5K Training + Ramona Braganza 321 Method Level Two DVD Review
Hey there! Happy Wednesday to ya!
So…I finally signed up for a 5K in August and I’m excited about having a goal to work towards. However, I haven’t actually set any time goals for myself yet because I’ve convinced Brandon to join me and he’s been a tad inactive over the past few years months so we’ll have to see how it goes over the next couple of weeks.
I’m using a training plan that I found on Self and we knocked out our first (1 mile…woo hoo!) run on Monday.
We walked for a mile and then ran a second one with a pace of 9:46. I was really hesitant to share our time with you because I didn’t want anyone to be jealous but I figure transparency is the best way to go.
There’s also a 10K in Napa in October that I really want to sign up for but hotels there are outrageously expensive around that time. I’m going to look around and see if I can find a cheap deal otherwise running through the vineyards is not happening.
As for the strength training part of the plan, I’m going to be using Ramona Branganza’s 321 Method Level Two DVD.
I really enjoyed doing Level One for a few months but it’s always fun to mix things up so I started doing Level Two about a month ago and I really like it!
Like Level One, it uses Ramona’s 321 Method which includes three sets of cardio, two strength training circuits and one core.
However, Level Two is different from the first one in that instead of running outside or on a treadmill, she provides three short cardio segments that you can do at home without any equipment. And for the strength circuits, all you need is a chair, a stability ball and a set of dumbbells.
The first cardio segment, Hip Hop Till You Drop, is taught by Milo Levell and it’s a quick and easy dance routine that lasts about five minutes.
This segment is low impact but does a good job warming up your muscles. It’s also a lot of fun and Milo is sure to make you smile!
From there, you move on to Circuit A which is the first strength training portion of the workout.
In Circuit A, there are three different compound exercises (meaning they work more than one body part at a time) and you do twenty repetitions of each. After completing one round of all three exercises, you take a short (45 second) break and then move on to complete two more rounds for a a total of three.
What’s great about Level Two is that Ramona also incorporates unilateral exercises (meaning you only work one side of the body at a time) which require you to engage your deeper core muscles for stability. Two birds with one stone…win.
Each strength training exercise has two different options, some of which work different muscle groups so I like to follow each option separately, two days a week.
The one legged chair squats shown below (girl in pink) are super hard! I haven’t quite mastered it yet but I’m hoping to get better with time.
After that you move on to the second cardio segment which is a short kickboxing routine taught by Ramona. There’s a lot of punching, jumping jacks, and a few sets of squats and it does great job getting your heart rate up!
Next up is Circuit B which includes a new set of three different compound exercises (as well as more unilateral training), and she has you do twenty repetitions with three rounds total, just like Circuit A.
I really love the moves in Level Two, they are so efficient and work you in all of the right places.
Ramona states in the DVD that the workout focuses on strengthening the glutes and hamstrings in order to help with low back pain that comes from sitting at a computer all day. She also mentions that it helps to work some of your upper back muscles as well to help improve your posture.
After doing it for just one week, I was not only sore all over but I really did notice a difference in my back. I often get lower back pain so this workout felt great for me.
The last set of cardio is another dance routine called Get Your Sexy Back. You guys, I can’t do this one. I’m just not coordinated enough! I tried once and gave up. I guess I won’t be getting my sexy back.
Lastly, there is a core segment that consists of three different core exercises and you do two rounds of each.
I took the liberty to demonstrate one of my favorites core moves from the DVD called Jackknives:
It is actually really hard to stay balanced on that ball and there were quite a few outtakes that weren’t pictured here.
So, that’s it…you get a full body workout in under 45 minutes!
It is a seriously efficient routine and I love all of the new compound exercises I learned from it. I’m excited to see how much stronger I can get over the next five weeks leading up to my 5k!
And of course, my warm up always starts with a nice long walk for my Cocobutter!
Are you signed up for any races this year?
What training plan are you using?
What do you do to strength train?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated or provided with any free products for this review. All opinions are entirely my own!
Ohhh I would love to run through vineyards! That sounds like a dream! Actually, a dream would be drinking the delicious wine that comes from them and watching other people sweat it out ;). Great job on your run, love!
Yes, it would be much easier to sit back and watch! However, I would thoroughly enjoy completing a 10k, a shower, a massage, a nap and then wine! I’m not hard to please am I? ;)
I hope you’re able to find a cheap hotel, running through vineyards sounds amazing! And good start to your training, for sure…I’ve only ever done a 10k (more than two years ago) so I wouldn’t mind doing a 5k sometime. And I’ve actually just started to focus on my hamstrings more on my leg days, I’ve definitely noticed a bit of lower back pain and achiness since I started my office job in May.
