All I can say is that this tape kicked my butt! I'm an advanced exerciser and love high impact and interval training. I've been using Cathe Friedrich's Interval Max tape for a while and find Mindy's tape to be much harder. The workout consists of about 30 minutes of step intervals and 25 minutes of hi/lo intervals. She starts each segment by teaching the moves you'll be doing for the anaerobic intervals. You do about a minute of high intensity on one leg, then recover (very briefly) and do it on the other leg. Many of the anaerobic intervals are more like agility drills where you use your step and go very fast through the movements (like straddling and pony's over the step). I highly recommend that you practice these moves before you do the tape! I did it for the first time this morning and tripped several times (of course, I'd just gotten out of bed). The hi/lo intervals involved ski jumps, plyo lunges and plyo jumps and I thought this section was easier than the step intervals (thank goodness). The cardio workout ends with a stretch and then you move on to the 'Pump Party' with a body bar or dumbbells. This section consists of squats with the body bar (basic squats, squats with a knee lift and side steps with squats), and compound movements with the body bar. One really tough one was a back lunge into a front kick with an overhead press. She also included some slow plyo lunges with the body bar that were very hard for me. I was using a barbell with no plates (15 lbs) and it was too heavy to do any jumping so I just did regular lunges. Next was a one-armed row with the body bar (I used dumbbells) and a bent over row. She also did some bicep curls, some killer one-legged squats and a side lunge with an upright row (I did this with dumbbells). Next comes some shoulder work with dumbbells, then 3 sets of pushups and a VERY short ab workout, followed by tricep dips.
This is the first CIA tape I've ever gotten that actually challenged me. My only complaints are that 1) you never know which leg you're supposed to be on so I spent a lot of time stumbling around and trying to follow Mindy. She's not that great with her cues. 2) The recovery time in between the anaerobic intervals was too short. I didn't time everything, but I felt like I spent more time in the high intervals than in the recovery period. Mindy is very high energy and perky without being annoying. If you're an advanced exerciser who needs a challenge, this tape is definitely for you. I don't know know if I'll do the entire tape every time (it's almost 2 hours long) but I'll definitely use both of these workouts in my routine.
I love, love, love this video!! For a little background, I am an advanced exerciser who has experience with other interval tapes such as Intense Moves and Interval Max. I have (and love) two other tapes by Mindy - 2K02 and Medicine Ball Training - so I knew that I would like her style.
The interval section is broken up into step (about 28 minutes) and hi-lo (about 23 minutes). The step section is divided between a horizontal step section and a vertical step section. After a short step warm-up that has a fun little hamstring curl/hesitation move, Mindy gets down to business. The first few intervals involve a lot of fast footwork - the "fast pirate," some football moves (the Big Bad Blocker is back from 2K02), and a totally fun cheerleader section. Why don't more tapes incorporate cheerleader moves?! After a couple more intervals you turn your step vertically for about five intervals. I didn't think these intervals were quite as tough as the others, but they were interesting and pretty fun. Next you move on to hi-lo, which was a total blast. Mindy mentions that hi-lo is her forte and I can believe it! Intervals during the hi-lo section incorporate ski jumps, plyo scissors, lunge variations, plyo jumps and a fun sports finale with basketball, football, cheerleading, boxing and skiing moves. There's a short cool-down and that's it!
For me, the major difference between this interval tape and the ones mentioned above is the fun factor. The intensity is the same, but 2101 leaves me beaming and energized instead of panting and drained. The intervals themselves are shorter and they aren't as repetitive and homogenous as in other interval tapes. For example, in one interval you do four squat jumps on the step, then a mambo, then an L-step off the step, then three over-the-tops. In the next, you do some fast footwork over the step, then diagonally over the step, then over again, then jump up. It is pretty high impact, but so are the other interval tapes. I like high impact - but if you don't, this tape isn't for you. One note - for the sections with the fast footwork, I use a 6" step (like Mindy). I'm 5'7" and usually use an 8" step, but when I tried it at 8" I tripped around and couldn't keep up.
