This is one of my new favorites. Kari has outdone herself. She is back with
her class in a bright setting with curtains behind her and some new fun
She does a nice intro and then you do 30 minutes of fun fun stepping.
Collage says it's beginner. NOT! It does start off basic but Kari keeps
adding on untill she teaches you complex turns and one is a shuffle repeater
like STep Jam but she actually pivots on the step! Very tough but fun. Then
she also does mixed impact too. The music is upbeat and you really get into
the tape! It has some of the tunes from Body Max which I love and she ends
with this perfect "ta da" on the step. You have to see it. This little kid's
voice comes on before the step workout to introduce Kari and it's so cute.
It must be Kari's child. Anyway, then there is 14 minutes of body sculpting.
Lunging for the lower body. Then there is upper body delt lifts (2 sets),
alternating front lifts, lat rows, bicep curls and then you do Shoulder
work (rear delt work and rotater cuff work which was great). Then
pushups (Kari does full pushups). Then she does chest flies and tricep press
using the same dumbells. French press finishes off the upper body work. The
music is from Cathe Friedrich's Step fit warmup (fun stuff!) and BodyMax.
Kari does crunches and oblique twists. Then some great lower ab
stabilization (Keli Roberts calls them the Dead Bug) work using the step.
Great music that I haven't heard before. Kari then finishes off with a VERY
thorough and relaxing stretch for every muscle. She doesn't leave anything
I just love this tape. It is perfect for this busy Mom. This tape is a
winner. No mistakes, perfectly cued, fabulous music, fun, smiles, Kari's
wonderful personality, I love it!
Body Tech is a step workout, with some effective toning after the workout. The choreography is moderate for Kari. She teaches the basic move, and adds more challenging modifications to it. She does some syncopated moves, over the top of the step and a move similar to Cathe's shuffle repeater(in Step Jam). The music is by Music Flex; with some songs heard on Body MAx and Step Fit tape (it's a nice change from the Dynamix/CIA soundtrack). The toning is about 15 minutes long, and she uses some heavier weights (10-12 lbs), with few repetitions. It's full body toning, but not as intense Cory or Cathe's strength tapes. Overall, it's a great tape.
Body Tech would be an excellent choice for those who want to get in a fun, intermediate/advanced step workout plus total body strength in one hour.
Of course, given those time limitations, you won't be working each muscle group thoroughly, but Kari does a great job of hitting all the muscle groups w/ at least one exercise, designed to be done with more challenging weights so you can benefit more from the short sets.
The set is very nice and the soundtrack is well chosen, which seems to be de rigeur with Kari.
The step workout has moves that feel similar to her Great Moves/United Steps step videos--fun and challenging, but not as dancy as her earlier videos.
In many ways, this video seemed like a "sequel" to Fitness Formula. There is a similar live class atmosphere, with modifications shown to make the workout more or less intense, and she breaks down the moves more than in the Great Moves series (which is for instructors). I think it would please Fitness Formula fans looking for something a bit more challenging.
Mandy has outlined the strength exercises in her review, so I won't repeat her breakdown. I do wish there was a little more lower body work, but I suspect she may have concentrated on upper body since the strength followed a step workout.
Overall, I think this is one of the best cardio+strength videos to be released in quite a while. It can't be all things to all people, but it doesn't try to be. It's fun and time-efficient--we should all have a few such videos on our shelves.
Wendy Niemi Kremer
When I first previewed this tape, I wasn't impressed, it seemed kind of simple. But it was lots of fun doing it. The choreography is kind of medium on the difficulty scale, the intensity low advanced on an 8 inch step.
I'm not sure that this video will be on my long time keeper list. While I am enjoying it, after a while the amount of time she repeats moves she is teaching is going to make this boring for me. In fact,there are times I'm already saying move along, or I'm doing the advanced move while she is still moving through the teaching steps. Therefore, I'm doing the same step for 4 or 5 minutes.
