What a fun, fun video! I tried 2K02 last year with great reluctance since I
am not a fan of CIA videos. It ended up being my favorite new video of
2000, and I couldn't wait to see what Mindy would do for an encore. Never
fear, her two latest, Extreme Intervals and Action Packed, are even better
Action Packed is two advanced workouts on one tape - 45 minutes of step and
45 minutes of hi/lo (including warmup and cooldown). Each workout is broken
up into four little miniroutines with a power segment tacked on to each.
Wow - these power segments are TOUGH. They really get your heartrate up
there so even though the workouts are shorter, you'll get a great intense
workout. The music is fantastic, and Mindy is a hoot as always. Her cuing
is not great, and some of the moves are tricky, but you will catch on. This
is not a dancy tape but not quite as strictly athletic as 2K02. Oh, and if
you are not a big CIA fan you will be glad to know there is no taking it
from the top 100 times!
Action Packed Step:
This is a fun, different, tough step workout. As usual for Mindy, the
warmup is really a mini-step routine and there is no stretching, so I would
advise a brief warm-up/stretch on your own before beginning. Actually, the
choreography in the warmup was the most difficult for me to pick up. Don't
be discouraged though - you'll catch on.
The first routine is a high knee (not hiney, girls, as she will remind you)
then a pivot step, diagonal, and a fun little move called the "Waitress".
Then you stomp down the step, front kick, back kick, jack on the step. The
stomp part took me a few runs to get, but once you do it is FUN. The power
segment is slow jumping lunges on the step, followed by double-time. You
run through this a few times, then it's on to section 2. This is another
fun one that also takes a couple of runs to get down. You basic up, quick
lunge down, jack off the side, over the top, then pivot turns with a slow V
and quick jumps. The power section on this one is not as exhausting as the
others, but warning: Mindy gives NO cuing on this power move so you have to
watch to see what she is doing. It helps to think that you are making a big
capital "I" across the step. You put one and two together, then throw them
away and move on to three. Three and four are my favorites. Three starts
with a repeater-stomp, then you turn to the back on the step and do two skis
and a run on the step, repeater off the back and over, three jacks back to
the front. The power segment is super quick jog alternated with slow
leaping jogs where you lift one knee and touch your foot. Whoo. Then on to
combo four. Pendulum fans rejoice!! Mindy uses it here but calls it a tick
tock. This combo is superfun and the music is YMCA - fun! This is the
hardest power segment. Squat off the side of the step then turn 180 degrees
and squat the other way, followed by double time. Then you put three and
four together, then just for fun you do that last power segment again. By
this time I am dripping sweat and exhausted, but Maria gets her second wind
so we do the power segment AGAIN. I am cursing poor Maria. A brief
cooldown, then on to.
Action Packed Hi Lo:
I am embarrassed to admit I love the step portion of this tape so much that
I have only done the hi lo twice. The first time I got frustrated with some
of the moves, but the second time (last night!) it was much easier to
follow. Her style here is somewhat like Kari A. in Two the Max. The
structure is the same as in the step - four miniroutines with each followed
by a power segment. The power segments in the hi lo are even tougher than
those in the step. One will remind you of those dang jumping lunges from
Interval 8 in Interval Max. I haven't done this one enough times to break
down all the moves, but after doing it last night and having a blast I will
definitely be doing this one more often, so I'll break it down later if no
one else has.
Be sure to stick around for the cooldown where she thanks all her fans from
VF!! Brings a tear to my eye. And there are some funny bloopers at the
very end you won't want to miss.
Overall this is a great tape for the advanced exerciser. However, I must
caution that her cuing is not always stellar. There are a couple of moves
she just jumps right into and you are supposed to follow, which can be
frustrating (what the heck is that leprechaun thing?). But don't give up
after one try! By the second time I did them I had them almost down pat,
and now I just fly around beaming the whole time! And these workouts are
great when you want a tough intense workout in a shorter period of time.
Like I said her cuing could be better, but you'll forgive her because she is
so funny and likable and motivating. One of my favorite instructors - I am
so glad I found her. Again I can thank VF for that!
I am going to review this video from two perspectives. One is from mine,
a 45-year-old fitness instructor who cannot do high impact for any
length of time and then from the "lovers' of high impact" point of view.
I really wanted to adore this video, but it was too high impact for me.
The step portion had interesting combos that required a lot of power
moves on the step. These moves were put together in different ways, and
the constant twisting and torque of the knee did add a great deal of
strain by the end. She put in moves that in my opinion do not flow
"naturally". What I mean by this is that my feet and coordination did
not want to go the way she wanted me to go. (Witness the arm pattern she
has in her hi/lo segment and you will understand what I mean). Mindy is
one of my favorite instructors and I use a lot of her choreography in my
classes, but this step segment is one of my least favorites of hers
because of the way the moves are put together. In a word, they are
awkward. She is bubbly and bright however, and really made me smile. I
finished that portion of the video and will probably never do it again.
I liked the hi/lo segment better, but it was all high impact. I had just
finished Jay Blahnik's Lo Impact Comeback and my knees were thanking him
for keeping my feet grounded and my knees from not twisting. Mindy
however, jumps, runs, hops, power turns, power jumps and leaps through
every move (she smiles throughout and you cannot help but like her for
that). I would have liked some low impact segments thrown in (she did a
karaoke step, but it wasn't enough). The combos, however, were fun and
creative and simple enough for me to modify for my "low" classes. For
those of you that like high impact - you will be in heaven. Your heart
rate will get up there and you will sweat (I hear the endorphins calling
Her last combo was my favorite - run to a scissor move, 2 single knees
one double, 2 kicks, jack back two, two knees swim back, two power jumps
(I may have mixed up the combo somewhat, but the point is that it flowed
For those of you that are instructors, you can modify this choreography
and milk it in many ways. The step choreography would be harder to
modify due to the uneasy combinations. She ended with a really cute cool
down that I would definitely use. I still have to do her Pump Party and
Action Circuit and will review those in due time. This is not a make or
break MINDY video. She just is appealing to a different audience than
What a waste of good music. I really, really wanted to like this, but it's just a mess. The intensity is way up there (killer level), which is good. The music is absolutely fabulous. But the workout sucks due mostly to Mindy's bad cueing and not-so-great choreography. I could live with the less-than-innovative choreography (after all, she's never been known for her choreography talents). But the cueing is just sooooo bad that there's no way I'm going to waste any more time on this. It's hard to even follow the warmup, let alone the rest of it. I do hope that Greg will take this soundtrack and use it in some more videos, though, because it's awesome.