Saturday, January 28, 2012

StrongStride Review and Giveaway

I'm excited for my first ever review ... and giveaway! I hope you are, too. Please give me any feedback on this review (length, comprehensiveness, type of product, etc) and/or the giveaway (entry options, etc). I'm a newbie at this, so I welcome all feedback. Thanks!

When I saw this video on Collage Video's facebook page, I immediately knew it was something I wanted to try out. An exercise video specifically designed for runners? Sign me up!

Here is a little preview of the video.

My first thoughts? Wow! This is NOT for beginners. This was a very challenging workout. I think I probably only did about half of it the first time. I couldn't keep up and my legs were so tired. Even when I was doing it, I don't think I had very good form.

The first time I tried it out, I tried to do all of Workout 1 in one session. It runs about 46mins and is broken into 6 segments. I had to skip the 5th segment altogether because it's all plank exercises resting on your elbows and forearms. My forearm was bruised at the time from a fall a few days prior, so it hurt too much to put all my weight on it.

As I’ve tried it a few more times, I have gotten stronger and able to make it through more of the workout, but I still end up taking small breaks and not doing complete sets. I also tend to do the exercises at a little slower tempo, which also prevents me from completing full sets.

A little more about the video.

StrongStride is a pilates and strength training regimen that will strengthen your core and improve your stride. – From the video intro.

The breakdown.

Program 1 (~46 minutes) and Program 2 (~51 minutes)
  • Each of these workouts are broken into 6 segments - Glutes/Hamstrings, Hips, Hip Flexors/Quads, Core, Core (Planks) and Back.
  • You can easily do the whole workout or choose to focus on one or more of the segments.

Strength Training
  • Broken into Warmup (~5min), Running Muscles (~32min), and Non Running Muscles (~26min). The Running Muscles and Non Running sections are further broken into Weights and no Weights.
  • The menu for this section of the DVD is a little cumbersome. You can’t select to do the all three segments without returning to the menu. Also, if you wanted to just do the weights portion or the no weights portion, be sure to select those words. If you select Running Muscles, for example, it will automatically start playing and go through the strength training with both weights and no weights.
  • The Weights and No Weights workouts are very different. I thought that the No Weights would be the same exercises as the Weights segment, but just not using any weights. I was wrong. Pleasantly so. This greatly added even more to the variety of exercises done throughout this video.

Dynamic Warmup (~3min)
  • This is just a simple warm-up to do before you head out the door on a run.

A few of my random thoughts
  • Like I mentioned before, This. Was. Tough, but the good news is that after only a few sessions, I do feel like my strength increased. I haven’t been able to run as much this month because of a sore knee, so I can’t testify to it actually improving my stride and running ability. That said, I think if I continue to work out using this video which I definitely plan to do, I really believe it will have long-term, positive effects.
  • I am not really familiar with pilates, which possibly made this workout seem more challenging for me. There are a lot of similar exercises with just flexing or pointing your toes. Is that common in pilates? It definitely seemed to make it trickier for this girl. Even though there are a lot of similar exercises, there is also a lot of variety, which I definitely enjoyed.
  • There are times in the video when I wish she would alternate sides more rather than doing everything on the right and then having to switch to the left. This seemed to really tire me out more and then I wouldn’t be able to complete the second side without a little breather.
  • The models in the video are shown wearing shoes, but after reading some reviews on Collage Video’s website, I generally did Program 1 and Program 2 barefoot. It seems this is more common for pilates. I felt like it was more difficult to point and flex my toes when I had shoes on.
  • While there were modifications shown in by the models, these modifications were never vocalized, so I wasn't exactly sure what the options were for modifying the exercises.
  • I would suggest probably going for a short run or walk as a warm-up because she just gets right into it for Programs 1 & 2. Obviously, there is a warm-up you can choose for the Strength Training. Well, I’m sure you could do the strength training warm-up before the programs, too. :-)

Overall, while there were a few minor things I didn’t like about this video, I would definitely recommend it to any runner how there wanting to improve their stride or simply anyone looking for a good at-home strength training program.

Pros Cons
*TOUGH*Modifications are not really explained
*Easily customizable to fit your fitness needs/goals*Tempo is kind of fast (for me at least)
*Menus are easily navigable*No Warm-ups before Programs 1 & 2
*Lots of variety within each segment

You can purchase this DVD from Collage Video for $19.99.

Or you can enter below to win a copy.

Before I get to the giveaway, here are just a few notes about Collage Video.

They are an exercise video distributor. While they don’t have a lot of selection specifically for runners, they have an excellent selection of a variety of other fitness videos.

You can browse by Goals (e.g. Weight Loss, Endurance, Stress Relief) or Workout Types (e.g. Aerobics/Cardio, Stretch/Yoga/Tai Chi). You can also browse by specific instructors, brands, and equipment.

Every video has a description that includes a nice breakdown of the different segments of the video.

Also, all the videos also have customer reviews, which I find very helpful when choosing a new video.

You can also create a Video Wish List. I love websites that allow that, so I don’t have to remember all the videos I want to try.

If you want to read a few more reviews on StrongStride, be sure to visit its page over at Collage Video.

And now for the giveaway.

Collage Video has agreed to let one of my readers try out this video for free. How cool is that?!

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. If you have any questions about how to enter, please feel free to email me at enjoyingthecourse AT gmail DOT com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
**I received this video free-of-charge from Collage Video, but all thoughts/opinions are my own.

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  1. I'd love the new Jillian Michaels Extreme Shred and Shed.

  2. I'd love to do any of the Jackier Warner ones. She is amazing!

  3. I like that they have a section on selecting your goals to show you which videos would be beneficial depending on which goal you select.

  4. I don't do many videos but would love to try this! I have a yoga video I really like.

  5. Sounds like it would be a great way to workout.

  6. I love Lisa Watson - favourite DVD to date - you're right it's BRUTAL! super tough.