Video Fitness

Step Reebok: Circuit Challenge

Easier workout, but incorporates resistance training segments alternating with power step segments for combination conditioning.

Larry DeLuca

Step Reebok--Circuit Challenge

Gin is actually "doing" the class in this one. She gives excellent cuing as usual. The reason I like this video is that it gives a good upper body workout. I have been doing this video for about three months/3 to 5 times a week, and I have noticed big results! My arms and back have more definition than I have ever had. The workout is divided into 3 sections. In each section, you get aerobics intermixed with weight training. Each section works your chest, back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps, in that order. You can use an Xcertube, or dumbells. I use dumbells..5 to 15 pounds depending on the excersise. The first section for the back, she does bent over rows using the Step Reebok (lifing it instead of a weight) since I dont have that particular step, I just use a 15 pound dumbell. She tells you anyway that the step weighs about 15 pounds. I think they want you to go out and buy a Step Reebok Step, but realize that not everyone will, so thats why she tells you how much it weighs-kind of a hint. What I dont like about the video is that the aerobics are kind of boring. After you do them a few times, it gets monotonous, but I really like what its done for my upper body. I am not kidding either! My husband can't believe it, and frankly, neither can I! I guarantee if you use this video a couple times a week for just a month, youll notice results. But remember, you need to heavier weights--like up to 15 pounds. I have ordered The Firm Strong Body to see what thats like. I hope that the aerobics will be more interesting. Also, the abs portion of this is short, and dull also.

Melanie Higgins

This video is broken into three 15 minute sessions. Gin and crew do a good job of variety and cueing. Reebok videos focus on correct form which is very important for any level exerciser.

I have been doing this video for a couple of years and it is still my favorite. Even though I could do the routine in my sleep, very few moves are repeated so I don't get bored. It is the best "all-around" workout. It would be great if Reebok would produce more circuit videos--I would be the first in line!!

Kelli Andrews

This is a circuit/interval workout, each interval 1 minute long. Sequencing is: step alternating with chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps. This cycle is repeated three times, plus warmup, cooldown, and abs.

Since the step intervals are so short, even the basic segments aren't boring. A variety of equipment is used for the resistance, but in most cases other options are given. This is the first video I used a resistance tube with and I did get a little sore from it the first time or two. A pleasant surprise. This workout is adaptable to just about any level, by manipulating step height, using/dropping power moves, and adjusting resistance used for the circuit. I enjoy this one a lot.

Angela Pahlow

This one-hour (approx) workout goes really fast because you keep changing between step aerobics and toning. The step choreography is basic/intermediate, but the intensity is intermediate/advanced. You do a minute or two of step, and then a minute or two of toning. Gin usually uses resistance bands for the toning, but dumbbells will work just as well.

I really enjoy doing this. It's fun, interesting, and challenging. I give it an A.

By the way, the back of the box cover is incorrect on the workout times. They left out the aerobic cooldown section (about 5 minutes). It may have been changed since I got my copy, though. I think Gin is the all-time best at cueing. You could do her tapes with audio only, and you'd probably never get messed up. On top of that, she's got a great personality and is lots of fun.

Annie S.

This is one of my favorites videos. I always do this one when I'm in a bad mood or just don't feel like exercising. The one hour workout goes by really quickly because the routine changes every minute or so. Gin alternates between step aerobics and toning and also shows a lot of modifications for each exercise. There are three sections to the workout and like the Cathy Smith tapes you can advance to the cool down after each section if you need to. Everyone has on a different outfit in each section of the tape so you can easily tell what section you've forwarded to by what Gin and crew are wearing. There is a heart rate check at the end of each section and somewhere on the tape is the perceived exertion check.

I like the set and the music which is played by a group on the set. Shots of the musicians are shown throughout the workout.

The only thing I don't like about the tape is the ab section. It's not challenging at all. Most of the time I skip it and do my own ab routine (or do the one at the end of Energy Sprint).

