Video Fitness

Reebok Extreme Step

The video is composed of step segments mixed with strength work. The video uses the interval concept, though to a lesser extent than the Intense Moves vide. The first part of the tape's strength moves includes performing "lat push-ups" (one arm push ups done with the body facing forwards) and regular push-ups. The step moves are similar to the moves in the Intense Moves video. There is a "connecting step" move which Gin has a different person lead, which is a little distracting and seems a bit unnecessary. The moves are high impact, including one where you jump and spin yourself, first a quarter turn, then a half-turn, 3/4 turn, and finally a full turn. You do the turn and turn back to face the step. This move is quite difficult. The last semeng which uses light hand weights to do some back and arm work. The weight work is very light, but thrown in with the cardio, it is a good workout. The video is complete, with a warm-up, cool-down, and final stretch. The stretch work is also similar to the Intense Moves video. The video is difficult and is probably best for upper level intermediate/advanced exercisers. The moves aren't too complex, but they are very high impact. Gin does give options for lower impact. I enjoyed the Intense Moves video more than this one, but this does have the added variety of the strength moves.

Instructor comments: I bought a Reebok step and got the Step Reebok - The Video free. I didn't particularly like the video, it didn't hold my interest because the beginning was too repetitive. But I loved Gin Miller in Intense Moves, the workout was incredibly fun. Gin is a no-nonsense type instructor who seems to enjoy herself. She is motivating and seems concerned about proper form and safety.

Cathy Mark
9/10/98

When Gin Miller tells you the following workout it tough, believe her. At the very beginning she tells you to view the tape at least once, then do the modification, and take two days off between intensity-based training.

The choreography is basic which is good because of the various strength drills interspersed throughout the workout. There is an extra long (about 9 minute) warm up, she then teaches a connecting step which is cued by a another, probably to give her a break. There are intensity checks. I counted 6 or 7. After the first combination, Gin tea ches you the first strength segment which is a side-lateral pushup. She joins the cast and does it. Then comes another combination in which she introduces three airborne jacks. Add this to the first. Then there's my favorite, the athletic jump turns with push ups. About the turns. You chasse to the end of the step, do four jacks, then do your choice of a quarter turn, half turn 3/4 turn and a full turn. She recommends doing qurter and half turns on carpeted floors and 3/4 and full only if you are advanced. I'll stick with the quarter and halves for now. Right after your turns your go into elevated pushups off the side of the step. There are modifications of all exercises. Now, take a breath and do it from the top, that's right the beginning combination with side-lateral pushups. Connecting step then do it all again.

Gin cools you down before going on to weighted isolation work. She recommends light to medium weights for this kind of training. She used to be a bodybuilder so take her word for it. When she gets to the ab work and final stretch, she moves among the cast, now she doing one on one, more like a coach/teacher.

Advanced exercisers can add this to their Cathe Friedrich collection. For advanced intermediates, like myself, this will really kick your fitness level up several notches.

About the video, Reebok likes to come up with some unusual settings. This is not MTV-Industrial nor is it nightclubby. To me it's like a large warehouse with Steven Spielberg lighting and scaffolding. The camera shots and angles are excellent because you see what you should be doing when you need to do it. There are overhead shots, far away shots, close-up. The camera does focus on the exercisers when you need to see technique and form which is more important that locale and setting.

Along with Cathe's Bodymax, this is another great gym quality, athletic training video for the home exerciser.

Instructor comments: I describe Gin Miller's style of cuing as fun/funky. She repeats her cues to make sure you get it and also adds humor which I like. She has great interaction with the cast in this video, unlke her remote, dark Reebok video classics. I would like to see Reebok put out a serious, heavy duty weight training video like Cathe Friedrich or the Firm with Gin Miller, who used to be a bodybuilder back in the 80s before it got steriod crazy. With her teaching technique, throroughness and sense of humor, it should be great (if they decide to do it.) Anyone listening?

Jean Leslie Wakefield
9/19/98

Basic moves with alot of high impact using your step. I found this video to be a little too boring for me since I love complex choreography and heavy weights. I recognized some of the moves from Intense Moves. The upper body work that is incorporated in the first stepping is lat pushups where you use one arm and push up and down on your step sideways. I was confused as to what I was working( lats, obliques?) because Gin doesn't say, this is working so and so. She finally calls it a lat pushup at the end so it must work your lat. The other exercise for the upper body is pushups. Some of the moves I have seen in Keli Roberts Abs and more where you lift your leg up while doing pushups. So the upper body moves in the first segmant use no weights and use your own body weight. Some other moves are shuffle from one side of your step and do a basic on the end. Another move is really really tough. You Hop front then side then hop front then try and hop all the way facing the other direction. Finally they say to do a 360 turn all the way around. Gin did it! Amazing! John Jay does it too. This workout is very intense.

