Video Fitness

Mission Possible

Christi Taylor

I got thru it the first time......with a preview of course.....but you will all be singing the music all day and be psyched about it. I found the hi/low more difficult than the step but, I haven't done hi/low in about 8 months. I prefer step, so I'm sure that's why it was easier for me despite Collage's review.

The warm up is 5 mins. followed by a 20 min. step portion, then a 20 min. hi/lo section, and finally a 5 min. cool down. She does include the Move Master and bloopers just like TCS and THC.

Once again, Christi's cuing is phenominal........always a bit ahead of the move so you don't get confused. There are 4 combinations for both the step and hi/low sequences and they go by so darned fast that before you know it the workout is done. At the end of each, you repeat the 4 sequences for a total of 2 times top to bottom. I wanted to keep

As far as difficulty and make it what you want to. I'm a solid intermediate exerciser, for me the choreography wasn't difficult (except the darned arm I'll get those the next time).....but the intensity....was awesome. My legs are like jelly and 20 mins. later I'm still fanning myself to cool down.

Instructor comments: Christi is wonderful in this workout, just like her others. While doing the routine she often sings out the instructions to go with the songs. Her cuing is top notch and she breaks everything down so well.


A little background about me - I am an advanced exerciser who loves advanced choreo. I love Cathe, Christi (old stuff), Franny, and absolutely adore running.
I do all step workouts on a 6" step.

I though this workout would be nice on a day I don't feel like exercising or just as a easier day for me. (I thought Stepsational was perfect for days like this. Stepsational wasn't the greatest workout in opinion - it just didn't grab me for some reason, but i just wanted to let you guys know where I am coming from.)

This workout is too easy and too boring for me.

Production - Pretty much the same as Stepsational, but a better camera angle - face on! Thank goodness for that!

Music - Great music, very motivational for me. I love recognizable music with lyrics. Though, in the song - "I Like It Like That", I thought I kept on hearing my phone ring, but that noise was in the song. A minor distraction, but not something I couldn't get over.

Warm-up - I clocked the warm-up at 6 minutes (I could be wrong about that) and it was a boring, repetitious warm - up. Didn't grab me at all. Very easy steps. Grapevine, forward taps, side taps...

Step Portion - 20 minutes - Very boring and repetitious. Very basic steps. No Christi "flair" in the combos whatsoever. Way too much TIFTING!

Hi/lo Portion - 20 minutes - Better the step portion, but still bored to tears doing this. Still way too much TIFTING.

Cool-Down - Thank goodness it is a real cool down, not just "swaying" back and forth.

Christi - She is great as usually! Cueing is wonderful!

General Thoughts On this Workout - I knew when ordering from Christi's website that this tape was going to be a beginner/intermediate workout. It is definitely that. I also think people will have a rude awakening if this is their first Christi workout and go to one of her other workouts. I don't think Mission Possible bridges the gap well from beginner Christi choreo to say intermediate Christi choreo. Mission Possible has very very basic steps with no "intro twirls" or anything on that kind of level. There is, I believe a huge gap from Mission Possible, to say... Stepsational choreo wise.

I don't think I will be keeping this workout for the above reasons I stated, but it probably is a good workout for a beginner or if somebody wants a break from tough workouts!

Instructor comments:



