Video Fitness

Step Reebok: the Video

"Step Reebok-The Video" (Beginner/Intermediate-Step Aerobics, Toning)

This groundbreaking step video's MTV look - flashing lights, industrial set, tribal music, goofy camera angles - may not float everyone's boat, but it's not as hard to follow as you might think, thanks to Gin Miller. She leads a very basic and well-cued workout that utilizes more arm movement than most step routines, thus you can make this as hard or easy as you like. Followed by some toning moves, such as pushups off the step, and ending with an instructional segment on safe stepping. Good intro to step for persons who already have a little exercise experience.
Grade: A

Sue Bryant

"Step Reebok: The Video"

- Basic workout, teaches you good form and proper technique. *Great* visual appeal for any gender/orientation ;-). Highly motivating and one of the best workouts out there.

Larry DeLuca

This video is structured in the standard way: Warm-up, short stretch, two main step sections, cool down and a bit of toning.

There's really nothing too difficult here. If I remember right, this was my first step tape and where I learned the basics. At that time, the countdowns to transitions, basic moves, and *relative* lack of miscues were very helpful. Once this workout is mastered, it gets old. There are lots of more creative and fun videos on the market now. This one uses monotonous instruction and an "industrial-MTV" set that was imitated by others for a thankfully short time. In short, a pretty solid intro to step, but not involved enough for long-term use, IMHO.

Angela Pahlow

This video came with the Reebok step my husband gave me for my 40th birthday--at my request, of course :) Gin Miller is a wonderful instructor, worthy of the IDEA Instructor award. When the cameras aren't doing goofy things, both the TV Gins and Sign-Language Gins, as our editor Wendy calls them, do a superb job cuing. I've never seen a live band in an exercise tape before, period--much less an African percussion-based ensemble. I may even order the cassette with the music only just to "jam" to! The choreography is blessedly low-impact and not too complicated , which you want when you're new to step aerobics like I am. The aerobics are approximately 30 minutes long--just enough to leave a new stepper pleasantly sore. Step is definitely a different skill from floor work, isn't it?

But the problems I have with this tape are just insumountable right now. For starters, the illustrative booklet promised on the packaging wasn't anywhere to be found. When you pay $70 or $80 for something, then it needs to include everything you pay for, doggone it! The real stumbling block to my working out with this tape, however, is the presentation. Perhaps this type of video is an acquired taste, like drinking beer. In my case, yuck to both.

"Strong and Smooth Moves" has the same MTV-industrial-1984ish type of background, but Karen Voight's pleasant demeanor, the jazzy music, and the occasional smiles and soft laughter from the cast far outshine the depressing milieu. This one has an excellent instructor and a great band as its redeeming features, but to be honest, the musicians and the exercisers don't seem to be working in the same tape, if you pay attention to body language.(Being a counselor by profession, I DO) Something's really amiss if the only people who look like they're having fun in an exercise tape are the folks who aren't doing the routine! I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd stumbled onto the set of "Terminator 2" and found a room where they trained the cyborg killing machines. The first night I did this tape I had to shut it off after 15 minutes and go exercise to "Donna-Mite" just so I wouldn't have bad dreams when I finally got to bed.

The routine is a solid, relatively safe one for new steppers. The tutorial at the end is excellent. Gin is, too. But the people at Reebok need some serious lessons in how to have fun!

Grade: A--routine, Gin Miller, music, safety
F--fails the "fun factor"

Melissa Cooper
3/97

As a veteran fitness buff who has been doing video workouts for about ten years, Iım often surprised to find myself still able to break a good sweat while doing this video. Iıve been doing it recently with my husband who has just committed to getting in shape (by the way, he is somewhat uncoordinated when it comes to choreography and he likes this video-the music, the setting and Ginıs good cuing). Yes, its basic and, therefore, a good video for beginners. Nevertheless, a seasoned exerciser, in my opinion, can still get a good workout with this video-(just add hand weights). I own twenty-eight fitness videos and am continually looking for new ones. Furthermore, I have given many away over the years which I felt were not enough for me. This one, however, has remained and sits on the shelve with the twenty-seven others. If you want a good workout and don't mind basic choreography, then chances are you'll like this workout.

Sandy Martelli
4/97

I had some of the newer Gin Miller tapes before I bought this one, so I was surprised that her voice came from a TV monitor instead of her actually talking during the class. It was a little disappointing, because she has a great personality. In the newer videos, she actually leads the class, and her personality really comes out.

