Video Fitness

South Beach Slam

Janis Saffell

This hour-long video is half step and half high/low. I like both routines, but the high/low is not as intense as I want, so I will rarely do that part.

The 25-minute step section is a lot of fun, and good for your "short" days or for tacking on to another workout. Janis starts off by telling you that the routine is dancy, but I didn't find it terribly dancy at all. (And I'm dance-impaired, so I should know!) The choreography is complex, but the only things I would consider on the dancy side are some turns and pivots that you can leave out if you want to. The intensity is pretty good -- not killer, but high-intermediate for the most part. She does a good job of breaking down the moves, so you don't get lost for too long if it all. One annoyance is that there are some "special effects" at key moments in the routine -- for example, right when Janis is switching to something new. It's not too bad, though, just irritating. Also, toward the end when you're putting together the three routines you learn, Janis messes up big time and the routine turns out to be not the way it was taught. After three times through, I still get lost on this part. But thankfully, it's over quickly, and she gets you back to what it's supposed to be. The moves are a lot of fun, and they flow nicely (except for one transition that could be improved), so I'm keeping this tape for this section. I paid $19.95 for it, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend you pay that much unless you're a big Janis step fan, but if you find a good sale I'd say go for it.

Next is a 25-minute high/low routine. This is dancier than the step, but still not overly dancy. This is fun, too, but just not intense enough for me. I'd call it intermediate range for intensity, and intermediate/advanced for choreography.

The production quality is so-so, not too bad, but not too good, either. I've seen a lot worse. It's not as good as a CIA production, but not nearly as bad as a Sara's City. I've seen some complaints on the forum about poor sound, but mine is fine in that area.

I'll rank this video as a B+ because it is fun and pleasant to do. I'd really like to see Janis do some more step workouts. I think she's better at that than at high/low.

Annie S.
ann.s@worldnet.att.net
2-11-2001

I have read some posts that consider this the worst video purchase of 2005, of all time, etc. I personally don't think it's that bad...but I have also done all 10 workouts of the "10 Best (Worst...)" so I know bad workouts!!!

What I liked about this video: I did like the choreography of the step section. It was no more complex than most "dancey" step videos. It kept me challenged enough to stay on my toes, but was not so fast and furious that I had to lower my step height from eight inches to six inches. I liked the music of both sections.

What I did not like: First, the quality of my video sound was poor. I'm not sure if it was the tape or the recording, but this was annoying. Second, many people mentioned how much they dislike the "arty" black and white photography from weird angles and stop motion, keeping you from seeing the footwork when you need it the most. I tend to agree that that hurt the video more than helped. Third, Janis' cueing was not up to par in this one. More than once, I was shuffling around trying to keep up with her because there was not enough advanced warning of new moves. Fourth, the background exercisers were frequently messing up and out of sync with Janis to the point where it was distracting. Fifth, the hi-lo section was tedious.

Obviously, I have more complaints than praise about this video. But I suspect that I many keep it for days when I am simply not up to Cathe intensity. But I would not give it the worst award. That goes to Crunch Cardio Fat Blasting Party which is just a waste of time.

Instructor comments: Janis is sadly not at her best in this video. She tries hard, but she is just not as much in her element in this one as she is with her kickboxing videos.

Lady D
5/19/06



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