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Weight Loss Workout

(Intermediate-Floor Aerobics, Toning)

This resembles an intermediate version of "Fat Burning Workout", with simple dumbbell-toning segments thrown in. The "music video" style, with different tunes, sets and routines for each segment (there's a Caribbean-themed one, a fifties one, etc.) makes this less boring than most long floor-aerobic tapes. A brief lecture on nutrition follows the workout. If you can find this on "closeout" (like I did, for $4.99!) it's a good value.
Grade: A-

Sue Bryant

Fitness level: Intermediate.
Composition: 5 minute warm-up; 8 minutes arm and upper body toning; 35 minutes floor aerobics; 8 minutes lower body toning; 5 minute cool-down
Equipment: one-to-five-pound dumbbells; can do toning without weights if you're just starting out.
Heart Rate Checks: 2
Music: ranges from funk to traditional aerobic-style to Caribbean to 50's rock
Impact: Mixed, but low-impact modifiers shown for most routines
Choreography: moderate
Settings: gym and studio. The settings and decor change with each section. Whenever the music changes, you'll see the song title, and section (warm-up, toning, aerobics, cool-down) displayed in the lower left hand corner of the screen, like MTV.

New mom Kathy Smith opens with her usual low-key but friendly, informative introduction that belies the energetic routine ahead. I don't know if this is the program that got her looking so great after her pregnancy, but she definitely looks wonderful in this video. Kathy has always advertised this as the follow-up to her Fat Burning Workout video. It's definitely on the next level--steps that are "aerobic" in that video are "warm-ups" here, and the first few times I did this workout I was grateful for the nutritional lecture at the end. Not because I needed it--although I probably did--but because all I could do after completing the cool-down was lie on the floor and pant!

However, I persevered and I'm glad I did. I felt results in a few weeks, and saw them in the second month. At the risk of sounding like a FIRM testimonial, I looked better at age 37 than I had at 21! My arms and upper body were toned for the first time in my life. By the fourth month, I had tons of energy, and I looked great in my jeans. Then came pregnancy, and it wasn't until my daughter was weaned that I could once again exercise this intensely. Now that I've returned to intermediate level, it's good to have this tape in my collection. While I've collected other wonderful workouts due to this website (thanks, Wendy!), this remains one of my favorites.

This was the first time I'd ever used weights in an aerobic routine--the Collage catalog doesn't count the weight work for "Weight Loss Workout" as "aerobic" but it sure kept my heart rate in the target zone--especially the lower body work. Kathy suggests that neophytes do the tape the first time without weights--and one exerciser demonstrates the toning that way. (Another exerciser has wristband weights--the rest use dumbbells) I ignored her and started with 1-pound weights, and had no problems.

Two things I loved about the toning: it was "choreographed" so you keep moving instead of sitting or, Heaven forbid, lying on the floor. (At my 9:00pm exercise time, a prone position is an invitation to slumber!) Arms and upper body work follows the warm-up; the lower body work follows the aerobics. If they'd been lumped together, I'd have just skipped them and done only the aerobics, which to me is always the fun part. Also, being new to using weights like this, I don't think I could have done all 16 minutes consecutively--the division gave me a chance to get my second wind, which usually happens 20 minutes into the aerobics section. That reminds me. . .

I haven't said much about the aerobics yet--which is why I bought the tape in the first place--and I don't want to make this too long. Like lots of folks who read these reviews,I love aerobics the way a dog loves bones. Enjoyable routines and great music are part of what I live for, and this program has both. It's a faster pace and a little trickier than her beginner workouts, but Kathy is a master at teaching through "add-ons" and combinations. She also includes modifiers for people who are intermediate level but don't want to do "power moves." I especially enjoy the Caribbean and 50's segments--the crew has *almost* as much fun as the one in "Donna-Mite Workout."

The only problem I have with this workout is that the toning is wonderful, but doesn't include work for abs and back. Kathy implies in her intro that she geared this video in part toward new mothers. But she left out exercises for their most common trouble spots! Had she included them, this would be the video most likely to go with me to a desert island. But since I now rotate videos rather than stick with just one, I can include that work on a "strength day" instead. Not a major concern in my book. I paid $10.00 for this at Suncoast, and IMHO it's better than some of the $19.95 (and up) tapes out there now.

Grade: A

Melissa Cooper

I think I got this tape a long time ago, and didn't like it then. Just for kicks I pulled it out a few weeks ago, and I still don't like it that much. It has a number of aerobic segments, I don't remember how many. I like a few of them, but others are difficult to perform. I think Kathy has such long legs she can do lunges faster than normal! Either that, or I'm hopelessly uncoordinated. The songs change for each routine as do all the casts outfits, which could be viewed as interesting, or annoying. The camera angles change a lot too, which for me is annoying and confusing. Some of the routines were fun, but not enough of them, that I want to run out and do this video again. I think since I found Step aerobics, it's just more my style. I find it hard to keep my heart rate up during floor aerobics. But, if you like floor aerobics, you will probably enjoy this video.

Lucy Loftin
4/97

This is the first time I had worked out with weights, and it is worth the results. The muscles in my arms are starting to show--after only one month. I do this video three times a week and I do not tire of it. The music is a bit corny at times, but it keeps my attention. As for cardio, it keeps me in my target range for the duration. My only complaint is there is no abdominal work. I'm always looking for another tape to do my ab work after the video. Otherwise, it is a great purchase.

