Kelly Coffey Meyer
Step-boxing is one of Kelly's newest workouts. She starts off with a fast paced warm up, with no stretching (or if there is its minimal) but it gets you ready to go. Coffey combines both step and kickboxing to make a fun and effective workout. It clocks in around 55 minutes. After the warm up Kelly leads you through a fun routine combining step and kickboxing on and off the step. After this step routine, kelly has you switch to cardio and weights which contains sculpting moves but keep your heart rate up. There is also a great ab section at the end. Overall this is a very good workout and there are some new moves thrown in that freshen up the routine. I love Coffeys older workouts and felt that they were more challenging. This is a keeper but if you are used to high intensity like Cathe, you may be a little disappointed. But it is effective and I was sweating so its a great addition to my rotation.
Kelly is a great instructor - she throws things at you but her cueing is good so you catch on quickly. She is upbeat and her step workouts are great!
I’m reviewing this workout after doing it several times (although I’ve only done the weights portion once).
General workout breakdown: This 53-min. DVD has two workouts: a cardio workout combining step aerobics and kickboxing and a strength portion focusing on moves to keep your heartrate up.
There is little down time in this DVD; you’re always on the go. The music has a fast tempo, too, so once you get moving you really get moving.
*Warm-up (5 min.) begins with simple moves on the floor with some dynamic stretches for the upper body (e.g. reach across, arm circles, shoulder rolls). Kelly then introduces jabs and crosses before introducing some basic step moves (e.g. basics). She ends the warm-up by introducing one of the trickier step moves (a rock off the step) that will reappear during one of the combos.
*Step-Boxing (27 min.) is the heart of the workout. Kelly leads you through 4 combos of step and kickboxing; these combos are thrown away, or never combined for a TIFT. Each combo is built up evenly on each side, piece by piece, until you have the whole routine. I feel the breakdown and repetition are balanced well: you repeat the different bits just enough to begin to catch on, and the combos are never repeated too much once you’ve learned them all. This slows down the initial learning curve a little bit, but once you know the routine you’ll be happy you never have to slow down or see something too many times. The combos are made of bits of step aerobics with pieces of kickboxing routines. You’re never fully combining the two (i.e. punching while doing a grapevine), but the two disciplines are mixed and matched very well. Kelly’s step aerobics is primarily athletic, with moves like basic, alternating knees, lunges, A-step, turn step, straddle, rebound, and instep repeater; Kelly also includes some basic floor aerobics moves like grapevines, repeater knees, and jumping jacks. The kickboxing moves include jabs, crosses, hooks, upper cuts, front kicks, side kicks, shin blocks, speedbag, bob and weave, shuffle, boxer’s shuffle, and fight stance.
*Cool-down (2 min.) leads you through one final combo that gradually takes your heartrate down. I appreciate an instructor taking the time to do a great cool-down like this.
*Cardio Weights (11 min.) has these exercises: lawnmower pull, forward lunge onto step w/ biceps hammer curl, reverse lunge w/ upright row, narrow squat w/ triceps kickbacks, and squat thrust w/ triceps push-ups (hands on step). After doing each of the exercises with about 8 reps each, Kelly then does a drill where she runs through all of the exercises w/ 1 rep per side or 2 total; this is repeated 3 times. Kelly then does a set of plyo side hops before running through the individual sets of each strength exercise and one more round of plyo side hops. It ends with side lunges into a side stretch plus a hamstring stretch.
*Abdominals & Stretch (8 min.) is done on the floor. The abdominals include basic crunch, reverse crunch, full crunch (basic crunch + reverse crunch together), twist with legs bent & held still, pulsing crunch w/ legs in same position, crunch with legs off to one side, and twist w/ opposite knee coming in & out. The stretch includes extending arms and legs, reclined leg stretch w/ ankle circles, 1-legged stretch over bent knee, neck, upper back, and chest / upper shoulders / biceps.
Level: I’d recommend this to someone at least at the very solidly intermediate through low adv. level who feels comfortable with both moderately complex step aerobics and kickboxing. You need to know what you’re doing here because there’s no form instruction and few, if any, form tips and reminders. That said, the moves themselves aren’t overly complex, although the fast pace and cuing style makes it a little trickier to pick things up. I consider myself int./adv. when it comes to cardio videos, although I’m more of an int.+ with step since I’m still a relative newbie to that piece of equipment. That said, Kelly always gives me a good challenge that pushes me to my limits but is never in danger of finishing me off completely. This workout is no exception!
