3/1/17

Black & White Outfit + Fitness DVD Reviews

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It's been a smooth transition back to the grind so far this week, although the weather here has been anything but smooth! We had some crazy rainstorms with flooding and trees falling here in San Diego, although luckily my area wasn't damaged. With flip-flopping between Winter and Spring weather, neutral outfits feel like a safe bet, like this basic black and white outfit I wore just before the storm hit.

Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target (Maternity for length) | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Similar) | Leggings: Express | Boots: Target (Currently on sale for under $20!) | Bag: c/o AmazonNails: Sally Hansen "Gilty Party" | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks

Outfit Notes:

This Sweater is my third of this style from the Gap. (I shared the olive version here and the striped version here and here.) It's just an easy layering piece, not too heavy, not too light, and is almost always on sale thanks to the frequent promo codes at the Gap. It runs true-to-size.

My necklace was a gift from Kristie (I love following her Instagram account for her favorite Express picks and Stella & Dot sale info). It is Stella & Dot but unfortunately I can't find the exact necklace or the style name online, so if anyone knows feel free to let me know and I'll add it to the post. It's a multi-layer necklace, and you can see the other two layers of this in the front-view pic. But it was a struggle to keep the layers de-tangled for my top-view pic so I customized it to just the one layer for the day and ended up liking the clean look of it.

These boots are back on sale for under $20! I'm wearing the color "Grey" and they ran true-to-size for me. I also have them in black (see those in the third outfit here) and you just cannot beat them for the price!

Front View:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target (Maternity for length) | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Similar) | Leggings: Express | Boots: Target | Bag: c/o AmazonNails: Sally Hansen "Gilty Party" | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks


New-to-Me Workout DVD Reviews:
On Thursday I'm linking up with Gretchen and Kristen for their monthly "What's New With You" linkup, and since I've purchased and done a few new workouts in the past month or so, I wanted to review them here today.

Yoga DVDs:

Power Yoga Options


Bryan Kest Power Yoga:
I recommend this DVD if you meet the following criteria:
1. You've fairly experienced with Yoga and know a lot of pose names (in English) so you don't need to look at the TV to know what to do.
2. You want a very challenging Yoga workout that makes you completely question the experience, skill, strength and flexibility you thought you had prior to doing this DVD.

This DVD contains three complete workouts, one hour each. After doing all three, Workout Two is my personal favorite and I look forward to doing that again. In my preliminary review of this when I had only done Workout Three (here), I mentioned how much I didn't care for the visuals in this DVD. Bryan's hair was all over the place, the background exercisers wore see-through outfits (men and women), and Bryan was very touchy-feely with them. Case in point:


I can't speak for anyone else but I don't need or want to be held like a guitar when I'm exercising. So all of that goes back to my first criteria for recommending this. If you're not watching the screen and just listening to his verbal cues, the workouts themselves are solid. I liked Energize/One pretty well, Tone/Two was my favorite, and Sweat/Three was incredibly challenging but that kind of makes me want to try it again eventually to see if I can improve.

Rodney Yee Power Yoga:
I recommend this DVD if
1. You want a very straight-forward workout with absolutely no commentary beyond just the instructions (no mantras, no encouraging words, etc.)
2. You want beautiful outdoor scenery to accompany your Yoga workout.
3. You have an intermediate amount of Yoga experience.

As for my nitpicks, this ran a little long for me at 75 minutes, and there just isn't an easy way to shorten it. It is organized into Chapters, but you not via Menu option, so you could only Fast Forward through segments and try to get to the next Chapter, but it's hard to tell where one starts and stops just by doing that. As you can see below, the four Chapters are described on screen, but you can only select Introduction or Workout.

Image via Rodney Yee Power Yoga

Since I own this DVD, I'm sure I will do it again from time to time. It's a good enough workout and enjoyed the second half especially. But after all of this branching out I can still say that Eoin Finn's Yoga DVDs are my favorite.

