Donna Reed and Lisa Sherman-Dow
First, I'd like to point out that that CIA "flyer" description for this video is wrong. It state that Donna Reed does a step program; she does not. She does 37 minutes of hi/lo. This is a nice easy to follow routine with a few interesting twists. It contains V-step and double knee repeaters with some funk, floor version of tic-tock, along with saches, turns and lunges. I found it to be quite a bit of fun. after you learn all the combos, she repeats it a few times, but in between each segment, she does a very short "power segment" to keep/get your heart rate up. it was placed very nicely so it just went with the flow of the program.
Lisa Sherman-Dow has the step portion of the video. This was a very mediocre program. The choreography was very simplistic (almost to the point of boredom). Knees, over the top, straddles,grapevines...you get the point. I would certainly not call it advanced; but intermediate.
I would have to rate the video as a C+. I like Donna's program, but Lisa's program had it's last time run on my TV. If I had payed 30$ for it (which I wouldn't have paid anyway); but non the less, I would have been outraged.
Instructor comments: Donna Reed is an instructor that I would love in a live class. She loves to interact with the rest of the class(who happens to be Sharon Money-Twombly, who already had her baby!) Donna has a very *relaxed* style and attitude. Lisa Sherman-Dow reminds me of a cross between Joan Collins and gymnist. She appears to be prim and proper and executes moves with pointed toes and extremely good posture. Gives nice cueing... even move away from us , now come toward us...etc.
The first program is a high/low segment with Donna Read, who I love on 9701 Step Workout. Many of moves on this high/low segment are the same as her step workout, like the tick-tock. She is easy to follow, lots of fun, bubbly personality, reminds me of Candace Copeland. The 37 minutes of aerobics goes fast and she moves fast, not a lot of step touches, walking in place that I really dislike. She keeps going to keep your heartrate up. One drawback - I didn't like her outfit, long baggy black pants, and her headband kept slipping off her head. The ab section was really good even though it was short ( rewound and did it again). The second section is step with Lisa Sherman Dow. I started out liking the workout until it got too confusing and I had to improvise on my own. She does one step that I couldn't do - lunging off the sides of the bench - I am just too short - my legs could not reach the sides. She did that move over and over to really get the heartrate up, but I just couldn't get my legs to reach both sides so I did lunges off the back of the step. I don't think I will do that step workout again. But the tape is worth it just for Donna.
This is an A video! I have a lot of fun
with both workouts. The first one is Donna
with high/low. I have to admit that the first
time I did this, I was so distracted by her
outfit, that I couldn't wait for it to be
over. She wears big, baggy pants and some
kind of large headband-thing on her head, and
all I could think about was how uncomfortable
and hot that must be. But from the second
time on, I was hooked. She does a lot of
fun moves and teaches and cues them very
Next is Lisa with step. I like this *almost*
as well as Donna's high/low. I like it well
enough to do as a stand-alone workout on
days when I don't have a whole 2 hours to
do the entire tape. She does some fairly
complicated choreography that will probably
have you rewinding the first couple of times.
But after you learn it, she's very easy to
follow. The only thing about her cueing that
I didn't think was quite up to par is that
sometimes she cues a little late, mostly when
she's starting to move into a new routine.
No big deal, but it would be better if she
didn't do that.
This is 2 complete workouts, so you have
a warmup and cooldown for each section. Each
also does abs (nothing to write home about).
So this tape is ideal if you only have an
hour -- you still get the warmup and cooldown.
Instructor comments: Donna is delightful! Her smile just makes
you think she's so friendly and fun. Even
the sound of her voice and the tones she
uses makes you think "what a nice person."
Lisa is also friendly and fun, although not
as charismatic as Donna.
This is a review from the point of view of an intermediate exerciser. I ordered CIA 9000 series due to the curiosity about that Patrick Goudeau. After I viewed them all, I decide to do the 9005 first. It is described as advanced level and complex choreography. I would rather rank it as intermediate in intensity. For the choreography it is somewhat complicated than CIA 9004 but less intense, and of course much easier than Patrick’s.
