Video Fitness

Crazy for Step

Charlene Prickett

This tape should be renamed Insane for Step because you have to be out of your mind to do it! In my quest to find challenging, low impact, high intesity workouts, this one is a true fit but there are some things about this step workout that did drive me crazy and not in a good way.

This workout is tough and the choreography is not basic like it is in most of her other videos. I consider myself an advanced exerciser and with only one riser added to my step, I was having a hard time breathing. Charlene and crew (two backround exercisers who have been in her previous workouts) had 3 risers added and I'm still in awe that they could make it through this workout without anyone going into cardic arrest - crazy!

This workout is a total of over 60 minutes in length. Collage has it timed for about 73 minutes which is probably right when you add in warm up, cool down and stretch. The moves are athletic but get more difficult when extreme repeaters and a move that is similar to a rocking horse (but a bit more difficult) are thrown in. I got the DVD version and there is a tutorial section that gives more instructions on how to perform these moves. I prefer more athletic moves since I'm not very good at catching on to dancy choreography but I only got lost in a few places and will probably be able to master the moves the more I do the workout.

I've also figured out other reasons why this workout is called Crazy for Step. About the set- I must say that usually a workout's setting does not bother me as long as the workout is good. This is a good cardio workout but the set really bothered me. It is a plain white background (white walls, white floor) with the only color being the steps and the not too attractive workout clothes Charlene and crew are wearing. Those things drove me crazy! Also, I got the DVD from Collage in a clear DVD case and not a case with the picutre of Charlene as shown in Collage. I thought that was a bit deceiving and crazy. The music was, well, unmemorable. I think it is something I've heard used in other workout videos. Maybe the same music used in Urban Rebounder workouts. Sometimes Charlene kept going though the combinations, over, and over, and over, and over again which was absolutely crazy and annoying to me.

The workout ends with a relaxing, longer than usual stretch which I have found is missing in many new workouts today so Charlene gets an A+ for this. Could also be that the stretch felt really good because this is one tough tape.

So would I buy this video again? I'm 50/50 on it. I'm leaning towards yes because if you want a low impact, high intensity step workout with a little challenging choreography this is an excellent workout but the crazy set, clothes and uninspiring music unfortunately kind of cancels out some of the good parts.

Instructor comments: When I grow up, I want to be Charlene. At 57 years old, this woman is in fantastic shape and a true inspiration to all. Charlene is a real professional. I'd have to say her queing was just ok and I had some difficulty following some of the moves but I think this was more because of the choreography. These are not the simple/basic moves that are in most of Charlene's workouts.

Tiffanee
fitonetiff@aol.com
3-14-04

Well, I have to agree with the previous reviewer who called this "Insane for Step". If you follow along with Charlene and use a 10" step, you are insane. The only way I could accomplish that is if I was hooked up to some oxygen. The first couple of times I did this workout I used my usual (non-later Cathe) 8" step. It kicked my butt! Now I use a six inch step and the workout is much more doable.

The only other Charlene workout I have is High Intensity/Low Impact which is a floor aerobic workout. It is very basic. Crazy for Step is definitely more complex. Charlene teaches a combo and then takes it from the top. At the very end she takes it from the top about three or four times which is probably a couple times too many. I enjoyed all the combinations and the workout realy does not seem as long as it is (it is 103 minutes with cool down, but not stretch!). The only other pure cardio workout I have that is comparable in length is Max Intensity Cardio, and Crazy for... seems to go by more quickly for me.

You never stray far from your step, so you do not need that much room. Charlenes favorite move seems to be a "curl weave" which is kind of like an up and back but you unload both legs on the floor when you go over the step. (Hope that makes sense.) I have the workout down after doing it three times, and for the most part it flows well and I don't have to think about what I am doing, but Charlene can cue too early some times. The impact is mostly low, but htere are some high impact moves and no modifications are shown or mentioned. The set is all white, which I don't love, but find preferable to oh, say, sets with cow skulls, olive green trellises, or multiple ficus plants. The music is instrumental and kind of generic.

Instructor comments: how does a 57 year old complete this workut on a 10" step?

Roz

When someone said this should be called "Insane for Step", they were right. This tape totally kicked my butt, but in a good way. The moves were interesting, but not so difficult that I won't be able to get them after a few tries (i'm a klutz, it takes me longer than most to learn choreography). It was alot of fun, and I enjoyed the music. The stark white set was maddening as was one of her background exercisers who kept trying to take over. She was counting over Charlene, and interuppting during the cues, which was really annoying. All in all, an excellent workout though.

Instructor comments: Charlene is very warm and friendly. It's a nice break from the rehearsed feeling you get from most instructors. She also has alot of good tips about form. I am less than half her age, and can only dream of becoming as fit as Charlene. She is an inspiration.

Marianne

06/10/04

This is my favorite video by far right now and that is saying a lot with my collection. The intensity is fabulous. The choreography is challenging but not confusing. I am always looking for a video with high intensity but inetrmediate choreography and this fits the bill perfectly. By the end of this 60 minutes of full on step I am dripping and feeling great! I am also a runner and this is one of the only videos I have that rivals running in intensity.

Instructor comments: I do nto have a strong opinion about her personality but she does know how to challenge!

naomi

december 21, 2004

this step workout is suitable for intermediate/advanced exercisers. 60 mins long plus stretching and a tutorial.

While charlene and her friends use a much higher step, i used 6" inches and changed some of the 'leap-overs' and other
miscellaneous jumping to low impact moves.

i liked the music in the workout even though it seemed a bit
repetitive. all instrumental music, but quite upbeat.

also there were lots of unique moves that i really enjoyed learning and doing.
this workout is a TIFT though, where she teaches a combination,
then another, and then strings them together (she refers to each combo as a pearl on a necklace). i dont mind that but some people dont like TIFT as it gets to be repetitive i think.

i thought that her background
exercisers were right on the money ...no flubs at all and had lots of energy and did not annoy me in the slightest. i was amazed
at their athletic ability because, frankly, they were no spring
chickens...lol.

also i did not mind that charlene and friends workout against a pure white background -- their outfits were colourful and i do think that the background makes it alot easier to see their legs and feet
and therefore it is easier to catch onto the moves.

at the end, charlene does some lunges off of the step to cool down, then does some balancing moves and then stretches for the quads and hamstrings.

also there is a tutorial on the dvd that teaches some of the
moves if you need help with that.

a really good step workout all the way around.

Instructor comments: Charlene's workouts carry a low dread factor. she is always a pleasant workout partner and a real pro at cueing properly.
i liked her teaching style of
starting out easy and then changing the easy moves to harder ones.

Carolyn Visser
pvisser@orc.ca
1/16/2005



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