Kari Anderson and Jay Blahnik
This routine is about 56 minutes total, with the aerobics section lasting about 40 minutes. I was surprised that there is no
stretching in the warm-up; as a matter of fact, I didn't even realize it *was* a warm-up until they mentioned that we were
through with it. Kari leads with the warm-up combo, which is later incorporated into the body of the workout, but it doesn't
get dull or repetitive, for some reason.
Kari shines as usual, and adds lots of twirly moves as well as her more dance-oriented
"athletic" moves (lunges with a twist). Jay has nice moves too, with slightly more impact than Kari's. Their rapport is really
fantastic and genuine. They talk to each other and with each other, teasing back and forth in a natural, jocular way. I think
that, and the music, are this video's strength.
I think there are 4 combos total, and the taking it from the top is not incessant or
grating, thankfully. Jay teaches the cool-down, which is his version of funk -- he even gives Kari a little jousting about that,
implying that they aren't the funkiest gang in town, but they'd give it their best shot. (Kari gave him a rejoinder, but I couldn't
hear it. It was cute).
The intensity was soundly low advanced. I broke a nice little sweat with this one, but I was always able to take advantage of a fairly large workout space.
I did get a little frustrated with Jay's sloooow teaching on the very last combo. It really didn't take all the explaining he did,
because it was basically a scoop, up-and-over, leap, mambo and a some grapevines and other traveling moves. Ho hum. And he marched in place a lot. I jogged in place mostly, but it did seem like the video came to a screeching halt when he taught that combo. Yawn.
Anyway, still a good video for the $13 price (which is what you pay if you buy this one and the Cardio Step video together; it's $24.95 for the both of them from Kari's greatmoves.com website).
This is a "feel-good" workout. One of those that you can just have a good time with and brighten up your day. It's only 48 minutes total, so you can fit it in if you're a little short on time. The 40-minute high/low section is at an intermediate/advanced level for intensity, and I would say higher-intermediate for choreography. I don't think it's as complex (or quite as fun) as Classic Step, but definitely a keeper nonetheless. There are some really fun moves put together in interesting ways, but my favorite move is the very first one called a "rock step." It's pretty easy, but for some reason I just really enjoy that step. I do most of the workout high impact even though the instructors don't necessarily do it that way. It goes well with the music -- there are some tapes that modifying to high impact doesn't work too well, but it's great here. Finally, the 8-minute cooldown/stretch is fun, too. Jay gets a little "funky," mostly with the shoulders, but you don't have to add that in if you don't want to.
Kari and Jay have a great rapport and I like the tag-team approach to teaching. It makes things more interesting. I did notice that the cueing could be improved in some areas, mostly on Kari's side. Grade A.
This was the first non-basic choreography floor aerobics tape I
attempted. I was able to get the entire tape down by about the third try.
It has inspired me to try other complex hi/lo tapes.
The workout consists of four combinations. The first workout, taught
by Kari doubles as the warm up. She mentions something about getting a
dynamic stretch, but it really is not emphasized. That is fine with me.
This combination begins with a fun rock step move. The next combination that
she teaches, the third one, is a joy. She has a lunge crossover move that I
like. I like to put a little extra spring into it.
Jay's combinations are slightly more athletic. The first combination
includes hamstring curls, pivots, and a knee-up move. I liked this
combination the least. His last combination is excellent, but is hampered
by the fact that he spends too long teaching it. It is a shame, because I
really love the chasse, leap, mambo combination. Still, in subsequent use
the long teaching time has not annoyed me as much as I had anticipated.
After all the combinations are taught, I think you run through the
entire routine three times. Then it is on to a "funky" cooldown. Most of
the music in this tape I had not heard before, but the cooldown music is
recognizable from Body Max (I think). The stretch includes some balance
moves. The entire tape clocks in at about 45-50 minutes. The warm
up/aerobic phase is 39 minutes. Do not believe Collage's time breakdown of
this video. (Usually they are right on the money with time breakdowns.) I
am not the greatest judge of intensity, but I would call this high
intermediate. It is mixed impact, but the jumping moves are not of the foot
The set is the same light and airy aerobics studio from other Great
Moves tapes. I like Kari's simple sets. I really like this tape and it I
pull it out with regularity, especially when I want a shorter workout
On cardio work, I am an intermediate exerciser who is playing with advanced choreography. I have done several of Kari’s workouts and love them – ask me my favorite workouts of all time and I’d say Danceworks and Body Tech. I’ve also done Christi Taylor, Marcos Prolo, Andre Houle, and Marcus Irwin. However, even though I love complex choreography, it takes me awhile to “get it”. I will start a new complex cardio workout after a workout I already know and then add a little at a time until I know the workout.
So, I eagerly tried this workout because I figured it’s a Kari Anderson workout and it was recommended to me by people who know my style and exercise preferences. And, I hated it – never got much beyond the warm-up. I simply could not follow their movements. They would show the easiest form of the combination and then say that you could stay with that and then they _all_ would move on to the next higher level of complexity. I would be left standing in the middle of my workout space trying to remember what I had just done (pretty badly) and attempting to interpret their movements to something I could remember. In fact I tried it twice. I gave up on it once, put it on my trade pile, and then several months later decided that I had gotten a whole lot better at cardio, so I would probably “get it” this time. Nope. Exact same reaction. I finally threw in the towel and just decided that this workout isn’t for me and I was NEVER going to get it.
I don’t know if my reaction was simply something about the way my personality and abilities interacted with this specific video or what. But, I figured I’d post a contrary view to the other reviews, just to present “the other side”.
They are warm and encouraging.
August 31, 2004