Video Fitness

The Best of Step Reebok TV

(Beginner/Intermediate-Step Aerobics, Toning)

This video puts together three exerpts from the old ESPN "Step Reebok" TV series, led by Gin Miller. "Basic Step", as the name implies, involves very basic, low-impact moves. "Power Step" then introduces high-impact, jumping and hopping steps, and finally "Hip Hop Step" uses funky leg and arm movements, about half of which are done on the floor, similar to Reebok's "Aerostep" concept. The video then winds down with a few squats and a (far too short) stretch. Though the name is the same, this is very different from other Step Reebok videos in that the set is more normal-looking and the music is pleasantly jazzy. Gin really goes overboard with the comedy here, sometimes dissolving the whole class in giggles, and the action seems unrehearsed and even ad-libbed at times, with class members occasionally on the wrong leg or not moving their arms in sync. Persons unfamiliar or awkward with step who don't care for the look or music of "Step Reebok-The Video" might like this one better, since they can do one or more of the segments at their own pace, and the moves are easily modified (one exerciser uses no step and another remains low-impact). At a $14.95 list price, and even less on sale, it is a good buy among step videos. Gin is a skillful and likable instructor, but whether you can stand her goof-off antics on this particular tape is a matter of taste.
Grade: B

Sue Bryant

The Best of Step Reebok TV

As other people have mentioned, Gin Miller has great cueing. In this video, her personality comes across as easy-going and likeable. This is my favorite video of my small collection.

Everyone in this video, Gin Miller and four backup exercisers, is having a great time. All the cast members contribute to the cueing. That's what I really like about this video: it's a bunch of real people having fun with their workout. Sometimes it gets pretty goofy but subtlety would be lost on me when I'm dripping with sweat!

Yes, they miss their cues sometimes - at one point even Gin messes up. For me, it's reassuring and motivating to see that even Official Step Reebok People miss cues just like I do.

The three segments provide a good variety of workouts. The combos aren't especially complex compared to some others I've seen. Gin reminds you throughout that you can change the intensity by changing your range of motion or changing the step height.

Some caveats:

  • The Power Step Reebok section isn't very interesting if you don't do at least some of the power steps. The variety in the combos in this segment comes from different power moves. If you don't do them, you wind up doing the same "step, tap, step, tap, turn" over and over and over again.
  • There are a couple of floor moves in the Hip-Hop Step Reebok section that I can't quite figure out. The camera isn't at a good angle to see exactly what the exercisers' feet are doing when they are on the floor. These particular moves could be bad for your knees if you do them wrong - they involve swiveling from side to side.
  • Instead of a break to check your heart rate, the video has a "rate of perceived exertion" check, where you rate your workout on a scale of 1 to 10. I figure if I'm dripping with sweat then I must be getting a good workout, but I'd rather have the video count out a ten-second pulse check for me.

Mary Vogt

This was the first video that I really started stepping with. I had the Jane Fonda video (the one with the mini-step) but hated all of the instructors so I gave it away. Anyway, I enjoyed working out with this video and quickly worked my way up the fitness scale with it.

There are 3 sections to the video: Basic Stepping, Power Stepping, and Hip-Hop. It's a good intro to different styles of Step Aerobics. Also the exercisers seem to have a lot of fun doing these routines. I've never seen the Step Reebok the Video, so I don't know serious Gin. I like her attitude on this video (and others) because she's kind of goofy. I think that was what I needed to start exercising in the first place. This is a good beginners workout.

My only complaint about this video is the word *FUNKY* is used about 5 million times.

Molly Harrison

Warning: This tape is addictive. It's a blast! There are three step sections: basic, power, and funky. Don't worry, the funky part isn't *too* funky -- it's easy to follow. The entire class is having fun and you can't help but do the same.

Both intensity and choreography are at an intermediate level. During the funk section, your heart rate will likely drop while you're learning the first couple of movements, but don't worry - she'll get it back up. And once you know the moves, you can do them the "full" way yourself while the learning part is going on.

At the end, there's a very short (4-minute) lower body section. It's just a few squats basically. It won't do much for you strength-wise if you're already in shape, but it serves as a good transition from the cardio to the cooldown.

The entire workout is about 50 minutes. And it gets an A+ for fun and effectiveness!

Annie S.

I got this video because it was on sale for $6.00. And what a bargain it is! I love this tape for days when I don't feel like doing strength training but need to get the old heart pumpin'.
I love having the variety of basic step, power step and hip hop. This has given me a taste of what other Step Reebok videos are probably like and I'll buy more now.
I especially liked the hip hop section. "Gin MIller's CRAAAAZY arms." There are a lot of fun, easy to learn steps in this video.
One thing I don't like about the video is the "stalling" from one move to the next. Once and a while the crew of Step Reebok is just having too much fun and then there is a lot of stepping in place. But all in all, I like doing this video when I want to have a really fun workout.
Like always, Gin's cueing is great and so is her form. This is video deserves more attention because I think it would be great for beginners -- as it gives a taste of different stepping styles.