After the stepping. Gin says to run and get your weights and it's so funny because they all run towards the camera which is focused on a pile of weights and they all act like greedy children at a toy sale! Funny! The upper body is ok. Nothing much. They do reverse flies standing with leg extensions to the rear and finally chest flies with lower leg ( Keli Roberts would call it a Dead Bug move)extentions. Then they change the chest flies to Pull overs. Gin does personal training instead of doing the exercise. Gin is wearing a black hat on backwards and black exercise bra with black hip hugger exercise pants that flare a little at the bottom. She looks leaner then her Intense moves. Her abs are rock hard! The music didn't move me that much as compared to Intense Moves which I liked.

Sometimes the camera would go behind a pole too slow which was irritating. John Jay kept saying"oh baby" to Gin which was irritating unless they are married and John is her new husband. I noticed that nothing was mentioned about a person showing easier moves but there is a girl in the back that shows easier moves if you don't what to do the really tough high impact moves. I didn't like the set that much. It was a cold warehouse look. One neat thing is they show an aerial view of the top of Gin and John Jay and it is the same way I am stepping which I thought was neat. Helps you with the choreography. I think Reebok did this in Aerostep too.

If you like basic moves but high impact, this ones for you.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller does an excellent job at teaching this video. She has a great personality. She has a guy name John Jay that was in the Reebok Versa training abs and legs video teach a little. He teaches the same move and he has a southern accent. He keeps calling her,"Oh baby".

Mandy Lee
9/20/98

This is Extreme Step. I don't think that it was intended to be Intense Moves II and it is not. However, it is a different type of workout for intermediate/advanced exercisers. It builds on and combines basic athletic plyo-like moves; upper body weight bearing circuits and interval stepping followed by some guided isometric work using light/medium weights for the back and abs and ending with full body stretching. This is a fairly short workout and I think that it looks easier than it really is.

I've done this workout 5 times now and have found that weight lifting gloves are a must for the 1-arm lat push-ups to prevent the step from digging into the hands. It is difficult for me to do the tuck, fly, tuck's as gracefully as Gin but they are doable. The 1st few times I did this workout, I got dizzy from the turn drills and then immediately dropping to the floor for elevated pushups but this has since passed. The push-ups are still hard but at least my head is not spinning.

Quite a bit of space is needed to do this video as it is done on the video. However, the push-ups can be done off the front or back of the step without taking anything away from the workout.

The set is a cool-looking warehouse, literally cool. I like this because I sweat like a pig and it mentally cools me off a bit ;-D

As far as safety goes, if you have weak joints (wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees or ankles) - be careful. The isometrics at the end are certainly safe (if done correctly with the back flat against the step) and some of these are used in physical therapy. There is a lot of room for modifications to this workout to make it easier or harder. You can pretty much make it what you want it to be.

Instructor comments: I really like this workout and I like it more each time I do it. Gin is awesome. I have all of her videos and love her style of teaching and always feel very comfy with her technique. She always make me laugh which I feel is a very important part of a good workout. Yep, she's the best. I also think that she looks terrific, and those abs!!! Gin, you look marvelous!

Rebecca Campbell
09/22/98

I've done Extreme Step twice now and like it more each time. A couple other reviewers have described the moves thoroughly so I will just give my impression of the video. I think that to get the most out of it, you need to have a pretty strong upper body to do the one-armed lat pushups the way Gin demonstrates them. I didn't have any problems with my wrists or elbows doing the pushups (and gloves are essential!), but I can see how someone with a weak upper body or wrists would not like this video, since it would be impossible to do them. I consider myself an advanced exerciser, and the althletic turn drills combined with the pushups really brought my heart rate up. The first time I did the video, I could only manage the 3/4 turn; but the second time I could do the 360 degree turn, and that really made it a good workout. I also did the turn on carpet. I think that Gin's caveat about not doing the full turn on carpet is in case your shoes get caught on the carpet, you could get hurt. But if you jump up high while you're turning, there's no problem. The only complaint I have about the video is a couple of times, Gin spends too long (in my opinion) to explain and demonstrate the upcoming moves. I think next time I will do the moves along with Gin to keep my heart rate up.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller is my favorite video instructor. Her cuing is absolutely flawless, and she always makes me smile during the workout, no matter how strenous it is. She looks great in the video, and her abs are really defined.

marie c
9/23/98

If you are contemplating getting Gin Miller's Extreme Step, thinking, as I did, that it will be like Intense Moves or even better, you may be disappointed. I bought it, and I wish I hadn't. I give it a "B", at best. I thought that "Intense Moves" was a definite "A". LOVE IT! But this one has bad camera angles, weird moves that just don't look like as much fun, and some "intense" moves that seem somewhat risky.

