Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Portable Pilates Studio from Empower {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I feel like every day is either an “I’m really motivated to go to the gym today” or a “There’s no way I want to drag myself and the kids to the gym today” kind of day.  For days that sound more like the latter, I’m all about home gym type equipment, especially things that don’t take up prime real estate in tight quarters.  I also love equipment that comes with dvds or other instruction because if you just handed me a barbell and said “exercise”, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do, and I would get bored.


Add all this together and you can see why the Portable Pilates Studio and I are a good team.  This ‘kit’ comes from Empower, who supplies all sorts of work out equipment along with videos, many of which I’ve reviewed and all loved.

With that, here is the Portable Pilates Studio, sold for $24.99, which contains one bar with bungees and attached foot straps:


The two pieces of bar fit together very snug, and I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to get them apart again, though I think that is what the white circles are intended to help you do.  The seal is so tight and so strong that I’m not going to bother.  The contraption is very well-constructed and I don’t have a sliver of fear that this will ever come apart while in use.  The bungee cords are thick and very well secured at both ends, and the straps are large enough to fit any tennis shoe while also being totally comfortable with bare feet, which is how I’ve been using it.


For the most part, I really like this workout.  Pilates, by nature, isn’t very sweaty or aerobic from the get-go, but if you’re doing it right, a few minutes into it you’ll really feel the burn and start to sweat.  This video workout does just that.  My first time through, I found myself bugged by all the time spent sitting and listening to explanations, but I can see how the next time, I can jump straight to the exercises and get more toning in the same amount of time.


The instructor, Gin, is helpful and kind and easy to understand.  There are four different sections to this workout video, each focusing on a slightly different area.  The actions are simple and easy to follow, and provide much more of an arm workout than I anticipated.  IMG_0485If you’re a home-gymer, this is a great set!  You can purchase this on the Empower website for $24.99, along with MANY other products for all sorts of toning and exercise.

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  




Empower Fitness Fusion Fit Disc {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Does the phrase “New Year’s Resolution” make your stomach uneasy?  Are you being bombarded with gym membership applications and home gym appliance ads?  Last year, at about this time, we signed up for a gym membership, and I super loved it, but with the weather being so nasty for the majority of Jan./Feb., I quickly became extremely unmotivated to leave the house with two runaways under my arms and trudge through the snow.  I’ve really found my work out groove in exercise videos and workouts that I can do at home.  We don’t have to leave the house, there are no membership fees, the boys can ‘dance’ along with me, and in the middle of a workout, I’m free to answer the doorbell, tend to dinner on the stove, or answer an important call if I need to.

I’m officially an at-home exerciser by choice, and empower really makes it easy to keep up that lifestyle.  Last year, I was able to review the Boxing Boot Camp (and you can read that review HERE).  Knowing that I already love Empower‘s products and videos, I knew I’d love this new Fit Fusion Disc.


I specifically wanted to review this set because it can be used as a kettleball, medicine ball, or dumbells, and so its space-saving qualities are a priority right now.  As far as exercise equipment goes, this is great for storing.  The workout is organized into 45 second segments that work your arms, legs, back, and glutes, making it a true full body workout.

One of the first things I noticed was the rustic gym behind the instructors, which I like much more than a spacey workout launch pad, but a black curtain that cuts the room off on the left it is a little weird.  I appreciate the moves being shown in a beginners, intermediate, and advanced fashion, making these neither too easy or too intense for a majority of us, based on what kind of workout we’re in the mood for.  The instructor is great, though at times I feel she is reading a prompt.  And is that a slight accent?  Its lovely.  I appreciate no over-dramatic enthusiasm, and the the feeling of “lets just workout, ladies”.


The design of the disk is easy to handle, comfortable to grasp, and not dangerous at all, even if left around kids.  It is a little bigger than a Frisbee, which makes me think that using it as such would be hilarious!  There are a lot of ways to hold it comfortably and the space is wide enough for both hands to fit inside one of the four holes.

