depending on your general fitness preferences (e.g., cardio yoga, kickboxing, combat), choose bonus footage, and select your music preference.

The basic scope of what I opted for was 30-minute yoga inspired workouts with abs as the target area and minimal equipment (mat and dumbbells). For three months, one DVD arrived each month, each including two workouts (one per two weeks) + a target area workout and bonus footage. Each successive workout changes and increases in intensity (you also can alter options in your online profile along the way if necessary). For the yoga inspired workouts, the session included a series of exercise segments, including warm up and cool down on either side of the workout.

I was impressed with the system for a number of reasons. First, the pace and difficulty of the workouts was impressively on the mark, indicating the effectiveness of the questionnaire and customization process. The workouts were neither too difficult nor too easy, making me feel happy about taking the time for self-care and accomplishing something, while not feeling guilty about the time (truly, it can’t get any more time efficient than this!). Second, the body part coverage was comprehensive even in the 30-minute window. The yoga inspired workouts didn’t leave me drenched in sweat (the way kickboxing would), but I most definitely felt the burn afterwards. Third, each exercise segment displays the number of sets and repetitions as well as a “tick down” graphic to indicate how far along you are in the exercise. Once I was familiar with the workout series and directives, the sets/reps display was useful to remind me of the basic goal at the onset of each exercise. Since I’ve had a lot of studio class/fitness experience in the past, I was good to go re: form explanations after the first workout run through, after which point I could instead add extra repetitions to the prescribed sets or rest/stretch during form explanations, depending on how I was feeling on a given day. Finally, the personal trainer even made a follow up call a month in to check in on whether I had questions or concerns about the program.

I haven’t been the best PUSH pupil in the last couple of weeks due to some last minute rush design projects, but I plan on getting back on track next week and highly recommend this system to mamas (and anyone else!) looking to move extra weight or just tone up, and are short on time and cash for in-person personal training. These DVDs no doubt will come in handy to battle the holiday bulge.

And here’s another cool thing. If you want to give PUSH a trial spin, PUSH is offering Boston Mamas readers an exclusive free 30-day trial. And want to win a PowerPUSH package (a 3 month/3 DVD personal training, cardio, and nutrition program)? Email us by midnight EST tonight (with “PUSH” in the subject) and name a PUSH trainer. We’ll draw two winners! US & Canada entrants welcome.