WNK: I once read in
Collage's "Complete Guide To Exercise
Videos" that you were a pioneer in higher
impact step routines. How long have you been an
aerobics instructor and how did you begin your
career in Step?
CF: I have been an aerobics instructor
for 16 years now and absolutely love it!
Obviously, step was not around 16 years ago...
but when it came out in 1989 I was teaching
aerobics to private celebrity clients in Carnegie
Hall in NYC.
We were doing leg strengthening exercises on
14 inch high long wooden benches. About 6 clients
could fit on one bench. I have always tried to be
creative in this industry...so I began
experimenting with ways to use these wooden
benches aerobically instead of only for muscle
conditioning. At just about the same time The
Step and Reebok launched their Step Reebok
program and came out with the first modern-day
step. I attended their seminar and realized that
I was already doing a similar type of workout,
but with a different twist.(My approach was a bit
faster, more aggressive and more diverse).
I contacted a close friend who was already in
the aerobic video business and asked him if he
would be interested in helping me make one of the
first ever Step Aerobic videos. This video ended
up being called Step N Motion and quickly became
the hottest and best selling step video of the
WNK: What is the structural breakdown of
your new video, PowerMax?
CF: The warm-up is 8 min., step
aerobics 45 min., cool down 7 min.
WNK: How does the choreography, workout
structure and difficulty level of PowerMax
compare to your other recent videos?
CF: I'll start first with
choreography. PowerMax has the most choreography
of all my videos.The next most similar would be
Step Jam, followed by Mega Step Blast, Step Heat
and Step Max.
As far as workout structure goes, I think all
of my videos are very similar and each is about
60 minutes in length.
When you say difficulty level, I'm going to
assume that you mean intensity level rather than
complexity. As far as intensity goes I feel that
PowerMax is one of the hardest videos I have made
- though some people may feel that StepMax is
WNK: How does choreographing a video
workout differ from choreographing a live step
CF: It's funny that you ask that
because I just addressed that issue in PowerMax.
A live aerobic class is much different. You have
people from all walks of life coming in the door.
You have those who come 6 days per week, those
who do double classes, and those who just signed
up that day and have never exercised before in
their life. So you have to teach things longer
and you have to make sure 90% of the class gets
it before you move on. In a live class I get
instant feedback from the participants ... so I
know right away if the class is able to follow me
and if they are having fun... or if I need to
make some adjustments.
Unfortunately, with video I can't see nor can
I get feedback from the person doing my workout.
I also can't change the workout or make any
adjustments . That is why I assume that any
person who buys my videos is an experienced
stepper. Since your video workout will be the
same routine every time, I like to keep things
moving so it doesn't get boring. If you teach
things too long on video, your heart rate can
drop at times due to the 1/2 time-tempos or the
added little marching steps that are involved
when teaching a move. So if we can cut down on
the teaching time (because you can rewind it if
you want to see it again) we can keep your heart
rate up and your interest level high.