Intense Moves had very clear, straight-on camera angles. But in Extreme Step, the camera moves make it seem like your waaaaay out of the action. There's a "big guy" in the front row, who for no apparent reason, cues a "transition move" (hop back from the step, hop back up toward the step) once in a while, while the "low impact modifications" are done by a women who is hidden so far back that you can't see what she's doing! Nor are the modifications explained well.

There are numerous one-armed pushups that look especially unfun. Maybe one or two sets of them would be o.k., but she keeps coming back to them over and over. My carpal tunnel syndrome wrist says "ouch" just thinking about it. Since I like all the other videos I have from Gin (especially Intense Moves and the Reebok Circuit Challenge..fun!), I found myself wondering who designed this tape. How could Gin, one of my favorite instructors, forget how to do a good video?

I also had the impression that the video wasn't all that "extreme" (though you get a perceived exertion check *every two minutes*!) At least, any DOABLE moves didn't really make it intense enough. There are intense moves like a "whip yourself around in a 360-degree circle" thingy, that you can modify by doing a quarter turn, a half turn, or a three-quarters turn (help, I'm getting motion sick!). I thought that move, as well as some others, were not very effective, but just thrown in to make the workout "extreme". Maybe Gin has a contract w/Reebok that requires her to pump out a new video every few months. Time was running out, and her boss came to her one day to say "Gin, you either make a new video, or you're out of a job". Under pressure, Gin threw together this workout, getting ideas from anyone who offered them (especially the "big guy", whose main contribution was that ever-so-inventive "transition move"). This could also explain the repetitiveness of the choreography.

Kathryn Bulver
9/23/98

I was so excited about this video-and then I got a copy. I still can't believe how bad the tape is. First of all, Reebok was obviously in a big hurry to get this tape out: the intro. title says "Extreme CIRCUIT."

HUH? Then there's the set: the lighting is terrible, and the person who shows modified moves is basically out of camera range. That's not helpful for anyone who wants to modify the routine...

Then there's the routine itself: It seems very slapdash. The aerobic portion is only 28 minutes long, but you repeat the same routines over and over again. Yes, they are intense-but they are boring. In addition, I worry that someone is bound to pass out after stepping and then dropping to the floor for those one armed pushups. Keep your head up for those! And what's with the 4 or so minutes of weightlifting at the end? How could that benefit anyone?

I suspect that Intense Moves, a truly excellent tape, sold better than expected, and Reebok/BMG was in a hurry to capitalize on that tape's success. They should have waited the extra time and put togther a better routine that would effectively challenge advanced exercisers in body AND mind.

Instructor comments: Gin is a wonderful instructor. She cues very well. More tapes like Intense Moves please! Gin is very strong-those one armed pushups are hard!

Elizabeth
9-24

I bought this tape after using Intense Moves (and always being amazed at how tough that tape can be). I expected that Intense Step would be more of the same. To put it lightly....I hate this tape. In fact, I am still mourning all the time I put into trying to find it. The glee I felt when I FINALLY found it at the Mall of America...I raced home....and then I did the tape...blech!

Granted, this is just my opinion....but....I find the stepping and then dropping to the floor for one-armed pushups to be very difficult. My wrists hate that move, and I found myself feeling dizzy after doing that move 10 times or so....I also wanted more than the "take-it-from-the-top" routines....when the aerobics ended, I thought "that was it?". The toning at the end didn't seem necessary..I would have rather had a few more minutes of stepping.

The lighting in the tape was very distracting...at times I couldn't even tell what Gin was doing. And God forbid if you are following the girl in the back doing the low impact. You can't even SEE her!!! The guy doing the "transition" move really grated on me too....

Forgive me...I hate to be this blunt, but I am really disappointed! Maybe I am wrong in expecting it to be another Intense Moves tape...because this is not it...you can look for Extreme Step on my exchange list!

Instructor comments: I like Gin Miller....she is a great instructor. I just don't like this tape!

Suzanne Moriarty
10/2/98

Extreme Step is great. It's a wonderful, fun workout. I was laughing and yelling at the same time. I like this video better than Intense Moves, though I really like that tape too. This just has a better fun factor. Although, some don't like the connecting step, I loved it. It gave one a break, and it was so different from the other moves. The jumping jack turns are intense. They are explained very well by others, but I just want to say that I did them on carpet (low pile) and had no problems whatsoever. But going from these turns right into another move could make you dizzy, so start slow. The end of the tape with weights isn't much of a workout if you are used to working with weights, it's just a little extra. I highly recommend this tape to anyone looking for a challenging aerobic tape. I don't like dancy tapes and moves, so this fits the bill perfectly.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller is relentless. She comes up with moves that are incredible. The really good thing about her moves are that they are basic steps and easy to follow. If they were complicated, I don't think I would be able to breathe. Gin Miller gives a really good aerobic workout, the tough kind like you do in a gym. If you want to sweat, do this tape.

