As an high intermediate exerciser I found this video to be a good workout and lots of fun.
The video is structured with a good solid warmup (8 min)and the same kind of "active" stretch that Petra does on Rhythmic Power. The actual cardio segment (36 min) is one long dancy combination. She breaks the routine up into three segments, teaching section 1, then section 2, then adding the two together, then teaching section 3, then ending with one time through the entire thing. The final cooldown and stretch is 5 minutes.
The choreography seems to be very creative in this video. (NOTE: I have never done the famous Cathe Friedrich so I have no idea how this compares in complexity.) I usually pick choreography right up but I had to really focus on this video. I did find I was doing everything right by the end of the first time through.
I would say this is the most fun of the crop of intermediate/advanced level stuff I've seen. The basic moves in Reebok The Video get old pretty quick, and even my beloved Keli Roberts RealFitness is pretty basic choreography compared to this. Petra makes up some weird little combos like a "chug" repeater--knee up off the side of the bench then a 3 count stomp thing moving back around the side. There's also a pretty complicated little "corkscrew" step that is annoying at first but turns out to be a really fun combination.
From looking at other reviews of Petra's stuff on this site, I'm sure that her intensity level is probably way below what most of the advanced exercisers are going to need, but I found it to be a great workout for my fitness level. Anyone who needs an intermediate to advanced level intensity, but who is sick of basic steps and choreography, should check out this video. Just don't give up on the "dancy" moves--if you follow her breakdowns they end up being doable.
One warning about impact, Collage rates this video as low impact but I would call it Mixed. There are several power moves like a run, a hop kick. I was able to do all of them without much trouble and there's nothing very intense. But you do hop just a bit.
This is a nice set too. It's got the MTV warehouse feel, but it's not really very dark and gloomy because of the way they are lit. There is one annoying lighting effect during the cooldown where they light everyone from below. It makes quite a glare off the TV. Mercifully this little effect doesn't last very long.
Instructor comments: Petra is very clear and very motivating. She makes the workout fun. She encourages you to modify if you need to, but nobody on the tape shows a modified version.
This is a really fun video and a great way to move up in choreography complexity. The choreography is complex and hip enough to keep me going for a long time to come, but I was able to do it and really "work it" after just a couple times through the video. I rewound the last 2 1/2 minutes the first couple of times through to practice doing the entire routine.
The set is pretty cool - kind of nightclub-ish but bright and colorful enough that I don't feel like I'm doing dungeon aerobics ala Dance Step and Strong & Smooth Moves. I think the flashing lights would be kind of annoying if you watch the TV the whole time but since my TV sits so low I tend not to watch it once I get the steps down.
I do this video on a 6-inch step and really pour sweat during the 50 minutes. I think an advanced exerciser could easily use an 8-inch step and add a bit more power to increase the intensity.
Instructor comments: I like Petra Kolber in this video (I wasn't too fond of her in Long & Lean or Dance Step). Her cuing is excellent. She doesn't give quite enough pointers on form - I especially need to be reminded about what abs and knees should be doing - but that may be because she's so busy keeping the viewer from tripping over her own two feet.
The warm up and stretch was ten minutes long, stretching calves, hip flexors and hamstrings. I found the warm-up too repetitive; or maybe I just didn't care for it!
I enjoyed the main workout though! It was 35 minutes long, with three major sections eneding with a fourth incorporating everything put together. The first time I did the workout I found the moves very tricky, but did much better the second time around. Be sure to preview the workout first so you have an idea of what's coming! The workout is intermediate, and I find the choreography complex (I don't agree with Collage's view of it being moderate).
There were lots of fun new moves, and variations on standard lunges, U-turns and repeaters. New moves include Chug repeaters and knees, corkscrew, six-pointers, kick-cross, and stamp the bug. The only move I didn't care for was a ball change and quick straddle up onto the bench- I felt the move was much too quick for my comfort. Some arm movements I didn't like either, but were easily substituted with movements I found comfortable.
The cool down and stretch was five minutes, stretching hamstrings, hip flexors and quads. The choreography was nice and simple here.