I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This workout is divided into a 5 minute warm-up, 20 minute step portion (the only portion requiring a step), 20 minute hi/lo (i.e. floor aerobics, which is labeled “mixed impact” here), and 5 minute cool down (times approximate). The warm-up is bland: a couple of basic moves (toe taps, grapevine, step heel tap, side squats) put into a short combination, interrupted by some dynamic stretches, and then back to the combinations. The cool down includes a short combination, again with basic moves, plus a few lower body stretches (calf, hip flexor, and hamstring).
Christi builds the step and hi/lo combinations in an identical way: She introduces a few moves, then a few more, and puts them together for the first block. For the second through fourth blocks, she introduces the first few moves, TIFTs (takes it from the top of the first combination), repeats just the new block, adds on the final moves of that block, and then TIFTs again before moving onto the next block. The entire routine is repeated just twice at the end. There is only one pivot turn in the step and one in the hi/lo portion.
The final step routine is 5 basics, arabesque, 2 rocking horses, [repeat block on other side], 5 lunges facing side, 2 knees on the step, 2 scoops down, [repeat block on other side], 3 up taps side, mambo / pivot, 2 L-steps with a kick, [repeat block on other side], 3 knee repeater, 2 v-steps, [repeat on other side], 2 turn steps with heel, 2 shuffle turns, and [repeat block on other side].
The final hi/lo routine is 4 step touches front, 4 hamstring curls back, 2 double hamstring curls, hip hop, [repeat block on other side,] 3 grapevines, 2 scoops, 2 mambos, 4 taps side, [repeat block on other side], walk up with high knee, walk back with high knee, 2 “pony snaps,” 3 double knees, mambo/pivot, [repeat block on other side], 4 toe taps, 4 tap behinds, 3 shuffle ball changes, 2 heel taps, and [repeat block on other side].

Level: I’d recommend this to anyone crossing over from beginner into intermediate exerciser to a high intermediate exerciser. I think this would be best suited for someone with a little choreography experience. I wouldn’t recommend this to a person who’s only done walking tapes, but it would be great for someone who’s done some Kathy Smith, for example, and would like to try Christi but is intimidated by the term “complex choreography.” Christi expects you to be familiar with general terms (e.g. grapevine, v-step) and doesn’t break down her own terms (e.g. “hip hip,” “rocking horse”) during the workout proper, although you can head to the Move Master for a break down. If you’re a true choreography and/or intensity junkie, I think you’d be happier waiting for Cardio Collectibles.
I consider myself a high-intermediate with respect to cardio. I can do every Christi hi/lo workout (that’s available on DVD, that is), although I sometimes modify down very high impact moves. I was able to pick MP up easily the first time through without previewing, although I need to smooth a couple of transitions and arm movements out next time. I felt like I got a decent workout, but I wasn’t exactly exhausted at the end.

Class: Kim and Julie, who were very well rehearsed, join Christi. No modifications are shown.

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The music is fine; it works for the moves. (In other words, it’s pretty good but nothing I’d listen to on my own.) The step has more of a soft adult contemporary feel, with songs like “I Like it Like That,” while the hi/lo takes on a techno / club beat. The bright interior set is very simple: a hardwood dance floor with light pink and white drapery behind (which reminded me of those creamy Lifesavers—yummy!). The picture is clear, and the sound is fine. I think you could turn up the music and not end up with Christi screaming at you. For almost the entire workout the camera faces the exercisers straight on, although from a teensy bit above. (Think a 6’ something man filming a 5’2” woman.) The only other angle is from the front right corner of the stage (if you’re looking at Christi) and is from the same height. Several times Kim and Julie end up almost off camera, and once in a while Christi’s feet get cut off, but you can almost always see both Christi’s feet and arms.

Equipment: You’ll only need sneakers and a step for the step portion (although I did it without one).

Comments: The step portion only requires room for the step and directly behind it; you also need to be able to take a step off each side of your step. The hi/lo portion requires more space: Christi and crew take four steps forward (although you could always stay in place), and you’ll need to grapevine and take another step past that to each side.

DVD Notes: The DVD chapters divide up not only the video into the 4 portions but also each routine into the 4 blocks. The block chapters take you to the block’s exact beginning spot. The “Mission Briefing” is fairly long; fortunately it’s in its own chapter. In addition, the DVD contains Move Master (one for the step portion, one for the hi/lo portion) where Christi goes through each routine at a slower pace with her back to you (so that you follow her right with your right, etc.) In addition, there are outtakes over the credits (more like left-over bits from the editing process than real bloopers). The DVD begins with a panning camera shot of what appears to be Christi’s backyard view, ending with Christi, Kim, and Julie bopping to the beat in their bikinis; this cuts to behind the scenes-type shots of filming the workout. I could not skip or fast forward through this 1 minute 15 seconds-long intro.

