Though it's saddled with a title that sounds like a handful of
fitness buzz words tossed together, Trainer's Edge: Cardio
Interval Training with Petra Kolber offers an energetic short
workout that combines moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise with
muscle-toning exercises that focus on the arms, shoulders, and upper
Instructor Petra Kolber leads the program, with two assistants also
participating and helping to model the movements. Unlike most
exercise DVDs that I've seen, Kolber sticks with the "basic"
form of all the exercises and leaves her assistants to demonstrate
the more advanced versions; this works well to accommodate
multiple difficulty levels in the same workout. Kolber is upbeat and
enthusiastic during the entire 38-minute program, and she keeps the
pace moving briskly the entire time.
The workout is reasonably varied and fun to do; it's definitely a
high-energy workout with a lot of switching around from one movement
to the next. Kolber doesn't explain the movements in much detail,
mainly I think because the pace of the workout is too brisk to allow
for much description. Fortunately, it's easy to follow the basic
outlines of the exercises even if you don't quite get some of the
more complex movements, and repeated viewings would let you get the
hang of all the movements. There's a lot of stepping back and forth
with stretches, lunges, squats, and leg lifts, all of which will get
your heart rate up. I enjoyed the attention that Kolber places on the
arms and shoulders, with some fun boxing-style exercises incorporated
into the workout. At one point, she incorporates hand weights into
the exercise, but it's only for a brief segment and the exercise is
also do-able without weights if you don't have them.
The main fault of the program is the camera work, which is
unfortunately often counter-productive. It's not very useful to get a
close-up of the instructor's upper body when you want to see how
she's moving her legs! While the shifts in focus may be more
film-like, in an exercise program I'd much prefer a mainly static
camera that lets me see the instructor's whole body, all the time.
This volume of The Trainer's Edge offers satisfactory image
quality. The picture is fairly soft with some edge enhancement, but
it's not really necessary to get fine detail anyway: it's a workout
video. What matters most is that the image is bright and clean, which
The Dolby 2.2 soundtrack is only adequate. The instructor's voice is
sufficiently clear and understandable throughout the program, and the
music is kept to an appropriate level, but the overall sound has a
weirdly flat quality to it.
As a special feature, the DVD includes a 12-minute yoga workout with
Baron Baptiste. It basically serves as a preview for Baptiste's Long
and Lean Yoga DVD, but it's a lot better than a generic trailer,
because it's a decent little mini-workout, focusing on stretching and
extending the core abdominal muscles.
you're looking for a briskly paced, fun workout to get your heart
rate up and tone your upper body, Cardio Interval Training with
Petra Kolber is a good choice. The 38-minute program gets right
to business, so you can get a concentrated workout that still
includes a decent cooling-down period. The bonus 12-minute yoga
workout is good as well. Recommended.