On the other hand, this might be just the ticket for a 5:30 am workout. I enjoy the wt work, even if it is only 15 minutes, I use moderate, not light, not heavy weights. As all exercise trends come and go, . Her second Great Moves step tape is still my favorite Kari tape of all times.
If you are a hard core choreography junkie, you will soon tire of this tape.
Instructor comments: Kari is my favorite instructor. Professional and friendly but not cutesy, good cueing (which is the most important thing to me). Kari has a gift for breaking down the moves in an intersting way, and moving you towards complex moves.
Wendy said this was like a sequel to "Fitness Formula" and I agree, but I would add that this tape is a lot more fun. The choreography in FF is a lot more basic and if I remember correctly the choreography is never put together at the end. The first time I did this tape I was concerned because the first combo is extrememly basic (just 2 L-steps, some basics and a repeater or lunge back) and I wondered if the whole routine was similar. It is not. The next 3 combos are more interesting and fun. I also liked the warm-up (it is more interesting than that first combo.) Some of the fun moves include ponying on top of the step, turn step into a scissors and a variation of the shuffle repeater that is very fun.
I like this tape a lot, but it will not get heavy use from me at this time. It has a shorter cardio section than I would like for regular use - including the warm-up it is only about 37 minutes. The strength section is very short and I probably won't be using it. I could see it being useful for someone who is looking to get both types of work done in under an hour though. It will get used on those days when I don't feel like working out. Yesterday was one of those days, and it filled my needs perfectly. Its length was just fine (it got me moving for over half an hour), and the choreography was interesting enough to keep it fun. If I used it a lot though, the choreography would get old.
This is a true inter/advanced tape. Kari is very good at showing different levels of the moves, so an intermediate could enjoy this tape if they are not ready to do all the highest levels. Done at the highest level most advanced exercisers can probably get their heartrate up, but may not get a super-intense workout.
I would highly recommend this tape to intermediates who are looking to branch out into tapes with more choreography but are nervous about doing so. Kari does an excellent job of layering the complexity and teaching the moves. She also even gives a little pep talk at the beginning about learning choreography.
I am happy to see Kari put out some new videos geared toward home exercisers and not just instructors like her Great Moves videos. I like seeing a group work out, and I really prefer when tapes have stretching at the end. I wish she would make some tapes with longer cardio sections however.
Instructor comments: I was very neutral in my feelings about Kari until recently. I am not sure why she has grown on me, but now I really enjoy working out with her tapes.
As a total Kari devotee, I have to add my review here in hopes that Body Tech will make it soon to the Favorites category. When I previewed this tape, I smiled all the way through and couldn't wait to try it.
Other reviewers have described the contents. I was delighted with the complicated choreography, even though, as Kari says at one point, "It will take you a month to master this!" But Kari is the master teacher and the queen of encouragers. She makes you want to try, and rewards your effort with her comments. Yes, I had to rewind. No, I didn't get it the first time. But I smiled all the way through.
I especially enjoyed moves like the shuffle repeater, which I worked so hard to learn from Cathe. Also, I had fun trying the many interesting turns she adds to the basic direction, even though, at this point, I'm still ending up on the wrong foot here and there. I'm practicing on a six inch step, not paying much attention to heartrate. But when I get the moves down, I'm moving up, and I expect this to be an exhilarating step workout.
As someone with a limited workout time, I appreciate the "package deal" provided by this tape, even with its limited weight repertoire. This is a satisfactory maintenance weight routine that fits in well with my total fitness program.
Kari wins me again!
Instructor comments: Kari's warm and encouraging personality, together with solid teaching style, always make my day. For a former ballerina, she's no waif, and I appreciate her natural,
fit appearance. The cute new hairdo suits her, too.
I love this workout. The music is great, the choreography is fun and the instruction is outstanding.