I suppose this video was "high-tech" when it came out, but now it seems kind of sterile. All that darkness and strange lighting is somewhat isolating. You don't get the feeling of being in a class environment. But it's still a very good workout. The choreography is basic/intermediate, and the intensity is intermediate.

Now, I hope this doesn't sound tacky, but I couldn't help but notice that Gin seems a little "chunkier" in this video than in her newer releases. I guess that means her workouts are working, huh?

Despite the wierd visuals, I still rate this one an A-. It would get an A if it wasn't for the talking TV monitor.

Annie S.
4/97

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that exercise video!
Warm up : 8 minutes
Step 1: 18 minutes
Step 2: 9 minutes
Cool down: 3 minutes
Toning: 6 minutes
Stretch: 3 minutes
Total: 50 minutes (including in between sections)
This is the tape that got me to exercise four years ago. I used to do it three times a week. I now do it as least once a week and I still break a sweat!
The SET is great! It is what got my attention in the first place. I like that underground industrial look. The lighting really puts all the group's muscles in evidence. It really motivates me to see fit bodies when I exercise.
The MUSIC is energetic! The African drumming beat never gets old, even after years of hearing it.
The INSTRUCTOR is excellent! Gin Miller does a great job. She cues verbally and physically in a very professional way, you can't miss.
I also appreciate the fact that she doesn't say anything else. I don't need to hear the same explanation or joke for he 100th time. All video "maker" should remember that we play these tapes over and over again!
The WORKOUT is very effective! It is easy to follow, the moves are basic, not dancy at all. It is also easy to modify the routine to decrease or increase the intensity of the workout. I must admit that the toning section is short, a few push ups and some abs work. The stretch part could also be longer but that is the weakness of almost all videos on the market.
In conclusion this video delivers a great cardio workout for beginners and intermediate trainers, who like basic movements. There is nothing cute or dancy about this one.

Josee Daigneault
5/19/97

The video is fun! I love the mtv-type approach and the music fits the routine well. This is not a dancy routine by any means and some people may find it to be rather repetitive. I like that since it is easier for me to concentrate on the workout itself. The isolation excercises at the end are o.k. The tricep work is good as is the pushup section. You do not do nearly enough crunches to make the ab section really worth while. Overall, though, I give this an A.

Jennifer B.
07/03/97

As a returning stepper, I found this video to be an excellent resource to re-introduce myself to basic step moves.
I enjoy the industrial set and tribal music, although I wish the steppers would show some emotion! It seems like the only exercisers showing some animation are Gin Miller (the head and the Sign Language One) and one stepper sweating at the end of the workout.
The pushups at the end are beneficial, as is the abs section, but the abs section could be longer.
Overall, a great tape for beginners/intermediate steppers. I plan to keep this tape on hand as I tackle more advanced tapes.

Nancy Webb
7/7/97

I tell myself not to say "love" in reference to things, but I do love this workout. It is high intensity but not hard to learn (although I still haven't mastered all the moves).
I have been using it once or twice a week for about six months and like it more each time. As an older person, I had initial reservations about the industrial MTV-type setting but I have grown to appreciate it. I like the no-nonsense tone of this video, and the band gets better every time I do it!
The workout runs 46 minutes and makes me sweat (like a pig!) every time I do it. The warm up is great, and I like the isolation moves at the end in the cool down. There are 3 short sets of pushups, 3 short sets of tricep dips, and several short sets of varied crunces (all using the step bench), followed by final stretches.
The cast is inspiring. What muscle tone! They are all young and in tip-top shape, and I know I'll never look like they look. But still...the view is sensational.
The impact level is low which is what I like, but the intensity is high. The music is hypnotic; the African drums pulsate and feel good. It is a totally safe workout, and the choreography is basic and perfect. The cuing is right on target. I always know what to do, even if I can't quite do it!
I never thought a workout like this would work for me, a 50+ gal, but it really does. I have to tell you, there isn't one thing about it I don't like, and I'm pretty critical. (If I write a review of another Step Reebok video, The Best of Step TV, it will be a different review. Tons of criticisms. Only workable. Not really fun. Silly.)
This is a keeper. Easy enough for a klutz beginning stepper like me, yet with a never ending intensity level. I know it will be a continual favorite for me. As I branch out in fitness training, this is one video that won't wind up at Salvation Army!

