Video Fitness

CIA 9802 - The Hi/Lo, Step & Sculpting Workouts

If you like dancy floor aerobics, you must own this tape. Faith's floor routine grabbed me right from the warmup and didn't let go. She takes basic steps like mambos, V-steps and lunges and puts them together in dancy new ways I never thought of before, for example a V-step, cha-cha to the rear, mambo and turn. Faith cues very well and repeats everything just enough times to let you learn it, but not so much that it gets boring. The next section, step, starts out as dancy and fun as the hi-lo. It drags a little toward the end, and it would help if Faith would say "left" and "right" more, but it's not too difficult to learn, with plenty of new variations. Overall the cardio is about intermediate/advanced in intensity, but the choreography does take some skill to learn. Finally, there is a half hour of toning using dumbbells (Body Bar optional) and tubing, and a good stretch. The music for the hi-lo is the infectious soundtrack from 9701, the step uses the 8003 music, while the toning has that worn-out Step Max music. Despite its minor flaws, this is a super workout, and Faith deserves an A+ just for going above and beyond with the hi-lo.

Instructor comments: What a discovery! Faith Scarinzi is right up there in the Kari/Christi/Franny pantheon of aerobic dancers. Her teaching style is just the way I like it: straightforward and professional, yet she smiles and gives encouraging comments without letting them interfere with her cueing. Let's hope this is the first of many CIAs starring Faith.

Sue Bryant

A great workout to great music. Faith is right up there with Christi and Franny and even a bit of Kari, with her pivots and turns. Her low impact warm-up with some stretches is a lot of fun. Faith incorporates swivels and mambos (she just loves to swivel and mambo), grapevines, leaps, v-steps to the front and back, pivots, squats, a repeater flip move that I am still having a problem with, shuffle with a three step turn, and a nice move called "jacks/lunge/slide". Even if you make a mistake, it's easy to catch up in this workout. There are no plyometrics, so you can do this after an intense workout like Maximum Cardio or Intense Moves. Faith keeps the pace nice and steady with no breaks or marches in place, so your heartrate stays at a nice steady, not catastrophically high, pace. She keeps saying "bang it up." After 35 minutes of hi/lo which flew like the wind, comes her fun step workout. I find this workout, both with the music and some of the moves, very similar to Jennifer Mills workout. Faith does the charleston, rock step, three step turns, karate kicks, reverse turns (yes, I know, supposedly not a safe move), and a lot of floor moves on both sides of the step. Toward the end of the step workout, it got just a bit too tedious, but overall it is great. Her sculpting section consisted of using a body bar for squats with upright rows, static lunges with one arm rows and lateral raises, then uses the tubing on the step for back and shoulders, switching to rear flies with light weights. There are tricep dips with light weights on the thighs with alternate leg lifts, two sets of pushups, and a 6 minute ab segment on and off the step. There was no bicep work. I would like Faith to do more CIA tapes. I know I am comparing her to others, but that is just to give you an idea of the kind of workout you will get, and hopefully all CIA fanatics will enjoy it as much as I did.

maryann parker

The first time I did the high/low section of this tape, I wanted to throw it in the trash. I've since decided I must have been having a low-brain-power day. I had so much trouble following her! But the next time was like the difference between night and day, and now I can't get enough. This routine is great! There are lots of directional changes and a little bit of fancy footwork, but I would not call it dancy, really. It keeps you moving, and once you've learned it, it's such fun!

The next section, step, is also great. I didn't have as much trouble with this the first time. I think it's a little easier to follow, but just as much fun.

Finally, there is strengthening, which, like the other sections, is superb. Faith uses a body bar, but I use dumbbells. She includes a lot of unusual moves that are very effective. I particularly like her exercises for the rear delts and back, which is too hard to explain in writing, but will leave you trembling!

One thing I don't understand is that she keeps saying the exercises are harder if you use a body bar. I don't get it because it seems to me that it depends on what amount of weight you use. If I recall correctly, her body bar is 12 pounds. But if I'm using two 10-pound dumbbells or two 8-pounders, I think I'm the one who's working harder, huh? Anyway, her background exercisers are using lighter dumbbells, so I think that must be why she says that.

Grade A+.

Instructor comments: Faith needs to be in more CIA videos!

Annie S.

The first time I did the hi/lo, Faith seemed like a mad woman. She adds on very quickly to her base moves and seems to be turning in every direction imaginable. Well, don't go on my first impression. This is a great tape, but you have to be on your toes and go with your natural flow and not fight the moves. I now like how fast the tape moves; no jogging in place or marches, she'll show you the next move while you are still doing the last move. It's great and keeps you from being bored in future workouts. There's grapevines, mambas, lunges, scoops and kicks, etc, spiced with a little dance movement.

The step section I liked from the start and it keeps getting better with every time I do it. Faith is much easier to follow than the hi/lo section, and has some fun moves. Reverse turns, lunges and mambas(she loves those mambas), plus some fast footwork along with hops and leaps and lots of turns(and she loves to turn! - and I do too!) She does a sculpt section, with some abs at the end, it's great too. Upright rows, tricep dips and pushups are among some of the moves. All in all, this is a great tape! A+

Instructor comments: Faith is a very likeable instructor. Encouraging, friendly, but not sickening. She has a sort of layed back style, but moves through the routine quickly.