Weight Training DVDs:

Cathe ICE Workouts

ICE stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme, and while I normally prefer Advanced Workouts, I decided to try these since since I love nearly every Cathe workout I own. They are her second-newest series (released in January 2016) and when the series was first announced, I held off on purchasing due to the Intermediate label. But as the positive reviews piled up on Amazon over the last year, I decided to give a few workouts a chance (there are several other workouts in the ICE series, but these three appealed to me the most). Some reviews even mentioned that the workouts could be considered Advanced by using heavier weight, so I was optimistic.

Well, unfortunately my first instincts were right. These are really solid (and excellent!) Intermediate level workouts. But if you are used to her advanced workouts like the Gym Style Series or STS they just won't be nearly as challenging. I even doubled the weight Cathe used in some of the the Chiseled Upper and Lower Body exercises and still didn't feel totally fatigued when the workout was done. To the Mat gave me the best burn and that's my favorite of these three.

All that said I definitely do recommend these if you are an Intermediate level exerciser! On the plus side, the length of the workouts is in my sweet spot (about 40-50 minutes) and a lot of the moves are innovative so you don't feel like you're doing the same push-ups and bicep curls that you've done in every other workout for the last decade (or more!). The series also comes with two Ab workouts and both of those were very good (Intermediate to Advanced in my opinion). To the Mat won't replace my traditional leg workouts, but I do think I will reach for that one more often than the others for bonus leg work when I'm pre-fatigued from squats, lunges, etc. or if I'm doing a second leg day in a given week.

I updated my All Things Fitness Post to include a link to these reviews, so if you're looking for more info on which Advanced workouts I use (or any other fitness topic), you should be able to find it via that post.

That's it for today and I'll see you back here on Friday!


Linking up with:

CONVERSATION

29 comments:

  1. you made me laugh so hard with that yoga review lmaoooooo. If I needed new cardis I would totally get this one, it always looks great on you.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. Ha, I didn't know Sensual Guitar was a yoga pose either! :P

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  2. I'm so glad you posted these reviews. I'm having a hard time finding a yoga dvd that I like too. Since I've been slacking on weight training for so long now I think those ICE workouts would be perfect!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. Definitely give them a try! They are really good workouts that move at a good pace. And I'll keep hunting for yoga workouts, too. Let me know if you find any you like.

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  3. Hi Gina, can you please share with us the color of your boots?
    And I love love that you are posting some fitness in your blog! I love the fashion topics the best of course but the workout info a close second! thanks!

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    1. Hi Chrystal - of course! The color name of these boots is just "Grey." And I have done quite a few Fitness posts in the past...it's just not consistent because I wait until I have something new to report. You can see all of my past Fitness posts by going to Categories at the top and selecting Fitness from the drop-down menu.

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  4. Loving the clean b/w outfit and the weather has been crazy here too with tornado warnings all day yesterday and last night! I have been wanting to get into yoga and I'm not sure if I should just check out a studio or find a DVD (altho I'll need something for a beginner). I sort of hate when DVD's run long, too. I prefer 30-45 minutes since I do longer running work outs on the days I don't do DVD's. But, I'm getting kind of tired of my 30 Day Shred DVD and want to try something different.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Hm, maybe I'll try to do a post with a list of some good options for people who are new-to-yoga. I started yoga with DVDs and there were a few that helped me get familiar with the lingo but that I outgrew quickly. I've only done one in-studio yoga class!

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  5. I love your trick of getting maternity tank tops for extra length! I've been known to get 'tall' tops for exactly that reason. This classic black and white look is simple, but so chic!

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    1. Ooh, tall sizes are a good trick too! I've never thought to do that...probably because I'm not tall. LOL. But do like some extra length on certain tops.

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  6. Loving this classic black & white look, our whether has been pretty unpredictable too so I agree neutral is the way to go. You always inspire me with how fit you are and I finally made a call today to book a pilates session so can't wait cause I sooo need to get back in shape!
    Marta
    www.sweatersstripesandsweets.com

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Marta! You certainly look fit all the time so you must have good genes!