Karen Borak
7-11-97

This is a very good introduction to the basic step moves, while giving an intermediate level aerobic workout. I was glad that the arm motions were all described using terms familiar to weight trainers (biceps curls, side laterals), and Gin's cueing is unsurpassed. In fact, if it hadn't been pointed out in previous reviews that Gin is doing the workout with the others using "sign language", I would not have known her from the rest of the exercisers. But because her vocal cueing is so good, I didn't find this to be a problem at all.

Oh, and about the "robotic"-looking exercisers ... that's how I look in the morning, so I don't mind! In fact, I think cheerful, perky people would really annoy me while I'm feeling miserable!

Instructor comments: Gin Miller has an excellent voice: relaxed and perfect cueing, without shouting, straining, or cheerleading.

Serena Schlueter
March 20/98

This video is geared for those true step beginners. After I had the steps down, I found this video to be boring and too basic. Too much repetition of easy steps. Her POWER video is much more stimulating and fun to do.

Besides that, the video quality, music and cueing are great. Nice for a those mornings when you need a no-brainer workout!

Instructor comments: Gin has a professional way of motivating and soothing at the same time. I like her videos like this with a separate voice track.

Michelle Finney
5-6-98

Step Reebok, the Video (a.k.a. up up, down down) This is my vote for Step Reebok, the Video, for the Hall of Fame.

I've been videocizing for about 10 years. I have 15 or so keeper videos by various instructors including Terence Dunn, Cathe Friederichs, The Firm, Johnny G., Gin Miller, Reebok (w/o Miller), Kelli Roberts, Kathy Smith, and Karen Voight. Of course, some are better than others. Step Reebok, the Video is one of the best.

With this single video one can get any level exercise, in limited time, in very limited space, with almost no equipment.

Beginner - low step.

Intermediate - medium step w hand weights or high step.

Advanced - intermediate plus propulsion steps.

Intervals - it is possible to make this an effective interval training tape by mixing in sets of propulsion steps.

If done with hand weights - the steps do not need to be modified, only a few of the arm motions require simple and obvious modifications. The arms and shoulders get a very good workout, the legs bear more weight, and the heart rate soars. The addition of hand weights to this video is the key.

Propulsion steps - these are described in detail in Step Reebok, Power Step. (affectionately known as "crimson crotch", but why, oh why did she wear that outfit?) Simply put, these are jumps or hops on the step.

Cueing - Almost impeccable. Ms Miller makes only one clear miscue, and that during the cooldown.

Other - The cast members are attractive without being distracting. No whooping here! Strickly business.

Bottom line - I've done this video lots of times for lots of years. I can get any workout I want. After all that time there is nothing, visual or audio, that makes me wince.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller can be all things to all people. In one tape she'll whoop for the woopers and in another she's a friendly drill instructor for the just do it crowd.

Mr. Fish
12/05/98

I ADORE this video! First of all I love the MTV video look, the camera shots are great. This video has got the best workout music I have ever heard. The video is beautiful and interesting to look at, and the music is in perfect timing with the workout--I'm never bored with this one.

The workout itself is wonderful, it's not dancy at all, it's all about business which I love, every move has a purpose. There's no annyoing talking and whooping from the cast, they look like they're very concentrated in their workout, I like that.

Gin's cueing is absolutely AWESOME, the woman not only gives you verbal cues, but visual ones also, by tapping the leg you'll be using next, motioning to the side you'll be moving to, and holding up her fingers to count down. The steps are basic but not at all simple, the transitions are almost natural, and you'll never be bored with the workout.

I truly really love this tape, it's not one of the most challenging, but trust me, you'll get a great workout and you'll feel like a million bucks when you're done.

The only disappointment is the ab section, it should be a bit longer, but besides that this video is perfect!

Isabelle
cali2u@hotmail.com
2/10/99

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Instructor comments: GIN MILLER IS A WONDERFUL INSTRUCTOR. THIS VIDEO IS THE MOST MOTIVATING AN EASY TO FOLLOW WORKOUT THERE IS ON VIDEO. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND "THE VIDEO".

JESSICA
KAZOO@LVCM.COM
02-24-99

I have owned this video pretty much since it was originally released. I never get tired of it. What I like the most is that the other exercisers in the video are fit people, not a bunch of models. I really like the set, music, and the whole feel of the video.

Some videos the instructors are clowning around too much and the other exercisers are making noise. If your not into all that nonsense, this is your video. Its all business, not that its not fun the moves and music keep you grooving.

All in all I Love this video.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller is by far one of the most exciting instructors around. I have a few of Gin's other videos. She gives great cues and gives enough warning when a movement will change. For a beginner or advanced stepper she motivational to follow.

