Video Fitness

Two the Max

Advanced, combined Step (17 min) and Floor (21 min.) Aerobics, 10 min. warm up, 9 min. cool down/stretch.

This is my favorite of all Kari's tapes. It's the one I reach for whenever I'm tired, down, or in a bad mood. It never fails to relax me and to improve my spirits. The split step and floor format makes the workout fly by. This one *definitely* takes a while to learn, though, because of the dancy choreography.

Even the warm up is dancy and more fast-paced than most, but it's very thorough, and gets you ready for what's to come. The warm up is followed by two long step combinations, both are challenging and great fun. The first combines all sorts of interesting, multi-directional steps (turn steps, pivot turns, over the tops, walks around step, etc.) with unique arm movements. The second is more intense, with lots of "over the tops" (across the full length of the step) and some fancy footwork. After the 2 step combos you put away the step and proceed to 2 floor combos. The first is very fast paced, requires a lot of coordination, and makes you stay light on your feet. The second floor section is slower and lower impact, and the music/choreography have a '70s flavor that's different and amusing.

In general, the music is very upbeat and the choreography is perfectly suited to the music. The cool down is funky and relaxed, the stretch segment is very uplifting, with an almost Oriental feel to the choreography and music--a great end to a great video. It's not as intense as some of Cathe Friedrich's tapes, for example, but it's definitely a tape that gives advanced exercisers a good aerobic workout and a change of pace from more athletic routines.

Wendy Niemi Kremer

"Kari Anderson's Two the Max" (Advanced-Step Aerobics, Floor Aerobics)

Once you've conquered "Fitness Formula", Kari will take you to the next level with this butt-kicker of back-to-back stepping and floor aerobics. Fast, dancy, hi-impact - you've been warned!
Grade: A

Sue Bryant

Kari Anderson's 2 the Max-

This is basically a dancey workout, especially the floor aerobics portion. Except for some turns on the floor, I would consider choreography for the step portion to be moderately difficult. The floor aerobics section however is complex and fun. Kari has a cheerful attitude throughout the tape without being overly bubbly (like Denise Austin is often).

Tammie Malcolm

This is one of the videos I pull out when I don't really feel like working out. Kari's choreography is so different compared to typical step videos, I feel like I am doing something completely different. I have been mixing this video in with other videos, so I am only doing it about once a week, but even though I have done it about 10 times, I can't say that I have actually learned all the choreography yet (which IMO is good, it will take me a while to get bored). I love the floor section, my daughter does too, she comments on how it looks like I am really dancing!

Trish Ransom

Two the Max

I like this video a lot, and do it frequently, even if I break it down into segments (step in the morning, floor in the afternoon) because of time. I like the variety of music and choregraphy, and the great personality of Kari. Also, the class is upbeat and spirited without constantly whooping and yelling oh boy as if a repeater was taking them one step closer to utopia. The best part is the stretch. I think it is probably the most relaxing and calming, yet almost spiritually energizing stretch I've seen on video. Its a great workout, in parts or in entirety. I'd recommend it to an advanced exerciser who likes dancy step and floor aerobics.


Great! This is a step/floor combo. The first section is step. I like it that way, because I find if I do floor aerobics first and then go to step, I have a higher tendency to trip over the step from tired legs!

Both segments are fun and intense. The floor section is mostly high-impact. I think it would be difficult to change many of the moves to low, so you might not like this if you're not a high-impacter.

The total workout is about an hour. My favorite part is the last combination of the high-impact section. It's got a "funky" flavor to it, and it's a pumper.

Kari is having a good time in this class. She laughs and smiles a lot. Her choreography is some of the best in the industry. She always adds in dancy moves (as options) to keep things fun.

This tape definitely gets an A+.

Annie S.

Two the Max is one of the best exercise videos you can buy. I bought this tape a few years ago and was totally addicted to it for quite some time. The first section is step (17 minutes) and since this was one of the first step routines I have ever done, I could hardly do the jumps over the top of the bench (first time I have ever tried this movement). I thought I would die (now of course it's a snap, especially after doing Cathe Friedrich tapes). The aerobics segment is the most fun of any aerobics tape ever. I smile throughout the whole segment. The moves are so much fun with lots of turns and pivots. Kari smiles throughout the entire tape and she looks like she is having a ball. This is contagious and you will jump around smiling too.

Maryann Parker

I have done this video a few times and I just don't like it that much. I like the step section and I like the stretch section. I don't like the floor aerobics portion though. I think it is because 99.0% of the tapes I do are step and I just feel like a klutz doing the floor portion. I find myself jogging in place at times because I can't get my legs and feet to do what they are doing on TV. I think this is a good tape if you like more dancier moves, but it just is not for me. If you don't like dancy stuff, but still want a great workout try Cathe Friedrich videos.