Conclusion: I’m keeping this. I got MP even though I don’t do step and even though I expected it not to be very difficult for a few reasons: 1) It’s a Christi; what else can I say? 2) I found that I actually liked using one of the two hi/lo segments from Funktional Fitness as an add-on cardio workout and was looking for something else to use. 3) Some days I don’t have a lot of time or energy (physical and/or mental). This workout is just about exactly what I expected and wanted, so I have no complaints. It took a couple of combos before the fun factor kicked in (i.e. once the moves got a little more complex and interesting), but the time flew by quickly. And if I ever do cave on a step, I’ll reach for this maybe first thing after a more basic step tape.
I don’t know how this would help (or not) someone hoping to work her way up to a normal Christi step workout, but I’ll offer my opinion about hi/lo. I think that this, Funktional Fitness, and CIA 5004 would all be good places to begin for someone looking to break into Christi. MP will help you get used to Christi’s terminology and TIFTing; FF will help you get used to what her combos look like when they’re a little more imaginative (although it never puts them together for a TIFT); and CIA 5004 will help you work up to the intensity of a regular Christi. Actually, MP seems like a shorter, updated version of CIA 5004. Once you’ve mastered these three, you should be able to try CIA 7002. After that you should be ready to tackle Happy Hour as well as Totally Hot Cardio and/or Still Jumpin’, following the modifiers.

Instructor comments: As always, Christi meticulously cues almost every single move, even sort of singing a few. She mirror cues and indicates the move ahead of time. She doesn’t include a lot of directional cues (although there are probably a few more than normal in her workouts), and she doesn’t cue every footfall, which may be why some people may have trouble with her instruction (rather than her choreography). I found Christi’s voice a bit softer than in more recent videos, especially during the cooldown. She is perhaps one of the best instructors at coordinating moves and music; the two flow together so seamlessly you’ll wonder why so many instructors seem to finish before or after their songs do. As always with Christi, there’s no talk of appearance or calories burned. Also, the “secret mission” idea does not appear during the workout itself.


November 7, 2005

I am reviewing this workout after doing it once without previewing it.

Let me start by saying that I consider myself a high intermediate/low advanced home exerciser. I prefer more athletic cardio because I am a member of the "Choreographically challenged" club. I have always enjoyed Christi's music and personality, but never have been able to do her workouts. It took me two years to figure out "Still Jumpin."

I really enjoyed this one. The choreography is more athletic but she adds "dancy" arms and the routines are designed in a way that they are not boring. There is a dance feel without being dancy. I was able to complete both the step and hi/lo without tripping over my feet.

There is no high impact which I loved. You certainly could add impact by adding lifts to the moves.

I hate to label this strictly beginner. A beginner would enjoy this workout because they could do each workout separately, if they weren't able to complete the entire workout.
Christi also demonstrates the steps at the end in a chapter. Her modifiers in the back are easy to follow.

An intermediate exerciser could jump right in and probably have no problem doing both sections. An advanced exerciser could add more power or, if they were feeling really peppy, do the workout twice.!

It would also serve as a nice recovery week cardio or low intensity cardio workout for the super advanced.

I got a nice steady state, 40 min. workout and even broke into a light sweat. I felt worked out after the workout but not exhauted.

I do feel the cooldown was too short and next time I will put the workout on hold and cooldown a little longer before starting the stretches.

The music was fun and motivating. This is definately a keeper in my collection.

Instructor comments: enthusiastic without being over the top, excellent cueing, looks like she is having fun

Robin F. a/k/a Bebop

November 14, 2005

This is Christi’s first beginner choreography workout.

Workout - The workout begins with a warm up done on the floor. I wasn’t crazy about the warm up for some reason. It was a little too repetitive for me. Christi follows with a twenty-minute step routine. There is nothing complicated here. She includes basic steps, repeaters, knee ups, l-steps, 1-steps with a kick, lunges, rocking horses, v-steps, turn steps, etc. If I remember correctly there is one spin here. She gives you the mambo as a substitute if you are working out on carpet. She includes arm movements in most of these moves, so the intensity is higher than you would find in most beginner/intermediate workouts. For example, while you are doing basic steps, you extend both of your arms up over your head, and then on the next one, you do a bicep curl. For me, these arm movements keeps things interesting. The twenty-minute floor routine follows including hamstring curls, grape vines, knee ups, mambos, tap outs to the side, heel taps, etc. I would not call her floor cardio hi/lo as I didn’t find any high impact, just some bouncing.