Tracy Murphy
aqhamurp
04-01-99

This gets my vote for all time "most annoying video that is widely respected." It is very futuristic, with its industrial set with blaring lights and metal floor lit from below. The warriors are garbed in drab colors, stepping with no expressions on their faces, all perfectly in step. How precise! It comes complete with Big Brother (the Gin head) on a TV screen, dictating to the masses the proper movements, and a Drill Sargeant (the Gin Body) who leads with grim determination. (I think there's a communication analysis in there for some eager beaver comm student.) Some of the video cuts are annoying and the lighting seems so harsh. If the lighting had been moderated, I don't think I would've minded the set so much.

But on the plus side, this is a very easy to follow video, very well cued. The music is GREAT!! For intermediates, it is a very complete work out with a toning work out on the end, if you can get past the weirdness.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller and her head lead this work out. I like Gin. I have other videos she's done and I like her fun personality and quirky sense of humor. In this tape, she has no personality. First her head is on a TV screen and she does all the talking. The Gin body does the work out with a dour expression on her face and slaps her thighs and pokes her fingers in the air to count. The Gin head cues and offers inspirational gems and tips on form. The only advantage this serves is that you can loose either audio or video and still follow along perfectly well. (Of course, if you're really lucky, you'll loose both. Is it obvious I don't like this tape?)

L'Anne

Step Reebok: The Video

Gin Miller

I'm not sure why this is a Hall of Fame video. It is a decent lower impact workout if you are new to step, but you will soon grow out of it. I know that I was adding risers to my step almost immediately. I do not catch on to choreography quickly, but this bored even me. If you are new to step I would recommend Kathy Smith's Step video, (or even her Power Step video which can be modified quite easily). These are videos you won't outgrow quickly. As for the set, What's with Reebok? All their sets are just so goofy (power step takes the cake though). That said I do enjoy Aerostep and Intense Moves immensely.

Kellie

12/29/99

I have used this tape for years and still love it. I could teach it I know it so well! This is a classic and I always enjoy it, and I always get a great workout with it.

Diana Chen
8/16/01

This is a great step workout for all fitness levels. You can easily adjust your step level to make it more challenging! It's fun and by the time you finish this video, you'll feel energized and not tired, believe me! The moves are basic but not boring! If you want a good step workout this is it!

Instructor comments: Gin is an excellent instructor! She tells you ahead what the next step's going to be so that you won't be too confused.

pinkie

12/1/02

I just had to add my 2 cents about this video. I think that it is THE BEST step video that has ever been made and after 5 years of it, I still incorporate it into my workout routine which includes running on the treadmill and free weights.

5 Years ago I was 90 lbs. overweight (not cute on a 5'1 frame!!). I began my weight loss quest with Weight Watchers and with this video. I used the lowest level step and plodded through the routine - finding it terribly hard to keep up - and often times just stepping up and down or marching in place, while the video people "worked it out."!!! After a couple months or so of doing it religiously 6 days a week, I was able to raise the step a notch, and I also incorporated wrist weights. As my fitness level improved, every couple of weeks the workout would get a little easier and I would "raise the bar," (increased the wrist weights, added free weights, 2 lb, 3 lb, 4 lb, 5 lb, 7 lb, and finally 8 lbs., I would also raise the step until it finally was at the highest height, and I also began doing the routine with the leaps that my video classmates seemed to be doing.

My quest didn't end there though. I also added sauna pants to the workout, which increased the "sweat factor" and I believe took away some of the water weight.

I really hate to hear people make negative comments about this tape. That tape was the ONLY thing I did (+ sit-ups) for 10 - 11 months and not only did I lose the 90 lbs., but I got the most beautiful sculpted arms, shoulders, and back, and legs. The video helped me TOTALLY restructure my body. I was asked several times if I was a dancer. "Little ole me - who had just come from being 90 lbs. overweight."

I truly believe that a video is what you make it. You will get out of it what you put into it. The video itself isn't going to give you results automatically. You have to put forth the effort. Find a video that you like and make it work for you.

What I also liked about Gin and this video (and I think someone here already said it), is that I don't like a bunch of smiley faces and whoooping, etc. Just give me a no-nonsense workout and that's it!!! 'Nuf said. I don't need the encouragement and I definitely don't need to hear the same joke repeated over and over -especially if I am doing this tape every single day!! I love the [as I said] NO - NONSENSE approach of this tape! Like Nike says "JUST DO IT!!"

Instructor comments: I absolutely love Gin!!!!! THE BEST!

Bianca

3/19/03



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