Review: Jessica Smith – Get Strong!

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Overview: Get Strong! features two workouts – Strictly Strength and Stepping Strength – that improve muscular strength and endurance and are both floorwork-free. Strictly Strength is a full-body, straightforward weight-training workout aimed at developing strength, stamina and muscle, while Stepping Strength combines endurance-focused strength training with short cardio intervals.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells of varying weights (one light, one moderately heavy, one heavy, ranging between 2 – 25 pounds) for Strictly Strength; lighter weights for Stepping Strength

Workout times:

Strictly Strength – Warm-up: approx. 6:30; circuits: approx. 30:00; cool-down and stretch: approx. 5:00
Stepping Strength – Warm-up: approx. 5:00; circuits: approx. 35:00; cool-down and stretch: approx. 4:30

Workout structure:

Strictly Strength
Circuit 1: Passing press, goblet squat, side leg extension with weight held overhead
Circuit 2: Static lunge with front and lateral raise, alternating overhead press, rear lunge, squat chop
Circuit 3: Single-leg deadlift with rear fly, rotating bicep curl
Circuit 4: Split squat with row, rear leg extension
Circuit 5: Diagonal lunge with triceps kickback, plie squat with chest fly
Circuit 6: Split-stance one-arm chest press, French press with side leg extension, one-sided weighted standing bicycle

Stepping Strength
Circuit 1: One-arm chest fly with step, march with double-arm chest fly, squatting one-arm rear fly, squatting double-arm rear fly, side tap with one-arm overhead press, step-tap with double-arm overhead press, shuffle jack
Circuit 2: Lunge with one-arm lateral raise, static lunge with double-arm lateral raise, squat with alternating side leg extension, side leg extension, alternating curtsy lunge with chest scoop, single-leg curtsy lunge with chest scoop, single-leg run
Circuit 3: Single-leg squat with rear tap-back, single-leg squat with curl-to-overhead press, squat with bent-over row, one-arm front press on single leg, skaters with figure-8 arms
Circuit 4: Alternating front step with single-arm front raise, side steps with double-arm front raise, pulsing diagonal lunge with single-arm row, single-leg deadlift, static lunge, side-step with back kick, squat pump
Circuit 5: Squat with double-arm overhead press, plie squat with double-arm biceps curl, single-leg curtsy lunge with double-arm triceps kickback, single-sided X-cross crunch

My impressions:

Both Strictly Strength and Stepping Strength are good total-body workouts with plenty of variety in the exercises used. At approximately 40 and 45 minutes, respectively, they’re a good choice if you need to get in a full-body strength session in under an hour. Instructor Jessica Smith is her usual upbeat, encouraging self; she’s joined by her mom, Debbie, who demonstrates some easier moves, and Beth, who modifies up on occasion. The setting is the same as in Jessica’s Power Walk, with a view of the ocean and beach.

Strictly Strength begins with a warm-up, then moves into six circuits, each with two to four exercises. Each circuit is repeated once so that each side can be worked equally. Some of the moves, such as the side and rear leg extensions and the standing bicycle, require a fair amount of balance, which also helps to work the core. There is no floorwork, just some standing ab moves – yay!

Stepping Strength includes a bit more movement than Strictly Strength, and uses lighter weights. There are five circuits, the first four of which end with a 45-second cardio interval. The cardio can be done either low impact or high (demonstrated by Beth). The moves were a bit more complex than those in Strictly Strength, and because this is an endurance workout, there are also more reps. As with Strictly Strength, there’s no floorwork.

The only real quibble I had with these workouts is that there’s a bit more shoulder and chest work than I like at the expense of back work. I find that to be a common issue with home strength training workouts, though, so sometimes I’ll do a few more back exercises to make up for it. It’s a minor issue, however, and Jessica Smith lovers probably won’t mind too much.

Summary: Get Strong! is a good choice is you’re looking for time-efficient strength training workouts that hit the entire body. The fact that there’s no floorwork in either is a nice bonus, too! If you’re a Jessica junkie, you’ll want to add this to your collection.

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