(Advanced-Step Aerobics and Toning)
This video is definitely worth doing a few times to
learn the choreography. The music is great, and doesn't
get annoying after repeated listenings. The moves are not
unfamiliar, and those who like Cathe Frederich will
recognize them quickly. It is a good change of pace from
CF videos. The warm-up starts out fast, so some pre-video
limbering might be in order. The routines are fun and a
good workout, but expect to have to do it a few times to
get them down. There is 43 minutes of step routines, then
a very good toning section, with pushups, tricep dips, ab
work, a small amount of table work, and a good stretch. I
got my video from Collage videos. For the advanced
stepper, this is the best video I've done that isn't by
This production is definitely low-budget but the
routine, even though it was created in 1993, is
surprisingly innovative. Unfortunately, for the
choreographically-challenged, it will present some real
problems because it's not cued well at all, i.e. missed
cues, no tap switches, no "Okay left foot
basic," no mirror image, the list goes on and on. In
addition, Robinson doesn't bother to break down moves at
all. It's "Okay, let's add this part" and then
she runs through it a few times in total and expects you
to watch and pick it up. That took some getting used to.
But, all that said, I have to say that even on my first
run-through, I was able to pick up all the moves by the
last time through each combination, and I think anyone
with years of Cathe Friedrich experience would probably
be able to do the same because the moves are not totally
unfamiliar. If you have that ability, the workout is
great because each time you do the tape, you won't have
to deal with CF-like endless run-throughs of a move that
you mastered the third time through the tape. Once you
master this tape, it will be a joy to just go through the
routine and not have to listen to the instruction. For
that alone, it's worth it (I DO get dizzy when CF goes
does hop turns for the 20th time in a row). The toning
section does push-ups and tricep dips, some table work
and some ab work, all challenging, and the stretch is
actually of decent length. If you're a CF fan who wants a
little variety or a shorter workout one day, or just a a
day of no instruction or whooping, then I highly
recommend this video. But to those who have trouble
mastering steps (i.e. big rewinders), take fair warning,
you might get extremely frustrated trying to learn this
tape because your learning will be all visual -- e.g.
there are no arm explanations. Whether or not you like
this tape will really come down to that preference.
Lastly, I think the fitness level is less than CF; I
added a lot of power moves to make it more challenging
but, again, if you're used to CF, you can just
incorporate her versions of power into familiar moves.
I found this tape to be a big disappointment. The positive aspect of the video is Patti's enthusiasm and abundance of energy. However, her movements are hyper and jerky. I sometimes found it easier to follow the female background exerciser who had smoothier movements.
Patti's cueing is very hard to follow. Fortuntely, she basically builds upon 2 combos in the aerobic section and her combos are created using basic moves. However, this also makes it more of a monatoneous workout. She uses more original moves at the end of the last combo. She calls these moves the 'Sherman'. My knees cringe at the thought of this combo. She basically jumps on and off the bench at a rapid rate moving to face different directions (jump on facing front, jump off facing right side, jump on facing right side, jump off facing left side, jump on facing left side, jump off facing front). I would recommend modifying this move. I believe most instructors, including Cathe, don't recommend jumping off the step.
For Animals Only
This is an older video (I think 1993 or '95), so at that time the combinations probablly were considered advanced, but not by today's standards. The combos are very creative and unique which was the best thing about the video. There were many downfalls though. The cueing is horrible. You almost have to be a mind reader for some of them. She doesn't tell you (except once near the 8th time doing it) that a move is a "hamstring staddle...". She just says either "hamstring or knee". Yes she cues a move as "knee" which is a hamcurlat another point too. This happens on other commonly named moves as well. It's like you need to know HER step lingo. The music was inappropriate for the type of workout and at times didn't even have the right beat. She ignores this and just keeps going. At times she is looking off to the left for information from the producers or someone. It was doable, but confusing, and I believe it could be frustrating for anyone with sub par step experience. Maybe I'll do it again to see if I remember all the mess-ups and what she means. Then perhaps it would even be good. I think the combos are very good for picking apart for instructors, but even here she doesn't have a consistant patterning for them. Some moves are balanced Right and Left after 4 moves (16 cts), and some are the normal balance of 64ct phrasing. I just think that they needed to practice the cueing before making this one.
Patti is obviously a past aerobics champion as it states on the box. She has that way of moving like she is in a competition. Her movements are exagerated and huge and done elloquently, however besides some good combinations, there isn't much else to brag about with this video.