Pump party is a 45 minute light-to-medium weight strength workout. I don't have a body bar, so I had trouble at first trying to figure out what dumbbells to use. I ended up staying with 8's and 10's for most of it. She does some neat compound moves - the best was a dip with a kick and an overhead press - and more or less hits each of the major muscle groups. It's no MIS, but fun and efficient total-body strength work.
Another highlight is the music - WOW. It's upbeat and contemporary, and they really did a great job matching the music to the moves.
Instructor Comments: This tape sealed the deal - Mindy is one of my all-time favorite instructors. I love her laid-back style, I think she is absolutely hilarious, and I love that she can make an ultra-tough tape seem like playtime. Her background exercisers are fun, too - high five, Joe!
The Good: For me, everything - although the tape is not for everyone.
The warm-up is short and energetic - which I like, but you wouldn't want
to do this as soon as you got up. The segments are tough, simple,
athletic and demanding. You use your step turned the traditional way,
and then turned lengthwise toward the television. You have time to turn
the step, and the moves in this part are new and fun. As of now, once I
get to 8+ on perceived exertion, I don't drop back that much.
Some of the step intervals will remind you in a good way of the Karen
Voight interval tape (Energy Sprint), and the floor segments brought to
mind the Kathy Smith and even the NAC tape from several yrs
I love using my body bar, so for me, this tape was right on time. I look
forward to the pump section, and that gets me putting a lot into the
I do the tape straight through, step intervals, floor intervals and then
the pump section, which pretty much lays me out. That, I like. But you
could just do the step and go to the body pump. That's a good shorter
In this tape, as elsewhere, Mindy gives credit to those who worked with
her. In this, one of the two "background" participants is the
co-creator. Knowing that made the moves more interesting to me.
The Bad: Nothing. Okay, one thing -- the Tweedledum - Tweedledee barbs.
I wish she hadn't said this.
Nonetheless, I recommend the tape.
Beth Lee Simon
As many who frequent the VF forum know, I love Mindy Mylrea and I love her workouts. Well, this one is a WINNER. I consider myself an advanced exerciser who is choreography-challenged. I don't like a ton of spins, turns, or taking-it from-the-top. This workout is a perfect match for
me. It also has some great music (no Interval Max music for the umpteenth
time). The background exercisers were Joe and Tracy (Tracy was also on Slamming
Sports Cardio and I really wish she were in more videos!)
The video starts out with a short warmup and then
moves into the step segment. I
believe this segment is about 25 minutes. During the
second part of the step, your
step is turned towards the television set. The
football drills are back and they are
fast! She does a "peg-leg" interval, cheerleader,
jump squats, jumps off the step (more on that later),
and a few others - just in the step section!
I need to address the comments about the impact level of this workout. Yes, it is high impact, but you can modify it! (I advise using a six-inch step, which even Mindy uses.) One of the intervals requires you to jump off the top of your step to the floor (this move has never bothered me on my six-inch step). Mindy does shows a modification for this move; stepping off your step unto the
floor and then jumping back on top. For ME, this workout is no higher impact than
Interval Max or some of Cathe's workouts. And if you don't want high impact, or don't want to modify - then don't get the video. Yes, this is not a video I would do everyday, just like I don't do tall box work every day. I think the key to high impact workouts is giving your body a
rest and modifying when needed. Now wait while I jump off my six-inch soap box.
Also, I don't know if I would call this an "interval" workout, more like an "intensity burst" workout. It's a good change of pace from my other interval workouts. The intensity blasts are shorter and some of them are harder than others. All of them get my heart rate up, no doubt about that! Mindy does cue as she is doing the move, but I found that after doing the workout once, I knew what was coming, so the late cueing wasn't an issue.
The next part of the workout is hi/lo (I think this
section is 23 minutes). I am not a
hi/lo fan, but I actually enjoy the hi/lo portion of
this workout more than the step.
The music is fantastic! I loved the Space Jam song.
Again, there are short intensity
bursts followed by a recovery move. The hi/lo ends
with sports-related type drills;
basketball, football, cheerleading (ha), boxing and
skating. Basic stuff, but high on
the fun factor.
