Ramona Braganza 321 Workout Level One DVD Review
A few months ago, I did a post on working out at home because I came to realize that my California commute was not conducive to getting me to the gym on time for my favorite fitness classes.
At first, I was worried about not having the motivation to get in a daily workout after walking in the door, knowing there was a list of other things waiting to be done. I was also concerned that my workouts wouldn’t compare to the intensity of sweating my brains out in BodyAttack or to feeling the muscle-trembling burn of BodyPump.
So, I knew I needing something to keep me regimented while allowing me to build the intensity as I went so that I could not only keep my fitness current level, but improve it as well.
The first time I had seen Ramona Braganza’s 321 Method was in a magazine article that gave her credibility for shaping Jessica Alba’s post-baby rockin’ bod as well as Halle Berry’s perfect figure. I couldn’t help but think with a client list like that, this lady must be doing something right, so I decided to give her DVD a try.
The main idea behind the 321 method is a workout that combines 3 sets of cardio, 2 sets of strength training and 1 set of core exercises.
The DVD offers 3 days of workouts that you can customize to make thirty minutes long or an hour, depending on how much time you have.
Each workout starts with a stretch and then a cardio segment of 5 or 10 minutes (5 minutes gives you a 30 minute workout and 10 gives you an hour) of walking, walking on an incline, jogging, or running intervals.
I am not a long distance runner so I personally love intervals because it allows to me walk in between running.
For the cardio segments, I usually take a 10 minute run outside with my Garmin and do intervals of 30 seconds walking and 30 seconds sprinting or jogging depending on how I feel that day.
However, in the DVD, Ramona gives instructions that would be ideal to use with a treadmill so that you can control your speed or incline exactly the way she does. #I’mtoopoortobuyatreadmill
For example, the run/jog option has you run at a pace of 6.0 for 30 seconds and then jog at a pace of 5.0 for 1 minute until the 5 or 10 minutes have passed.
After completing the first segment of cardio, you start with Circuit A for the first round of strength training.
While the cardio options are the same each day, the strength training varies so that different muscle groups are being worked. Here’s an example what day one looks like:
Day One: Chest and Triceps
Circuit A (Repeat 3x)
- 10 push ups
- 10 step ups, each leg
- 15 tricep dips
The workout is intended to keep your heart rate up the entire time by incorporating supersets, meaning that you move from one exercise to the next without stopping. After you complete one round, she has you rest for about 45 seconds before starting the next one. You end up doing each round a total of three times. Then you are supposed to do another (5 or 10 minute) segment of cardio before starting the second round of strength training which looks like this:
Circuit B (Repeat 3x)
- 15 chest presses/ incline chest flys
- 15 squats
- 15 tricep kick backs
After completing three rounds of Circuit B, you do one more segment of cardio (which I sometimes cheat and skip) and then finish with a round of core exercise.
Core (Repeat 2x)
- 10 second planks (front, left and right side)
- 20 supermans
As you can see, the workout is pretty straight forward and allows for an adequate mix of both upper and lower body work.
The other two workouts are similar to Day One in that they also incorporate lower body moves into the supersets. Here are some of the exercises in the other two days:
Day Two: Back and Biceps
- bicep curls
- reverse flys
- sumo squats
Day Three: Shoulders
- shoulder press
- lateral raises
- rear deltoid raises
- front raises
Throughout all of the workouts, Ramona does a great job explaining proper form as well as different variations that you can do to challenge your muscles, such as drop sets.
Most of the moves don’t require much equipment but there are a few (step ups, chest press) that she has you use an incline bench for.
She mentions that a flat bench with a few pillows to prop your back up would also work if you don’t have an incline bench.
One thing you will definitely need though is a set of dumbbells.
As you get more comfortable with the moves and your strength starts to build, you can gradually up the amount of weight you lift in the exercises to continue challenging your muscles.
Out of all of the workout DVDs I have tried in the past, this one is my favorite, by far. Sure, it is a workout that anyone with a background in fitness could easily put together. But if you’re like me and you just don’t have time to create your own fitness routine, this one is perfect to keep you motivated. It is just the right balance of cardio and strength training to keep your entire body tone and in great shape.
On average, I burn about 600 calories in the full hour workout.
(Please excuse crappy iPhone picture and my old, beat up Garmin)
While the workout doesn’t fatigue my muscles to the point of passing out like BodyPump does or leave me completely drenched in sweat like BodyAttack, it still challenges my muscles and keeps me coming back for more.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss those really intense workouts that classes like LesMills classes offer, but I know that what matters most is being healthy and staying active in any way that I can, even if it isn’t strenuous exercise.
Honestly, my feeling on fitness have changed quite a bit over the past year. I used to go to the gym five, sometimes six days a week whereas now I only exercise three days a week and prefer to spend my free time on the weekend hiking or being outdoors. Actually, it’s kind of liberating to not feel that pressure and guilt that I used to put on myself as a result of being addicted to exercise.
Plus, working out at home allows me to spend more time walking a certain stinky someone.
I have been taking her on 30 minute walks every day before I start my fitness routine and most days, Brandon comes with us and it’s a nice way to get in some quality family time.
Anyway, if you’re like me and work and everything else gets in the way of making it to your favorite fitness classes, this is a great DVD to keep your heart pumping at home.
How many times do you workout per week? Do you go to the gym on the weekend?