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Sweat Express

Sweat Express - very dancy and you need lots of space!

from the misc.fitness.aerobic FAQ

Sweat Express

This is undoubtedly the most enjoyable floor aerobics tape I've ever tried. Kari Anderson is truly a master of the genre. The tape really makes you feel as if you're dancing as you move through the air and across the room. The tape is about 60 min. long, with 38 min. of aerobics in 6 segments (there are pulse checks between each section). I would say that the level is Intermediate/Advanced. Intermediate exercisers will probably have sufficient endurance to handle all the steps (though they do need some coordination!), but advanced folks can really take off and have a blast.

Fans of Anderson's "Two the Max" will love it--the music is similarly styled--funky, original, and perfectly suited to Kari's choreography. Though very dancy, Sweat Express is a bit easier to learn than "Two the Max", either because the tempo is a bit slower, or because Kari's cuing is so terrific and the steps in each combo flow so naturally together. Those who don't like dancy choreography should avoid Kari's tapes, but for those who like it, Sweat Express is a real treat.

You will get out of this tape what you put in--the choreography invites the viewer to use full range of motion, though some may not have a large enough workout area to do so. Advanced exercisers will probably need the extra room to get to a high intensity level. I managed pretty well with about 6 feet to travel forward (then back) and 5-6 feet to each side for lateral movement.

The first section is similar to the floor section in Two the Max--lots of lunges, lateral "slides" (like a small sashay), box steps, twists and heel/toe steps. The second section picks up the intensity, with some hops and balancing moves that require a fair amount of muscular strength and control. The second song in the second section is very funky--Kari doesn't try to be Donna Richardson or Victoria Johnson, though, she just finds her own funky dance style and music and teaches it superbly and convincingly. The third section is even more intense, with some controlled lateral leaping moves that are quite a challenge, even for advanced exercisers. The cool down is one of the best funky cooldowns I've seen, and you stretch to relaxing piano music.

One last note--I've noticed that the prices of many of Kari's tapes (including Sweat Express) have dropped to around $15 retail, at least in Collage's catalog. It's rare that you can get so much fun, superb teaching and excellent production quality for a $15 investment--it's a very good time to add an Anderson tape or 2 to your video library.

Wendy Niemi Kremer

Sweat Express
Kari Anderson

This is one of the best high intensity aerobics tape you can buy. I have had this tape for a few years now and it on the top of the pile when I want an aerobics workout to make me feel like I really expended tons of energy. The warm-up is approximately 7 minutes with some nice stretches. There are six segments, each about 6 minutes long, giving you a 36 minute aerobic workout. The choreography is not too complex, and lots of fun to do. Kari never sounds like she is out of breath, but you sure will be. She is agile, lean, energetic and inspiring. The music is a little "cheesy" and the outfit changes in each segment is a small price to pay for the excellence of the intensity for all you high impact aerobic fans.

MaryAnn Parker

This is the rare video that for me captures the fun of a great hi/lo class. The choreography is dancy, but Kari's teaching is so good that even someone with two left feet like me could follow it pretty easily the first time. The entire video is less than an hour and includes about 38 minutes of heart-pumping aerobics. Because of Kari's intricate choreography, you'll probably get best results if you have lots of floor space. So you may need to push the sofa back, but it's totally worth it!

Elaine C.
4/20/97

I love this video. When I want an intense workout it is my first pick. The routines are high energy and higher impact, and they aren't boring. The moves aren't very repetitive, which makes it easier to do. I like the people in the background because they are a mix of ages, sizes, and there are men as well as women. they all look like they are having a good time without seeming fake. The aerobics section is 38 minutes long, which I think is usually sufficient. It is the longest tape I have that requires such energy and effort. This tape reminds me of Jane Fonda - it is somewhat more old-fashioned than other tapes I have. I can't help smiling as I exercise along with the group smiling back at me.