Class: 2 women join Kelly, who instructs live. 1 of the women shows a few lower impact modifications, which aren’t really cued.
Music: upbeat mostly instrumental music (although there are some vocals, especially during the latter portion of the workout). It’s definitely, at least to me, better than average and serves as a good, motivating backdrop to this workout.
Set: the CIA’s recent “blue barn door” set – a bright interior with neutral-colored walls featuring blue garage/barn-looking doors along the back wall and a window off to the side.
Production: crisp picture and sound, nothing too crazy in terms of camera angles or quick shifts or too many close-ups or whatever. It’s what you’d expect from CIA. Kelly’s voice is just a bit louder than the music, which is cranked up a little more than usual here.
Equipment: step (your choice of risers – Kelly & co. use 2 sets for 8”). If you just have a high step (i.e. a short step), you can probably get away with it for this workout, although there’s one move where Kelly does a wide jump on the step that you’d have to substitute (and which got a little tricky on my shorter, non-club-sized step, thanks to my long legs and big feet). For the cardio weights you’ll want 1 pair of (light to medium) dumbbells and a mat (depending upon your exercise floor) for the strength and abs segments.
Space Requirements: You need to be able to kick to the front on top of the step, you should have enough space to move around behind your step (probably 2 steps worth), and you’ll want to have some room to each side (again, probably 2 steps worth).
DVD Notes: You can skip the intro that plays before the menu loads. The main menu offers these options: Introduction, Start Workout, Workout Options (Warm-Up, Combo One, Combo Two, Combo Three, Combo Four, Cool-Down, Cardio Weights, Abdominals & Stretch), Credits. I wish the abdominals and stretch were chaptered separately. (And, in case anyone has a tiny screen, the icon on the menu is an athletic woman holding up a cup of coffee, Kelly’s logo.)
Comments: The idea of combining step aerobics and kickboxing isn’t unique to Kelly, since Cathe includes a step-boxing portion on Step, Jump & Pump and several other instructors add elements of kickboxing (like jabs and punches) into their step routines, but Kelly may be the first to offer not one but two workouts with the two disciplines fully intertwined. She certainly does it well! This is also different from Kimberly Spreen’s Cardio Camp Workout or Amy Bento’s All Cardio Hi-Low Knockout, which combine hi/lo or floor aerobics and kickboxing; in those two CIA workouts, the combos alternate between aerobics and kickboxing, so the two disciplines remain pretty much separate.
Step-Boxing vs. Cardio Kick Step-Boxing (aka Step-Boxing 2): If I had to choose just one (and please don’t make me do that!), it’d be SB2 for these reasons: longer cardio portion, slightly less fast pace, greater variety (with the horizontal step portion, vertical step portion, and floor portion). SB1 is a bit more compact (and perhaps also intense), however. Even though both use similar moves, I don’t feel like SB2 is SB1 remade at all; Kelly manages to give both of them their own personality.
Kelly is enthusiastic and encouraging while still keeping it low key and down to earth. She has such a pleasant, unassuming personality that I can’t help but want to work out with her. Her form isn’t super crisp, as she clearly comes to kickboxing as an aerobics instructor rather than as a martial artist, and one could nitpick her weights form here and there, too. But her creativity and positive energy more than make up for that in my mind.
My biggest concern about enthusiastically recommending Kelly to everyone is her cuing. It’s not bad; it’s just sparse. While she’ll sometimes announce move changes several beats in advance, she usually cues right on the move, and her cues tend to be short and sweet without a lot of breakdown of individual components (e.g. “basics” will be the cue for part of a combo that includes several more moves). She doesn’t use a lot of directional cues, but there are parts of this workout where she’ll point in the direction she’s heading rather than use verbal signals. Also, she has a couple of quick weight shifts (and her basics are almost always 1 basic right, then immediately into 1 basic left, despite the fact she only says this twice the whole workout). All of this gives the workout a little more of a learning curve than it could or should have. I don’t have much trouble picking up choreography, so I’m willing to overlook this, especially since I love working out with Kelly (have I mentioned that yet?).
Kelly mirror cues. She’ll throw in words of motivation, like telling you to push through rather than give up, and she’ll also throw in comments like “Work that waist,” but she’s not a chatterer.
October 13, 2008