Donna’s section is so much fun. Donna does cue and break up the routine very well. This hi/lo requires some space. Since I work out in a narrow room, I have to modify somewhat. Such as when she walks 4 big steps, I have to walk 2 forward then 2 back, so that I will come back to the middle of the room again and have space on my side to do the knee turns that follow. (Hope this makes sense). Apart from the fun routine and Donna’s humour, I think there are other 2 reasons why I like this workout so much. First, it does not have much grapevines as in other Hi/Los. And second it does not have any fancy arm movements. Your arms just go natural, you can do whatever you like. When the instructor does complicated arm movement, I always get lost. There is abs work at the end. As an abs-hater, this is tough enough for me.
The step with Lisa may be less enjoyable. I am a novice for the step and so far I used to do only Jane Fonda’s Lower Body which is too basic to write about. So this is my first real step workout. I’ve done Lisa’s 3-4 times and still can’t get it all. I have a feeling that if she cues a little better, it must not be that difficult. She takes too much time teaching the very basic, such as the knee-ups, leg abduction, lunges off the step, etc. And then suddenly she does something quite complicated and does not break it up at all. She cues with irregular voice. Sometimes she mumbles in low key that is difficult for me to grasp what she is saying. I think this workout will be more intense if you do all that lunges off the side of the step, but it will be boring too soon. I’m short (5’1") and my stepbench is made in Reebok size, I try to do these lunges and still feel awkward. There is an O.K. abs work at the end. It would be much better if she does some lower abs. Her back work is quite good but too short.
Instructor comments: It would sound corny, but I really like Donna. Her personality has something close to psychological effect on me. I mean that she really leaves me in good mood all day long. Her laughter is infectious. Comparing to the glittering Donna, Lisa dims. But the latter is likeable too. I think she would be better if she is less nervous. It is funny that she is the instructor that seems to need some words of encouragement from us.
I hoped I would like this tape since I like CIA 9701, Donna's step tape, and I was not disappointed. Although some of the steps are similar to her step tape, the entire workout has a different feel and so I would not be bored doing her step tape one day and the hi/lo the next. The workout is a bit easier than other CIA hi/lo workouts, but I would still consider it advanced. For me, the intensity level is very easily modified with this tape depending on how I feel. It is not a great learning tape - some of the new moves come at you really fast, without explanation, but they are not so complex, that you can't figure it out. After the first few uses, I was glad she did not break down the moves too much.
The second workout with Lisa is OK, I may do it again some day if I am ever want to do something different, but I have too many newer and fun tapes right now so it will probably be a while.
Instructor comments: Donna is probably one of my favorite CIA instructors. Her cueing is pretty good most of the time, and I just really like her personality.
This hi/lo workout with Donna is so much fun! The workout has already been broken down, so I will just add my comments. I would rate the choreography as advanced and the intensity as intermediate/advanced. IMO, the intensity and impact can be varied. The workout can be done mostly low-impact; I prefer to do high-impact. That said, I keep the intensity and impact high and found that my HR remains in the target zone throughout the workout.
On my second time through, I picked up most of the choreography. For an advanced exerciser, i.e. been doing workouts with Christy Taylor/Kari A/KV, this is no problem. A few times, I found myself on the wrong foot or turning the wrong way, but I am sure I will pick it up. One thing I didn’t care for was the combo with the “turn step”. I just don’t like this move done in hi/lo; it feels awkward and out of place. Plus I do enough turn steps during step routines. Oh well. Just a minor gripe. Finally, this routine takes up a lot of space. I had to modify a bit, but it is not difficult and the intensity stays high.
The ab work is fun and effective. I enjoyed the stabilization moves with legs in the air. One note: Sharon’s form on the reverse curls is poor.
The step routine with Lisa … I have not done the entire routine as of now. It looks like it might be fun, but I cannot seem to get past the beginning. It just bores me … and it kind of confuses me the way the combos are strung together. The choreography is fairly challenging. Final note: The music is a little boring, nondescript even. Maybe I will get to it eventually, but, as a result of my recent VF binges, I have too many other fun tapes!
Instructor comments: As a long-time, advanced exerciser, I find that the personality and technique of instructors immensely affects my motivation. Donna is upbeat, fun, and down to earth all at the same time. She cues well and puts together fairly complex choreography that flows. I enjoyed her in 9701 as well.
I just cannot get into Lisa. The only reasons I can pinpoint are somewhat trivial/petty. Her voice irritates me, especially when she refers to the background exercisers as “my friends” for the ump-teenth time. She just doesn’t motivate me. The things I like in instructors are missing: fun, athletic, good at demonstrating form. The workout looks like fun, but I just don’t want to do it. I have too many other workouts that are more enjoyable.