with Kendell Hogan
35 Minutes, (High-Beginner) Intermediate-Advanced
This is now my favorite short-cardio workout! The music, the simple but
creative choregraphy, the varied intensity (it has 3 "Cardio Challenge"
bursts, probably about 1 minute each) and the "FINE" instructor make this a
workout I can look forward to doing forever!
There is a live precussionist in the background beatin' along with that
jammin' Dynamix Instrumentally Yours #3 tape and he is so awesome on them
drums. It makes the workout seem like dancing a nightclub when I was a
Now I would recommend this to the "high beginner" only because he doesn't
explain what a beginner would need to know about modification and basic
beginner instructions (e.g. "make sure your whole foot is on the step" etc.)
Some of the floor choreography is tricky at first, but there is that
rewind-thing beginners can do!
All in all, an A for the video and a big A+ for Kendell, what a great
instructor. He's very sharp in his movements and his form was tops. Before
I actually did the workout, I watched it all the way through, and I don't
usually need or want to do that...the only thing I noticed was that he had a
5 o'clock shadow beard in the video and not on the cover. I like it like
Myra Marangi, AFAA/BodyPUMP Certified
First time I tried it -- I was wondering if I'd ever do the video
a second time. I got very frustrated -- kept getting on the wrong foot,
missing cues, etc. I think the main problem was that I hadn't previewed it
first. (Yes, even though it's a Crunch video and not considered advanced,
yada yada.) I barely broke a sweat, mostly due to the fact that I kept
stopping to see what I was supposed to be doing.
Now that I've done it a few more times -- I don't flub up the
choreography too much now that I know it better. I do need to push a little
harder to keep the intensity up, but I don't feel that I need to up the step
to 8" in order to do that. (I usually use a 6" step since I'm 5'3" and it
feels more comfortable that way.) I just make sure to use full range of
motion on all the moves to get the most out of the video.
- I like Kendall Hogan as an instructor. He can sometimes be a bit too
perky, but for the most part he's motivating and enthusiastic.
- The choreography is fun. A little on the complex side, but it's broken
down well. Nowhere nearly as intricate as a Cathe or Christi video.
- Some lower impact options are shown as alternatives to the higher impact
moves. But the high impact that's included isn't too bad -- there's not much
of it, and the impact isn't super-high.
- The Music!!! It's from my favorite Dynamix -- Instrumentally
Yours #3. The same one that's used for Cathe's Interval Max. Except this
uses different songs on the same tape -- only 2 or 3 of the songs are the
same as ones on Interval Max.
- It's short -- a good, fun half-hour workout for weeknights. Not the most
intense, but not overly easy.
- I found the background exercisers a tad distracting. A little too
perky, and I usually prefer background exercisers to be just that -- in
the background! I'd have preferred less emphasis on them, more on
Kendall. As I do the video more and more, it gets easier to tune them out.
- If you're choreographically challenged, it might take a few tries to
learn, but the choreography shouldn't be too difficult to pick up. You do
need to pay attention, though, because there are some quick transitions.
- If you're an advanced exerciser, this could be used for a "light" day or
when coming back from illness/injury. Making the movements bigger and more
powerful, and maybe raising your step higher if you're not at full height
already, can help make it more intense. I'd say this is a solid upper level
beginner/low to mid intermediate tape.
Just as a point of reference, I consider myself a low-end advanced exerciser
(where step is concerned, anyway). Lately, I've pretty much been doing only
Cathe videos... which is why I got this one. I wanted a new video with an
instructor I liked, but that would be good for a shorter, less intense
workout day. I think this one's a keeper -- so far, I like it more every
time I do the workout.
I've had some fitness set backs over the past couple years which cause me to
look for intermediate level aerobics tapes. I picked up Fat Blaster 2
because 1) I like step, 2) it mentioned live drumming, 3) it looked
This is, at best, an advanced beginner workout. The coreography is fairly
basic, with some confusion stemming more from lack of flow than complexity.
Kendell is likable, with a great look and a Jamaican accent. He's trapped
in the Crunch machine, with it's attendant inappropriate "wooping,
hollering, and carrying on" when there isn't a whole lot to get excited
FB2 is an acceptable video which was worth the $6.99 I paid for it. I think
I'd be annoyed had I spent more. It has a couple of cute combos though the
"power challenges are a joke" (lets lunge 25 times, lets do 16 jumping
jacks - Jack LaLane w/downtown attitude).
