I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.
General workout breakdown: This hi/lo interval cardio workout runs about 49.5 min.
The first half of the workout is more hi/lo aerobics (mostly athletic or traditional hi/lo, like hamstring curls and grapevines, with some "dancey" moves like mambos and cha chas thrown in), while the second half has mostly kickboxing moves (jabs, crosses, front kicks, side kicks). This is definitely not a kickboxing workout, nor is it a dancey video; it's a hi/lo workout with some kickboxing moves. Overall the choreography is interesting but never overwhelming, and this should be accessible to anyone without an extra left foot.
The workout is constructed like this: build up a combo evenly on both sides, run through it a few times on each side (on the right, then left, then back on the right again, and so on), do the interval, and move onto the next combo. (Each combo + interval runs 4-7 min., with intervals running about 45-90 seconds each.) After the first three combos and intervals, there's a quick break for the perceived exertion chart, after which come the next three combos and intervals. Before the cool-down, the Power Party, or run through all of the combos twice (6 min.; no intervals; as taught, without any weaving / slicing and dicing). The warm-up (8 min.) is a simple combo ending with some dynamic stretching (which moved a little fast for me). The cool-down (9 min.) begins with a line dance-type combo (a little tricky since you move in a square, so your back is to the TV for part of it); it ends with some static stretching almost exclusively for the lower body, which I found pretty thorough and held for a decently long amount of time.
Some other thoughts:
- The first and cool-down combos were the ones that dragged the most for me, with lots of running through only a few moves. (Those adverse to repetition: be aware that there can be a good amount of that overall.) But after that the workout definitely picks up. .
- The intervals are sometimes drawn from the combos but more often than not are not.
- I didn't find there was a huge difference between the combos and the intervals. I think once I'm slightly more familiar with the workout (and perhaps when it's not so hot in my workout room) I'll be able to exaggerate the intervals to bump them up a definite notch.
Level: I’d recommend this to intermediates familiar with basic aerobics choreography and kickboxing, although you don’t need to be a choreo hound or martial artist by any means. Beginner / intermediates may find this more doable one half at a time but should be able to work up to the full routine without too much difficulty. Creative intermediate / advanced exercisers will no doubt be able to think of ways to boost the intensity to make this appropriate for them.
Class: 4 women join Katina. There are some flubs on the part of the background exercisers, but considering they clearly are “normal” people with busy lives they do a nice job of keeping up in front of the camera.
Music: pleasant and appropriate, not too beat heavy and not too soft, primarily instrumental. I'd heard some things before but not so much that I’m sick of them.
Set: bright, neutral-colored interior space, with “windows,” potted plants, furniture, and some artwork arranged sparsely around.
Production: clear picture and sound. The music is as loud as Katina’s voice. For the most part camera angles are helpful, although there are a few close ups or funky angles. The camera angle that was from off to the side was a little out of focus. Either they fixed it as the workout went on or they stopped using it - or perhaps I just stopped noticing.
Equipment: sneakers. (If you’re having trouble with your sneaker catching on your carpet during pivots, look into dansneakers / dance sneakers / split sole sneakers or put a slick piece of tape over the ball of an old pair.)
Space Requirements: You should have enough space to do a grapevine to each side and to take four big steps forwards and backwards (or at least enough space to step and kick in each direction).
DVD Notes: The main menu offers these options: Introduction, Play Program, Plan Your Own Party (Chapters; you only have the option of combo + interval rather than just combo or just interval), Party Mix (Combo Mix + Shoulders & Abs [from Circuit Party], 32 min.; Interval Mix + Legs [from Circuit Party], 21 min.), and Credits. I would have like to have seen an All Combo or All Interval option without weights. The combos and intervals are chaptered separately, however.
Comments: This is a good, solid, straightforward workout that's not too complicated (but not too simple), not too intense (but not too easy).
This is a mixed impact workout. There are some plyos, but there’s nothing too crazy in terms of impact (e.g. squat jumps rather than tuck jumps). A few low(er) modifications are suggested, and a few more are obvious, but those who can’t do impact may need to get a little creative. Those with knees that don't like lots of pivots (or who work out with deeply ridged shoes on thick carpet) should be aware that there are numerous quarter and half turns here.
It’s been a while since I’ve done the original Interval Party, but the main differences that stick out in my mind is that IP1 had much less in the way of kickboxing and had real distinctions between the intensity levels of the combos and the intervals. IP1 also offered clear low(er) impact modifications, which are pretty much lacking in IP2. If I had to choose between the two, I think I’d probably opt for the original.
Katina's cuing is adequate. She mirror cues and announces moves a few beats before. I wouldn’t have minded a few more directional cues, although she does point sometimes. She doesn’t pause to break down moves, but there are some moments when she throws a lot of steps at you at once (kind of like some of the most recent CIAs / Amy Bentos; oddly, Katina seems to spend the most time breaking down the first ¼ of the combo, which is usually the easiest, a little less time with the second ¼, before throwing the whole second ½ at you in one go). Fortunately it's pretty easy to pick them up by the next few run throughs; it's something to be aware of if you need extra breakdown, though. Also, Katina sometimes has her own names or uses less common names for common moves; I found myself looking at her a few times and saying, “Oh, that’s what that is!”
Katina appears relaxed here and is having fun. She has no extraneous chatter and not really too many “burn that fat” type comments.
July 7, 2008