Ugh, sitting all day will do that for sure! I’m not sure if you read the blog Fit.Fun.Femme but they just did a post about sitting and posture and it had a bunch of helpful stretches and tips!
Love that training plan! I’m going to need to pin that one for sure because currently I’m not using a training plan. Right now I’m signed up for the 5k Color Run in August and I’m planning on doing the 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Ultimately, I’d like to do a 10k.
BTW, that exercise on the ball looks tough!
Both of your runs sounds like a blast! I can’t wait to see your pics from your Color Run!
Congrats on signing up for (your first?) 5k! The marathon in Napa is always ranked one of the best in the US, so I can imagine that the 10k would be pretty stellar as well! Crossing my fingers, hoping hotels are cheaper so that I can live vicariously through you. :)
It’s not my first 5K, I’ve done two before but I never set any goals for myself. I really want to set a goal this time but I need to whip Brandon into shape first!
Thanks for your cheap hotel wishes, haha! I’ll be living vicariously through your Yellowstone trip! :)
What’s up with homeboy in the jeans? That must be so uncomfortable to work out in! My first half marathon is in November and I’m so nervous for it, especially with this stupid vacation right in the middle of my training.
That’s also awesome that you could knock back 1 mile without even training! You’re going to do great!
LOL, that’s exactly what Brandon said when he saw this post! He’s a dance instructor and the routine is super short and low impact so there isn’t a whole lot of sweating at that point. He’s too cool for spandex!
Woo hoo for a half marathon, that’s awesome! I’m sure you’ll stay in shape from all of the walking you’ll be doing there and then you can jump right back into it when you get home!
Yay!! I bet you are going to rock your first race. Be warned, you might get bitten by the running bug ;)
I’ve got to wait another week or two until I fully healed from reinjuring myself. My PT was not happy. haha. But I will be diving into marathon training for CIM in Sac City in December. I have a couple local races I am eyeballing to put into my training. I already registered for RockNRoll San Jose 1/2 and am thinking of doing Big Sur 1/2 again. But would LOVE to run through the vineyards. Lemme know which one you’re thinking about :)
As for a training plan, I Frankensteined one together to fit my schedule and needs. ^^;
Very smart to do the strength training. I stopped ST a while ago and that is a big reason as to why I got injured and sidelined from running. Keep up with the strength training and it will make you a stronger runner.
Thanks Sonia! I already feel like I’ve been bit. Now I have to bite Brandon, haha.
Oh, I’ll have to look into the Big Sur 1/2, I may join you if you’re all healed up!
Thanks for the tips on ST, I’m sorry to hear about your injury but I hope you get better soon! Take it easy for a while! :)
Jackknives are SO hard! That looks like a good workout, though I’m sure I would not get my sexy back, either…so uncoordinated. You’re definitely not the only one!
Thanks Cassie! You made me feel better on that one. :)
Yay for signing up for a race! I think a great goal is to finish the race! Those exercises with the ball look really hard! I think it’s so hard to do sit ups on the ball.
Congrats for signing up on the 5k!! I am not much of a big runner and mostly prefer the treadmill believe it or not! Although the vineyards looks like it would be a blast!
Thanks Heather! I’ve never been much of a runner either but I’m trying to get better at it. The treadmill is great for interval and incline work though, I really wish I had one!
Yay!! That is awesome news! Can’t wait to hear how you and Brandon go with it. I’m sure you are going to rock it! I’ve signed up for my first half marathon in October so I’m working towards that.
I’d forgotten about these DVDs but you’ve reminded me that I really do want to mix it up and give them a go as they sound tough but fun. I love Jackknifes I always feel so ‘tough’ when I do them ;)
Thanks Jan! The thought of a half marathon seems nuts to me right now but I love that you are challenging yourself to one! You’re going to do awesome and I can’t wait to read your recap of it!
Best of luck on the 5k! It sounds like you are off to a great start. Stability ball knee ins are the best (I may have just made up that name… horrible at remembering exercise names!) Sometimes I combine them with side plank crunches.
Thanks Jillienne! That would be an awesome total core burn with side plank crunches! I love working my obliques. :)
You’ve got a great training schedule down. The farthest I’ve run to date has been a 10K, and strength training with lots of core worked really helped me get to that point. I haven’t run that far in over a year, however! I’ve just signed up to do the Tough Mudder in September, which I need to find a training program to get ready for it…it’s going to be harder than anything I’ve ever done.
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