Others have broken down this video already so I'll just give some general comments. This tape is fun, although it took me about four times to really learn the hi-lo and twice to get the step. I find that I have to think and stay focused when doing this video. That's okay, though, because I have other tapes that I can zone out to. As others have said, this tape is dancy, dancy dancy - which I think is great. Sometimes I'm in the mood for straight athletic moves, sometimes I like to leap and twirl. I will say, however, that I have pledged to NEVER EVER do this tape in front of anyone else - they would die laughing at my flailing renditions of Faith's effortless arabesques, mambos, and charlestons. But that's the beauty of working out at home, right?

The hi-lo is a blast, and now that I've got the moves down I really appreciate how much it flows. The step portion is different from my other step tapes - Cathe, Intense Moves, Energy Sprint - it's more dance-inspired. It's a lot of fun, too.

Someone mentioned above that it's an intermediate/advanced tape. I agree with that. I've been using this tape as a "tack-on" - adding one of the sections on to a strength day or a shorter-duration advanced step tape.

Overall, I give this tape an A-. The minus is just because I wish it was a tad bit more intense.

Instructor comments: Faith is great! She's easygoing and personable, and her choreography is really interesting. I'd like to see her in another video.

Elizabeth Graves

This review is geared toward the intermediate exerciser. I'm a low intermediate when it comes to cardio, but I like challenging choreography. I also prefer low impact aerobics, but I don't mind a jumping jack and a leap every once in a while. I usually enjoy step more than hi/lo. I bought this video because of the positive reviews of other VFers. I've done the step and hi/lo sections each 8 times before writing this review.

Overall this is a well taught, fun video for intermediates. This video can be done mostly low impact. You do have to do some hop turns and jumps during the step section, but these are minimal. The step section seems fast to me, but that's because the steps in the 1st part flow together so well that I find I never stop moving. I get such a good workout from the step section. It's 40' long and I'm always exhausted at the end of it. The hi/lo section is fun too. I find I have to do some of the moves high impact to get my heart rate up. I do this video on carpet. I just modify the swivels and turns.
The choreography is fun and interesting, as other reviewers have said. The moves flow well together. It took a lot of effort for me to learn some steps, but it was 100% worth every minute. It's also not lopsided as some CIA tapes can be. You learn and 'perform' the moves almost equally on both sides.
The limitations of this video:
CUING: Faith's cuing is pretty good, but often she doesn't tell you which leg to lead with when she puts combos together. Also, at the end of both the step and hi/lo sections she forgets to teach steps on both sides, then remembers to do it later when you're putting everything together and she stops in the middle to teach again. This is a bit of a letdown when you're really working hard and having fun putting everything together. It lowers the intensity and the momentum.
TIMING: The 1st half of both the step and hi/lo sections are really enjoyable. You get to do the routines several times in their entirety. But during the 2nd half of the step and the hi/lo sections, things are not as tightly woven together. At times Faith seems rushed to teach something, at other times she repeats an easy move. You only have time to do the combos in the second part of both the hi/lo and step once in their entirety.
This tape is definitely worthwhile for an intermediate exerciser. It's interesting and challenging. If Faith had cued a little better and taught the 2nd half of each section quicker and tighter, it would have been an A+. At this point it's an A-.

Instructor comments: Faith is a very good instructor. For the most part she cues well, but sometimes she doesn't use "right leg, left leg," when I really need it. Her moves are flowing and graceful, even when she's doing high impact. She's inspiring.



I just wanted to add my review, since it has been a while since anyone has reviewed this tape. I think when the tape was released almost 5 years ago, this was a pretty good tape with some interesting choreography. Good hi/lo workouts are hard to come by and the choreography in this workout is not bad. However, the way Faith teaches the workout and cues, often left me frustrated and thinking that the workout didn't flow well. The final combinations are not bad, but her cueing leaves a lot to be desired. She rarely says right or left, and when she does, she sometimes forgets to mirror cue. She also uses some very confusing visual cues. This workout was OK for me when I didn't have as many good hi/lo workouts to choose from, but it no longer stands up to the competition in my opinion.

The step workout is more fun, but in parts is broken down too slowly. I have so many great step workouts that this can't really compete anymore, but it was an enjoyable routine when I first got it.

The toning workout was disappointing, mostly because it started out with some promise. She used some interesting moves that worked the upper and lower body together, but in the end, the workout was not a balanced total body workout. If I remember correctly, it was many shoulder and back exercises, and 1 tricep exercise and that was it.

I would recommend this tape only if you were able to get it through a trade and wanted to explore different CIA workouts and like a lot of variety. It isn't bad, it just doesn't compare as well to more recent CIA offerings, IMO.

Instructor comments: I like her choreography and style, I just wish she was a little more polished. I would try a new workout from her, but I think she has stuck to Crunch strength workouts since this tape was released.

Lisa C


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