Jamie Rinaldi
6/30/97

I got this through the video exchange and have done it about four times now. It's a great workout, although I think I like Two the Max a little better; I get bored if I do floor aerobics for too long.
It was interesting; when I received this tape it was rewound to somewhere in the middle and I popped it in and started watching it. I thought, "Yikes, this is gonna be hard to follow!" but the next day when I did it, there were few steps I had any trouble with. I think Kari builds them in a way that the final product makes sense.
I was surprised when I saw the copyright date was something like 1994. Somehow the video seems older than that; someone else had said it has "cheesy Jack LaLane music," so maybe that's why.
I would not rate this as high as a Cathe F video, but it's definitely a good, fun workout. Oh, and I should add that, like Two the Max, there is a wonderful stretch segment at the end.

Jen Blaske
7-14-97

This is a floor aerobics workout. I do it all or mostly high-impact, but many of the moves can be done low-impact as well. There are 5 or 6 different songs, and the routine changes with each song -- so if you happen to be in a routine you don't care for, it will change before too long! But there isn't any routine I don't like on this tape. They're all fun. The choreography is not quite as advanced as some of her more recent tapes, like the Great Moves series. I would call it an intermediate or higher-intermediate level. It's an excellent and fun workout -- something hard to find in floor aerobics these days! I rank it an A.

Annie S.
7/29/97

This hour-long routine with about 40 minutes or so of mixed-level floor aerobics will make you feel like you're in the same room with Kari and Co., training to be a dancer yourself. It's simply the best floor tape I've tried since Donna-Mite. WOW! The more room you have, the more fun and effective this workout is. So move your furniture onto the porch, into the hallway--or better yet, just sell it so you don't have to bother with it again:) My husband has learned the hard way to steer clear of the living room when this tape's in the VCR. (I once mowed him down during the second song where you shuffle across the floor and do the box step. He was carrying laundry to the washer at the time. Have you ever done your workout with dirty underwear hanging from your ceiling fan?)

The choreography is definitely more complex than, say, Kathy Smith or Karen Voight. But this actually took me less time to master than Paula Abdul's tape--which was a much shorter workout with more repetition and fewer routines to master. Either Kari's just in a class by herself where teaching is concerned, or I'm getting better at picking up steps:) She's also really good about saying, "do whatever feels best for your body." You can repeat basic moves, and not add high impact till you're ready. The six routines, punctuated by heart rate checks before songs #3 and #5. include good old-fashioned '80s style lunges and kicks, a step-out-with style funk number (my favorite!), ponies, the twist, and the "swim" from back in the 60's, and a ballet-inspired set where you end up turning and leaping like a Joffrey Ballet wannabe! The cool-down is cute. Both the tick-tock style soundtrack and the precision-with grace movements inspire me to call this the "funky Swiss clock" routine. Like Donna Richardson, Kari doesn't let the fun stop when the high intensity phase is over. For me, this is so much fun that I don't realize how hard I've been working until the stretch to classic piano music. It feels so good to finally slow down and move at a more relaxing pace.

The only thing I DON'T like about this routine is the cheesy warm-up soundtrack. The percussion starts out with this great tropical beat, and some guy doing vocal funk. I'm thinking, "this is cool." Just a few bars later, though, they add the third instrument--an ORGAN. Maybe Kari was trying to pay tribute to Jack LaLanne here? I don't know. But it makes for the funniest sounding workout music this side of FIRMs 1 and 4 with their flatulating tuba. Once you've survived that part of the workout, the rest of the music is absolutely wonderful by comparison. It's not as good as the stuff Karen Voight uses, but by 1991 standards, it isn't totally bad, either. Kari wears an awful lot of pink eyeshadow and lipstick, and you'll need sunglasses to look at some of the neon getups everyone wears, but just do what I do. Just shake your head and say, "can you believe what we wore in the good old days in 1991?" And don't let the obviously dated wardrobes and music dissuade you from trying this one if you're an advanced level lover of complex choreography who wants an instructor that can motivate and have fun but still act like a grown-up. Enjoy!

Grade: A+

Melissa Cooper
11/7/97

I love this workout! It is so much fun, and really keeps my heart pumping.

The best thing about this tape is Kari's choreography. It is so interesting and intricate. You do some traditional moves, but most of them are uniquely Kari's. I can't even describe them! The big thing about them is that they are really dancy, and you use your whole body, not just your legs and arms. A little hip movement here, a little shoulder dip there.