There are a suprising number of high impact moves on the tape. Another
aspect of "Crunch Disease" is that the tape is ridiculously short. Would
somebody tell these people that you need to be in your target heartrange for
35 minutes to have a true aerobic training effect? geeze.
The students are your typical terminally hip 20-somethings. Crunch talks a
line about catering to all ages and bodies but this is completely
unreflected by its video casting.
Instructor Comments: One gets the sense that Kendell could be a whole lot of fun if he were given
more control over a video and a bit of a budget to work with.
I discovered this morning that this workout previews a lot better than what it actually delivers. It looked really fun when I previewed it. After trying it this morning, I found it to be less intense than it looked, and also difficult to follow. Kendell Hogan is an appealing instructor -- a guy who likes to have fun and is enthusiastic and encouraging without being nauseating. But his choreography leaves a little to be desired. The routines are full of poor transitions, so you basically have to "memorize" the moves instead of just letting yourself flow naturally. To be fair, most of the bad transitions come about in the teaching phase, and once he gets the routine put together, things do improve. But all in all, it was an exercise in frustration. I was looking forward to a great, fun workout, and didn't even get close. The intensity is intermediate -- even the most intense parts were only touching on higher-intermediate. I have to give this a B, but I do hope Kendell will try again, because I liked him.
Crunch Fat Blaster :The Next Step
I purchased this video because dvds with step routines are few and far between. This is starting to change with offerings from CIA and Christi, but for a while Cathe was the only game in town.
This dvd is quite a bit cheaper than the others mentioned. I got it for a little under ten dollars.
I have to say, this is part of its appeal.
This dvd has the standard crunch cheese factor--whooping, gaudy set, camerawork that tends to focus on the bustiest blonde. (The one that they spent the most time reminded me of a character from a Bill Keene cartoon)
It is also short like all Crunch videos.
That said, I am glad I got this dvd. It is really, really easy to turn it into a longer routine because it is chaptered so well. I just program it and repeat certain chapters. Each little routine gets its own chapter. These are about six minutes long. My favorite involves a "z" pattern-- just a cross, diagonal cross and then a little hop turn off the end. There are also "cardio challenges"--simple plyo moves. They help keep your heart rate elevated, but as for the challenge part-- not quite. When I program my workout, I sprinkle these liberally throughout.
The music is recognizable from Interval Max, although there is a live percussionist accompanying it so it does not sound quite the same.
The last routine is quite slow, so I count it more as part of the cool down.
Kendall is enthusiastic and has very crisp, precise movements.
As a tape, this routine would be just too short for me. As a dvd, I can make it as long as I want.
As for intensity, I would say intermediate. You kind of have to work hard to keep the intensity up.
The dvd also contains Step and Sweat with Michelle Dozois. Sometimes I program in a few chapters from this workout, but I have been quite unsuccessful in completing this routine. I don't know if it is the cueing or what, but it is confusing.I am totally lost by the fourth or fifth chapter.
This is a good, intermediate half-hour step workout with an excellent instructor. I bought the DVD, which has this and another Crunch step workout on it. The movements on the step are pretty basic, but Kendall does throw in some fun, dancy movements, which I enjoyed. The live drummer really adds to the enjoyment factor of this tape. Kendall's cueing was not always easy to follow so it's necessary to do the workout several times to get familiar with what comes next. The best thing about this workout is Kendall, who obviously has the potential to make a fantastic, longer workout (hopefully not for Crunch). His moves are a combination of athletics and dance, and he doesn't take it from the top too much (sometimes I even wish he would TIFT more). There is enough variety to stay interested, and the time flies by. I appreciate this workout because it is a change from my usual tapes led by female instructors. I would recommend it to all exercisers except for people with little step experience or people who are looking for ultra-complex sweat-fests. It's good for everyone else looking for a short, fun, not-too-sweaty, step workout.
I really like Kendall Hogan; I wish I could take live classes with him because he seems like such a nice, friendly person, has tons of energy and seem to really enjoy teaching. He moves great, too, and makes me want to put a little extra style into all the moves.
February 21, 2003