I loved the format of Step n Stones I... But I didn't care for the short step and flashy camera moves! So when I got Step N Stones II in the exchange-I said "Well, Gay does give a good workout -I can overlook the Avia promotion/advertisement."
I was very surprised in what I saw and heard -full club style steps, hip music and hardly any quick camera shots! There are 3 step segments with strength segments between. The first strength is Chest and Back and Gay uses an exertube. She goes through the series 3 times. The second strength section is shoulders-Gay uses exertubes and weights. the third strength section is biceps and triceps-Gay uses exertubes and weights. What's so great about this type of workout is that unlike some videos that have weight-Gay doesn't stop her feet from moving-it's active strength training. Final section is a leg section.
This tape would be great to combo with the first Step n Stones. Maybe you could put together the step sections and then do the strength sections.
Overall-a Fantastic Workout-keep them coming Gay!!
I want a Step n Stones III, IV, V and so on!!!
Instructor comments: Smiling, enthusiastic, fit and perfect step form! Gay encourages without sounding "sappy sweet" Her instruction made the tape fly by! Fun! Fun! FUN!!
This is even better than Step-n-Stones I, which I also really liked. The choreography in this one is a tad more complicated, yet not difficult to pick up. It's high-intermediate to advanced level. The music is *excellent* and that's probably 75% of the reason I like this so much. It really makes you want to move.
The workout consists of 4 step segments alternated with 4 strength training segments. For the strength training, you do back/chest, shoulders (tough!), triceps/biceps, and legs. The first one, back/chest, requires a band or tube. I really don't get a lot out of that one, and I haven't thought of a way to modify it to use dumbbells. For the other 3 segments, I do use dumbbells. You can use fairly heavy ones, because she doesn't go too fast or do endless reps. I use 8 lbs for the shoulders and arms, and 15 lbs for the legs. That shoulder work kills me, and the others I can definitely feel.
The step choreography seems to get better with each section. When each new section starts, I think, "Wow, this is my favorite section." There are many high-impact moves, which I love. She doesn't take a lot of time to teach, but it's still pretty easy to pick up if you're an experienced stepper. And you don't have to worry about your heart rate dropping during the learning phases.
I'm very happy with this tape (it's an A+!), and I hope we can look forward to a Step-n-Stones III, IV, V . . . .
Instructor comments: Gay has the calves I dream about.
I usually do not like circuit training, but this video changed my mind. First, the music is the best I have ever heard on an exercise video (Step Fit's "pump it up" had me really going crazy). Let's put it this way: the music was so awesome and loud, I had a problem concentrating on the moves. I was getting carried away listening and getting excited. The step segments are a lot of fun, easy moves, some power jumps; she does the running man move like Christy. My heartrate got up there. It went lower when we did the circuits, but moving the feet at the same time as doing the tubing and weights, kept it up a little. I didn't care for the 'water break' but that's a minor thing. The leg work was excellent, though short I felt it, and she used a step riser to place the heels on to do squats (like the Firm, when they use that "dopey" piece of wood, Gay shows a cheaper, innovative way to do the squats with the heels raised). I combined this video with Power Kicks today and I felt I got a complete workout. Gay looks a lot like Nancy Popp and I think she should do more videos that are over an hour and not those cheesy $8 videos that are in the double packs at the stores. Step-n-Stones I - here I come.
Instructor comments: Excellent instructor. I know her from my Tim Culwell videos and always thought she had a great body, and she really does. She is also a great instructor and I will be purchasing Step-n-Stone I.
I always hate to pan a video that everyone else loves, but I guess we all have different tastes. I previewed the whole video and decided to try it even though I wasn't too enthusiastic about it. The music is fantastic and the level for the stepping sections is intermediate. The step is turned toward the TV, which is good for a change.
This reminded me of a CIA video because you keep adding on and taking it from the top -- beginning with the warm-up. Thankfully each stepping section is short and she builds a different combination in each section. I had a hard time following her because of the wierd camera angles (although it wasn't as bad as Step-n-Stones I) and shooting through the cameras, crew, etc. When doing a video, I am NOT interested in a behind-the-scenes tour while trying to follow the instructor. The first step section even starts out with the camera focused on Gay's upper body, and I didn't know whether she was using the side of the step or the end of it (I guessed wrong and had to jump over when the camera finally showed her lower body).
I don't know. The parts of the combinations just didn't seem to flow together too well and just weren't fun moves for me. I only made it through the first step section, the first strength section and half of the second step section and I couldn't take any more. I kept looking at the clock hoping the time would pass more quickly and then gave up and jumped on my treadmill. The first rubber band section was okay, but I try to rest a day in between strength workouts and I'm not sure how this beginner/intermediate band work would fit in. Another reviewer said the step sections keep getting better and better, but I don't have the patience to struggle through sections I don't like to finally get to the good stuff (if indeed I would like the final sections more). I'll just stick with Cathe. I like her method of teaching and seem to be unable to accept anyone else.
Instructor comments: Gay is very enthusiastic, energetic and fun.
Step-n-Stones I is an all-time favorite of mine, and I was concerned that S-n-S II would be redundant. It isn't. I like it even better. It has four alternating sections instead of three, which makes the workout seem to go by quicker. I use a dynaband, and I've increased the intensity of both these workouts by moving up from green to purple. It doesn't take long to get past the initial confusion created by the crazy camera angles, and the resulting workout is fun and effective. I too wish Gay would make more tapes for intermediate/adv steppers.
Instructor comments: Excellent cuing, as always, and a pleasant, encouraging voice.
Step N Stones II is an older, out-of-print workout that would be good for someone who likes athletic moves and enjoys using a dynaband or resistance band for strength moves. (Gay does also use light dumbbells for some moves) Itís pretty similar to the newer CIA Cardio Crazy workout. Iíve decided for now to keep the CIA, since itís on DVD, and get rid of SNS II.
The other reviews describe the workout well. I like the athletic moves, and Gay doesnít take it from the top too often. The set is clean and the outfits and workout arenít dated in any way. The music is good, but by now has been used in many other workouts. At this point, there isnít much that makes this workout stand out from the others.
Iím not a fan of strength moves using resistance bands. I do enjoy Catheís Circuit Max, but the lunges that accompany the upper body moves feel more natural to me than stepping side to side or squatting like Gay has you do. SNS II isnít available on DVD, so if you want to skip the strength moves, you have to just fast-forward.
I want to like Gayís workouts, but they leave me wanting more. I recently tried the hi/lo portion of CIA Two Jamminí Workouts, and felt like I missed something. I feel the same way about Step N Stones II and Cardio Crazy. Maybe she takes too long to build up combos? Or maybe theyíre not quite interesting or intense enough?
I really do like athletic step (like Gin Millerís Intense Moves), but this one just isnít quite what Iím looking for.
I really like Gayóshe has a natural, friendly manner that isnít overly chatty. She also looks truly athletic, which is something I strive for. Her cuing is clear, and she builds combos somewhat slowly, which can be either helpful or frustrating, depending on your needs.