Molly
3/97

Others have given thorough reviews so I will just add my two cents. I really enjoy this video because it concentrates on the upper body. I like the fact there are three sets of exercises for each muscle(chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps and back). I get annoyed with videos that leave out muscles or only do one set for a muscle group but do three sets for others. I'm picky when it comes to balancing a weight lifting workout and this video is thorough in that regard. The step aerobics are basic and can get monotonous after doing the video several times but with the constant change from stepping to weights it makes the time fly. The ab section is not very good so I just end it there and do another abs tape. Other than that, this is a really good video. I give this one an A!

Instructor comments: Gin does a good job of cueing in this video. The one thing that bugged me though is that it seemed like she was yelling the cues at times particularly when ending the weight sections.

Joyce Thurman
7/17/98

I don't think I will ever tire of this workout. It is an excellent blend of step and strength training. I especially like how the step and the strength sections are 1 minute each--it keeps the workout interesting, and it keeps the heartrate elevated. This is a good video for all levels--it's definitely one you can grow with. The step choreography is basic. Since the workout is broken down into 3 10-minute segments, a beginner could do the first segment using all low-impact. An advanced person could use this on a light day by doing all power moves on an 8" step for the full 30 minutes, and using heavier weights. The workout uses an exertube, but one of the background exercisers always uses dumbbells. This is the video that helped me advance past the intermediate level.

Instructor comments: Gin Miller's cuing is excellent. After I had done this video two or three times, I didn't even have to watch her--her cuing was so precise. In this video she achieves a happy medium between "Goofy Gin" of Best of Step Reebok TV and "Big Brother Gin" of Reebok: The Step Workout and The Power Workout. She is friendly but not overly chatty. Very encouraging, too. This is the video that sold me on Gin Miller.

Kristin Aziz
1/2/99

This is one of my all-time favorite workouts. As mentioned by others, the 1 minute intervals keep you from getting bored. I do this video when I'm low on motivation, because the variety helps to keep me from watching the clock. I like the upper body emphasis for the strength intervals. I find that because many of the step segments include squats and other intense leg moves, I get a great all-over body workout. This one is definitely an A+

Instructor comments: As usual, Gin Miller's cueing is exceptional.

Michelle Clark
mclark@iastate.edu
2-20-99

I agree wholeheartedly with the positive reviews of this video. I have had this video for 3 or 4 years and never get tired of it, even though I do it at least once a week. The time just flies by and you can adjust the workout to your energy level. Gin demonstrates high impact options during the step sections. If I don't add many of the high impact options I enjoy this tape even on days when my energy level is low. Like the emphasis on chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps in equal amounts. I would love another circuit training tape from Gin. She is one of my favorite instructors.

Kathy Schenck
kschenck@bellatlantic.net
4/2/99

When this video first came out a few years back, I really wasn't aware of what a "circuit" workout was so this video didn't really "catch" me. I guess I didn't know how to really push it. Because of this, I traded the video without a second thought.

Last week I had the chance to get this tape at a bargain price-and because I now know what a circuit workout is, I wanted another copy!!

Today I did "Circuit Challenge" and all I can say is WOW! This video kicks butt! I incorporated the power moves I've learned over the years from Gin and Cathe and really upped the weights. Years ago, I just used my 3 pound heavyhands and didn't "feel" a thing...This time around I used 8, 10 and 15 pound dumbells. The workout left me very sweaty and gave me a sense that I had worked it.

I like the way Gin uses each muscle 3 times in the workout.(chest, back, shoulder,triceps and biceps) She uses different moves to keep interest high. The power moves built with each of the three sections.

I can say that I'm glad that I gave this video a second glance and chance! It will be in my regular rotation. I will probably use it in combination with my running.

Video: A

Lesia

Instructor comments: cued very well, friendly, knowledgable, moves were in sync to music, pushed me to "work it!"

