(Warmup 8 min; Low Impact 22 min; Step 22 min; Step 30
min; Hi/Lo and Cooldown 30 min)
Like 5004, this begins with a back-to-back step and
floor workout, tag-team taught by perky (but not
irritatingly so) sisters Shannon Anderson and Alison
Anderson Bohn. The low-impact floor combo is spiced up
with creative arm movements; advanced exercisers might
want to add propulsions. The more-intense step half
contains more elaborate steps such as mambos and repeater
variations, and more arm dancing to test your arm-leg
coordination. This would be a good workout for
intermediate-to-advanced exercisers; unlike most CIA
workouts, one person is shown doing modified moves. If
you're thirsty for more stepping, Paul McKean is up next,
with a "new and exciting step combination" that
lives up to the promise. It starts out simple, but ends
with one of the best power combos I've ever seen,
incorporating run-run L steps, jump straddle, power
lunges, power kicks and repeater-jacks. Paul is quite
good at cueing, form and teaching, and his bold, athletic
moves might appeal to men, provided they're well versed
in step terminology. The last segment, a hi-lo workout
with Katrina Wester O'Rourke, is fairly run-of-the-mill,
though it includes some new steps such as the
"hesitation step". She then leads the cooldown
and stretch. This tape along with 5004 is one of CIA's
best, and because the intensity level rises gradually,
climaxing with Paul's step workout, it would be a good
choice for aerobic animals who want to try doing all two
hours straight through. I'm gonna make it one of these
Shannon Anderson and Alison Anderson Boyd start off with low-impact (that can easily be done high). FUN! But it's not long enough. It's only 22 minutes, and I'm not ready to quit at the end. These ladies are fabulous! They work so well together. I think they may be sisters; they look a little alike. Then they co-teach a 22 minute step segment. More fun! I'm not ready for that one to end, either. I simply love their workouts! Both are extremely easy to follow, and they have great moves. They even add some funky-type attitude movements here and there, that you can leave out if you want. I think both low-impacters and high-
impacters would get a kick out of this workout.
Next is Paul McKean with 30 minutes of step. Snooze city. Boring, boring, boring. It gets more interesting at times, but overall, the only word for it is BORING. I will not be doing this part again.
Finally, there is Katarina Wester-O'Rourke with high/low and the cooldown. The two together are 30 minutes. Her high/low routine is fun, but she seems odd. The expression on her face throughout most of the workout makes you think she's not really "here" if you know what I mean. Then also, she is a dancer, and she acts like she's performing on a Broadway stage. I liked her choreography, but I didn't like the way SHE did it! So, for example, when she's doing lunges in her squirrely-dancer-type way, I just do plain ol' lunges like a real person. I may do her routine again from time to time, but only in conjunction with Shannon and
Alison. In other words, I don't like it enough to do it as a stand-alone routine.
I give this tape *overall* a C, but I give Shannon and Alison an A+. I got it at the sale price of $6, so I'm very pleased. But I don't recommend paying $19.95 for it!
Instructor comments: I've nicknamed Shannon and Alison "The Dynamic
Duo." What fun! And what a great team! Very charismatic, friendly, and creative. Paul is rather unremarkable. Katarina is, uh, well, somewhat strange.
This is the easiest of all the CIA tapes I own (and that is about 20). Shannon and Alison's hi/lo is repetitous and simple, and I kept watching the clock hoping it would end. I had to add my own jumps and high impact to make it effective. Their step routine was very basic and didn't challenge me at all. Paul's step was even more basic and he seemed very wooden and stiff to me. His section was 30 minutes and I had to add my own propulsion moves to this segment also. In my opinion, the last segment, usually the least enjoyable on CIA tapes, was actually the best - Katarina Wester O'Rourke's hi/lo was unfortunately only 20 minutes, but the music, the moves were a lot of fun. She is a very good instructor who got my heartrate up and said the magic words "you can march or run in place." And she was running in place. She does a hesitation step, jacks, kicks, turns - all the high impact moves that get your heartrate up. I will definitely do her routine again added on to some other tape, but the other sections are passe.
First 2 sections are the Anderson sisters and I love them. The routine movements are very basic, but they play with jazzy accents (either clapping or kicks or arm movements). I'm a amatuer musician and this is very fun and appealing to me. This is for both their floor and step sections. Next is Paul McKean. His step segment is not too difficult either, but I still seemed to enjoy the WO. He's very stiff when he moves but he has a wide variety repeaters, rock steps, pivot turns, straddles...etc. Lastly, is Katarina. She is a dancer and likes to also play with the music. She does a "hesitation" step that I love. It takes a full 8 counts, but you're doing a "triplet" for every 2 beats. She's not one for much explanation and if you're not a musician or a dancer it takes a little while to catch on. Other than that, most other moves are simple. Katarina using full range of motion, so you can get your heartrate up, but her segment is so short (barely 20 minutes), that it is not all that effective. All in all, I found it an entertaining tape that I would consider to be intermediate level. I give it a B+.
Instructor comments: The Anderson sisters are great. Fun, energic- their enthusiasm is transfered to you. Paul is stiff- looks as if he can't bend. He gives tips during the WO and I laugh everytime he growls "control". But very likeable. Katarina seems a little strange, at first. But I think it's more 'cuz she's a dancer and an artist. And artists always seem a bit different.
I was lucky enough to get this for free from Lesia English, my roommate during the Firm trip. I have done this tape (well, parts of it) twice and will probably just steal some choreography off it and put it on the Exchange.
Like others, my favorite section was the first one with the Anderson sisters. If I were to do this tape again, this would be the only section I would do. They are both likeable, and it's kind of fun to see two people tag-teaching like that. But after a while the moves get repetitive. They have a habit of teaching a combo on one side, eventually adding turns, arms, everything ... then they start teaching it on the other side from the beginning, as if you've never seen the moves before! The second time I did this tape, I was already slightly aggravated and going into what I already knew the final move was going to be. This would probably be fine for a live workout, but I would be bored silly doing this tape again and again.
Two other things that bothered me slightly was that they seem to do a lot of fancy stuff with their arms. I am not real big into that; I don't like to think too much about arm movements, and sometimes I just did my own. And although I will take some of this choreography into my own classes, sometimes it didn't seem to flow too well. At times they would tap and change legs where I wouldn't naturally expect it.
The other sections didn't grab me at all. Paul McKean was okay, but boring (I could see other people liking that routine, though) and I thought the last person seemed odd and was also boring.