Video Fitness

Totally Hot Cardio

Christi Taylor

The workout is structured as follows:
An "invisible warmup" of grapevines, shoulder rolls, squat/roll-ups combined with hamstring stretches and cross marches blends nicely into the workout. The body of the workout consists of 6 combos, taught in Christis usual "add-on" or "layering" style. Some of the moves include reach the corner, a fun push-pivot-kick, and shuffle-ball change/ squat-ball change. There is also a section that reminded me of Hi-Lo Heaven (I think?) with a hip-hip and bob and weave move. I really enjoyed a two-squats with a half turn...It's all fun!
The impact of this video is easily modified both hi and low, with two backgrounders showing low, and two showing high with Christi.
I liked the music--perfect volume level: A mix--We're Havin' a Party (?), Daniel's Song, something techno-ish with lots of drums and someone chanting "oh-oh" but not in an annoying way, Prince--Baby I'm a Star, Jerimiah was a Bullfrog, another techono-ish one with some vocals (talk to me), I don't wanna work...this all works just beautifully with the choreography!
The workout ends with a cool down and something that drives me absolutely NUTS: The girl on the right (short dark hair) has her arms circling her head and waving all around while they are doing the cool down. Arghh. I know it sounds petty, and I can see that she is just having fun, but it is annoying and distracting. I may not do the cool down because of it.
I have the DVD version of this workout, and I am very satisfied with the structure, although I think there could be a few improvements with chaptering--for those who don't like to pre-program. The options availavle are:
Start Workout

Bonus Warmup into Workout (this is just basic squats and stretchy moves, just Christi)

Move Master (again, just Christi, no music, moving with her back to you, counting out the moves)

Behind the Scenes (a little too long, and if there could have been another workout instead of this I would have loved it. It is about 30 minutes long!)

Bonus Abs (Christi's voice, Julie demonstrating. Pretty basic crunches)

Bonus Cardio (I love this. All the combos put together and repeated 3 or 4 times)

Instructor Training Proram Promo (tiny little 10 second preview)

I would have liked to see each combo chaptered so I could practice any that might cause me problems--but I guess you could do that with the Move master, which IS chaptered by combo. However, it is at half time, so that might not work for everyone...
I was going to say that I'd like the warm up and cool downs to have their own chapters, as well, but I guess since these are "invisible" within the workout, they may have been hard to chapter.
I love this workout and will do it often, as I do all of Christi's stuff!

Instructor comments: Christi is friendly, fun, energetic and professional (as usual) in this video/DVD. Her cuing is right on (although she doesn't seem to use the "watch me" method as much, probably because of the Move Master at the end, which makes watching her to learn a move unneccesary. ) She has created new, fun choreography for those who like to dance, and cues it well enough for even those who may like more basic stuff to be able to catch on. Christi is so happy to be working out that she makes the time fly!

Wendy Chapin

I adore this tape! Itís a 48-minute intense high/low workout with Christiís fantastic choreography and great music. The time flies by because itís so much fun. Songs include Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog, Devil in a Blue Dress, and lots of other great ones Iím forgetting the names of. If you have High/Low Heaven to compare it with, the choreography is harder than Phase 1 but not as hard as Phase 2. I would characterize this workout as high impact even though a couple of the exercisers show low impact. You can always try that as an option, but it just doesnít look like as much fun. Grade A+++. Annie S.

Totally Hot Cardio

Christi Taylor

WU and Hi/LO: 35min
CD: 8 min.
Bonus Cardio and CD:13 min on DVD
Bonus Abs: 6 min
Level: adv. choreography
Intensity: int./adv

Known Music:
Having a Party
Your Song
Baby I' m a Star
Joy to the World
Do You Really Want to Fly
Bang On the Drums All Day
Devil with the Blue Dress

Christi' s warm up is " hidden" in the first section of the workout. I found the chest stretch ackward while doing other moves on along the floor, and the hamstring stretch felt too brief to feel sufficient.

The workout itself was challenging, choreography speaking, and kept me on my toes. No problem, because I really enjoyed it! I liked all the moves, and they are all variations on the basics- lots of pivots, turns, mambos and hamstring curls. How does she come up with it all?