There were no pulse checks during the workout- instead Petra periodically had you check your intensity level ("can you hold a conversation"?). The large room used had turned into a disco, with pink, blue and purple lighting. The sides of the floor were lined with little white lights. The music kept me moving (instrumental with some lyrics), and the camera angles were good, close-ups showed where your footing should be. The video was well produced.
Background exercisers showed good form as well, and showed their own style t the moves.The video can be improved with one of them having been designated to show modifications throughou the workout. You will recognize one person from Rythmic Power, and another from Intense Moves.
Although an intermediate workout, I maintained a good sweat throughout. The workout surprised me with needing to focus on my balance for some moves, and with practice I'll have all those steps down pat!
Instructor comments: Petra seemed to enjoy teaching this workout, and I found her to be encouraging and reassuring ( "Always go at your own pace", move "only if you're comfortable"). She has a soothing voice- no whooping here. There was so much information given for the dance moves, yet she guided me through with excellent cueing. Not once did she leave me in a moment not knowing where to move or what foot to use!
Jennifer van der Hoeven
I really wanted to like this video. I bought it because I liked the idea of having a dancy step video that wouldn't wipe me out like Cathe's. The combos were interesting and well-taught, and they flowed together nicely. I liked the music, and didn't mind the disco nightclub set. The problem I had was, not only did the workout not wipe me out, but I had a difficult time keeping my heartrate in my target zone. I even added power moves where feasible, and I still felt like the workout wasn't effective. Usually I find that I can modify less intense workouts by using power, but with the combinations in this video, there wasn't much opportunity to do so. Petra slows down a lot to teach the combinations, and that's when my heartrate dropped. The problem was that my heartrate wasn't high enough during the combinations to keep it high during the teaching. This would be a good workout for an advanced beginner or intermediate who likes complex choreography, because the moves are fun.
Instructor comments: I love watching and listening to Petra. I love her British accent, and she is graceful and fluid in her movements. She is friendly, yet professional. Her cuing is adequate.
Yes, this video was a blast! I can't remember when I had such fun working
out at home. I 'm the type that loves dancy choreography with much slower
(BPM) music tempo. This video fits that bill.
A 50 minute workout, it felt like a breeze since we were putting together a
routine from the very beginning. Although it was taught add-on style (aka
"take it from the top") it didn't even feel like it. I found this video
perfect for re-couping from a sinus infection and was provided with
modifications to make it easier or more challenging.
Even though it's a little older, I've not done most of the moves executed in
the video so I really give a high-5 for the creativity Petra has...her cueing
was right on; her style is definitely dancy which I could tell by her
gracefulness and form. I would say that the choreography was moderate, and
she broke it down so well and cued precisely, "use the television leg"... As
she did all this she seemed genuine and natural, not at all rehearsed or
In summary, I give this video an A for those like me, a dancy choreographer
who likes to take it easy at least once a week. The only downside of this
video is that a couple of combos were shown half-time which could slow an
intermediate/advanced exerciser as time goes on, but I'm going to go right
into the advanced move and not let my heart-rate drop. The music was
motivating and the background crew looked like they were really listening to
Petra and watching her every move. That's a first for me...
Anyhow, thumbs up, indefinitely.
Myra Marangi, AFAA & BodyPUMP Certified
I have had this video for awhile, but just started using it on a regular sized step (plus it is better made), so I thought I would submit a review.
As another reviewer said, this is mixed impact step with dancy choreography. I generally do not go for videos of this type, as I am a bit of a klutz, but I managed to get this video. I only do the 1st two sections, as I do not have the time in the morning to do all 3, but it is loads of fun! Chug repeaters, corkscrews, 6 pointers...all are fun to do as long as you pay attention.
And that is what you MUST do with this video. You MUST concentrate on what Petra is doing. If you are looking for a step tape that will just take you through the motions, this is NOT that tape.
If you are an intermediate stepper or an advanced beginner that does not mind some high impact (there are modifications, of course) with some interesting moves thrown in, this is your tape. Advanced steppers should look elsewhere.
Petra is one of my favorite instructors. She cues fairly well and always seems to be having a good time working out. Very inspiring!