I’ve only done the first half of this video, the 30 minute low impact workout, because that’s really why I bought the tape. I like Charlene’s low impact tapes but I need more choreography for step workouts so her step tapes are not my style. The only non-aerobic video I have of hers is ABsolutely so I’ve never done any of her strength workouts. The second half of the video is a strength workout but you use your body weight and a wall for the entire thing.
The first thing you’ll notice about this video is that the background and floor are stark white. Thankfully, all of the exercisers have on dark colored workout clothes so I focus on them. The music is the same kind of music on all of Charlene’s other tapes: instrumental and kind of non-descriptive.
Charlene has some new moves in this video and she puts together older moves in a different way. Her fans know how much she loves repeaters and she does have repeaters in this workout but they’re only a base move. She does lots of different repeater variations.
To make sure you get a good 30-minute workout, there is no stretch until the end and the warm-up flows right into the workout. I’m not sure when the warm-up ended and the aerobic portion began but using my heart rate monitor, it only took a couple of minutes for me to get into my target heart range.
For me, this is an excellent 30-minute workout. It’s perfect for days when I don’t have much time but I want to feel like I got a good aerobic workout. Fans of Charlene’s low impact workouts will probably like this workout as well. The only distraction, and it is a huge distraction, is the background and floor being completely white.
Background Grade: F but it won’t keep me from doing the video again
Workout Grade (1st half only): A-
I am an intermediate/advanced exerciser (leaning more toward the advanced) This is a great tape and its fun! Its broken down into two segments, the first being low impact aerobics (modifications for high impact are possible) and I like this workout alot. And in keeping with the new 'style' of aerobic training, there is no stretch at the beginning of the workout so you really enjoy the comprehensive stretch at the end. The aerobic segment is done at a pretty fast pace and gets my heart rate up and its short so I have the choice to just stop the tape at the end of that segment or continue on and do the second half of the tape which is toning and uses no equipment. This segment is more intense. Very intense. The 'from the wall' portion is not too hard but watch out when you get on the floor!!! The focus is on core strength and stabilization.You need to develop this core strenth in order to be able to complete this workout in total. This section is hard. My abs felt this workout for days! And my abs are in pretty good shape.
I like Charlene. I have a few of her tapes. I get a little bored with her step workouts when they are one hour long (unlike It Figures where the show lasts 30 minutes), but they are solid workouts regardless. Her floor aerobics are my favorite. She is very chatty but I am use to it now and don't mind it at all.
This is my favorite Charlene video! If you are a Charlene fan, or you are looking for a higher intensity low impact workout, you need to try this video. The 30 minute low impact cardio portion has a lot of variety that is different from her earlier videos. It is definitely a step up from "basic" in choreography and the intensity is good, although advanced exercisers might not be challenged. After 30 minutes, I kept hoping it would go on because the time flew by, and it was so much fun. The only negative was the recycling of music already used on two videos that I have (Cruising Altitude and Oxygen In, Calories Out). After a stretch, it's on to the strength section which is a step up in intensity compared to the cardio. There is a fun section with two types of one-legged squats against the wall (the second set is very tough), and tricep pushups on the wall. Then, down to the floor for some of the most intense plank work since Mindy Mylrea in Strength Express! For the last set of planks, you start on your elbows, then straighten one arm and the other arm, to a straight arm plank. Then you go back down again one arm at a time to plank on your elbow (For a better visual, check out the video clip on Collage). For me, it was very hard to keep my core straight, and I couldn't complete all the reps. Definitely the hardest plank exercise I have tried (except for planks on the medicine ball). There are two more sets of pushups interwoven in the mix, as well as core work and hamstring work using paper plates/pie tins, and raising and lowering your leg on your back for your core. She also does an interesting exercise where you are on your back with one leg in the air and the other straight out. Using your hip as the driving force, you write the numbers 1-10 with the straight leg on one side and change positions and write "strength" with the other leg out straight. This is a fun variation on core work that is similar to pilates. The music in this half of the video is very fresh and I haven't heard it on other videos. It has a latin beat and was motivating during all those planks!
Charlene's chattiness is fitness focused in this video. It is her most polished video to date. I enjoy her enthusiasm for fitness.
I really like this video! I bought it for the low-impact aerobics workout, which I enjoy. I was also surprised to find out how much I like the strength section, especially the 20 minutes (of the 30 minute section) that focus mostly on core strength. It’s by far the most challenging ab/core workout I own, and using just that 20 minute section regularly has done great things for my ab strength and my ability to do other core workouts. The first time I did it, my abs were sore for days – that has never happened to me with any other ab workout!
The cardio section is truly low-impact (no surprise plyometrics in the middle of your “low impact” workout!) and quite intense, especially given its low impact level. I find it works in well with my Cathes and Christis. The choreography isn’t very complicated, but she moves along quickly enough that I don’t get bored. I think the moves are more varied than other Charlene hi/lo that I’ve tried. If you like Karen Voight’s hi/lo choreography (like in Burn & Firm/Sleek Physique), you might enjoy this workout, too. The section starts with lots of repeater variations put in various little combinations. The first time I did the video, I felt like this part was really long because you keep doing different sorts of repeaters, but now that I’m familiar with what’s coming next, it doesn’t seem to drag at all.
The strength section starts with squats, lunges, and pushups, all done using a wall. Then you move to the floor for core work – several versions of (killer!) planks, ab exercises on your back where you move your arms and legs around in various ways while keeping the trunk stabilized, supermans, and regular and tricep pushups. The last section uses paper plates to do ab/hip flexor work and hamstring work. These exercises are similar to ones done using a stability ball in some of Cathe’s videos, and since I have a ball I use it instead of plates. Like I said earlier, the core work lasts about 20 minutes, and I often keep the video cued up here to use after another video. (I do extra oblique exercises and extra supermans during the 2 pushup sections to make it a core-only workout.) Charlene gives great form pointers and instructions throughout these exercises, which really helps, because some of them are quite advanced. I really cannot recommend this strength section enough both as an awesome core workout and a great strength workout to travel with. (The aerobics also travels well – it doesn’t take much space.)
I like Charlene’s “chattiness” in all her videos, and I find she really shares a lot of useful exercise information during the chatting. This workout seems to move more quickly than Women with Balls, where I felt the talking between sets got to be a little too much. Her background exercisers are miked, as usual. I really like the male background exerciser in the aerobics section – he seems kind of goofy and friendly. The male exerciser in the strength section sometimes talks over Charlene because he has a pretty deep voice; it’s nothing serious enough to keep me from doing the workout, though. Renee, a regular in Charlene’s videos, is in both segments, which makes me happy.
This is filmed on the all white set, which bothers some. I’d recommend giving it a chance even if it bothers you during preview, because I don’t tend to notice the set much when I’m actually doing the workout.
August 21, 2004