Health & Fitness

By Erika Hackmann

On the list of things I’ve always wanted but could never have, a personal trainer ranks second (Leonardo DiCaprio is first). Always a fitness fan, I run on a frequent basis and take strength training classes when possible, but a busy schedule and the sheer boredom of my daily routine threw me into a rut. As I weighed the pros and cons of shelling out anywhere from $70-$100 per hour long session for a personal trainer, a friend of mine introduced me to SoundBody Audio Fitness Trainer, an audio and video training program that’s easily downloadable to your iPod, iPhone, or virtually any other player.

SoundBody was created by Traci Godfrey, a 20-year certified personal trainer, actress, and voiceover artist. The combination of expert fitness advice and vocal talent is what sets SoundBody apart from other portable fitness videos. As opposed to traditional portable workouts that are typically short and even silent, Traci’s smart coaching and tone makes it seem like she is standing right next to you, watching every bicep curl and side lunge, making sure you are keeping correct form and challenging yourself with every rep.

SoundBody Trainer comes in both, video and audio versions. Being more of a visual person, I opted for the video version that downloaded easily to my iPod. I started with day one of the Strength Training program that focused on chest, shoulders, and triceps. Right away, I noticed how thorough SoundBody was. Each program begins with an introduction, a reminder to stretch, followed by a detailed 45 minutes of training. Each rep is counted out for you, and Traci’s voice consistently reminds you to check your form. More than just a motivator, Traci had an eerie way of knowing when my form was falling short or when I was slacking on my reps.

This particular workout uses both free weights and gym machines, but it was easy to float around the gym and use the machines properly with the SoundBody commands. Plus, each workout comes with an illustrated fold-out guide to use as a point of reference. Another unique feature is the video “model.” Instead of a distractingly gorgeous and fit fitness model, SoundBody uses a very basic animated approach. Almost resembling a high-tech stick figure, the illustrations break down the moves to their simplest form, so it’s never confusing.

Before I knew it, I was working out in normally uncharted territory: the downstairs weight room, intermixed with all the guys. Little did they know I had a secret weapon in my ear!

The morning after my first workout with SoundBody, my muscles were sore, but I was eager to check out cardio workouts. I opted for the Street Spin program. Strength training is one thing, but it seemed almost impossible to keep up a “spin class” all on my own. Forty minutes later, I was sweating and panting, my legs began to feel like Jello, and the women next me to glared as if I was a crazy, solo-cycling champion. Mission accomplished.

I had the opportunity to talk to Traci who said she first got the idea to develop SoundBody after a client of hers said she wished she could take Traci with her while she was traveling. Each individual workout is available for $15 per download or you can purchase an entire year membership with access to all the programs for only $50. Traci is currently working on adding more workout programs, more trainers, and a brand new, easy to use website.

Check out http://www.soundbodytrainer.com to see a demo and to purchase workouts. Trust me – your body and your wallet will thank you.

Originally published March 2009
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