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TESTED The 3-2-1 sculpting workout from trainer to stars like Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale and Halle Barry

For Day 3 of Healthista’s get-fit-in-your-living room DVD challenge, editor Anna Magee tried out the 3-2-1 Workout DVD from celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza

As the trainer for beauties such as Jessica Alba and Halle Barry, Ramona Braganza specialises in getting stars ready for movie roles. She prepped Barry’s bod for X Men, Alba’s for Into the Blue and Kate Beckinsale’s for Underworld 4.

5th Annual Variety's Power of Women Luncheon Presented by Lifetime - Arrivals

I met Braganza about a month ago in London. She is in her mid-50s and looks about 35, as far as I could gleam, without any obvious surgery.

Anna Magee, left and Ramona Braganza training in London last month
Anna Magee, left and Ramona Braganza training in London last month
ramona full length
Braganza’s in her 50s and looks like this – we saw her in the flesh


Celebs, Braganza said are like the rest of us and find themselves getting out shape between movie roles or after having babies.

I asked her what most women get wrong when it comes to training.  ‘They tend to overdo it on the cardio front thinking that’s how they’ll burn calories instead of giving equal emphasis to both cardio and resistance,’ Braganza explained.

‘Resistance moves using the body’s own weight as well as heavy weights such dumbbells build muscle tone that helps increase the body’s metabolism which in turn helps burn fat even when you’re not exercising.’

Braganza explained the need to strengthen the body to help protect the joints as we get older too, especially by working the muscles in the back of the body. ‘Women often neglect their back muscles, the backs of their legs as well as their upper bodies and chests, but working these muscles gives the body shape and helps posture.’

Braganza’s DVD, the 3-2-1 Workout is a programme designed to work each muscle of the body on three consecutive days. There are three workouts for days one to three each based on Braganza’s exclusive 3-2-1 Method. Inspired by working on film sets and hearing ‘321 action’ all day long, each workout features three cardio segments, two strength training circuits and one core strengthening section.

I did Day One which began with a cardio segment that was done on a treadmill. Now this got a little inaccessible for me as I don’t have a treadmill in my living room, oddly enough. As each of the the three cardio options, 5/10 minutes walk/jog, walking incline or walk/run, were all done with Braganza on a treadmill in a gym I found myself needing to improvise. I walked on the spot and used my poor old coffee table (thankfully a hard, sturdy wood) as a step did step ups off it as the cardio to get my heart rate up.

If you too don’t have a treadmill in your living room I would suggest having something on hand to do as you cardio, for example a skipping rope or some stairs you can run up and down during this section. Each of the two circuits are alternated with 5-10 minutes of cardio so you’ll need an alternative opiton.

During the circuit sections (A and B) you strength train various body parts separately. This focus on training different parts of the body alternating with cardio sections seems popular in Hollywood and is also the basis for the Barry’s Bootcamp workouts (the gym chain where Pink, Jake Gylenhaal and Cameron Diaz frequent) Read about our Healthista 12-week Barry’s Bootcamp reader body makeover.

The 3-2-1 DVD programme for Day One looks like this:

Cardio One – treadmill – 5/10 minutes walk/jog OR walking incline OR walk/run

Circuit A – moves working the chest, triceps and legs. These combined using dumbbells in different weights varying from 5lbs to 10lbs (another small problem for me as I don’t have a buffet of weights in my living room), along with squats, tricep lifts on the bench (which were easy enough to do off the coffee table) and step ups (which I also did off my poor coffee table).

Cardio Two – treadmill – 5/10 minutes walk/jog OR walking incline OR walk/run

Circuit B – more moves working the chest, triceps and legs, this time using staggered push-ups, bench presses, more squats, step ups and tricep dips.

Cardio Three –  treadmill – 5/10 minutes walk/jog OR walking incline OR walk/run

Core Strength – a short section with planks, side planks and sit-ups

Day 2’s workout has the same configuration with an emphasis on moves that work the back, the backs of the legs and biceps. Day 3’s workout challenges the shoulders and legs.

I burned 90 calories in 35 minutes of the workout but according the my Nike Fuelband,  I used up 498 units of ‘Fuel’ which is Nike’s measure of activity – this is quite high and probably thanks to the strength element of the workout.

ramona dvd coverRamona Braganza’s 3-2-1 Workout DVD (£17.89 from Amazon)


PROS: A great workout for building strength and sculpting the body, each move and the order of the programme are obviously created to get results. But you’ll get best results if you have a small home gym or can rip the DVD onto your tablet or phone and take it to the gym – that’s what I’ll be doing.

CONS: Cardio is done on a treadmill which most won’t have at home so have a skipping rope or use a stairway instead. You need dumbbells of various weights. No stretch section at the end.

Healthista rating: 3.5/5

Read other reviews in the Healthista 12 days of Christmas Get-fit-in-your-living room DVD challenge:

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Day 2: Nell McAndrew’s Peak Energy Recharged (£7.49 Amazon)


15 minute fast

DAY 1: 15 minute fast fitness – Fat Burning with former Gladiators Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon

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