This was my first video, and I believe that I could not
have chosen better. Like Kathy's first step video, this
one is also divided into three distinct segments,
beginner, inter- mediate and advanced, and like her
first, it is easy to fast forward to the end to cool-down
if you are not able to do the entire tape. However, this
tape continues to be a challenge as you advance as an
exerciser, because nearly every move is presented in both
a low-impact and a power version, and if you do all of
the power moves, the 52-minute workout becomes quite a
After the warm-up, which has many of the
moves from Kathy's Great Buns and Thighs video, Part One
is mostly basic steps with a few "power holds"
(hopping up on the step one one foot)at the end. Part Two
is significantly more difficult, with repeated jumps over
the step length-wise, more power holds, a fun lunge
section, and a straddle/charleston combination at the
end. Part Three includes quite a few jumps, scissor jumps
over the bench, T-steps, U-steps and a more challenging
lunge sequence. The Cool-down is effective and has some
Each segment is 13-minutes, and there are two
ten-second pulse counts. I enjoyed beginning with this
tape because it was easy to work toward goals, and
because even as I have advanced, I still consider this a
fairly long and challenging workout (provided I do all
the power moves). The music is not nearly as much fun as
that in the Great Buns and Thighs video, but the
production value is much better.
I bought this tape recently based on the reviews here.
Since I'd never done "power" moves, I was
hesitant to buy a power step video. But, Kathy has a way
of making everything seem easy. Most advanced fans would
probably find the choreography of this tape easy, but
it's a new challenge for me, after only doing Jane Fonda,
Kathy Smith Step, and Step Reebok. I've only done it
three times so far. I got a great workout the first time
through, and made it through all three sections. There
are 3, 12 minute step sections, plus a warm-up and
cool-down. If you are short on time, you can always ff to
the cool down for a shorter workout. She does these
"power hold" where you are doing a knee-up but
then freeze the knee. I don't know if these are a
traditional power move, since this is my first more
advanced tape. And these neat scissor steps where you hop
and turn and somehow end up on the other side doing a leg
lift. I was surprised when I finally figured it out. Now
I'm anxious to try some more advanced choreography,
because once I was able to learn the trickier stpes (for
me anyway!), I really had fun.
The other reviews posted about this video are very thorough in explaining the logistics of the video, so I will just add my personal opinions. I really enjoyed this video! I am fairly new to stepping, but am an advanced floor aerobic exerciser, and I am so pleased with this video. The beginners section was fairly basic, but in the last two sections, she really spiced things up with lots of turns, knee ups, repeaters, hops, jumps, lunges, combinations, etc. All the hops and jumps can be taken out resulting in an extremely effective low impact step routine. I was able to make it through the whole thing, but was sweating madly at the end. In fact, I was having so much fun, it was over before I knew it. My face was bright red, but I didn't feel tired, I was rather refreshed instead!
One of my first workout videos was Kathy's old Fat Burning Workout. This was a great tape as well and really turned me on to Kathy Smith. After now doing Power Step, which is "newer", I have to say that I am now annoyed with her style in the Fat Burning Workout. In Power Step, she seems much more relaxed and calm. She also strikes me as more mature, hip and more "90s", if you know what I mean. She doesn't do a lot of hooping and hollering and sort of reminds me a little of Karen Voight in the subtlety department.
All around--a fabulous workout. I hope to see this video on the list of Favorites some day. It deserves to be there.
I think this is a great video to use as a transition from intermediate to advanced step workouts, and as an introduction to power stepping. The workout is pretty typical of the step workouts that I experienced at fitness clubs: start slow (first section), move to moderate intensity (second section) and then finish with a section of fast lunges from side to side. I do wish the tape had an ab section, and that the workout was a bit longer - I like one hour workouts. Overall, I think it is a good quality workout. By no means innovative, but still very good. A-.
Instructor comments: Kathy Smith is not an exciting instructor, but she is clear, professional and likeable. She does play to the camera a bit, which can annoy me a bit, but that is a minor point.
13 Dec 97
I was very pleasantly surprised by this video. I have come to think of Kathy Smith's tapes as not particularly challenging, especially since discovering Cathe and Kari (thanks to VF!). I bought this tape on a whim several months ago and had never done it. Last week I wasn't feeling too energetic so I thought I'd give it a try. What a surprise! I worked up a real sweat doing this tape. While the choreography is not as complicated as other instructors, you get a very good workout. In fact, this tape is perfect for days when your brain doesn't feel as energetic as your body. It is also a perfect introduction to power stepping for those who've not done it before. I've already done this tape a second time and know I'll do it again soon.