Melanie Higgins

This review is from the perspective of someone that is extremely choreographically challenged, so keep that in mind. I've only done this video twice. The first time through, I finished with doubts about whether I liked the tape. I really enjoyed the step portion of the video, but felt like a total clutz during the hi/lo portion. Before calling Collage and asking for an exchange, I figured I should give it one more chance. I really had more fun the second time, and got more aerobics out of the video. I think the first time through I had to stop so much to see what she was doing that I didn't feel like I got a good workout. And, I haven't done hi/lo in years, so all the moves seemed so fast and hard to follow. But, I knew I ordered the tape for change of pace and I went into the second time with a more open mind, allowing myself to make mistakes and be on the wrong foot! That really helped me to enjoy it more the second time through. I am so used to Firm aerobics which require almost no thought at all to get it right (well, except for the ballroom stuff!), that I found the choreography in Two the Max challenging. Now, I can't wait to get it into my rotation. I figure, if I get one more move right each time, I'll eventually get the whole thing down. I think if you are tired of basic step videos and want to ease into hi/lo, this is a good way to go. You get the familiarity of step aerobics, and get a taste of hi/lo, without the frustration of a complete hi/lo tape.

Lucy Loftin

I was lucky enough to get this video for free from someone on the Internet who said this tape was too dancy for her. I've always considered myself pretty good at picking up choreography, and it still took me about three times to feel comfortable with this one. I would definitely *not* recommend it to people who don't feel co-ordinated - I could picture someone repeatedly throwing things at the TV screen! The half-step/half hi-lo is a fun combination that doesn't get used enough in videos and health clubs. And I don't think I've ever seen an instructor, either "live" or on tape, having such a party during the workout as Ms. Anderson appears to be having! While I love everything else about this tape, somehow I'm not crazy about the cool-down and find myself FF through it sometimes and just marching in place. The only reason I can think of is that by the point I've had enough fancy stuff and don't want to put any more effort into learning anything else.

Jen Blaske

This is a fun, challenging but not killer, workout that combines both step and hi/lo. I would call the intensity high intermediate to low advanced, and the choreography is moderate to complex (more complex than Fitness Formula but not as complex as some CIA videos). There is a definite dancy feel to it (especially the hi/lo section), as would be expected from Kari. Kari teaches the moves so that you will have sufficient time to practice them, but not so much that they are too repetitive. If you are used to complex, dancy choreography, you probably will be able to pick most of the steps up the first time or two through. This workout really flies by! I did it again this morning after not having done it for awhile, and I couldn't believe it when the hour was up! I like the format of doing the step before the hi/lo; I think the risk of injury is less if you do the stepping before you are fatigued. I like the step section a lot, but I like the hi-lo even more. And I usually *much* prefer step! Kari seems to be having a great time during the whole routine, but she really comes alive during the hi-lo. There's a fun hi-lo section to the William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger music). This is a great choice for those who prefer step but want a little variety and who like dancy choreography. A warning, though: Kari changes her outfit several times during the routine; her wardrobe is the main thing that dates this video (it was done in 1992). Overall, a winner of a video that does not get boring over time!

Instructor comments: Kari is one of my favorite instructors. She has it all--she's enthusiastic without being overbearing, she's graceful and fun to watch, her cueing is excellent, and she seems like she would be very approachable in person. She makes all of her workouts so enjoyable!

Kristin Aziz

This tape has been out a while and is already a VF favorite. But I am so inspired by this video that I had to add my two cents. This video if FUN, FUN, FUN! I have long considered myself choreographically-challenged, and yet I have managed to pick up on most of the moves (both step and hi-lo) in just a few short workouts. I'm not a real fan of hi-lo, but the more I do the hi-lo on this tape, the more I like it. The music is great, the instructor is wonderful, and the moves are terrific.

As someone else at VF often ends her reviews of tapes, I give this tape an A+ with 10 points extra credit!

Instructor comments: Kari is great. She seems so warm and effervescent. It's obvious that she loves teaching; she is having such a blast on this tape.

Jen B.

Kari Anderson makes everything she does look deceptively easy. Her choreography and routines are well-planned in terms of intensity, logic and safety. Most of all, they are SUPER-FUN!! This tape is definitely among her best, and among the best step/hi-lo combos out there.

I generally don't like hi-lo, but I do like the hi-lo on this tape, and on all of Kari's tapes. Her hi-lo generally requires some space, more than I have available, but I change directions to accommodate the moves. I really worked up a nice sweat with this tape, but I didn't feel wiped out. My heart rate was up there throughout the tape. Even though both the step and hi-lo portions are pretty intense, you don't really notice it because you are having too much fun with the moves and the music.

I have a strong dance background and I mesh with Kari's style. Even though her routines are step and hi-lo, all the moves have a dance flavor, which I absolutely love. Some of her arm moves might seem a little awkward to people who are used to doing straight athletic tapes, but they are dance-based and fun, in my opinion.

Even though this tape is from 1993, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an hour workout of step and hi-lo, intermediate to advanced level. It is possible to modify the higher impact moves to low, and still get an excellent, intense workout.

Kari is definitely one of the top instructors out there. She exudes warmth, energy, grace and a positive attitude. I think she is underrated.

Abbe G.

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