Video Fitness

Life's a Bench

As an avid "stepper"", ( I own about 20 videos and have been taking 5 step classes a week for the past six years,) I am always on the "look-out" for a challenging, interesting step video. Although "Life's a Bench" is advanced enough to give even the most energetic "stepper" a good work-out, it is undoubtedly one of the most monotonous, most annoying tapes on the market.

The primary weakness of the tape is Prickett's endless chattering. The steppers following behind Prickett (two women and a guy) also contribute to the continuing and inane chit-chat. In fact, the conversation seems far more choreographed than the step routine itself. The steppers frequently interrupt Prickett just when she is about to introduce a new combination, something she fails to do often enough.

To Prickett's credit, however, "Life's a Bench" certainly offers a good intermediate/advanced workout. The moves are basic and easy (too easy) to follow, progressing from "knees to the corner" to straddles to a challenging and lengthy lunge routine sure to leave you begging for mercy. Prickett would do well to stop talking so much and change her moves more often. You'll do so many minutes of basic moves (the same ones repeatedly) that you'll start incorporating your own stuff to alleviate the monotony.

"Life's a Bench" is comprised of a 5-minute warm-up, a 40-minute step section, and a 5-minute cool-down. Purchase this video if you can tolerate monotony and you like basic, "athletic" moves that will get your heart rate up, but not tax your brain.

Vivian Jones

This is an excellent make-you-drip workout, but like Charlene's other step tapes, she spends WAY too much time straddling the bench, so your side is to the TV. I like some of that, but I'd say a good deal -- maybe over half -- of this workout is that way. It's hard to see if you're on the right foot or not. But maybe that's okay, because she does each routine for a fairly long time before changing it.

The choreography is basic but the intensity is advanced. You definitely get a good workout, but it's not as fun as Kari A., for example. On the other hand, if you don't like fancy footwork, this one might be for you. I give it a B.

Annie S.

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