ZCUT Power Cardio Series 3 Dvd Set (Zuzka)
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Zuzka leads the ZCUT series by motivating viewers through a month long workout calendar that utilizes the 12 unique workouts that are included on the 3 DVDs. Each of the 12 short, intense, fat shredding workouts are based on her successful YouTube format that has helped millions achieve the abs and body of their dreams. "ZCUT leads my fans through a fast body changing program with short, under twenty minute workouts that are based on the actual workouts I use to create my body," said Zuzka Light. "I never workout longer than 20 minutes - its not necessary, especially if you do the type of workouts we have put on these DVDs. YouTube has allowed me to reach a worldwide audience and now these cardio DVDs give my viewers a 30 day system that will work for anybody and is very affordable!"
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This new set of three DVDs contains 12 all-new workouts and a bonus abs workout. The DVDs are pressed DVDs, and not DVD-r, so they are good quality.
These body-weight workouts require only minimal equipment -- a chair, a mat, and (optional) a stack of books to jump over for some of the lateral jump moves. There is a countdown timer to keep you motivated, and some very basic and quick nutrition tips are also included on the rotation calendar. The main portion of each workout ranges between 10-15 minutes long.
There is one warm-up (just under 8 minutes) and one cool-down (just over 7 minutes) included that you do each day you work out, and that you just tack on to the day's workout. (It is the same warm-up and cool-down that you do every time you work out, for all three months of the program.) If you do the warm-up, one workout, and the cool-down, each workout should take you just about 25-30 minutes total.
The exercises consist of Zuzana's signature moves -- things like burpees, tuck jumps, pistol squats, etc. They are pretty high impact, but that intensity definitely helps you get results in a short period of time.
Zuzana also does a demo of some of the exercises before the workout starts, so you can see what's coming and how to do it. The demos are a few minutes long and are at the start of each workout.
This set also comes with a calendar/rotation to follow for the first month so you know exactly where/how to use the DVDs. For the second and third months, you can go to Zuzana's website and download a rotation schedule. If you follow the rotation calendar, for the first month, you work out 5 days a week, and for the second and third months, you work out 6-7 days a week. The calendar is pre-set, but she said that you can add more cardio to the program, although you should still expect to see results even if you don't.
Also, there is no music in any of the workouts, so it might be good to have an iPod or other MP3 player handy if you like to listen to music (as I do) when I work out.
Some of Zuzka's YouTube videos feature suggestive camera angles, which I know is problematic for folks who have children. On these DVDs, she does wear a low-cut top in most of the workouts, but the camera angles are more "conservative," for lack of a better word.
On her Twitter feed and a video on her blog, Zuzanna mentioned that she filmed these workouts over the course of two weeks, and in that time her lower body really slimmed down. If you look at the difference in her legs in the workouts filmed earlier and the ones filmed later, you can see a marked change; these will definitely help your legs trim up.
She also mentioned on her Twitter feed that you don't need to do any additional workouts if you do these. Supposedly Zuzana herself only works out 3-5 days a week doing her workouts, and she's in amazing shape. I know that diet is 80% of the equation, but these type of high intensity workouts really do get fast results. (She also mentioned that she's working on a cookbook, and I'm already looking forward to when it comes out!)
I'm planning on adding these on to my usual workouts (which is how I've always used them -- as add-ons to other workouts I do), and will update my review after I've used these for a bit.
UPDATE ON 1/25/13: Someone asked in a comment about how to cycle through the workouts, so I thought I'd add that into my review as an update. Basically, each disk has four workouts on it, and you use all 12 workouts the first month.
The calendar that comes inside of Disk 1 shows you what exercises to do the first month, and what order to do them in. You basically do the 12 workouts in order, but the rest days are spaced out throughout each week, so that you're working out five days a week the first month. Once you get to Workout 12, you start over at Workout 1 again and keep going for the rest of the month.
It doesn't seem like she's posted the second and third month calendars on her website yet (or at least, I haven't been able to find them), but hopefully they'll be up soon.
Also, it seems like a lot of people are still waiting on their DVDs to arrive, and Zuzka posted something on her Facebook page about how they received several thousand orders, and are trying to keep up with the demand. The tracking info isn't great right now and I know they're taking a long time to arrive, but this is a great set that really is worth the wait. I've noticed that I'm getting better cardio endurance, and can do plyo moves more easily since I started adding these on to my other workouts.
UPDATE ON 1/27/13: On her website and Facebook page, Zuzka stated that on February 10, she'll be offering daily check-ins and motivation if you want to start the 90-day rotation that day. (I imagine that she's waiting until then since many folks who ordered the first week are still waiting on their DVDs.)
She's also started putting up some diet and nutrition videos/info, and, starting this week, she's been posting her daily meal plans. Since they say that diet is 80% of your results and Zuzka is in amazing shape, I'm excited that she'll be doing this since I'm really curious about what she eats to look as amazing as she does.
UPDATE ON 5/25/13: Just as an FYI, Zuzka just posted a photo on her Facebook page of her next set -- the Power Strength Series, and it's supposed to be out on May 31. From the descriptions on the cover, it looks like it will be 12 strength workouts that are designed to "boost your strength and thin your body."
UPDATE ON 9/6/13: Someone asked me about the cost in the comments section of my review, so I wanted to mention here that these should only cost about sixteen dollars + four dollars shipping from Watch It Now Entertainment (as sold through Amazon), which is the company that produces and sells all of Zuzana's workouts. The other retailers who are selling this set for exorbitant prices are just taking advantage of consumers.