Theresa Pasini
3/11/97

Kathy Smith does a lunge segment that is in my opinion, much too fast. In trying to keep up with her, I experienced a great deal of knee pain. Other than that I think it is a good addition to her fat burning workout.

Instructor comments: I think Kathy Smith has alot of energy, and she is excellent at cueing. She lets you know ahead of time when add ons are coming, and when to change moves. I have always liked Kathy Smith!

Kelly Jones
January 14, 1998

I have been using this video off-and-on for at least seven years in waves of 5-6X/week to 1X/month. When I first bought the video, I had already been a runner for about 15 years, and a swimmer for about 5. I was, I think, quite fit. As I write this, I'm still dripping from having just finished doing the "Weight-Loss Workout" for what must be the thousandth time, and I still enjoy it. I'm fit, but not terribly coordinated, so it took me a while to master the routine. Now that I have, I'm able to concentrate on form and effort. Even now after all these years (BTW, I'm still running, swimming,& weight-lifting --I still get my heart rate up into the target zone with this tape.

Instructor comments: I think that Kathy is the best instructor I've seen for keeping the routines simple, but aerobically challenging. The number of repetitions of each step followed by gradual add-on steps gives even a klutz like me a chance to learn the routine.

Lisa
lodonnel@world.std.com
2/22/99

This was my first Kathy Smith video that led me to purchase many other videos produced by her. The music is lively and it keeps me motivated. It really tones your thighs, buns, and hips well. Now that I do strength and toning all over, I no longer do the floor work in this video. If you're starting out in exercise, you'll find some aches and pains the next day after this workout. Overall - a great step video!

Instructor comments: Kathy Smith is very inspiring and motivating. I have many of her videos and just can't seem to get bored with her even though I am an intermediate/low advance exerciser. I use mainly mixed aerobics tapes and she works for me.

Kim
preidandkreid@email.com
040899

I LOVE this video! Its now 10 year old and I cant believe I just discovered it. I guess I was always afraid to try the weights. I purchased the video for about $8.00 from 800.Com after reading the reviews here.

I am just now progressing from a beginner to the early stages of an intermediate and this video is definately pushing me along.

The moves are great, the integration of weights is wonderful and there's a nice streach at the end. However, there are several annoying things about this video:

1) As usual, Kathy uses extremely trendy costumes that look dated almost immediately. (When will she learn?)

2) The fast clips back and forth from one set to another (even in mid-move) seem kind of gimicky.

3) The 50's routine (IMHO) is awful. The costumes, the moves the way she lets everyone else lead...everything about it is bad. The whole routine has a kind of shuffle to it which is very difficult on carpet. Fortuanately, the 50's routine is only 5 minutes and 17 seconds (I really watch the clock, its so bad), so you can modify through it.

Over all, the good things about this tape far outweigh the bad. The music is dated, but still fun. (Much better music than was in Fat Burning Workout). My good friend Nancy (I feel like she's my good friend after seeing her in so many KS videos) is still here. Nancy is the non-model type participant whose legs are short so you know if she can do it, you can do it! Best of all, I feel very strong and powerful after this tape.

Thanks to VF and the others who reviewed this tape for introducing me to it!

Instructor comments: Kathy Smith is my favorite instuctor because she always keeps things safe and simple. She is'nt one of those big whoopers and she keeps quiet sometimes. In this video, her voice has an unual gruffness that I really like.

Jennine Auerbach
April 10,1999

This is a great workout! It's a solid hour-long intermediate workout consisting of a warm-up and stretch, some upper body weight work that keeps your heart rate up, several aerobic sections with different "take it from the top" combos in each one, lower body/upper body weight work that keeps your heart rate up, then a cooldown stretch. Each section is in a different scene, although they come back to some of them. Yes, the sets look quite dated, but I've grown to love them (it didn't take very long). The one aerobic section in the Carribean set is very easy aerobically (although it's the most challenging choreographically), which is annoying - I wish it were harder. The last aerobic section is in an outdoor 1950s scene. This one is the most challenging (also the only one that is exclusively high impact) and I LOVE the music - energetic 1950s piano and guitar. The rest of the music is the standard early 90s exercise video music. The editing is a little funny. I like it. It sometimes switches back and forth between the set that's ending and the set that's about to come on, showing them doing the moves in both sets. Also, they show a couple of "outtakes," where Kathy and her background exercisers get out of synch with each other, and they're all confused and laughing, during the video itself, sort of going back and forth really quickly between the mess-up and the real thing. But it doesn't make it confusing or anything to watch, just entertaining. It still looks professional. There are a couple of cueing mistakes, for the picky people out there, but overall it flows very nicely. Kathy is very comfortable on the camara, but not so comfortable that she starts talking about things other than what to do next - I like that! The exercisers in the background are a couple of women and a man. One of them does low-impact the whole time. They are pleasant to watch, happy and energetic but not over-the-top. For the beginners, there are a couple times during the workout where there is a little screen at the bottom giving you pointers on your form or showing the feet on the more complicated steps (but again, all the step are pretty simple to catch on to). If you keep watching after the workout is over, Kathy talks about nutrition. I keep coming back to this tape over and over again; I really like it and recommend it.

Instructor comments: In my opinion, I don't know what there is not to like about Kathy in this video. She is mature, which I like: it doesn't seem like there's a little kid running the show. She's also not at all bossy or intimidating. She is pretty serious the whole time, but always has a little smile on her face. She wears a bright red leotard most of the time...:)

Natalie

December 12, 2003



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