The warm-up is guaranteed to get you grooving. The moves are simple, but they are big and sweeping and Kari has you using the floor space all around your step, with a couple of fun mambos and pivots thrown in for the choreography junkies. And the warm-up music ROCKS! (Loud too, which I love.)
On to the body of the workout. Kari teaches it in 3 big chunks of choreography. You put chunks 1 and 2 together for a couple of runthroughs, then she teaches chunk 3 and you get to string it all together at the end.
The chunks are progressively more complex, but even steppers who are afraid to do much more than a basic step and an L-step could handle this workout, since Kari teaches the basic move first, then gradually demonstrates more complex variations. For example, the basic version of one move is a 4-knee repeater, tap the step and go over the short way, then tap again and return to where you started. Kari gradually makes this more and more complex, until at the end the 4-knee repeater becomes a knee-up, a quicktime shuffle-pendulum thingy (Cathe does it in Step Jam, but I don't know what it's called), then a knee up and 360 degree pivot turn on top of the step before tapping and going over the step the long way. It's a blast.
The cooldown seems very short and then you move on to the strength work. Kari uses 2 sets of dumbells for the strength training and advises you to go heavy, since you only do 1 or 2 sets for most body parts. I only did this section once, but I thought it was okay. I remember thinking that she went way too light on legs and my triceps got a little TOO much attention. Also, the ab work disappointed me, only because I expected something stellar from Kari -- and this was merely average.
There are a few things about this workout that I think are outstanding. The first is Kari's way of easing you into complex choreography. This is a great tape to help the person who is afraid of choreography move on to the next level, because Kari really allows you to set your own pace for learning. Because of the variations, this is also a tape that can be adapted to either an intermediate or an advanced level in terms of intensity.
Another standout is the structure. This is a very versatile workout. Kari has put together a total body workout in just 1 hour. The format makes it easy to break up into separate strength and cardio. And if you choose to do just the cardio, it's a great workout to team up with your own strength routine.
Finally, the music. It's good and it's LOUD. Love it.
Warning to experienced steppers -- Kari teaches the first chunk of choreography (L-steps, repeaters and a charleston) kind of slow. Hang in there -- once you get through that section, things start to get interesting.
I find myself doing this video every week. I think it deserves the Hall of Fame.
Instructor comments: Kari is just lovely, both in personality and looks. She's a long, cool looking blonde without a klutzy bone in her body. Well, I've got klutz coming out the wazoo, but somehow I manage to keep up -- and still like her while I'm learning. Her cuing is meticulous and her form pointers are most welcome. Kari is a star.
I loved the first half of this video! The step choreography was buckets of fun. I may do the first section alone on cardio days when I don't have much time.
The second half, with the weights, was not all that exciting. I used 7# dumbells, and made a note to myself to go heavier next time, on everything except the rotator cuff exercises. OK, serviceable, but there are other weight lifting videos I like much better (mostly Firms). Still, a good choice for someone who is just trying to incorporate some basic strength training into their Cardio Queen routine.
Instructor comments: Great cuing. Much fun to work out with.
As has already been mentioned, you get a little bit of everything with Body Tech--a good warm-up, 30 minutes of fun, moderately complex step combos, a decent strength workout, abs, and a GREAT final stretch--all in just under an hour. The step combos are interesting and fun, and since Kari and her crew demonstrate several levels of complexity, this would be a great intro to Kari's choreography for the intermediate to advanced stepper.
I like the weights portion of the workout, too, but I find myself having to pyramid the weights much more than Kari does (I mean, I don't use the same weight for front raises that I do for lat rows). I find myself pausing the tape a lot, which is a little annoying to me, since there's virtually no rest in between exercises. The reps are slow, so if you want to go heavy with the weights you are able to. You'll get a decent, short upper body workout and an OK ab workout, but there's only about a minute's worth of leg work. I guess that Kari figured that your legs are worked somewhat during the step segment. I'd classify this tape as mid- to high intermediate (depending on step height, how far you take the choreography and the power moves, and weights used), and a lighter workout for advanced exercisers.
