Video Fitness

Crunch Cardio Sculpt

Violet Zaki

This is a 35-minute video produced in 2001. It features Violet Zaki and a group of very young, fit background exercisers -- not my peer group, for sure! The workout combines hi-lo aerobics with sculpting using light weights. Low-impact mods are demonstrated by a backgrounder.

If you can keep up with the quickly-changing routines, the sculpting segments might work for you. Forget the cardio; I didn't even warm up in the "warm-up", and found those teeny hi-lo segments too short to accomplish much. Half an hour is just too short to do both types of exercise effectively.

Most of all, I was frustrated by the skimpy cueing. The moves aren't taught in advance (too little time, of course), and the routines change quickly with lots of add-ons. For a newbie user like me, good cueing throughout would really help. As it is, I find myself standing and staring at the screen a lot, pausing and reversing the tape constantly, and finally giving up. I use half-hour videos when half an hour is all I've got; there isn't time for all that!

It may help to mention that I'm an intermediate level exerciser who has done longer, more challenging tapes, so keeping up physically wasn't the problem. It all comes down to how fast you learn. Maybe those of you who are more familiar with Crunch, or who learn faster than I do, will enjoy this video. I'll probably be putting it out for trade pretty soon.

Instructor comments: Personable, but doesn't cue enough for my liking.


August 2002

I have to disagree with a lot of what the previous reviewer said about this video. Then again, that happens frequently with Crunch workouts – either you love them or hate them.

First, I have been a fan of Crunch workouts for a long time. So maybe I’m just accustomed to their style but I find the cueing to be excellent. The exercises alternate quickly so cueing is very important in this program. Violet is constantly letting you know how many more of each exercise to expect and what to start doing during the transition. (And they’ve toned down on the “hooting” in this one, which I think is a big benefit.)

Second, I always work up a sweat even though I use light weights to minimize injury risk (usually 6 lbs.) One caution - there isn’t much form coaching in this video and that could be a problem for beginners. The moves are basic – forward and backward lunges, tricep dips, double-arm rows, squats, bicep curls, etc. But many of them are combined and if you haven’t done this type of exercise before, then I wouldn’t start with this video. There is no time or instruction to learn proper technique.

Third, low impact modifications in this program are clearly demonstrated and, unlike many workouts, do not cause you to lose the timing and fall behind the program.

This is one of my favorite videos and I recommend it, especially if you like the Crunch style.

Instructor comments: The instructor is energetic and encouraging throughout the workout. Her cueing is very good.


May 2003

This is a video that, for some reason, I traded away in an attempt to get something I highly covetted and then never replaced in my collection. although, i must admit that now that I see it's on DVD, I am tempted to reacquire it.

The focus of the video is supposedly Aerobic Weight Training, although I have heard around here that people didn't feel they got much of either out of it. I found that it got my heart rate up and kept it up for the short duration (30 min) of the workout. Violet isn't the world's most perfect cuer, but after a couple of times through the tape, I hardly noticed anymore.

I found the tape to e very energizing and a nice length tape to use during AWT rotations, when I might have been a bit short on time.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, the DVD version also has 10 min Buns on it.

I think I'll likely add this one to my collection again, the next time I see it.

Instructor comments: I like her. She has an accent (australian, I believe) and comes across as a very no-nonsense kind of instructor (not overly bubbly like some of the other Crunch leads)

Cori (ziggy2306)

February 28, 2004

Violet Zaki leads a group of background exercisers – a group of very young, very trendy young women. Since I’m neither young nor trendy, I didn’t enjoy watching them, but found them interesting.

This workout is made up of compound strength exercises with both upper and lower body moves. Balance is tested at various points in the workout. For a time, I did enjoy the creativeness of the moves, the fact that she puts together combinations you don’t see elsewhere. I also enjoyed that I could get a full-body workout in a short time.

At first, I enjoyed the workout, but after awhile it became more drudgery and I just did not enjoy it and I did not feel I was getting a good workout. At the point I stopped using it, I was working on increasing my strength and using more intense Firms and even trying Cathe.

Instructor comments: She is a straight-forward instructor who gives good form pointers on what she is doing.

Crunch Cardio Sculpt

October 1, 2004

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