Video Fitness

CIA 8005: Major League Moves

"Major" as in major tough!! My knees, ankles and shins were throbbing for two days after I first did this, and my glutes and lower back took a beating as well. While instructor Denise Tucker's earlier step workout on CIA 6004 was about two-thirds high impact, this one is about 99%. If you have any joint weakness at all, don't go near this tape.

Like 6004, 8005's choreography is based on moves from various sports like karate, football, rollerblading and skiing. It sometimes gets a little silly (like the "football fades") but the combos are fun and creative - I especially like the "speed skating" combo at the end - and you'll work muscles that don't normally get worked during a step workout. The second half of the tape is strength training with dumbbells; like on 6004, it emphasizes the upper body, and I like how it goes slow enough that I can use heavy weights.

This would have been an A+ workout except for a few flaws. I'm not a big fan of mega-impact step workouts, since I want my knees to last a lifetime. Denise sometimes doesn't say "left" or "right", which can trip you up - literally - when surprise foot changes occur. And a good cooldown and stretch are "sorely" needed after the step; Denise just jumps right to the strength work without even a heart rate check. 8005 will challenge all you plyo-maniacs, but proceed with caution and well-padded shoes. Grade: A-

Instructor comments: Denise is friendly, straightforward and professional, and comes up with some neat moves. Her cueing could be better though - she has a habit of cueing AS the move is being done, and I'm used to hearing the cue BEFORE the move.

Sue Bryant

I found this to be a fun video overall. The step section was a series of combos using sport moves that ended with a final run through of all. I would compare the impact level as being maybe a little higher than Cathe Friedrich videos. There was one person doing a lower impact less complex version for some of the moves which I liked. I have to admit however that this video seems different than other step videos. I've never had soreness in my leg muscles after doing any other step tapes. I did after this one, particularly in my quadriceps. There wasn't a cool down or stretch between the aerobics and the weight training which may have contributed to my soreness and stiffness. (or maybe it was higher impact than I realized!) I found the weight training to be disappointing. The moves are slow so you can use heavier weights. I just thought it was too short. I still give this one an A. The step aerobics are really fun!!!

Denise is a pleasant no-nonsense instructor. Her cuing is not the greatest but it's not terrible either. She tends to cue as the move is starting or just before.

Joyce Thurman

This is a surprisingly very nice workout. I reviewed it awhile back (along with my 10 other CIA sale videos), and thought - not too impressive. Well, this is another case where I was wrong! Denise uses moves that you would use while playing other sports. Cross country skiing (doing a low deep lunge off the back of the step while extending the cooresponding arm), down hill skiing (hopping side to side with both feet together-as if doing mogles), football running, karate kicks,in-line skating strides...etc. They're put together nicely, flowing surprisingly well from 1 sport to the next. The tempo is not fast, but intensity is not compromised. One of my regrets is the step section is short, only 35 minutes. I don't do the sculpting section 'cuz I have my own free weight program-so I can't tell you more about the rest of the tape. Another is that darned StepMax music is back from the grave. But, all in all this is a very good tape. I give it an A.

Instructor comments: Denise has good cuing, but she is not overly enthusiastic. She is not overly talkative. She talks to you, giving you pointers,cues,etc... but nothing extraneous. I found her very likeable.


When I previewed this workout, I thought it would be a little on the boring side. I was wrong! It's really fun and an excellent workout.

The step part consists of moves from various sports like speed skating, roller blading, and football. She puts them together very, very well. One just flows into the other. She also keeps the intensity up. I would call the intensity and the choreography higher- intermediate to advanced.

The next part is toning, and it is one of the best toning sections CIA has put on a video. She emphasizes control and stabilization, so your entire torso gets involved in any given exercise. She does mostly exercises for the back parts of the body, because she thinks those are neglected (I think she's right). It ends with an ab section that is superb. It's what I call the Keli Roberts/Jennifer Kries style where stabilization is the key. The toning section is only about 15 minutes long, but it's very good. I'd like to see Denise make an entire toning video.

Grade A.

Instructor comments: Denise is very no-nonsense and low-key, but also very friendly and caring at the same time.

Annie S.

I found the step portion of this video to be a good intermediate level 40-minute workout. I combined it with a 30-minute heavy strength workout from another tape (PS Chest, Shoulders and Triceps, but I skipped the shoulders section) and I really like this combination.

All of the steps are sports-inspired, although with some I was kind of giggling -- they are not too close to the original sport. She starts with a boxing and karate kick section, which is fun, but don't get too excited, all you kickboxing fans ... for instance, the kicks are all side kicks and she does them in conjunction with a step up onto the step. It would be very hard to rip off an intense Tae Kwon Do-style kick. But it's fun to be silly and pretend. Her boxing move is an "upper-cut," which is really a double-lunge on the floor while you're punching up with your arms. Some other sections are skating and skiing (bunny hops both on and off the step, propulsion squats on the floor, back lunges on the step, a step with the back leg doing a glute lift for the skating moves.) Let's see, then there's the football section where you pretend to "fade" and "shuffle across the board," and then you get to do "cheerleader arms" knee-ups and V-steps and then you hop across the step and "catch the ball." Silly, silly, but I found myself grinning while I was doing it. There's also a speed skating section which is mostly repeat lunges off the side of the step and a knee-up on the step with a back-kick on the floor combo.

Denise introduces each section, breaks down the moves to teach them and you then run through the complete section 3 or 4 times. Each section is fairly short and not too tough to learn once you adapt to her style of cuing. A couple of the moves I fumbled on, but next time I think I'll get them with no problem. At the very end, she puts all the sections together and you do the whole thing 4 times from the top.

The sports-inspired moves are a nice concept. I really liked the format and I enjoyed the stepping. There was a lot of variety and the workout went by very quickly. I bought this tape months ago when CIA was having one of its rock bottom sales and just never got around to trying it. Now I am looking forward to doing it again. I intend to continue to combine it with strength training tapes, because it's a nice, fairly short intermediate level workout that will get me nicely warmed up and energized, without exhausting me. (I am advanced cardio, intermediate strength.)

Instructor comments: For some reason, Denise reminded me of my high school PE teachers. She is tall (on video anyway) and lean. Like her workout, she is "sporty" in her short hairstyle and the way she moves. I had to adjust to her cuing, since she cues a little late for me and she uses some different terms for some basic stepping moves. (A back-lunge off the step was a "cross-country ski," and so on.)

Daphne Magnuson


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