Lesia English
lesiae@bulloch.com
6/25/99

Step Reebok Circuit Challenge. At first I used 8" risers and couldn't get to my target zone. I was ready to throw this tape on the exchange heap in disgust. Then I decided to do my own low impact moves on a 10" step during the step intervals and to lift the heaviest weights possible while using good form. Bravo! I stayed in my THZ. So I've kept this video, but I use it mostly as an add-on tape. It works mostly the upper body with its weight sections, so I usually tack Step Circuit Challenge on to another upper body strength workout.

The problem with circuit workouts (and Crunch's fun Boot Camp Training falls in this category, too) is that they are too much of "a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that." For me, circuit workouts fall short of a genuine strength training session and a genuine cardio session. It's a case of trying to please everyone and ending up pleasing no one. Circuit workouts are valuable to me if I haven't time for one or the other.

Still, I haven't met a circuit workout that I didn't like! Time always flies in circuit workouts because of the wide variety of exercises. Step Circuit Challenge is no different in that respect. I never watch the clock while doing this workout. It's over before I know it! The only (minor) fault I found with Circuit Challenge is its occasional pretension. The live band, the still shots, etc., made me laugh. I don't think that was the producer's intention. That having been said, these quirky affectations didn't take away from the integrity of the workout itself. This video is a keeper.

Michelle Easton
October 26, 2000

My background: I’m just getting back into exercising regularly after having been extremely inconsistent because of chronic back problems. I enjoy FIRM tapes (the combination of aerobics and weights), but I don’t want to use any of them right now because they’re either too advanced or I have a history with them and can remember how I “used to be able” to use a particular weight or do a particular move. I decided, of course, that I needed to buy new videos that are in the style of circuit training.

It’s amazing to me how Gin Miller can redefine her look in just a few years. My first Gin Miller tape was Intense Moves followed by Extreme Step and some other more recent ones available from her website. Getting Step Reebok: Circuit Challenge and seeing Gin was quite an experience. I knew it had to be the same person because her voice was the same but her hair is very long in this video. It’s beautiful and she’s beautiful but her look is very different.

I think this video could have been a lot more aerobically challenging if the step intervals had just been longer. I don’t do high impact moves so I couldn’t jump all over the step for a minute to get my heart rate up. The best I could do was stay in my lower target heart range and make my movements as large as possible.

There are a couple of moves where the camera never pans to the person showing low impact modifications. I did my own thing by staying with the original move shown but it would have been nice to have seen someone else doing that as well.

I did like the strength segments and I plan on continuing to do this video. Overall, I like it and I think I can use it as part of my “get back my fitness” routine. I just think it could have been so much more with a little longer aerobic sections.

Grade: B

Sharon Muha
smuha@nc.rr.com
1-23-2002

TYPE: Circuit
LENGTH: 10-30 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Beginner to Intermediate
FORMAT: Step plus strength training
CHOREOGRAHY: Easy
MUSIC: Live artists performing on the set. Bongos, jazz, etc. Great!!

This is very similar to Cathe's Bootcamp, except its half as long and the cardio is almost all on the step. Gin has this broken down into 3 ten minute segments. Beginners stop at ten, Intermediates at 20 and adv at 30. Intermediates could easily do all 30 minutes. Its too short to be an advanced workout, imo.
The circuits are all quite short. There is about a minute of step cardio (with modifications shown) which increase in intensity during the circuit. Then she does one set each for chest, back, shoulders, triceps and biceps. During bicep moves she has you doing squats. She uses tubing, some background exercisers use weights.
Time flew by as I did this one.

PROS: Great compact workout that gives you 3 sets per body part and enough cardio to break a good sweat.

CONS: Its out of print!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Its a keeper and a solid A.

Instructor comments: Gin has BIG hair and more makeup than she typically wears. She looks glamorous!! She is, as always, about as perfect as an instructor can get.

Peggy Elliott
pf4n@virginia.edu
September, 2004



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