The third segment is Pump Party. This is a great
body bar workout....I would classify it as endurance training. I used my 15 and 18
lb body bars and felt this was a good match for the workout. She does some squat
and lunge variations that are pretty tough. I loved her pushup variations, although
I don't know if I will ever be able to do the "walking" pushups. Yowsa! Overall,
a great workout.
Instructor comments: No one out there can compare
to Mindy's personality. She has the ability to make me laugh each and every time
I do her workouts. I don't consider her "chatty"....chatty would be Charlene
Prickett. Hehe. I give her credit; she is making exercise FUN. And isn't that what it should be?
I tried...I really did try to like this one. But after 4 or 5 workouts my feeling are still the same. Its another predictable Mindy workout full of incessant meaningless chatter and full of super high impact, with the emphasis on floor impact. If the impact was more on the step I think I would have gotten a lot more out of the workout. Its labeled an Interval workout but in truth is mostly more of a high energy advanced workout since the "intervals" are not very consistent in structure or intensity.
One half of the workout is done on the step with the last half of the intervals done on the floor. I found I preferred the hi-lo intervals much better. There are lots of fast feet movements. Instead of utilizing power and full range of motion all of the intervals rely on sheer speed to get your heart rate up. There are plenty of moves that have you jumping two feet onto the step and even moves that have you jumping off the step with both feet. The move in the football interval has you jumping on the step with both feet in a v-step formation. I thought it showed bad form when you could see that in most cases her heels did not land on the step but were hanging off the end. Also she does some one leg jump power squats on the step, and once again those hanging heels off the step. That's an accident waiting to happen in my opinion. Also I didn't like the fact that many of the intervals in the second half of the step section with the step vertical were are almost all the same. A little variety would have been welcome.
With almost all my negative said, this tape is the right tape for the right person. That person is just not me. It will get your heart rate up there if you put your all into the workout. But be forewarned this tape is not easy on the feet or joints. When the moves go supersonic its much harder to properly cushion those hard landings on the floor.
Pump Party was a bit more enjoyable. I was expecting more, but was very happy with what I got. Its a good light weight challenging workout. There is very good variety, esp in the lower body moves. I think it would be a great addition that will complement anyone's strength rotation. It does move a bit fast to use very heavy weights. But I think I got a great workout interchanging a 15 lb and a 25 lb barbell along with various dumbbells.
As with any Mindy tape you do get lots of upbeat coaching and great interaction with the cast. They look as if they are having a ball. To bad I was ready to throw a ball at the TV halfway through the cardio portion. The soundtrack is great, to bad it was wasted on a mediocre workout. But in the right VCR with the right person I know this tape would earn a A+, to bad that person wasn't me.
The Pump Party workout is the reason to keep this tape. It's a Body Bar Workout, not a traditional weight workout, but it is quick moving and fun. I use my barbell and vary my weights depending on body part. It seems to be more of a sports training workout as opposed to a traditional strength workout. The music is fun, the moves are fun and different. The down-sides - Mindy is too chatty, I don't mind some chatter but as has been pointed out in other reviews, what might be cute and funny in a live class can get very old when you hear it over and over again. Shoulder and triceps get worked in several sections, but biceps only get one small section. (although this seems the rule for exercise as opposed to the exception). I do biceps work in place of the last shoulder or triceps section.
Extreme Intervals. I'm ambivalent about this workout. It's long, it's brutal, and the cueing is awful. Mindy cues as she does the move, or slightly after. What was truly maddening though was that she teaches the "recovery" step but doesn't teach you what's going to be in the intervals. You learn that as she starts them, so by the time you catch up, your missing a fair portion of the interval. I agree with several previous reviews that the hi/lo intervals are better than the step portion. I enjoy Mindy and her sense of humor, but I get mad when she can chatter through a workout but doesn't cue. I have 2K02 and don't remember a cueing problem with that tape, so I was surprised it was a problem here. I also thought some of the steps were unnecessarily complex for an interval tape.
Final verdict, keeping if for pump party.
There are two Mindy workouts on this tape . Extreme Intervals is the cardio workout. You will either love or hate Extreme Intervals. Despite its many good qualities, including adorable lovable Mindy herself, I hated it. I've done it four times, because I wanted so badly to learn to like it. There will never be a fifth time.
