Video Fitness

Step Training with Power

The whole premise of the video is faster music with a maximum step height of 6 inches. It isn't terribly dancy as the music is fast. Some funky stuff-only if you want to--she says--"don't do it if it doesn't look good on you." The exercisers are having fun--which I like to see. At the end there is some upper body strength training. It's not that good. If you want power step--stick with Cathy Freidrich.

Tracy Szram

I can't say I was expecting much from this workout, but it's really very good! This is a step workout consisting of 5 step segments from her TV shows. The whole idea behind this tape is that you use a faster music tempo and a lower step height (the music is funky with a great beat). You get in lots of power moves and some high-impact as well. Now, I guess I should mention, lest I be misunderstood, that I don't mean ultra-fast music. It's faster than a CIA video but not nearly as fast as some of those horrible Shaped 2 Fit videos. Without comparing the two side-by-side, I think it's probably about the same tempo as some of the faster Cathe F. tapes.

When I previewed the video, I didn't think it would be very intense. I was wrong! The entire workout ranges from intermediate to advanced in intensity, with probably 2/3 or 3/4 being more advanced. The choreography is fairly simple, but she does throw in a few rather advanced moves, like a repeater around the step. She gives you the option of "being funky," too, if you want. Victoria is so much fun, and she makes the funkiness completely non-intimidating, so I always find myself doing it along with her.

The breaks between segments are short, so your heart rate doesn't drop much. There were two things I didn't particularly care for, but they're not bad enough to make me dislike the tape. First, during each segment, she has you check your heart rate. You keep stepping (basics) the whole time, so your heart rate will stay up pretty good -- and she doesn't show those annoying heart rate charts over and over, so that helps, too. But I would have preferred it if they could have edited out some of those. The second thing I didn't care for was you change your step to vertical for the 4th segment, but then you have to change it back for the 5th. Seems like they could have put the change at the end.

The cooldown is done with light weights, and you work biceps and triceps. It's surely not the most effective bi/tricep workout ever done, but I kind of like doing it. The only thing missing is a stretch at the end. The tape is 53 minutes; I don't know why they couldn't have added another few minutes of stretching.

One last thing, the cover says the workout is 30 minutes. They're cheating themselves! The actual aerobics are about 40 minutes, and the total length is 53 minutes.

I don't know if you can buy this tape anymore, but if you can find it, I think it's worth a good look. I rank this workout an A for intermediate excersicers, and an A- for advanced.

Instructor comments: Victoria is lively, enthusiastic, motivating, and entertaining. In this tape, she actually made me laugh a few times! I adore her, and would dearly love to see her come out with some new advanced-level tapes.

Annie S.

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