Of the 20 step videos I own, CIA 2003 has probably
gotten the most use.
The CIA series, originally designed for instructors,
offers challenging, lengthy routines by talented, but
unknown instructors. All the CIA tapes I've done have
been devoid of glitz, but professional, straight-forward
CIA 2003 consists of three segments: TWO-STEPPIN', a
60- minute advanced step class with Diane Zapata and Ken
Gilbert; ARMED AND DANGEROUS, a 25-minute low-impact
aerobics floor routine with unusual arms with Debbie
Ellenberg; and TIME OUT WITH GREG, low-impact moves with
Zapata and Gilbert's team-taught step routine is
extraordinary. Since they don't break down any of the
combinations, I stumbled through this section of the tape
the first few times I worked out to this video. The step
routine starts out with a no- nonsense warm-up that
combines push-ups with basic step moves and stretches.
The aerobic step routine is divided into two parts: a
fifteen-minute intermediate section and a longer advanced
The first section includes practically every
imaginable step move and combo: straddles, rocking
horses, across the bench, over the tops,
turn-straddle-turns, traveling knees, lunges, propulsions
and more. The most aggressive segment in the first
section is a lunge series consisting of 100 or so lunges
and propulsion moves. If you're still standing after the
first section (all advanced steppers will be), the
advanced step section will undoubtedly kick your butt.
Zapata begins this section with some basic moves, but
Gilbert quickly takes over with "over-the-
top-heel-digs, over-the-top-knee-ups, over-the
-top-propulsion knees". If that's not enough for
you, Gilbert whips you into submission with a
three-minute lunge series that will leave your heart
racing and your chest heaving. The rest of this step
segment is somewhat tamer, concentrating on simpler moves
and individual muscles: glutes, hamstrings, etc.
Ellenberg's low-impact floor aerobics segment features
Ellenberg's unbridled enthusiasm and a couple of clumsy
assistants. Ellenberg is a fantastic instructor, sure to
get you up and moving on even your most apathetic days.
The routine itself is easy to follow and fun. I do this
segment of the video when I'm pressed for time (it's
under 30 minutes) and I need an emotional lift.
Twombly's low-impact moves are equally polished. A
serious, professional instructor himself, Twombly
provides a good, but quick work-out in this segment.
It is unfortunate that this video hasn't been more
agressively marketed. It's one of the best exercise
videos out there. If you're an advanced stepper, buy it.