Video Fitness

CIA 5002

(Warmup 8 min; Step 40 min; Cooldown/Abs 12 min; Warmup 8 min; Step/Weight Intervals 40 min; Funk Cooldown 12 min)

Here's one for the guys, or guy-watchers: two one-hour step workouts, each taught by a male instructor. The first is one long combo taught in two parts by pleasant, low-key Kirk Moore. Mostly it's very basic and non-dancy, though the second half is intensified by high-impact moves such as "power jogs" and "footballs", making the final run-through quite a killer. A couple of complaints: the cooldown lasts about 10 seconds, and Kirk gets his lefts and rights mixed up occasionally. There is also a reverse turn step which is not favored by the Reebok camp (Kirk's a Nike acolyte). A brief ab workout follows.

The second hour consists of step/weight intervals taught by Robert Sherman. He's somewhat loud and talky (reminds me of "Body by Jake") but he's a decent instructor; he doesn't rush through the weights like many instructors, and even shows how to safely pick up and put down the weights. This particular workout is more intermediate than advanced; the step intervals are somewhat simple and slower than I'm used to. The strength exercises focus more on the lower body than upper, and one exerciser uses tubing instead of dumbbells.

In this female's opinion, men might like this tape; the steps are basic and uncomplicated, and the long length of each workout will build both endurance and coordination.

Sue Bryant

Kirk Moore is a basic yet powerful instructor. He queues well, but he does get his left and right mixed up a few times. He also participates in Karen Voight's video "Strong and Smooth Moves". Robert Sherman is also a solid instructor, but a bit chatty.

CIA 5002 is basically a good workout. The first part with Kirk Moore is a step workout with the intense stepping lasting approx 45 minutes. The first part is basic. The second part took me a few times to get it right; I was always on the wrong foot, and it took stopping the video and watching Kirk before I could figure out what I was doing wrong. This was his repeater/off to the slide/slide combo on the second part. I feel he could have queued that better. I agree with Sue's review; he got his left and rights mixed up a few times. It ends with a VERY short ab section; don't know why he put that in, its not long enough to really do anything. Basically Kirk's part is a good, non-dancy workout.

Robert's part is a 45 minute interval step class. It's also not a bad workout. I find that I get a better workout from the toning part with a band. I also do a few of the segments over again to lengthen the tape. I feel the last step segment is kind of confusing, but all of the other step segments are fairly simple. All in all it is a decent interval step workout. I like the 3 min step with 1 minute of weights interval; I've done the 10 minutes of aerobics with 5 minutes of weights, and I don't like that format as much. Robert is a little annoying in this tape.

This tape will deliver a decent workout for the intermediate to advanced stepper.

Grade: B

Kathy Lapinski

Instructor comments:

Kirk Moore is low-key, and often a little underenthusiastic. Robert Sherman is the complete opposite -- he's chatty, funny, and a bit flamboyant. Although some found him annoying, I liked his individuality.

The first section is a 40 minute step workout with Kirk Moore. The choreography is pretty basic, with simple steps combined in add-on sequencing. There are across the benches, straddles, a reverse turn step, and lots and lots (wayyyy too many)of knee-ups. I didn't really like the step section. I found it very repetitive because the combos take far too long to build. I probably have not done this video more than 5 times, because I found it plain boring. Also, aerobically, this video didn't seem to raise my heart rate very much. Admittedly, I am an advanced exerciser who has cut her teeth on Cathe Frederich and Karen Voight. Nevertheless, CIA markets itself to an advanced video market. This tape could rightly be categorized as intermediate/advanced. The Robert Sherman section is a circuit/interval workout, with short step intervals interspersed with even shorter weight work. This part of the video, like the first, was completely unchallenging to me, and a bit choppily choreographed. Things just didn't seem to flow together well. Also, both the aerobic sections and the weight training were far too short to achieve beneficial gains in muscle or aerobic conditioning. Grade: B-

Eulonda Skyles

This is two one-hour workouts on one tape. The first section is step with Kirk Moore. It starts off on the moderate side. The first half is more intermediate in both intensity and choreography. The second half gets into the advanced levels, and has some really fun choreography. Then you put the two halves together, and you're really cookin'. Kirk is *very* easy to follow. His cueing is right on target. The only place he messes up is in a routine where you have your back to the TV and you're supposed to go into a power jog. He gets left and right mixed up here a few times. But if you just remember to lead the power jog with your inside leg, you'll be fine. I really enjoy this section. It's a full 40 minutes of step, plus a warmup, cooldown, and abs, for a total of an hour. At first, with the slow start, you might think it will be kind of boring. But it's not! I really have a good time with this one. Grade A.

The next section is "interval" step/weights with Robert Sherman. This is *not* interval, it's circuit. You do 3 minutes of stepping, alternated with 1 minute of toning. The toning isn't enough to be very effective. Some of the aerobic parts really have a lot of power to them and are fun. But if you're looking for a good circuit tape, the Reebok Circuit workout is a lot better. And if you're looking for an interval tape, be aware that this one is mis-named. Robert Sherman is Richard Simmons on caffeine overload. What a hoot! He starts off the introduction in a normal way. Then as soon as he starts the warmup, he starts talking at about 300 miles per hour. HeTalksThisFastAndNeverStopsAndHeDoesn'tEvenTakeABreath. It's so funny! Actually, I don't even notice it anymore, but the first time I saw this, I was just hysterical! The guy is a great dancer, too. It doesn't come out in the circuit workout, but at the end, he does a funk cooldown. I can't do most of the moves, but it's neat to watch, and it looks really fun. I probably won't do this section much, because I figure if I'm going to spend time toning, I'd rather do some that's more effective. And if I'm going to spend time stepping, I want to keep going, not stop every 3 minutes. But I think a lot of people would enjoy this part. Grade B.

Instructor comments: Both Kirk and Robert are superb at cueing. They have good choreography, too. I wouldn't mind seeing either of them in more videos.

Annie S.

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