Workout DVD: Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp

The Library Life

  - Sara,  Electronic Services Librarian

Workout DVD: Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp

I can’t resist -- here’s another review of a workout DVD. This one could be the first in a new series: “videos that sort-of make me think I’m going to die, yet I love them.”


Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp (52 min) – This workout is definitely results-driven rather than entertaining. When I went to InfoSoup to get the link to this DVD, I noticed the summary says “Your ultimate goal is to complete the entire workout without taking any breaks.” Yeah. That’s me. I feel pretty safe saying that you will not be able to do this video without resorting to wimpy versions of some of the exercises, or even stopping completely as you mutter abuse at your tv screen while trying to work up the will to continue. It’s HORRIBLE. Yet, I love being able to so easily mark my progression. Nearly a year ago I first tried it and didn’t often try again. This time, my goal was to not turn off the video and lay on the floor, exhausted, before it was actually done. By the third day I was doing much better, but that just means my breaks weren’t quite as embarrassingly long. If you can get to the fifth day, you will be amazed at your progress. I am still, however, doing a lot of modifications: she jumps up out of most of her squat variations while I just stand up; also, during the park section I typically collapse onto my yoga mat once we get to these painful ‘small circle’ leg lift moves, telling myself I’ll start again as soon as the circles are over.


In this workout you are basically doing jumping jacks, sumo squats, and high-knees for the majority of the time. On the left side of the screen the instructor and her class are running the Brooklyn Bridge while on the right she is demonstrating what you should be doing while they run. You are actually getting a more difficult workout because of the much higher intensity and impact you are going through than just jogging produces.  This is split up by various strength moves each time you arrive at a support tower on the bridge: pushups, lunges, band work, etc. (you can probably use free weights if you don’t have bands, though just go without for the leg work).  When you get to the other end of the bridge, you stop at a park to do some quick upper leg and abdominal work. Then you run – or jumping-jack – back to the other end of the bridge, stopping again at each support for more torture. For me, it feels like heaven when I finally alternate out of jumping jacks or sumo squats into the high-knees; I could do those forever in comparison to the rest.


You need to be aware of your body position and alignment with this DVD – particularly your pelvis and spine. If you try to imitate her exactly, some of her movements could result in injury (like how she moves her spine during her jumping side squats. Understanding how to move and position your body in safe, strong ways is very important. I learned this two summers ago when I took a Pilates Reformer class at the YMCA; one of my best friends teaches it and I learned much in those six weeks that have been of tremendous benefit to me since).


If you have another workout video that you think is really hard, do this one for a week instead and THEN do your other one the next week – it just might feel easy for the first time! I think, though, that once the day comes that I can actually do the whole thing -- full reps and without breaks -- the extreme repetition will start to be boring rather than challenging and it may have to sit back on the shelf for a while. (preview)

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