Kari really packs a lot into this tape; just when you get one combination down, she moves to another one. This made this tape one of the more difficult ones for me to learn (most of my other tapes are the Firm), but boy, now that I know it, it's a blast! The intensity level is pretty high, with lots of high impact moves. It's very easy to modify to lower impact though.

One thing I'm not too crazy about in this video is the music. It's kinda hokey and corny, and at first I didn't like it. Now I don't care though, 'cause I have so much fun! If you want an advanced workout where it almost feels like you're in a dance class, not an aerobics class, this tape is for you.

Mary Truscott
1/18/97

I always thought I was "dance impaired" until I gave this tape a shot. The first time I did it I caught on to about 90% of the moves. It introduced me to dancier style workouts that are still very challenging cardio wise. That said, this isn't one of my favorites. The music is really cheesy and just doesn't do anything for me and my heart rate really drops in the funk section no matter how big I make my movements. For some reason Kari's style workouts feels harder on my joints than, say, Christy Taylor's CIA 7002. Maybe it's just the two tapes I have (this one and Two the Max). One other complaint...I like to go through all the combinations to join it all together into a "routine". With this workout when you are finished with a section, Kari just moves onto the next.

After many times doing this tape, I still have a problem with a few moves, particularly those in the 5th section, that I think Melissa C described as "Spandau Ballet". No matter how closely I watch Kari's feet, I just can't get mine to go that way!

All in all, this is a decent workout, but I usually find myself reaching for Two the Max, or Christy Taylor instead.

Tonya Bednarick
03/07/98

Over the past few years, I've read reviews of "Sweat Express" and been a little intimidated. Most reviews say the choreography is complicated, you need a lot of space, and it's an "advanced" workout. I was intrigued, but it wasn't until I found a copy on sale at my local sporting goods store that I tried it. I've always thought I'd never be "advanced," since I'm over my "ideal" weight and over 40, but I *am* coordinated and have lots of stamina (I've been exercising regularly for 30 years).

I love this video, but I modify it. I don't jog or jump a lot, but I manage to get my heart rate in the required zone for aerobic training. Some of the moves would be dangerous on carpet, so I just jog around and do the arm movements.

The music's great, the choreography isn't all that hard because Kari repeats the routine so many times you finally get it, and when it's over, I feel like I've accomplished a lot. The sweat on my T-shirt shows that "Sweat Express" is an apt title.

I don't know that I have more space than most people for aerobics; I use a spare bedroom furnished with bookcases, computer equipment and a TV. I have enough room to get a lot of movement in, but if I hadn't tried the video I would have assumed I didn't have enough space from what I'd read previously.

My recommendation is that a regular exerciser of any level could work out with this fun, exhilarating video (even if you make modificaitons, as I do). I especially like the "flying" parts, and the last aerobics segment that is an energetic finale.

This is an A+ floor aerobics video, and definitely a keeper.

Lilly Anderson
7/31/00

This workout hasn't been reviewed in a few years so I thought I'd put one in for it. Since I don't have a step yet I have a lot of hi/lo workouts and this is one of my favourites. When I first got it I was at a low intermediate level and got a little frustrated by the intensity of this workout. Six months later, however, it's much more comfortable for me and I am able to add in some of the higher impact elements. As Kari explains in the introducion and throughout the workout, turns and jumps are always optional.

I like the way that Kari builds a combination for each song, instead of building up a routine with endless TIFT'ing like others do. Although I also appreciate the other style, it's refreshing to do a video with a different composition once in awhile. The choreography isn't as complex as some of the others out there, but it's still pretty challenging and fun! Kari's cue-ing is spot-on and makes the workout really easy to follow. The time just flies by and before you know it you'll be ready to cool down.

However, if you have a problem with "dated" anything you will probably not like this workout. The music is an odd funk track with weird sound effects and voiceovers once in awhile. Kari and the crew wear a garish combination of leotards and tights last seen in ... well... 1991 (when this video was produced). I am not one of those people who is bothered by things like this though.

One minor gripe that I have about this is that sometimes Kari and the music do not end at the same time. That is, sometimes Kari gets partway through a combination when the song ends and she just stops where she is. I really don't think this is a big problem though.

Instructor comments: Kari is a great instructor. She tends to be more on the professional side than others, but at the same time her bubbly personality shines through.

Megan

Feb. 29, 2004



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