Instructor comments: Kathy Smith is the ultimate fitness professional. Her videos are always safe, her cuing perfect, her instruction excellent. She is the ideal choice for those who are new to fitness.
This video has been well described by other reviewers, so here are my
comments. I consider myself a low-advanced exerciser, I've been doing step
2 or 3 times a week for many years. I'm comfortable doing videos with
Franny, Christi, and other more advanced choreographers, but I find myself
coming back to this video when I want a solid workout without thinking too
hard. It's not so simple that it's boring -- it keeps my interest
throughout -- but the moves are straightforward so I can put all my energy
into them without thinking about what's coming up next in the
choreography. As a result, I get a better workout than I do with some of
the more advanced tapes, and I enjoy myself too! However, this may not be
the right workout for those advanced steppers who love complex choreography
and get bored without it.
As other reviewers have said, you can do this tape at any level, depending
on how much power you use. Kathy always shows the low impact version first,
then adds power, so you can choose your level. I've done quite a few of
her videos and I really think this is one of her best.
Attention: Cathe Mega Step Blast fans and those who want simplicity and Intensity! You will like this tape! (IMO)
Set: Brick walls and windows...
Attire: Black tops and black lycra shorts
Workout Type: Regular low impact Step with options of jumping, hopping, running which are called Power moves.
Fitness Level: Beginner, Intermediate AND Advanced (everyone can do!)
Workout Length: 52.40 min. est.
Equipment: Long Step, (she is selling her own brand as offered in the tape)
Effectiveness: The tape does what it says: it offers a great low or high intensity workout at low or high impact depending on who you choose to follow... 2 people are always doing the simpler version, one to the right side of the room and one to the left.
Music: Her own music, chosen very appropriately for this workout...
Presentation: Is this tape boring? I think not.... The tape is simple... and the movements are basic.. nothing too complicated... no fancy footwork.. In fact... It TEACHES some step moves as if you didn't know them...L-steps, T-steps, and some others as if you've never seen them... so for Beginners, and for those who have trouble following or even for those who are having a tired day and need simplicity... this tape is perfect...
The Power options make it excellent for the Intermediate and Advanced... since these are done "throughout" the tape...
Warm up: 8 min. 40 sec.
lots of marches, then side touches, ( continuous arm movements throughout the tape)
at 3.30 min. - side leg lifts then later rear leg lifts.
Step Workout: approx 37 min.
Basic, then V-steps, (lots of arm movements)
at 11.40 min. adds power
at 12.min. - knee lifts, then adds run run
at 13.40 min. - corner to corner knees... then becomes repeaters.
One person always does entire workout without power moves.
continues previous moves...
at 16.40 min.combo: tap ups then jump up step down, over the top and then either walk around or swing leg around.
repeat combo other leg leading..
at 20 min. pop up and holdleg out 16x alternating.
at 21 min. - Heart Rate Check
at 22min. - teaches L-step
2nd combo: alternate between run run and L-step (plenty of arm motion)
at 24 min. - go accross from one side of step to the other side... 8x
combo again- other leg leading.
accross step again 8x
combines these moves into combo.
at 27 min. -power knee up
at 27.20 min. - lunge 8x then half squats with legs together, then quick lunges then repeaters.
at 29.20 min. - repeat lunge combo other leg leading
at 31 min. - alternating leg lifts, then straddles then charleston.
charleston and straddle knee combo - several times each side.
toe taps and side leg lifts.
at 35 min. - place step perpendicular to TV.
combo: tap up, tap down, jump up both feet, then U-turn (or horseshoe)then diagonal.
repeats this combo several times.
then adds side leg lift to it.
at 37.10 min. - over the top and pop up
scissor step, (back leg goes across from floor to floor on other side.)
continues this combo several times.
at 40 min. - open turn step (looks like horseshoe with power)
at 44 min. - final push - alternate fast lunges then repeaters
at 46 min. - squats on either side of step.
at 47 min. - Cool down : marches, straddles, and toe taps
at 50 min. - stretches
at 52.40 end
Total Rating: I think this is an all round excellent step tape... similar in simplicity and heightening complexity like Cathes Mega Step Blast.. But contains plenty of intensity due to all the power moves throughout that will keep Advanced interested... therefore I rate it 10 out of a possible 10 points.
Kathy Smith is queen of explanations, before the workout, tells you why it is so good to do step workouts, and after the workout goes over some form points... and during the workout says things to aid you in following the workout. As usual her teaching is excellent! She has a calm demeanor in this tape, and makes the moves look easy...
2 July 2003