Now this may be a review and critique of Neila Ray’s workouts, but I want to in no way de-value her workouts. I think what she is doing is great. She is a graphic designer that puts workouts into a friendly and accessible way. I love when people get other people to workout. The action to help other strive for health should always be appreciated. That being said, I wanted to give you how I felt about eight of her workouts, how they treated me, and just a basic review.
Neila Ray likes to put workouts into themes. The ones that my friend, Jamie, sent me are pretty much Superhero workouts with the exception of Jedi and Stormtrooper. I did these eight workouts as a workout challenge, doing one after the other. I didn’t exactly see how the exercises related to their respective superheroes, but I was game to try it. All of them did not require weights which is great for people who don’t have a gym or home gym. Again, I never want to diminish people trying workouts, I am simply giving my own take.
Day 1: Flash
I have no knowledge about the superhero, Flash, so I cannot comment on how the exercises relate to him. But I am assuming it has something to do with speed. This was surprisingly one of the toughest workouts of all eight. The high knees with the other exercises was a difficult combination and definitely left me gasping for more air and sweating. For me, un-weighted squats almost have no effect on me since I’m used to squatting 95lbs or so. A little repetitive with pushup/plank position.
Day 2: Jedi
Now those of you who know me personally, know that I am a Star Wars geek. So obviously I was especially interested in this workout and doubly critical, as well. I enjoyed the added balance into the mix as well as the woodchoppers like swinging a lightsaber. This definitely wasn’t one of the toughest, but it was probably one of the most interesting and unique as most others are repetitive. Don’t worry, Hungry and I are coming out with our own line of these workouts as we see fit (ha-ha). I’m not sure if the Force was with this one.
Day 3: Batman
Lots of core in this one, which I wasn’t too upset about. I was feeling pretty sick the night I did this (can you say caffeine overdose?), but I was proud of myself when I pushed until the very end of all sets. Again, not feeling normal squats. This was definitely one of the more enjoyable workouts. During this challenge, I really missed my normal heavy strength training. Repetitive circuit after circuit was getting to me! I definitely approve of this one, though. I can see how Batman needs to have a strong core as he doesn’t have any real superpowers, but there certainly could’ve been some tweaks to this.
Day 4: Thor
In the middle of a push-up
I’m a huge fan of Thor. Thor always reminds me of Chris, in a way. This was an extremely repetitive workout. I’m a fan of supersetting exercises, but usually using different muscle groups so those muscle groups don’t get overused and thus not trained to their full extent. I was not feeling the pushup/plank position over and over. I definitely don’t see how this relates to Thor, the superhero character. It was a good workout, shoulders and arms felt it, but not my favorite at all.
Day 5: Spider-Man
Boy do I hate plank jumps. Again, not the most fun, but an effective workout. The only one I connected to Spider-Man, were obviously the Spider-Man push-ups, and perhaps the climbers and plank jumps. This was another repetitive workout. What I don’t quite understand is how she decides how many sets there are. Some of the hard workouts have 10 sets while others have 7. Shrug.
Day 6: Stormtrooper
Ohhhh Stormtroopers. An accurate workout would be target training, amirite? I honestly have no clue how this connects in anyway to the Stormtrooper. But that aside, let’s continue to the workout. This was absolutely one of the easier ones, much better for beginner fitness participants. I enjoyed doing the kicking, but Stormtroopers never really have to kick. Otherwise, it were pretty similar exercises to the other workouts, with that repetition of the plank position over and over.
Day 7: Arrow
No idea who Arrow is, Chris suggested it may be “Green Arrow.” So I will cut to the chase and just review the workout. An embarrassing slight fear of mine is box jumps. I do them, yes, but I don’t like them. I need to train more with them to get over my fear. This was a great, tough workout. Probably the most advanced since it had box jumps and pull-ups. My rear delts and back were sore the next day. I didn’t enjoy it, but it was a great workout.
Day 8: Wolverine
Didn’t really see how this related, except for perhaps all the jumping stuff and raised leg push-ups for raw strength. This one actually wasn’t too hard. Again, by this point I was kind of sick of these workouts. As you can see, she heavily recycles all her exercises. It was a good workout, but there are many things I would do differently. But I always go all the way.
Before I summarize, I want to underline once more that you should try these workouts! Even if they weren’t my favorite, I love that she’s making fitness and working out more accessible to the public. It’s so important to hook people however you can into improving their health. I definitely raise my glass to Neila Ray. All in all, her workouts were simply too repetitive for me. I missed weighted exercises and was sick of all her plank-styled moves. I think it could be better shaken up with different exercises in a different order. You will absolutely see themed workouts homemade from yours truly (with hopefully our graphic designer, Mandy, who designs our logos and more) based on superheroes and others we know and love. The thought excites me. I love accepting and dominating workout challenges. Try these workouts to stay hungry and fit!
BONUS KITTY PIC
Kitties on a bed