Video Fitness

Hot Country Step

A nice change of pace using country western music. The songs are upbeat and fun to step to. While the level may be beginner/intermediate it's sure to get your heart rate up and make you sweat. Ruth is easy to follow, her cueing is on target. The step routines are more athletically based. The kind I enjoy.

The visual effects and clothing worn by the cast are country. At first that was something I wasn't used to seeing. However, after a while that becomes less apparent because the music and step routines are fun to listen to and challenging enough to perform. The warm up is around 11 minutes and quite through. However, the cooldown is 8 minutes and not nearly as effective as the warm up. You may need to add a few extra minutes on your own.

I really liked this video. It's a welcomed change of pace along with the added benefit of being pleasantly challenging.

Instructor comments: Ruth McGinnis is the aerobic exerciser trainer to the stars. She is very easy to follow and pleasant to listen to. However, Ruth is extremely thin. Not that that is good or bad but more unusual.

Carolyn Heying

Warmup: 11 min.
Step Aerobics: 26 min.
Cooldown: 8 min.
Impact: Low
Level: B/I
Choreography: Basic
This review is based on having done the workout 3 times. I'm a beginner-level stepper.
Collage lists this video as a "Staff Favorite" so, for $13, I deemed this video worth checking out. I'm glad I did. I had put off buying this tape because I was afraid it would be a kind of hokey "Hank Williams" type of country thing, but that's definitely not the case. I like many different styles of music, but I don't regularly listen to Country & Western, and this video had me wanting to see Ruth produce another Step tape!

I found Ruth McGinnis to be a good, clear cuer and nonchatty. She has a pleasant voice and demeanor.

I find the sound track *very* enjoyable. I want to get going right from the first song and have to remind myself that it's the warmup! While doing the tape for the first time, I was not frustrated at all trying to learn the routine. Ruth teaches the sequences enough times for me to get the hang of it and then her excellent cuing keeps me on the mark for just the right number of repeats so I'm not bored. About halfway thru the workout, you turn your step for the next two combos. As to this workout's effectiveness, I recently bought a Polar FitWatch heart rate monitor, and this video kept me in my THR. Since the step aerobics portion is only 26 min., I rewind the tape to the third song and do it again for about 40 min. of cardio time.
The workout is definitely low impact. At one point, Ruth directs your attention to a woman in the group if you want to increase your intensity some. I like no-nonsense types of workouts and this video fit the bill for me. No corny jokes, no extraneous chatter, and *no whooping!!* (The only whooping I tolerate is from ME -- Yeehaw!) I'm really enjoying this workout. I'm even catching myself smiling and laughing (especially at the Cleopatra, Queen of Denial segment)! Whoda thunk I would have so much fun exercising — to country, yet! :D
There is a slow-paced instructional section at the beginning where Ruth goes over the basic steps used in the workout. In class and thru some voice-overs, Ruth cues you on form. There is one heart rate check. The set is very easy on the eyes; nothing wild or outlandish, the room has a nice hardwood floor and some traditional southwestern accents and a nice faux sunset in the background. The only thing I was disappointed with about this workout was the stretches at the end. I do my own routine because I don't feel my muscles have been stretched effectively, but that may be a personal preference since I like stretching.
This is an excellent video for beginning steppers or for those who want a decent workout for a "light" day. Nothing dancy here; just basic stepping. Advanced exercisers and Cathe F. fans will probably find it ordinary and non-challenging, but beginners will find it fun and non-threatening. This video can take you to the Intermediate level by increasing the step height and using a bigger range of motion.
For those who care about such things, duplication quality is in Standard Play (SP) mode. The picture quality is better than some $20 videos I've got!


Suzanne wrote a thorough review that I quite agree with. Too add my 2 cents, I bought this video because I do like modern country music (most modern country music is not of the Hank Williams variety) and I thought it might help getting me motivated. This is one of the first videos I bought (previously only owned Reebok :the Video). I really enjoyed this video. Much more than the Reebok video even though the step level is still basic. I feel that the choreography in this video fits the music very well without being too country (i.e. no line dancing etc). Ruth M. cues very well making it very easy to follow for a begining stepper. The whole thing was a lot of fun. My only gripe is that it was too short and easy (the shortness contributing to the easiness) causing me to outgrow it too fast (I've traded it now but if I'd seen Suzanne's suggestion for rewinding I probably would have kept it a lot longer). I stongly recommend this video to a beginner.


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