(Intermediate/Advanced-Step Aerobics, Toning)
Nike nets three top-notch instructors - Kari Anderson,
Donna Richardson and Jeff Vandiver - for its answer to
the Reebok video library. It kicks off with a fired-up
step workout that includes some patterns that might be a
little tricky to learn, especially Kari's fancy footwork.
Then there are several segments of upper-body, lower-body
and abs training using dumbbells, a Body Bar or barbell,
and an Xertube. Between these segments are "cardio
recovery" intervals consisting of less-intense
stepping. The production and airplane-hangar-like set are
very attractive, the music is joyous and energetic and
the instructors are as professional as they come.
However, persons who aren't used to interval training, or
the less-coordinated, might have trouble keeping up, as
few modifications are shown. Dumbbells can be used in
place of the Body Bar. Can be purchased with or without
This is a step and conditioning workout that is
structured a little differently than most. The step
aerobics are only about 20 minutes long (sigh), then you
go to resistance training. Between the resistance
segments are additional step "recovery"
segments. A Bodybar is used for some toning; I use
dumbbells with only minor modifications (I don't believe
these are shown, however). There is also a routine for
the rotator cuff that is so often neglected. The
instructors are, of course, excellent and they teach in
what could be called a tag-team style. I like the variety
presented in this tape. The only thing I perceive as
"wrong" is that as soon as I get into my target
hr zone during the aerobics, they're over! Oh well...
This is pretty good -- a keeper. I would call this
workout "sort of" circuit training. You start
by doing about 20-25 minutes of step with each instructor
taking turns. Then the second half of the class is
toning, step again, toning again, step again, and toning
again. So the second half is 3 toning segments and 2 step
segments. The instructors take turns in the second half
This is fun, but not a real killer. Your heart rate
does stay up during the step part, especially with Kari's
lunge sequence. I'd rate the entire workout as
The toning is done with a rubber tube or hand
weights, whichever you prefer. The tape comes with a
tube. I paid $24.95 for the workout from Collage, but I
recently saw it marked down at Best Buy for $3.99!!!
All the instructors are great, as you would expect,
but there isn't enough time for all their personalities
to really come through. Despite that, if this was the
first you had ever seen of them, I think it would
motivate you to get some of their other tapes, too.
My grade for this is A-.
Instructor comments: Wow - three of the best
instructors on one tape! They're all very engaging and
After having this video sitting in my collection for about five years, and wondering why I haven't gone back to it sooner, I decided to try it again. I was never too keen on circuit training, but now being addicted to Step and Stones I and II, I tried it this morning. I absolutely love Kari Anderson, but this tape is so easy and the way they "placate" you like you are a beginner (it's labeled "advanced"). Donna keeps saying "are you okay?" while doing such simple basic moves that are less intense than Cathe's warm-ups. The step section was only 18 minutes, the abwork only 2 minutes. I was getting frustrated during the cardio recovery periods and did my own jogging and jumping jacks. That tape will now go back into the back of the cabinet - I may try it again when I reach old age and need a simple, not intense, workout. I immediately did Power Kicks after this tape and felt great.
Instructor comments: Three popular instructors, my favorite being Kari Anderson.
I'm sorry, this tape is just too annoying, too complicated, too long. I bought it for $4 and I'd like to have my money back. The workout is frustrating and exasperating and the instructors and their idiotic smiles and chatter get on my last nerve. I'll be giving this one to my sister-in-law!