Friday, March 30, 2007

Intu-Flow - Scott Sonnon / RMax

I don't really know why I stopped doing Scott Sonnon's Warrior Wellness program. It was twenty some-odd minutes out of my life each morning and seemed to do the job for me.

What job? You might ask.....

The job of helping me wake up and get the early morning stiffness, aches and pains out of my body. As I progressed into the intermediate phase of training, I found myself able to move more freely throughout the day. It was especially helpful at the time because I was playing football and powerlifting. This was one of the several breaks in my martial arts 'career'. It had been a gift from a friend who had picked up the first two tapes in the US and thought I might be interested. I even broke out it again a couple of years ago and began using it from the beginner level.

What does this have to do with 'Intu-Flow'? You sure ask a lot of questions.

'Intu-Flow' is kind of an updated version of 'Warrior Wellness'. It targets the same market space and has the same mandate insofar as goals for the program. It is even structured the same way. It's a follow-me style workout where a close-cropped and bespectacled Sonnon leads you on a series of moblity exercises. It is meant to be performed in the morning, but can be broken up and performed throughout the day, according to Sonnon's introduction.

I checked the new video out while visiting with a friend in Sydney. Consequently, the first disk was the only one got a thorough look at. It contains the beginner and intermediate classes for the program. The second disk contains another two more advanced classes.

As I stated before, 'Intu-Flow' is an updated version of 'Warrior Wellness'. The production seems much better (although I've not seen the DVD version of 'Warrior Wellness') and the backdrop is clearly more pleasant. The tape is also clearly marketed to appeal to a wider audience, as well. While 'Warrior Wellness' appealed largely to martial artists, due to Sonnon's association with the Russian martial arts (as well as the obvious connotations of the word "Warrior"), 'Intu-Flow' will appeal to anyone who would consider a Pilates class.

The exercises are largely the same as those found in the WW series. There are some additions, though. The workout is longer and more comprehensive, covering some work on the mat, as well. Sonnon works most of the body's joints in most of their ranges of motion. But more than that, he encourages you how to "shave off" the movement in those ranges and move the joint in three dimensions.

Going through the beginner workout, I was reminded of the need to perform this kind of work when my neck felt stiff and my shoulder cracked and popped when I tried to move it through it's range of motion. Sonnon knows the trouble areas and this is where the "shave it off" encouragement comes in.

Anyone who knows Scott's work from the early days will attest to the complex verbiage and, in his own words, "manufactured terminology". If you've seen Scott's excellent "Immovable Object Unstoppable Force" you know that it can sometimes be difficult to cut through the words to get to the meat and potatoes of the video.That's not completely absent on this production, but it's not onerous as some R-Max productions can be.

I've heard this set compared to 'Magnificent Mobility' from Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson (an excellent product in its own right - look out for a review soon), but it's really not in the same category. The only production I've seen that competes is Pavel Tsatouline's 'Super Joints'. 'Super Joints' is also a good production. However, 'Intu-Flow's' progression and higher movement complexity win that competition for me.

As an update on 'Warrior Wellness", it certainly does the job well. However, I'm uncertain whether the release warrants updating your existing collection if you already own that set. I'm sure there are arguments to do so. Scott makes himself available on his forum, along with some other experienced RMax coaches, on his forum at RMAX.TV. If you're uncertain, as I am, I'd suggest talking to them there to answer your questions.

All in all, whether this DVD series is worth the money to you depends on what you're after. The product would compare very favourably with any Pilates or Yoga sets marketed at a similar audience. This set appeals to me over those, though. The routine leaves no stone unturned or joint un-articulated. Also, the incremental progression of the routines fixes a problem I've always had with yoga tapes. The price is reasonably competitive, in this space. There are cheaper sets and more expensive ones, but this one certainly competes very well.

Get it from Amazon right here.

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