Video Fitness


Marcus Irwin

I am a 9-year vidiot, at an advanced fitness level for my age (over 50, which means I don?t do much high intensity high impact cardio for the sake of my knees and feet), and love doing complex choreography, but hate learning it when it's not well taught. With over 350 workouts in my collection, I rarely reach for even my favorite cardio workouts more than once every 3 months or so. Even with new workouts that I'm still learning, I rarely go back to them in less than a month. Marcus' latest Evolution workouts are the first in years that I?ve felt compelled to do again in the same week! I've done Airborne twice in the last 4 days! This workout is hi-lo as it was meant to be. (Just watching it now as I'm writing this review makes me want to get up and do it again!)

This is a long workout - cardio 71 minutes, cool-down & stretch 4 minutes, total 75 minutes. The workout consists of 6 32-count combos; there is no separate warm-up. There is TIFTTing but not a lot of it - you only TIFTT after combo 4 and after combo 6. The TIFTTing takes a split form, i.e. combo 1 right lead, combo 2 left lead, combo 3 right lead, etc. so that the final TIFTT feels like one long 192-count combo. The choreography is fairly complex (about the same level as Rob Glick or Christi Taylor) but is so well taught that it's more easily learnable because Marcus breaks it down very logically and does a good job of layering. I was able to get all the combos individually the first time, but tripped all over myself trying to keep up during the TIFTTing, especially with all the turns and twirls. (Marcus makes a remark at one point that it feels like "being in a blender".) The intensity is moderate. The impact is low to moderate. The music, new to this series, is energetic and motivating, but nothing that I recognized.

Here's a list of the moves from the DVD chapter menu, which should give you a good idea of the type of choreography: mambo reverse hitch; mambo swivel; quickie; chasse tango; kick ball change; grapevine double Elvis; 3 curl swivel; pivot mambo cha cha; freeze. The tango, ball-change, and swivel/Elvis seem to be Marcus' moves du jour.

The set is industrial looking, with concrete floors, a green backdrop, and several screens with giant floating/twirling green letter e's (the Evolution logo). There are two new female ?backup babes?, one from Germany and one from Belgium. Marcus wears white pants with a black stripe down the side and a black short-sleeved t-shirt. The babes wear white pants and white tops.

The DVD also includes previews from other videos produced by Marcus - 20 minutes from the Evolution line and 12 minutes from the Free2Be line.

Instructor comments: Marcus has a great personality and a good rapport with the backup babes. The charming Aussie accent adds to the attraction.

Pam L


On cardio work, I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser who enjoys with complex choreography at some level. I also enjoy my "easier" workouts on those mornings I don't feel like thinking that much. After trying many different cardio workouts with varying complexity, I have found that I enjoy many different workouts, but my absolute favorites are those that many complexity lovers on VF would classify as intermediate because the instructor takes awhile to build combinations and/or explains more than the most complex instructors (like Christi, Patrick, or Andre).

Airborne is Marcus Irwin's newest hi/lo workout. The set has changed and is much lighter than the set in previous workouts. The floor and walls are white and the exercisers are dressed mostly in white. Marcus is backed up by two "backup babes" and has a lot of interaction with them throughout the workout. He is his usual personable, pleasant, funny self. This workout moves faster than his previous workouts. He still builds each combination block, layering complexity as he goes, but there is less down time, or holding patterns, between moves, so the workout flows faster. The complexity of the moves is intermediate, maybe low advanced at times. He starts with fairly simple patterns and layers on complexity as he goes.

The workout is well done and pretty typical of other Marcus Irwin workouts, except that it flows faster. Those that read the VF Forum may know that I LOVE Marcus Irwin workouts - he is probably my favorite instructor. Imagine my shock and surprise, then, to find that I did not enjoy this workout. And, I am not sure why. The paragraph above pretty much describes what the intellectual side of my brain thinks of this workout. However, I just could not bond with the workout ? I just didn't enjoy it while I was doing it. There is nothing specific I can point to as to why though. I just didn?t bond with it. Go figure.

Instructor comments: Marcus is his usual laid-back, humorous, motivating instructor.

Laura S.

October 17, 2005

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