I thought the workout video was great!  The first half is identical to the 2nd half, but the abs workout at the end is worth holding out for.  My 3-year old was cracking up during the “mountain climber” moves.  I felt like I got a good workout, built up a nice sweat, and that I could surely do this 3x a week and see great results.  I like that by building up to the ‘advanced’ moves during the full workout, I’ll be able to see improvement in my abilities.


This is a great, product, friends!  You can read more about it HERE, as well as watch a demo video and find retail partners.

Empower products have been featured in several fitness magazines like Prevention and Shape, and seen showcased on lots of shows such as Good Day LA, and NBC’s Today Show.

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Workouts on Demand {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Fitting in a workout a few days a week shouldn’t be so hard!  I feel like as soon as kids came into the picture, finding time for myself got 10x harder, especially if I have to coordinate with daylight or gym hours. I’ve decided that the home gym is really the only way I’ll get in consistent exercise where the rest of the household doesn’t have to be thrown off schedule.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been able to use Workouts On Demand’s online gym, and I have found my groove!
Workouts on Demand is an online library of various workouts that you can play at any time from any device.  Searching through all the different kinds of workouts available made me SO excited to have found this!  They offer a library of over 170 gym-style exercise videos and I want to try ALL of them!  I’ve been trying a new workout every other day, and several weeks into it, I’m still finding new favorites.  What is so great about these videos is that they can be downloaded or streamed, paused and replayed.  Among the workouts I’ve tried, I haven’t come across a workout that lasted more than 38 minutes, but they also have Express Workouts, which are around 7 min.  Perfect!  Here are some of the classes I tried:
The first one I tried was so exactly what I want in a workout!  It almost made it hard to branch out to the other workout styles.  I think its awesome that the instructors are not 19-yr-old skinny minnies!  I feel like I’m working along side real women with real bodies.  Leigh is a great instructor with an effective workout style.  She is positive but not fake, with high energy but she’s not obnoxious.
This is a great little dance routine, slow enough at the beginning to really get the steps down, and enough back to back repetition of the routine to get your heart pumping.  I appreciated the music being low enough to hear the instructor, but I do wish it had a little more volume and a strong beat to follow, esp. for a hip hop routine.
I love that this instructor was busty and curvy!  It made her workout also bosom-friendly and 38 min. sped by.  I did this one with the kids running around and we all jammed out.  Every toddler can kick and jump like a boss.
I LOVED this one!  Another favorite.  It was the perfect stretch for first thing in the morning when I don’t want to get dripping, but I still want to feel like I got my heart pumping.  Jessie demonstrated beautiful sequences of dance moves, and I could tell she was trained in dance.
A quick 30 min.  Loved it.
This one had nice background music (most of these videos have very appropriate music selections) and it was easy to follow along.  I wish it was a little faster paced, but perhaps because this video was early in the series of pilates mat videos, time had to be spent explaining moved and technique.
For some reason, this one rubbed me wrong.  It was the first video where there was one instructor and two sloggy buddies behind her, and the first video not in a home gym setting.  Maybe it was their baseball hats of different colors and logos, or perhaps the dated backdrop with fake fog and odd frame changes, but this one looked to me as if it was filmed 15 years ago.  I think this video was really an anomaly because all the other videos have really been my cup of tea.
And there are still so many to try out!  With 170 videos, you could get a year subscription and I doubt you’d have to repeat at all, unless of course you found your favorites and wanted to stick with those.  This has been fabulous to turn on right when the kids go down.  I’m motivated, I can wear whatever non-matchy clothes I want, I don’t have to leave the house, and I can keep it as quiet as I want to keep the kids asleep upstairs.
I’m reeeeally tempted to get a year subscription.  Especially because the basic membership is $9.99/month.  This is just so terrific for my crazy mom-of-young-children lifestyle.  Check em out!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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