Cize Review

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The snow kept me inside today so I thought I would use the time to review an “exercise” DVD set I purchased. So …Beachbody CIZE It Up… I was considering a gym membership.  The gym next door to my office charges $60 for one month or $10 for a single visit. There are cheaper gyms, but they are much further out. Instead of joining a gym, however, I decided to purchase the Beachbody CIZE DVD with Shaun T for the same price as the month membership.  I’m at about two weeks into the program, so I thought it would be a good time for me to give it the grandma review.

What I like:

While it has nothing to do with the DVD, I found that I actually like the opportunity to make a fool of myself by learning to dance at home without worrying about anyone looking at me. Not that I often worry about that, but when I’m gasping for air and trying to catch my breath, it’s so much better when no one is watching. It’s getting better though, I’m not as winded when I first started.

Step-by-step instruction. Shaun T takes you step-by-step through each dance routine and repetition is the key. For example, the You’ve Got This routine is 43 minutes. For the first 40 minutes, you are learning each step, repetitively and starting from the top – repetitively. For the last three minutes, they play the “CIZE it Up” song, in this case Treasure “originally recorded by Bruno Mars.” The “originally recorded” means it’s not the actual singer, but it sounds pretty close.

Does it work? The infomercial states that it’s the end of exercise and the infomercial actors also declare they are so into learning the routine that it doesn’t feel like exercise.  I started the DVD’s a almost two weeks ago and I have lost three pounds. It would probably be more if I actually utilized the nutrition information in the Eat Up Guide included with the set.  I have to agree that I’m concentrating so hard on learning the dance steps, I do forget that it IS an exercise, disguised as a learn-to-dance DVD.

For each routine you rate yourself as to whether you’re a back-up dancer, front and center or ready for your own video. I think I’ll be in the back for a while, but it is fun to feel like I’m improving.

There are six routines, plus 8 Minute Abs. Today I started workout #3 – Full Out, for which the CIZE dance (last three minutes of the workout) is done to “Lose my Breath” originally recorded by Destiny’s Child. Lose my breath, I did.

Maybe the “not so much”:

I know that the Beachbody company is thinking of the young beach body types as their target audience, however, what originally drew me to the purchase was the infomercial that featured the older woman. It made me think that if she could do it, so could I. What I find distracting in an annoying sort of way, however, are a couple of the female, professional back-up dancers.  They are dancing, but it looks more like they are trying to model. One in particular, really annoys me unfortunately she is also in the Shakeology commercial right before the workout starts. I always fast forward.

Keep in mind that Beachbody is in it for the money, so be prepared for them to continuously pitch their merchandise in between the workouts, but not during the workout itself, thank goodness.

There are some that don’t like the repetitive-style teaching method and the short, three-minute CIZE it Up. I love it for two reasons, it helps me to learn the dance and it works up quite a sweat.

If you are a professional dancer or prefer the standard exercise DVD that “works both sides”, this DVD is not for you.  Some users complained that Shaun T didn’t switch sides to workout both legs and both arms.  It’s a dance DVD, not really an exercise DVD.  I tended to switch sides on my own and I was quite content with that. If CIZE doesn’t make you sweat, it’s probably not the DVD for you.

Overall, the cost of the DVD was the same price as a 30 day membership to my closest gym. If I used it six times (at what would have been single $10 visits to the gym), it would have paid for itself. All this to say, I’m quite pleased with my purchase, but do continue to fight the urge to purchase one of the cute CIZE t-shirts.

Something New Added to Running

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I had almost decided to pay the $60 for a 30-day gym membership.  The gym is literally steps from my office… out the front door, walk across the sidewalk, boom – there. I thought it would be so convenient during my lunch. I could run across the sidewalk, jump on the treadmill, shower and hop back into my office during my lunch. I also figured I could take some Zumba and Yoga classes at night and on weekends. All of this as opposed to driving the 1.5 miles to the employee gym and going into the basement of the government building, running on the treadmill and just lifting weights.

I decided to do something different. Yes I did. I bought the Shaun T Cize DVDs.  I ordered it about 9 days ago and it came today in the mail. Exciting!!! Cize teaches you to dance so you actually forget it’s exercise. Of course I read a lot of the reviews first. Some of the reviews were negative. They didn’t like the fact that he spent the first 20 minutes of a 30 minute DVD teaching each of the dance steps and repeatedly starting back from the top. I actually liked the fact that he would teach you a step, then start back at step one and take you through what you just learned. I learned eight new steps and at the end, he took you, fast-paced, from the beginning step to step eight – three times.  Then they changed the song (he said we would recognize it, but I really didn’t) and you did the routine two more times (he said it was three, but I only counted twice).  Needless to say, by the end of the 30 minutes, I was a sweaty mess.   The fact that I went to the gym and finished three miles on the treadmill first, made working out to the DVD that much more intense. My original plan was to just watch the DVD tonight and start tomorrow, but I was way too excited and just decided to go for it. 

Now tonight, I took a shower, took an aspirin, rubbed on some Biofreeze and I’m going to bed, knowing that today I killed it!

I Remember the Pain


It’s been almost two years since I completed my first half marathon. I remember most of it like it was yesterday. It was February 2014. What I remember the most about that half were the incredible cramps that started in my legs somewhere around mile nine. Sharp, debilitating cramps that almost knocked me out of the “running”. For days afterwards every step brought pain, some brought tears…the majority brought pain and tears. I knew it was really my fault. I hadn’t trained right/enough, wacky nutrition – of course a bagel and diet coke an hour before the start was a proper breakfast. I pretty much jumped in a corral and started a race.

Fast forward a year. February 2015. This year I took the proper precautions. I also made sure that I had salt, fuel beans and all sorts of little remedy’s to hold off the cramps and they worked.  I haven’t felt cramps like that…until today.  Oh my gosh! Perhaps it was the lack of warm up. Perhaps the single digit chill factor outside followed by walking into a building and jumping on a treadmill with 60 seconds of warm-up. The cramps!  In fact, it’s three hours later and I’m still feeling the twinge. Fortunately it’s not the total debilitating cramps of 2014, but pretty darn near close.  No worries, I will not be deterred. I’ve got my foam roller, Biofreeze and a whole month before the next half.