Sheryl Tedford
10/12/98

As much as I was looking forward to this video, I just don't care for it. It's tough, which is what I hoped for, but the "fun factor" just isn't there. Intense Moves, MIC, and Interval Max are tough, too -- but the difference is I have fun with those.

I think overall this tape hasn't garnered many good reviews for Gin and Reebok. But I sincerely hope that they'll make more new hard ones anyway. This was a wonderful idea, just maybe a little *too* extreme!

Instructor comments: I wonder -- is Gin the strongest woman on earth? It wouldn't surprise me!

Annie S.
1-24-99

When I saw that Reebok was introducing Extreme Step I was very excited and even more so when I found it in Target for $9.95. I am very happy with Intense Moves and was looking forward to another great Gin Miller workout....well needless to say I was really let down. I found some of the moves very uncomfortable (mainly the one arm push ups, what is that all about?) I found the work out not to be as challenging as Intense Moves or any where near as fun. What about that John J. fellow always saying; " oh baby", it makes me sick, tell John J. to hush we are trying to work here. Anyway I just wanted to put my two cents in.

Instructor comments: I have always loved Gin Miller, she is the one who got me hooked on step about 4 years ago and helped me accomplish my weight loss of 52 pounds.

Mary J.
1/26/99

This tape is a very efficient, advanced workout. It is perfect for days when you want a shorter routine that combines aerobics, strength training, and abs. The workout can be done at several different levels. I am advanced, but could not do two sections -- the jumping jacks with leaps and the 360 degree turn -- at the most advanced level. I also stuck to the easiest version of the one arm pushup because it is a new move for me and I want to build up my strength. Since the pushups are done in sets of six and repeated as part of the step routine, I was able to do many more than if they were done at one time or in supersets. The repetition results in a good workout for the arms without heavy weights. The aerobic section is not as challenging aerobically as Intense Moves, but is definitely tougher than Gin's other step tapes. I also liked the weight work at the end which combined upper body and ab work. The final stretch is an athletic version of yoga sun salutations.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller gives excellent cuing, always in advance of the choreography. She also demonstrates the steps and exercises while the viewer does basic steps and can closely watch her movement. The choreography is more interesting than her other tapes. Although the steps are basic and athletic, she builds a routine and goes back to the top throughout the tape.

Fran Schulman
schulman@att.worldnet
2/9/99

The first thing that I have to say is that I really enjoy the warm-up in this video. I'm a sucker for the little side-to-side skis and ponies. It's so not like the original Step Reebok video, where the warm-up has great music and is lots of fun, then suddenly the work-out starts and it's your standard, working-out-in-hell routine. The stepping portion of the work-out is ok; I really don't like how little time you have to slide into the lat push-ups, and I will never ever be able to do straight-up tuck jumps. I find that overall the moves are fun and challenging but not overly so - I use an 8-inch step and I feel contented after I finish this workout, but not exhausted. My only other comment - what's with Reebok switching to these hip-hinge type stretches in Intense Moves and this video? - that's just not my cup of tea. Overall, I would definately recommend this video to anyone looking for some fun moves with a motivating instructor.

Instructor comments:

Victoria Hall
bloob62@aol.com
3/9/99

Another old Reebok step video, and a very athletic workout, if somewhat disjointed-feeling sometimes. The set is an industrial warehouse flooded by "sunlight." After a simple warmup, you do segments that combine simple step moves with strength/athletic moves. I.e. L-step-over-the-top 3 times, jump on and off the step--then side-plank on the step with one-armed pushups for the lats. This combination felt a little awkward--you're doing this very cardio-wise step sequence, then abruptly get down on the floor to do these side-plank pushups. Gin takes a lot of time to demonstrate it, too.

You go on to two-knees/running basic/3 airborne jacks. Then a chasse to the side of the step, side basic step, jacks, and a series of jumps that eventually have you (theoretically) doing full 360-degree jump turns. (Yeah, right, not me!) Then down into burpee plus two pushups plus optional jump. The last combo consists of side lunges and pulsing side squats plus a pendulum on the step. There is one "transition" move of rocking-horse type moves on and off the step, cued by one of Gin's male exercisers--he cues it almost EXACTLY the same each and every time, it's rather eerie.
Gin TIFTT alot, then runs through the whole thing 3 times at the end. It was certainly anaerobic; I would sweat and pant a lot, but in the end didn't get the same high that I get from an intense steady-state workout. There are innumerable exertion checks. I still don't really feel that those side plank pushups should've been there. I'm a little lukewarm on this one, though I did like the set, Gin's demeanor and the cast.

Instructor comments: Peppy and lively without too much chatter or goofiness in this one. Good cuer as always ("in four more we'll...). At one point near the end she's silent for a slightly uncomfortably long time (catching her breath? At a loss for words?) while the crew keeps doing knee-ups. But in general, vintage Gin.

acey

9/7/05



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