This review is for the cardio workout only. I didn't do the two toning workouts together on this DVD yet.
I thought this workout flew by. I didn't intend to do the whole thing, but the next thing I knew it was over. The impact was perfect. It is just the right blend of low and higher moves; and most jumps were on the step. This gives you the cardio effect of impact with a much softer surface for your joints. A very happy customer here!
The camera work was excellent; giving us a somewhat-overhead view to show the steps when going over two of the more difficult choreo sequences. The choreo wasn't very hard to pick up, due to a combo of good teaching and some repetition. Usually I have to do half of a workout twice the first (few) times to get the choreo, but I did this one straight through on the first try. There is a modifier who shows easier and lower impact moves. All 7 segments are repeated at the end in a short solo segment. Thumbs up!
TIFTing: a reasonable amount, considering the choreography. Only at one point did I think she did one set too many, but then we moved on. The choreo is more dancy than athletic, as you might have guessed from a fan of Fred Astaire. I made my arms "bigger" to create more intensity than as Heather taught.
There are turns in this workout, including the 3-count turn that Seasun taught in "TNS." There aren't anywhere as many turns as in TNS; though. I didn't get dizzy, but felt exhilarated from flying about. One segment uses 3 or 4 steps away from the step platform. Do you have space for that?
You might be surprised that there is no "official" cool down for the cardio. When you're done with the step section, you go on to the first toning segment (30 minutes). Heather and her crew are upright, so it looks like that would be your cooldown and you'd eventually find yourself doing toning on the ground. This is no biggie for me, as I consider video cooldown segments to be virtually superfulous. I always walk away and throw in a load of laundry, or gather up stuff for the shower (and then stretch!) The DVD makes it easy to skip to the stretch after puttering around to lower your heartrate.
Heather's workout style reminds me of Rob Glick. Both of them like to fly and are just having fun. I choose their videos on days when I want to dance, but don't want a heavy cardio dose. The music was good, and better than some previous CIAs. The set brings back the shoji screen from CIA set yore; but with a sponged brown background and sophisticated black and red touches.
I highly recommend this workout. It has earned a place in my very short list of regular, reliable workouts.
Vivacious and funny instructor, and excellent at cueing. She made me laugh during a workout, and I was trying to be quiet while my husband was sleeping. Heather is a fan of Hollywood dance musicals; and uses moves like "the Fred Astaire" and others. She has a New York look in a black outfit and unfluffy hair (in a good way). She came off like a real person who likes what she does.
30 March 2005
This DVD includes Step Inspirations (step aerobics), Power to the Third (medicine ball with cardio intervals) , and Reshape Your Lower Body (uses core exercises).
I have done all three of the workouts and have to say this DVD is a keeper. I've had it a while, did it a few times and then it got put on the shelf so to speak. I am not sure why. The point is, I pulled it out today and did it again.
I remembered that I loved the medicine ball workout (Power To The Third) which is an interval workout using strengthening/toning with the medicine ball and cardio intervals; you use the medicine ball throughout the workout to challenge you. This workout is great because Heather has incorporated balance, strength and cardio and she does a great job of it. Your abdominal stabilizers are most definitely challenged.
The lower body workout is a blast. This is really a lower body and core workout. Heather uses a variety of moves, some of them traditional and some not so traditional. I like to add this on to Power to The Third. Both workouts really compliment each other.
In both of the above workouts a core board is used by one of the background exercisers.
Stepsational is just plain fun. Heather uses some great step moves; some that I have not done before and some that I've done but she has changed them up a bit to add a little spice. This workout is very doable. I'd rate the choreography to be moderate to advanced moderate. She has 3 moves that she's named after some great dancers (Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Bob Fosse). Will this workout keep your heart rate up? Absolutely! Heather's cueing is pretty darn good as well. There are a few, umm, moments that I think she is enjoying the workout so much that she cues but its just as she is doing the mover, however, once you know the routine, its no biggy.
Now, what is odd is that there is no actual cool down for this. I don't know why that happened. Anyway, what I do is quickly go back to the main menu and start the warm-up again and do it. I do it on the floor though. It works just great and I would not consider it a hassle to have to do this. I also use the stretch she does in the warm-up again before heading to the final cool down which is all stretching on the floor. The one thing that I do add in at the end is a quadricep stretch.
Friendly, upbeat attitude that makes this workout even more enjoyable.