Video Fitness

Lean, Strong and Healthy

Music: boring instrumental
Length: 50 minutes. 45 minutes of aerobic movement with a 5 minute cooldown
Energy Level: high
Choreography:combo easy & complex step aerobic
Production: ok.

Powter is, of course, an acquired taste. And I have always hated step aerobics. [The simple movements are boring; the complex movements confuse me endlessly (I can never figure out which side of the step I should be on, which leg should be up, and which leg should be down, etc.)]. Powter's tape is no exception although she adds to the pain a series of arm movements which boggle the mind. In the initial warmup, you do 75 consecurtive lat pulldowns (while your legs are doing a variety of different steps) and in the cooldown you do 105 consecutive lat pulldowns. A while after the first 75 pulldowns, when your arms are burning, she tells you that you can change your range of motion. The cast includes people of all sizes and conditioning with and without steps of different heights. Powter, to be fair, constantly reminds you of low and high intensity alternatives, but those arms just really get to me. I do this tape only on days when I feel in need of punishment for over-indulgence. It is excruciatingly boring.

Diane Danielle

This is the only workout video I've ever seen that I have been able to make it through. The music is monotunous, the steps are routine. But for an unfit person, Powter gives you knowledge. Knowledge that seems to be lacking in other videos. She teaches you how to move within your fitness level. So that the fitest of the fit and the fatest of the fat can all work to their maximum ability all in the same room doing the same routine. For any of you out there who have had trouble making it through routines in the past. To finally do so way makes up for what this tape lacks in glitter!

Michelle Eyring

I always want to start with Susan's tape when I begin to exercise after a long lay off (which can be anywhere from a few months to a year). When you use her video you can work at any level and still feel like you have accomplished something. I always do my work outs in the early morning and not being a morning person I need a video partner who will motivate, encourage, and generally get the most out of me.
Susan is one of the few who can do that. Finally, after the first few days of following the video (because step exercise is so repeticious) I can be anywhere - doing anything in my head while my body goes through the motions.

Heidi Bussiere

Lean, Strong & Healthy is the first video I started with, and I think it's an excellent video for beginners. Susan encourages modification, and a couple of the other people in the video modify the moves throughout. The choreography is very simple, for those like myself who can't figure out the tricky steps. That would probably make this a boring tape for more advanced exercisers; I think this is a good place for people to start and build from, then when you're working at a high level on this one, you're ready to move on to something a little more challenging, like Kathy Smith's Step Workout.

Lisa Speckhardt

This is the tape I used almost exclusively when I came back to exercising a few months ago. It is a great tape for those who find even "beginner" tapes too difficult. Susan's philosophy is that fitness if for *everyone* and that all fitness levels should work together. She does a good job translating that philosophy into this routine. Working out with her are a variety of people at different fitness levels, including one man and an older female exerciser. The moves are slow and basic and most of the exercisers are using a step. Susan spends about half the time circulating around the class, giving pointers on form and technique. The beauty of this tape is that she teaches you *how* to modify and makes you feel great for doing it. If you find very fit "designated" beginners annoying or discouraging, as they smile through the routine without ever breaking a sweat, you will appreciate that these people are modifying because they need to. As your fitness level, improves you will increase the intensity by using a wider range of motion. The modification techniques learned here can be used in any other tapes you attempt. This tape is not without it's flaws. There are some obvious editing mistakes that are confusing. And as one reviewer, has already pointed out, the number of lateral raises in the warm-up and cool-down is ridiculous. (Here's a great opportunity to modify!) Finally, I question whether advanced exercisers will be challenged by this. However, if you are just starting out, are unfit and loathe complicated steps, you will probably get a lot of mileage from this tape. I am using it about once a week now and it is a real morale boaster to see how my fitness level has improved.

Denise B

Try though I might, I just can't make myself like or do this video. The colors are drab. The steps are repetitive and boring. The people are so dour, they look like they're being punished. The "music" is plodding. The whole aspect of this video is heavy and gloomy to me. On the positive side - the routine shows people at all different fitness levels and body sizes modifying the steps for their abilities. I think that's great! The pace of the routine makes it do-able by just about anyone. If you don't need bright colors, smiling faces, and up-beat music to inspire you to fitness, or if you like a serious approach, this could be a good video for Beginner to Intermediate users.

Instructor comments: Good cueing, good instruction, good motivation, great modification info.

Sandi Tinker

i have read it here that susan's video, "lean, strong and healthy" is boring, dull, repetitive, etc. my guess is that these reviews are made by just the sort of aerobic types that shun the non-fit, the sort of aerobic instructors that don't understand and don't care about the need for the non-fit to modify in order to get started and to increase their level of fitness. LS&H is intended to HELP PEOPLE GET FIT and that's just what it does. If you're a marathoner, this probably isn't the video for you, but everyone else should give susan's workout a try. if it's too easy for you...MODIFY!

Instructor comments: what can be said about the true nature of the diet and fitness industry that susan powter has not already had the guts to say? susan is a powerhouse, who has distilled vital information about our bodies and our health and made it digestible. fitness gurus will come and go, but i will always love susan for her sincere concern for the "average" person.

kim thompson
11 mar 99

Very easy to follow. Great encouragement to unfit people. It was great seeing all kinds of body shapes. Susan helps one understand about fitness levels - that is so helpful when you are beginning as it is so easy to hate exercise if you are working to hard.

Instructor comments: I find Susan a breath of fresh air. She inspires me to be myself.


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