Whew! Christi managed to do it *again*. Actually, I was afraid she couldn't make another workout as great as High/Low Heaven, or else she would try to outdo herself and mess it up. But my fears were totally unfounded -- this is outstanding! It's an hour-long high/low workout, with music that's just as fantastic as that in High/Low Heaven, and advanced intensity throughout. I think the choreography is a little less complex in this one, but certainly not boring. It's divided into two sections. I think they're both roughly equal in time, but I didn't keep track. At the end of the first section, there is an inset with a cooldown/stretch so you can stop there if you want to. If you go all the way through, you will feel totally worked out by the time you're done -- the intensity is constant. Although I am a high-impact person, I did notice that a lot of the moves can be done low-impact. This makes it great for those who shy away from these types of tapes because of the impact. Everything about this workout gets an A+ -- even the covers (really cute)!
If videotapes had personalities - and we all know they do - Still Jumpin' would be my ponytail personality workout. Everything about SJ conspires to make you want to shake your ponytail, snap your fingers and go. Even though I cut my hair short over a year ago, I still manage to make a few little wisps in back bounce and roll when I get into my "hopscotch," my double ponies and my hips-and-heels. American Bandstand, here I come! (Note to self: turn all mirrors to face the wall.)
Before I get too carried away with praise for SJ, not to mention the fascinating nuances of my sweaty hair, here are some details about the actual workout.
SJ is a 60-minute cardio-lovers dream. The music is a great mix of popular vocals and oldie & goodies. "Turn the Beat Around," "Enough is Enough," and "Still the One" are just a few of the songs you'll find yourself happily crooning along to. And if the music doesn't woo you, the choreography sure will. The complexity is on a level with Hi/Lo Heaven's stage one or Happy Hour Hi/Lo. All delivered with Christi's trademark style: she takes a standard hamstring curl, a pony or a mambo, makes a few rhythm and directional changes, adds some crisp and classy arm movements - and suddenly you are way past working out and well into the DQZ. (Dancing Queen Zone.) This is a bare midriff and tie up your shirt tails workout, because you'll just know that Patrick Swayze is coming to dirty dance you off your feet at any moment.
The intensity is about equal to Christi's other hi/lo videos, but because the first two choreography blocks start out mostly low impact, it builds slowly. Don't panic, endorphin addicts, the workout will take off on you before you know it.
Christi has pulled out all the stops to make this workout accessible for choreography addicts and people-who-count-out-the-beats alike. She and the front row of exercisers demonstrate all the spins, pivots and twists that the choreography lovers desire. Then the back two rows - dressed in eye-catching hot yellow shirts - stay with the simpler option. Christi also managed to please the combo lovers and those who can't bear to hear another rendition of "lets take it from the top" by dividing the 45 minutes of cardio into two segments of completely different choreography blocks. Segment 1 has 4 blocks of choreography and lasts almost 25 minutes. Then on to segment 2 which flies by with just 3 blocks of choreography.
And then, for those who don't have time to do the whole workout, no need to fast forward to the cooldown, just follow along with "mini-Christi" on the little screen and stretch while the cast is starting segment two. All of these efforts endear SJ to me even more, because they show that Christi listens to her fans and responds.
Christi's cueing is spot on and peppered with Christi-isms. Right after a song lyric saying, "I can't go on," Christi starts to teach a new step and says, "I'm going on." Pause. "Even though I can't." Pause. Giggle. Then explains. It's cute. And I get completely and embarrassingly choked up when "Still the One" starts playing during the very last combo and Christi dedicates the song to her husband. "Looks like we made it … look how far we've come my baby …" Yeah, look how far we've come. I love this video.
What can I say, Christi did it again. How can it be possible to keep
making video after video and produce such perfection. Only Christi
can do that. I am addicted to this tape, especially the first
section. Believe it or not, when I first previewed the tape, I was
disappointed in the music. The first song in the first section just
didn't do it for me. But after two or three times, I found myself
smiling and humming along. I love "hips and heels" and the "double
ponies." Only Christi can change my mind about a song, and now I sing
along while working out to "Dancing Queen." She has the key to the
magic box that only she can open and produce workouts like this. I
wonder what's next? Whatever it is, I can't wait.
I really like Christi’s Just for Fun series. What makes these videos even more special for me is that I got to be at the filming of them. My reviews for both are exactly the same.
The addition of low-impact (for me) and simpler choreography (for others) modifications makes this workout extremely enjoyable. Once again, I love Christi’s music, I love the moves, I love seeing higher impact options for days my back doesn’t hurt, I love this video!
The only change I would make would be to have all of the participants showing the modifications on one side of the screen and Christi and the “dancier options” participants on the other side of the screen rather than having one set in front and the other in back. I think there might be a little less distraction from the viewer’s perspective. Some old Jane Fonda tapes did that and it worked well for me (for example, Lean Routine and Jane’s first 2 step tapes).
This is a fun, fun workout. I would say the overall intensity is low-advanced/high-intermediate but is fairly consistent throughout the workout (i.e., your heart rate will stay in the same range throughout). The choreography is complex but not overwhelming. I mostly do Cathe videos and it took me about 3 times to get this tape all the way through. Because Christi does such a great job of breaking the moves down, it is really easy to stick to the more basic versions until you are ready to add the twists and turns.
The music is great! Each time I do this video, I like the music more and more. The set is pretty basic, I didn't find anything that was annoying or distracting.
It's obvious that Christi is having a blast with this workout. Her cueing is great and she does a super job of putting each combination together. Also, I really like that she has her background exercisers doing more basic/low impact versions. It makes it really easy to learn/modify the workout. Grade: A.
Still Jumpin is great! Fun and with just right intensity.