My biggest turn-off is that Mindy is a late or non-existent cuer. You either adjust to it or you get frustrated. I tend to get frustrated. Another negative: this workout is the highest-impact workout I own. A lot of the step moves require you to jump off the step and land on the floor at very high speed, so you don't have time to make the moves plyometric and cushion some of the shock. Ouch. On my carpet over cement basement, I feel as if my feet are on fire. Consider this fair warning. For context: I generally love high impact workouts and I am even a 15-20 mile a week runner, so I can handle a fair amount of impact. This is too much impact for me. The first time I did this workout, my feet hurt for 2 weeks.
Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a bad video. There are many exercisers who will love it. It has lots of good things going for it, such as: the choreography is simple, but enjoyable and the format is really easy to break up into 2 or even 3 shorter interval workouts. You keep changing what you're doing, so it's impossible to get bored. There are intervals with the step horizontal; intervals with the step vertical; and intervals with no step at all. The music is a good mix of current vocal hits. Mindy and her two background exercisers Tracy and Joe really have sparkling personalities.
On the neutral side: The intervals feel more like "sprints" than big powerful intervals such as Gin's and Cathe's. They rely on speed and footwork. In my opinion, I don't think they are as cardiovascularly challenging as Gin's/Cathe's intervals. Also, Mindy talks a lot. If you don't like chatty instructors, her banter might annoy you. If you like an instructor with a sense of humor and a very natural and unaffected manner, you will love her. For what it's worth, I hated her with a passion during the parts of the workout that I couldn't do. I loved her like my best friend during the parts I could.
Onward and upward to Pump Party. This I love. It's about 40 minutes of strength training and you touch on all the body parts. The music is still great and I start to finally enjoy Mindy's jokes and chatter, instead of feeling frustrated and annoyed. Her background exercisers stay with her for this part of the workout. In some ways, it feels like an endurance workout, but it probably should be characterized as a functional fitness workout. Mindy uses a body bar for almost all of the work: I switch between my 15 pound body bar and 5 or 8 pound dumbbells. The leg work mostly consists of squats and squat variations such as lifting your knee at the end of the squat. There are some fast-paced side lunges that feel quite awkward because I am struggling not to extend my knee beyond my toe. There are some lunges that are more like power scissors, only you are holding the body bar. These are the toughest part of the video. She incorporates some balancing moves during the 1-legged squats that are also challenging. I really like her push-ups at the end.: she does 3 different sets of non-traditional push-ups. Some of them remind me of a yoga push-up. On the last set, you walk your hands from side-to-side during the push-ups. I've never laughed during push-ups before, but I often laugh during these. Her ab work is short and not tough. The stretch at the end is short.
Instructor Comments: Mindy is very dynamic, has a great rapport with her cast and she never forgets she's talking to her home audience. She is a stitch.
I just want to review the hi/lo aerobics on this long tape. I did the
step section a few times but found it hard on my knees, and I didn't
care for Pump Party because of the squats and lunges. But the hi/lo
is 20 minutes of great music and very high energy and easy for me to
modify. I usually add the 20 minutes to another tape, like Hi/Lo
Heaven, or Step Heaven to extend my workout time. I enjoy Mindy very
much, but her tapes are painful for these "old joints."
I've done the interval section several times, and the pump party only twice. This video has been broken down wonderfully so...
I LOVE the interval section. I don't find it as difficult as Interval Max, but it is tough. And it seems longer. It's nice to have a few different interval workouts, so I'm not doing the same one each week.
As for the weight section, I didn't really like it at all. Maybe it's because I prefer Cathe type weight lifting, maybe it's because I don't feel comfortable with some of the leg moves...squat, together, squat moving side to side, etc. I couldn't do the one leg squats where you take the other leg and go front, side, back either. I didn't feel like I got a very good leg workout. The upper body wasn't bad, but it still didn't feel like much. You can't go very heavy and keep good form. The abs were tough, but short. The stretch wasn't very thorough, but I really like to stretch EVERY muscle when I'm done.
So, I'm keeping this one for the intervals! They are GREAT!