Other - The set was bright and open. She works out with 2 background exercisers. They are all dressed in black pants and black long sleeve shirts with a little midriff showing.

Instructor - Christi’s cueing is great as always. She gives good pointers about posture, etc. Her selection of music is good, and fits the moves.

Overall, I consider this a great workout for those going from beginner to intermediate choreography. Christi includes her MoveMaster on this DVD.
I think that intermediate to advanced exercisers who are used to Christi’s choreography will disappointed. I don’t think that this is the “bridge” to her more complex workouts such as Totally Cool/Hot Series and the Solid Gold Series, however it will help you learn how Christi cues, which is different than most instructors.

For me, this is a keeper. I have found that I can’t do complex step in the morning when I workout so this fits my need perfectly. The fact that Christi leads it is just icing on the cake!

Instructor comments: Superb Cueing! Fun Personality - you can tell she's really enjoying herself. She gives good pointers about posture, etc.


November 19, 2005

I purchased Mission Possible and Cardio Collectibles at the same time. I did not hold on to Cardio Collectibles-- to many confusing movements that did not add to the workout, but for some reason held on to this one after a very quick preview that did not interest me much. It took me a few months to try it. Well, I tried it today and have to say I enjoyed it. I thought it might be too boring or easy and was not thrilled with the split step and hi/lo format but found that these things did not bother me after I did the workout.
Christi starts with a 6 minute warm up which is done on the floor. This makes sense as if someone planned only to do the the hi/lo there is no reason to drag out a step. The warm up can easily be done with a step in front of you as it is mainly side to side movements. It is a little repetetive, but not too long. The next segment is step. The "combinations" as she calls them are pretty short. There is no travelling around the step beyond an L step. That one is kind of fun because she has you kick to the side when you get to the end. There is also a combination with an open turn step and shuffle down the board, but most of the movements are of the stepping on and off the step variety. This seems to keep the intensity a little higher than might be expected (I use an eight inch step). For comparison, I would say Kari Anderson's Go has a little more variety and more travelling about the step, but is definitely less intense. In fact, I was kind of surprised by the intensity of this workout (I pretty much use an eight inch step all the time now except with the Imaxes and Step Blast).
The step portion is about 20 minutes long and quickly segues into the hi/lo workout. I was not certain whether I was going to do this one, as I rarely do Hi/Lo any more. If I do do hi/lo it tends to be more basic such as the workouts from Project You. Anyway, this one started off with a number of hamstring curls-- Christi always includes lots of ham curls and I cannot say they are my favorites, but I got through them. As the workout progressed, I got more into it. I enjoyed the grapevine, mambo, toe tap combo as well as the shuffle ball change combination. It kind of reminded me of Happy Hour Hi/Lo, but less repetitive and shorter. That is probably why I liked it much more. Also, there was far less TIFTTINg than in that workout. The intensity seemed similar to the step workout as long as you kept your movements bigs.
The set was kind of plain, wooden floors with a pale pinkish curtain draped in back. Christi and her two back up exercisers all wore the same black outfits-- I liked them although long sleeve midriff baring tops don't seem particularly practical. The music was fine for the workout. Nothing stood out in my mind.
This is the second Christi workout that I plan to keep. I absolutely adore Totally Cool Step, but other workouts of her's that I have tried have not clicked with me (along with the aforementioned Cardio Collectibles, these include Solid Gold Step, Still Jumpin',and --sacrilege!-- Hi/Lo Heaven ).

Instructor comments: I just want to say that Christi's cueing takes a little while to get used to. She cues earlier than some other instructors (Kari and Cathe, for example) and this can be confusing, especially if you are not facing your TV. For instance, in one section she has you do five lunges ofacing the short end of the step. She counts out lunges 1-4, but instead of counting the last lunge she cues you for the next move. This can be kind of confusing. You just have to get used to it, I guess.



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