On a different note, someone on a fitness forum I'm active on mentioned that when she moved from doing hour-long workouts to just doing 2-3 ZCut workouts a day (mostly the strength ones), she was able to drop weight and is now, at 52, in the best shape of her life. I've been using these workouts mostly as add-ons to other workouts I do, but that post inspired me to start using my ZCut workouts more!
What is different from what's already available?
- No internet required - I can do my workouts without my terrible internet connection making me want to throw my TV out my apartment due to freezing (excess adrenaline much?).
- A warm up, cool down and abs workout. These same workouts are repeated on each disk for your convenience so you don't have to switch DVDs in the middle of the
workout. Also, you could leave one DVD at your house lend one to a friend, and keep another in your travel bag if you wanted.
- Production takes place in a studio which makes the video quality a little better. I personally prefer the urban look of her YouTube offerings as it has a sort of guerilla badass vibe to it, but it's no biggie, I'll follow Z anywhere!
- Support Zuzana! Lady has got to make a living somehow and personally I still feel like I'm robbing her at this price. I really must because I accidently bought a second set by accident. Oops. No worries, I'll just give it to my sister.
For the Z uninitiated:
- There are 12 intense workouts lasting approx. 10-15 minutes using your body weight. You do burpees, jumps, lunges, pushups, squats, mule kicks, side kicks, planks.
- At the beginning of each exercise she tells you what's coming by showing you a "Table of Contents" of sorts and then breaks it down. It would be nice if that was skip-able. It's not. Once I've learned how to the workout I use that time to start my oatmeal (cook time which is approximately the time of a workout!) or get myself some water, etc.
- Most workouts require no equipment except for the occasional chair or stack of books/crate (something to jump over).
- You can do these workouts in a small space. My roommate and I manage do them on our rug, although we do stagger ourselves occasionally to fit. You can take your DVD to a hotel room while travelling.
- You do not need to be coordinated. These workouts are meant to be simple and require no memorization. Just do your best to keep up with Zuzana.
- Production takes place in a studio and she's the only one
- The 12 workouts are not in any particular order and do not increase in difficulty level (because they are all HARD). Some people may consider that a con. However, to me that means they never lose their usefulness. You don't outgrow them... you just get better at doing the exercise. Zuzana is totally ripped and athletic and you can see even she gets exhausted and has to take a moment every once and a while and "shake it out"
- There's no music in the DVD which is great because you wont get annoyed by that repetitive track you don't like. Add your own background music if you want. I don't personally.
- Zuzana is a beautiful person inside and out and I love that she keeps it real. She's struggling along with you and she lets you know it. There are no gimmicks, it's all just pushing yourself as much as possible in just 15 minutes so you can get results without spending hours at the gym and around your busy schedule. There is no short AND easy way to get fit.
Things to consider:
- If you prefer to workout longer and put less stress on your body, these are not for you. If regular yoga at the gym or a 5 mile hike is your idea of serious exercise, consider whether you're ready for these DVDs or try a free one on YouTube or her website first.
- If you have disabilities and have back or knee problems and try to avoid high impact activities, this may not be the best workout regime for you.
- Being overweight or out of shape is not something that should stop you. You may need to pause the DVD to catch your breath or modify some of the exercises, but don't let that stop you! Also, what better way to get going than in the privacy of your own home? No one has to see!
- If you don't also consider your diet, then you may not see as much results. Exercise can only do so much.
I have been using them for about 6 weeks now (just finished week #2 on calendar #2) and I have seen a distinct difference in my body. I have lost an inch off my waist and half an inch off my hips. It has reduced my body fat by quite a lot and toned/firmed me up quite nicely. I am stating to be able to see my abs and after 2 kids I wasn't sure that was going to be possible. I am a pretty big fan of the workouts.
I also love the calendars with the workouts listed because generally, as a lazy person, if working out is too much effort, I won't do it. This is why I workout at home vs the gym. The gym requires GOING to the gym and then working out, it is too much effort (yes I admitted I am lazy). That is how the calendar helps me as well. I don't have to think about what workout I am going to do, or which I should do since legs were featured yesterday etc. The workout is listed for me and all I have to do is pop it in and go.
I gave the DVD's a 4 star review vs a 5 star for a couple of reasons that are overall minor, but worth noting.
1. A lot of the workouts are time challenges. I have been following Z awhile now but I couldn't keep up with her at all when I first started, which meant quite a bit of pausing the DVD. Not a huge deal, but it was a mild annoyance.
2. There is no music. I can play my own (and often do) but like I said, worth noting.
I only have 2 weeks left of this program and I will be getting the ZCut and joining the ZGym.
These videos are worth more than the $15 they are being sold for as they have 4 workout on each disk plus warm up, cool down and bonus abs. I really feel the breakdown of the moves in the upcoming workout are what really helped me be successful as I could practice them until I got then right before moving on to the actual work out. Or if I want to do the workout on my own but forget some of it, I can watch the breakdown and be reminded.
The calendar makes it so easy and motivating. I love marking the days down, comparing my times and my measurements each week. I have lost 7 pounds and almost 3 sizes and I still have 2 weeks to go. My hips lost 4 inches, my waist lost 4 1/2 inches, my calves lost an inch, and my thighs have gone down 3 inches. My arms are defined, I can see my abs and I am more energized and my confidence is back.
Zuzka is very motivating during the workouts, encouraging you to keep going and the time clock usually displays on the screen showing your progress. There is no music, but I actually enjoy being able to play my own as most music in workout videos are horrible anyway.
Also, if I had questions the customer service on the website was very quick about getting back to me. I know I will be using these workout for longer than the 3 months outlined.