I like her goofiness. Makes me laugh!
I loved this video. I only did the step part (not the hi/lo, but it did look fun) and the pump party.
The music is good- modern dancy stuff. The warm-up/stretch wasn't super, but that's ok. The section just flew by. It was tough, easy to learn moves. Just fun!
The pump party part was good. I liked some of the moves because they were done a little differently than Cathe's. You hit some muscles well, like the legs/butt.
If you like Interval Training, this is an outstanding tape!!!
Fitness Level: The Intervals are 1 minute long and sometimes 30 or 40 seconds.... which makes this tape accessible to all Fitness Levels. Beginners will not have any problems following, Intermediate and Advanced will be challenged!
Set: pastel colors, yellow, green, and blue ... very soothing to look at.
The Team: Mindy Milrea, Joe and Tracy... It is funny to watch because every so often Joe looks over at Tracy, smiling, They high five each other after a couple of tough parts. He seems to like her??!!
Presentation: This workout flyes by. You are so busy having fun that you don't realize you're working hard. You don't even think about the clock.
Music: is Terrific!!! I loved it... I also like that it is loud enough that you can hear it well. Good tempo!
Effectiveness: Does the tape live up to its promises? you bet!!! If you like Interval training this tape will give you a terrific workout!! and the weight lifting segment is very well prepared...- You are not bored!
Equipment needed: a long step for the cardio is the best, For the weight Training- a bar and handweights but I used my barbell and handweights.. so you can adapt.
Workout Length: Warm up - 4min. ; Step Aerobics - 29 minutes , Floor Aerobics - 23 min. Weight work (Pump Party) - 44min. including Abs and final stretch.
Disclaimer: All the times are not exact er to the second ... these are approximations:
Warmup: 4 min. (approx) w/ Step.
marches, step touches, V steps, mambo, jump rope, pivot, ham, knees up, toe lifts then heel lifts..
(no beginning stretches so if you like those you would have to add them in yourself)
Step Aerobics: begins with step touches on and off the box, (Rocky music!!) A-steps, then jump, jump down and jump on floor. then a straddle with leg back combo this becomes high hops.
she goes faster and faster.
-Interval: at 2.30min for one min .
She says: This is not a workout you do every day, only 2 or 3 times a week!
-Interval: at 4.15 min. for one minute.
recovery: continue same moves as previous.
At 6.30min. new move: feet side to side (football move) tne reach down and touch step then a straddle combo.
-Interval: at 7.15min 1 minute speed up previous move.
repeat previous combos.
-Interval: at 9min for 45 seconds only. speed up again.
at 10 min - 13min: Hop combo: 2 hops each foot then V step then jump onto box with both feet at same time.
Then widens and heightens the Hops so you are hopping around the step, leg jacks only, pony, .then pony each foot on either side of the box.
at 13min:tap foot, mambo, L step, accross step 4x, squat jumps.
-Interval: at 14min. for 2 min. high intensity.
at 16min - turn step to vertical position
scoop down, up down and 3 lunges scoot accross combo.
-Interval: at 17.40 for 1 minute . big moves and leg behind then knee up,
next combo: T-step, then walk back with each foot on either side of step.
later same move but hop back then hop on top.
-Interval: at 19.40 for 1 minute squat hops on and off the box
-Interval: at 21.20 for 40 seconds of squat hops.
next combo: over the top diagonal then over the top and squat.
-Interval: at 23.10 for 30 seconds (Music - disco version of another one bites the dust)
-Interval: at 24.35 for 30 seconds
two stomps on box then walk 4 off box.
-Interval: at 27.25 for 30 seconds - bigger moves and faster..
Hi-lo Aerobics: 23min
Her energy zooms up if thats possible!!!
Begin walk forward and back w/ knee at end...
Pony..... V steps.......Now Run
cross one foot behind other..
-Interval: at 1.20 min for 1 minute . Large moves..
ski hops forward and back.
-Interval: at 3 min for 1 minute
combo: 2 side steps, jumprope, heel digs
-Interval: at 5.40 min big moves
shuffle with 2 jumps - big moves.