Body Tech is a great, versatile addition to my video collection!
Instructor comments: I love working out with Kari Anderson! She seems so engaging and so friendly! Her voice has a musical quality to it. Kari becomes more polished with every video she makes. Her form is great, and she is so beautiful and graceful. She gives a moderate amount of form pointers during the strength section. Her cueing is good, although with this tape she sometimes will not cue each upcoming combo. They are repeated a fair amount of time (but not excessively), so after the first couple of run-throughs it shouldn't be a problem.
I really like this video a lot. It is one that I will use when I want moderate intensity and LOTS OF FUN! It flows very well. Kari keeps adding on throughout the video and then goes through the routines from the top. I generally catch on quickly to choreography and didn't have much trouble picking up all the moves. There are a few moves that are a bit tricky. If you watch them in slow motion and stop the tape and practice, then it won't take long to learn all the moves.
The background exercisers did not provide much help or added interest and were sometimes a little off, so I just watched Kari through the whole tape.
I am sure I will enjoy doing this tape for a long time. I recommend this tape highly for an intermediate to advanced stepper. The last section of toning was an added bonus, but I would use it only as an extra muscle boost, not as a primary workout for toning or strength building.
In summary, this is a quality, fun step tape by a top-notch instructor.
Instructor comments: Kari is one of the best instructors. She looks great, and is super-fit and healthy. Kari's personality is warm, friendly and upbeat. She knows exactly what she is doing every second of the workout. I would buy any video of hers (and have all of them to date).
Everything about this video calls out, "YES!" It's a workout filled
with grace and good times. Next to the Firm, Kari Anderson uses some of the
most tasteful sets on video. She always provides her fans with top-quality
productions. This production is no different. Crisp video quality; a
light-filled workout studio with handsome hardwood floors and large
blue-curtained windows; upbeat, strong soundtrack; cheerful mixed-gender/race
background exercisers; and, of course, one fantastic instructor. It's a
happy-go-lucky sort of step workout. Upper intermediate/lower advanced level
intensity. Not too dancy or complex -- just a group of people having a
little step party.
You join in the fun. You step for roughly 30 minutes and then do a
15-minute arm workout. The arm workout isn't long enough to be taken
seriously as an upper body strength training workout -- just good for some
toning on days you haven't enough time. I usually tack on Body Tech's step
segment onto another cardio tape. Sometimes I do the entire Body Tech video,
adding on another 30 minute upper body arm workout (like Cathe PS or one of
Cory Everson's upper body videos). Perfect! This video can be used in a
variety of ways.
I notice I tend to reach for this video on gray, rainy mornings. Body
Tech is filled with so much light & positive energy that I always feel better
after having done it. Two thumbs up!
October 26, 2000
WARNING: A totally biased review coming up. I LOVE this workout and can’t understand how others could possibly disagree (smile), so keep that in mind. I am an intermediate exerciser who is inching toward advanced.
This tape transitioned me to loving complex step choreography. The choreography in this workout is pretty much intermediate, but flirts with advanced moves, especially in the third combination. Kari puts together two combinations and then combines them; she puts together two more combinations, then combines combos # 3 & 4. Then, you go through the whole routine once. The third combination is the most complex of the combinations.
The whole thing just flows for me and I find myself sweating buckets and grinning like an idiot through it. The music is fine, but nothing to shout from the rooftops about. It keeps me going through the workout. She gives a base move and then makes it more complicated. However, anytime you want to do the more simple moves, that is fine. In one part, after she has built the entire combination, Kari goes back and does the simplified version again, showing that you can do the whole thing at any level.
I highly recommend this workout! (But, I am biased…)
I love Kari's supportive, yet challenging, way of doing a video. She gives options and makes it clear that doing the simpler version is fine. It's probably one of the reasons I learned to do more complex choreography with her.
August 5, 2004