It was my first Christi's tape and I think it is a good introduction
tape to Christi's hi-lo because:
- background exercisers show modifications
- the workout does not move too fast (hi-lo heaven moves faster I
- the choreography is moderate, not too complex.
- Christi's cueing here is excellent and I love how she sings the cues
- intensity builds up gradually
The first part of this workout is more low-impact than high-impact
probably, and when you start for about 15 minutes you will probably be
thinking it is too easy (in terms of intensity) if you got used to
Cathe and are advanced exerciser, but intensity increases gradually
and it is perfect after about 20 minutes and the whole second
part. Intensity is intermediate for the first part and probably
hi-intermediate - medium-advanced for the second part. I love the
second part a little bit more probably because it has more high impact
moves - I like this "jump rope while turning" move most.
The music is the best I have heard on exercise video so far and matches
the moves very well. Music was one thing that motivated me to learn the
moves, and of course Christi is very motivating and warm. My advice to
everybody who got used to simpler, more athletic choreography: give it a
try! I used to think I am bad at picking up moves, and I also usually
prefer "simple" hi-lo moves. So initially I was reluctant to learn the
moves - I would not get the most intense workout the very first /second
day because of having to rewind often, but once I got the moves more or
less down, I had so much fun and felt like I can dance now! This sense
of accomplishment is worth all the time you spend trying to learn this
tape, believe me :) And the choreography is not really hard - each time
you will get more and more of it... One more thing I noticed: sometimes
when I get confused with the move, I would just do something on my own
instead, that feels "natural" or fun and know what? sometimes it turns
out to be the right move. If not - who cares - I still feel great and do
the next move together with Christi.
Several tiny things that I wish were done differently:
- I wish background exercisers were closer - at times it was tough to
see them behind the front girls.
- I did not like one move: "out, out and in" - but it's just me and
maybe it is partly because I can not get the hand movements for this
segment right even now...
- After I did workout many times, about 15 minutes in the beginning
where you learn the steps becomes a little bit repetitive and slightly
boring; I wish there were a special section of the video where we would
just do all combos in full several times - without having to start with
More of good things:
- Loved background exercisers, especially Teresa and Julie - they are
truly having fun there and so motivating
- I liked to see VF-ers in the beginning and in the end of this tape
- Small window (that appears on the screen after the first part) with
Christi showing stretches is a great idea
- I love the warm-up and cool-down in this workout - I find myself
dancing this funny move from the cooldown days after I finished the tape
Highly recommend this tape!
Christi is talented, professional and very warm and funny.
Once again, Christi has come up with the kind of tape I wish Donna Richardson had made as a sequel to Donna-Mite. Most of the music on this one is from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s--you'll hear "Wooly Bully," "Then Came You" (made popular by the Spinners and Dionne Warwicke in her pre-Psychic Friends era), "Turn the Beat Around," "Enough is Enough (I Can't Go On), "Still the One", and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," among others. The first time I did this, it was as if time stood still and I was once again in my early 20s partying at the disco. Oh, what fun!!
As is this workout. Christi put as much thought and care into making the warm-up and cool-down as she did the aerobic body of the workout. I just love those shuffle-and-pivot things in the cool-down--very similar to what Franny did in "Cardio Parties." What a blast!
I really appreciate that Christi breaks the cardio into two sections and includes the picture-in-picture cool-down at the beginning of the second cardio section. The first time I did this routine, it was mid-summer 90+ Fahrenheit, and I needed to quit after 25 minutes. How nice not to have to stop and FF to find the cool-down. This workout is great for those kinds of days, as well as the ones where you're in a hurry and just can't do a full hour, or if you're the type of person who best learns Christi's style of cardio one section at a time. I'll be honest, though. I never can just do the first section and then cool down. I'd feel cheated of that great second section--and those fun steps in the full-picture cool-down!
I thought it was great that she includes SEVERAL gals that do the entire routine with some modifications like lower impact and no turns. You can stick with those as long as you need to and still get a good workout. And having several folks rather than just one to show those moves means that they're nearly always in camera range, making them easier to see and follow.
It's also great to see so many of our great VFers on the sidelines at the end and during the blooper section. When I'm done with this workout, it's only 6:00 or 6:15am most days--and yet I've already had a good dose of fun and fellowship.
There was only one quibble I had, and others might find it distracting too. Theresa Han (the lady in the black outfit to the left of the screen) is a wonderful exerciser--energetic, enthusiastic, and it's obvious she loves this workout. But there were times she appeared to be mugging strictly for the benefit of the camera, and a couple of times it distracted me from Christi. It made her little moment in the spotlight--where Christi says, "Theresa and Julie are going to show off now," and they do full American splits during the cooldown--seem redundant. (She does seem a little more like a background exerciser in the Totally Hot Cardio video just released, so I imagine someone told her to tone it down for this production.)
Nonetheless, this is the most frequently used floor tape in my rotation right now. It strikes just the right balance between challenge and fun--as do so many of Christi's projects. Keep 'em coming, Christi!
She's one of the friendliest--if not THE friendlist--instructors in the business. What a woman. When I grow up I want to be just like her!!
I won't say much about this workout since others have already gone into so much detail. I'll just say that I LOVE it. This was my first Christi and I'm so glad I tried it! I knew I would like it from the moment I saw the Collage Video preview clip :) Sixty minutes of cardio could not be more fun than this. And to make things even better, Christi packaged this with Hi/lo Heaven on DVD, so you can mix and match between the two! What fun!!
I tend to be good with choreography so I picked up most of this quite easily. I had a little trouble with the "hop scotch" part but I think that's partially because I ran out of space. YMMV :)
What can you say about Christi that hasn't already been said? She is just great. I cannot say enough good things about Christi.
Feb. 29, 2004