-Interval: at 6.45 min for 45 seconds
combo: at 8 min walk from side to side and 2 lunges ,,, then add 4 lunges
-Interval: at 9.10 for 30 seconds
-Interval: at 10.20 for 1 minute
combo: 8 scoots and step backs 4 ski then squat, 4 jump cross feet then squat, 4 knees up then squat, 4 heel dig then squat.
-Interval: at 13.40 for 1 minute. big moves.
combo: run forward then jump up as if to shoot a basket (basketball)
combo: run forward an jump up like a cheerleader.
-Interval: at 15.40 for 30 sec. (football like) run in place fast.
-Interval: at 16.35 for 30 sec.
combo: 2 punches and 4 jumprope
-Interval: at 17.45 for 30 sec
skate side to side
-Interval: at 18.50 for 30 sec.
Leap side to side
-Interval: at 19.45 for 30 sec.
at 20 min cool down and stretch. she tells you you can use this cooldown as a warmup for the weight section.
Big moves all low impact: double toe taps, stretches accross body w/ arms , ham, triceps back
Pump Party: 44min (Weight section) You can use a Body Bar or weights.
Warm up - 1.30 min.
combo: 8 squats then 8 squat w/ knee ups, then 2 steps walking squats..
10x balance & extension: knee forward, side then leg back
one arm rows
8 front and back lunge combo.
dip leg,. extend forward. 4x then same move with militaries. then another lunge combo.
repeat other leg all lunge combos.
then extend leg forward and back using bar for balance
16 bicep curls then 12x bicep curl plus lift arms above head.
22x French presses , then 28x side lunges
side delts then 16 frontal lifts, then 20 militaries, then bent over rows 36x
then one legged squats while extending other leg , then 3 sets of pushups.
bench press, then pec flyes then ABS for 2.30 min then triceps off box .. then Final Stretches..
Total Rating: Out of a possible 10... I give it a 10 !!
I like this tape better than Cathe's IMAX (SHSHSHSHSH!!!) It is more attainable and makes your heartrate soar!!! It is definitely a challenge !!!
The instructor: Mindy Milrea is cute, vivacious and talented... She not only does the workout, and also not only does it seem effortless to her, but she seems to bounce off her feet with ease... If I didn't know better I would think she's on a trampoline!!! She is an outstanding instructor - one of the BEST!! (IMO)
She also says all kinds of funny things, (unusual) but Joe reacts with smiles and laughs...
Her cueing is very good most of the time and at times excellent!!! Only during one or two parts of the step portion did I have to really listen to know what to do next. but most of the time she shows the move and then you do it after.
8 July 2003
With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesn’t really want to move up to advanced work. Recently, I have been on a quest to find fun intermediate-level strength tapes that rely on largely traditional weighted strength moves, but that aren’t HARD. This video fits that bill.
First, let me address the “main workout”, Extreme Intervals. I got this tape primarily because of comments in the General Discussion about Pump Party, the strength workout at the end. I figured Extreme Intervals would be too hard on my joints, but I got it on a great sale on the CIA web site, so I wasn’t risking too much. I was right in my assumptions about Extreme Intervals and the impact. Even with modifications, it just seemed hard on my body. Realize I have arthritis, so I may have a lower threshold for this than a lot of people.
Pump Party, though, is a “party in a box” strength workout for me. The music is great. She interacts with her two background exercisers quite a bit, one of whom does show easier modifications. The moves are pretty straightforward and then she puts a harder spin on some of them adding balance or other components. Throughout the workout, she stresses that you work at your level and the modifier shows the easier options. She does talk A LOT, but it fits with my personality apparently, because I laugh and talk back instead of being annoyed by it. She motivates me to want to do the whole workout, including abs (which is not always a given).
You need a body bar and dumbbells or you can just use dumbbells. One of the background exercisers does the “just dumbbells” option throughout the workout. The best option for me has been just to follow along with Mindy and use my 12-pound body bar when she uses one and just pick up the dumbbells when she moves to them with moves for the shoulder.
She makes me laugh. And, she is very specific about her instruction (at least, in Pump Party). She totally motivates me to do this workout.
March 2, 2006