Julianne
7/09/97

Overall I like this video. The atmosphere is one of people just having a good time. I've done the video 5 or 6 times though, and I've decided I probably won't be doing it very frequently. I'm an intermediate to advanced level exerciser, and the intensity level is too varied for me. I find the first section is too easy, the second section is just about right, and the third section is even easier than the first. Maybe it's not this way for more intermediate level exercisers, but I end up doing a lot of modifications in the first and third section to keep my heartrate up. Also, the choreography in the first two sections is a little too basic for my taste. I was able to do most of it the first time through, and I prefer it to be more complex. The third section is trickier because of the "funkiness" factor. I think it wasn't until about the fourth time that I could do those moves, but then ended up modifying them to higher impact anyway. At the end of the video, I skip the toning because it's so short it's hardly worth doing. I continue cooling down, then do my own stretching because the only stretching Gin does is a hamstring stretch. I'd really like to do this video more often because it's such a fun atmosphere, but it just doesn't give me the aerobic workout I need. I think it would be good for more intermediate level exercisers who like moves that are easy and fun to learn and do.

Instructor comments: As others have said, Gin is pretty goofy in this video. I like it though - she's fun and she makes me laugh each time I do the workout. The other exercisers do a fair amount of cuing, and they're fun too.

Mary Truscott
1/7/98

I like the warm up, where she "introduces" you to the step, just starts out with some simple taps on the step & a little floor work (plus hamstring stretch, etc.). I think is very important for beginners.

The first segment is very basic, but that's okay for me, because a lot of times it takes me awhile to get into a workout mode, & this does the trick. Just basic step, V step, tap up/tap down, alternate knees up, then 3 repeaters. Perfect. Then she moves on to those squats and the other moves, including the rocking horse. I love Gin's jokes, & the way she jokes with everyone else, especially if they miss telling what we should be doing with our arms.

The next segment is the Power segment. This is a little tougher for me right now, but I'm starting to get it. I did miss the step a couple of times do a power jump (is that the right terminology?), but I'm much better at it now. The part with the L step, I think that's what it's called, where you then have to go across the step with back to the TV is a bit awkward for me. Something I'll have to work on. But boy, does the sweat pour.

The 3rd segment, hip hop, I don't really care for, I don't do very often. It just seems like I don't get much out of it. I guess I could look at it as a long cool down, because the cool down on this tape is nonexistent.

As for the toning or strength stuff (whatever it's called), forget it. It's as nonexistent as the cool down.

All in all, an excellent tape, one I'll keep in the rotation. I do agree that the advanced exercisers should skip this one, they'd be bored, but the beginners/intermediates would love this tape. I give it an A-.

Instructor comments: This is the first Gin Miller video I've ever bought. In fact, I'd never heard of her before. She's great! I love her humor; she doesn't take herself too seriously. And the other exercisers are great too, they're just as fun. Gin's cueing is great for me, since I'm just a beginning stepper, just beginning to get some of the basic steps. She's become one of my favorites!

NanB
9/4/98

This is FUN FUN FUN! The video is broken down into three basic sections; Basic, Power, and Funky. I was a little leary about "funky" because I consider myself terrible at choreography, but I think I did pretty good!

The basic workout includes turnsteps, V steps, etc., all added to each other until you do everything together. Power is done the same way including power, and same with Funky. She also shows variations with no power or without the step. There is a very brief segment at the end where you do squats one leg on and one leg off the step on each side, I think they were 8 each and a very short cooldown with hamstring stretch.

Things I didn't like was there was no stretch of any help, but that was probably due to the fact that these were edited from TV and she usually tells you on the show to be sure to continue stretching on your own. I wish they would do a heart rate chart because I do not like their Perceived Exertion chart.

I consider this an intermediate workout, even though I can do Intense Moves on a 6 inch step this one was still challenging, especially when you add the power and it was more than worth the $4 I spent for it! I liked it much better than Step Reebok The Video, and can't compare it to Step Circuit Challenge or Intense Moves because it is not really that kind of workout, I would consider it more steady state aerobics with power thrown in so you can elevate your heartrate more with it than straight stepping, but not as significantly as in IM.

Instructor comments: Gin is so zany in this one! I started with Reebok's Step Circuit Challenge and although she cued well, I found her stiff compared to when she is on Fit TV (where I was first introduced to Gin). I love her intereaction with the participants and her ability to laugh when she missteps.

Stephanie Bridges
09/09/98

I should start this out by saying that I only previewed this video, I haven't actually done it.

However, I even had to fast forward through the preview, the joking around got on my nerves so much!! I have Step Reebok: The Video and Aerostep (also Gin). While she's the most serious in The Video and a little more fun in Aerostep, she talks to the background exercisers so much in this video she's barely breaking a sweat!!

I did not find this tape motivating at all. Usually when I preview a tape I'll start doing it despite myself. But this tape is going right back on the exchange that I got it from!!! Sorry Gin, I love the 2 videos I have of yours, but this one is just not my taste. The exercises themselves look fine, good form and everything, but I guess I don't care for "Funny Gin."

Instructor comments: Usually very motivating and more serious, did she find some "laughing gas" before taping?

Jessica
12/10/98

This video is the absolute best! Extremely addictive! I even enjoy the warm up (which is a BIG first)! Funky step is a little hard on the knees, especially if you a predisposed to knee injuries but if you don't overdo it (although you REALLY want to) its not too painful! I'm on a search for another reebok step tape of about the same intensity with the same instructor... any suggestion???

Instructor comments: Gin Miller is very motivational, not smug at all and very good a cueing although a little to giddy on occasion.

Lynn Fino
lynnrae98@aol.com
2/24/99



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