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  7. wow, that picture is creeping me out. i don't want to be held like a guitar or even touched haha. that would creep me out for sure, and i need to watch videos when working out at home, i don't do to well just listening to the cues. so skipping that haha. those boots are gorgeous, can't believe they are under $20!

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    1. LOL!!! Sorry for creeping you out. But glad to know I'm not the only one a little put-off by touchy-feely yoga. :)

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  8. As always, you inspire me with your vast knowledge of workout DVDs! And I LOLd at the 'held like a guitar' comment!!! Pilates can be hands on, too, at some point. Right now, I don't think I touch enough, but it really is trying to find that balance between helpful and creepy!! Ha! Also this outfit makes me want to whip out my faux leather leggings!!!!
    Carylee | more pieces of me

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    1. Well that is good to know about Pilates! I've never done it but it's on my "to-try someday" list!

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  9. Yea, that "guitar pose" is really odd... I would be creeped out if my yoga teacher adjusted me like that! On the fashion side, your outfit is so chic. You can never go wrong with black and white!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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    1. Thanks Nicole! It was fun to see we were on the same page with black and white today!

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  10. Oooh, the Ice workouts may be good for me! Now that I'm "more mature," a beginner or intermediate workout seems to be better for me. Plus I like that you say they had innovative moves. I feel like it's harder on the body to do the same moves over and over.

    I'll have to look at the yoga dvd's I've saved (I gave a lot away) and see if I can recommend any to you.

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    1. You may still want/need to do some modifying since Cathe loves her plyos (but she does have one background exerciser showing the modifications in this series unlike many of her others) but otherwise yes, I think you'd like it. Definitely let me know if you think of any Yoga DVDs to suggest! Branching out from Eoin has been tough!

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  11. Great outfit! I also enjoyed reading your DVD reviews and though I am passing on the yoga, I think I would like to look into the advanced workout DVDs you mentioned. As a f/t working most., I finddoing workouts at home is just the most flexible thing for me right now, though I love hitting the gym. Thanks for the tip.

    Bosbodaciousblog.blogspot.ca

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    1. Home workouts are definitely a big timesaver! I have a lot of advanced workout recommendations in my All Things Fitness Reference post (which you can find from the Categories drop down menu at the top.)

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  12. After being pregnant with my two, I learned the trick of the maternity tank tops for extra length! I loved Old Navy's! They are thick and stretchy and wash really well! Cracking up at that guitar yoga pose, too funny!

    Have a great weekend girl!!

    Xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

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    1. Thanks for the tip on the Old Navy tanks!! I will have to try those as well for comparison!

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  13. Hi Gina! ICE Chiseled Upper Body is definitely the most intermediate of the entire ICE series in my opinion. I do like the functional, core based moves she has in that workout though. The Metabolic or Boot Camp workouts would probably have met your needs better.

    I tried that Bryan Kest yoga workout years ago and was VERY off put by his touchy feely behavior. I do remember thinking it was a good workout though. Have you tried any of the Travis Eliot Ultimate Yogi workouts? You can get Short and Sweaty or the Crosstrainer workout without having to buy the entire set. The Foundation is pretty easy - good for someone who hasn't done any yoga.

    Have a great day :)

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    1. Hey Margaret! Always great to hear from you! :) Thanks for the feedback on the ICE series! Since I have scaled back on cardio, I wasn't sure how much I would really use Metabolic or Boot Camp so I didn't order those right away, but I might have another look based on your recommendation.

      Also, I've never heard of Travis Eliot! I will add his name to my list and check it out. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

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  14. Great outfit for a spring day, the review of the yoga dvd was hilarious, I found the pic very intriguing, will check it out if it's great for beginners. Have a lovely day.

    xo,
    I AM YASMIN

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  15. Haha thanks for the review of the yoga dvd. I love your boots!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  16. That yoga video sounds right up my alley! Power yoga is my favorite so I'll have to check it out. That stinks about your weather and it sounds a lot like ours (but we fluctuate between 20 and 70 degrees..yuck). Hope it clears up soon!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly! Also, due to a recent influx of Spam unfortunately I've had to turn comment moderation back on. Apologies for the inconvenience!