I tried the Move Master on the DVD. Each combo is reviewed slowly on each starting foot once. Personally, I don' t find that doing a move slowly helps me, but it may for some. I didn' t try the Abs section.

The behind the scenes footage on the DVD contains much of the same stuff in Christi' s Totally Cool Step.

The music was great; this will be one of my favourite hi/los. Grade: A+

Instructor comments: Christi' s got the cueing gift. She sings her cues, and the fun she' s having is catching. Always a pleasure to work out with!

Jennifer V
May 5, 2002

I adore this tape! Itís a 48-minute intense high/low workout with Christiís fantastic choreography and great music. The time flies by because itís so much fun. Songs include Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog, Devil in a Blue Dress, and lots of other great ones Iím forgetting the names of. If you have High/Low Heaven to compare it with, the choreography is harder than Phase 1 but not as hard as Phase 2. I would characterize this workout as high impact even though a couple of the exercisers show low impact. You can always try that as an option, but it just doesnít look like as much fun. Grade A+++.

Annie S.

The workout is choreographed with the repeat user in mind. There are no comments that will become boring after one or two viewings. The steps that appear complex on the first viewing become easy after a few times through the workout. The moves range from athletic to dance, with lots of ham curls and grapevines. It's an effective workout that flows easily (from the first, I did the whole thing) where I sweat but I'm not stiff - and have lost inches. I highly recommend it; I will be buying more of Christi Taylor's workouts.

Instructor comments: Christi's instruction is excellent. She cues very well, and has obviously put a lot of time and effort planning the workout. Thank you!


Oct. 8, 2003

Totally Hot Cardio is one of my favorite workouts now, but Iíve definitely had a love-hate relationship with it. The background is that I first tried it in summer 2004 and got very frustrated with it and traded it. At that time, I was just getting into hi-lo and even moderate choreography. This workout does have moderate choreography compared to Patrick and Seasun, but it is at the top and dancy end of moderate choreography. I even tried the Move Master with little success. Christi uses counting in this video while demonstrating the moves, but that doesnít work for me because I need the words/cues to make any connection to the actual workout.

I bought Mission Possible almost immediately after it was released, hoping this would be the gateway to Ďgettingí Christiís choreography. Alas, it wasnít, but it was invaluable to me in that I learned how Christi cues, the very base moves of some of her choreography, and what she calls certain steps.

Then, another VFer gave me some priceless (for me) advice in tackling Christiís workouts. Following this advice, I tackled and mastered Funktional Fitness and Hi-Lo Heaven stage 1.

Finally, I was brave enough to take the plunge with Totally Hot Cardio once again. I reasoned with myself that I had a better background to learn it and the Move Master issues wouldnít be such a problem anymore because I wouldnít need to bother with it.

I am so glad I did! I really love this workoutóit picks up my mood and I choose it often when I am feeling tired and donít want to work out. I admit that the grapevines in the first combo go on and on, but Iím willing to overlook it while I warm up to ďWeíre Haviní a Party.Ē The second and third combos donít thrill me, but they are okay and the music is okay there.

The second half (combo 4-6) is the whole reason to get through the first half of the workout. There is another set of grapevines with uppercuts in the sixth combo, but I donít think grapevines fit well there, so I simply substitute a sashay/chasse/whatever-itís-called. I really like the music and sing along while dancing through Christiís cues. After all, how could I not have fun while singing? (I know this isnít the song title, but I love it when Iím exercising and hearing ďI donít wanna work.Ē ;-) )

Instructor comments: Christi seems to be having a lot of fun and cues well. I like singing along to the music while she sings her cues. She cues the moves ahead rather than on the move and is rarely late. I like her teaching style now that I've gotten used to it.

Karen (Rhae)


This is my first experience with a Christi video. I should say up front that I'm not very good with complex choreography, but I'd heard that Christi's hi-low workouts were easier to follow than her step, so I thought I would give this a try.

The workout begins with an "invisible" warm-up, which means the warm-up stretches Iabout 3 minutes) merge right into the first cardio combo. Christi begins with simple steps such as a grapevine and then gradually adds on with arms movements, twists, and turns for more complex sequences. In the first half of the workout, she strings together 3 different combinations, combining only 2 together at first and then all three. She does the same thing in the second half of the workout, this time using 3 new combinations. (The DVD is chaptered for each sequence.) At the end of the cardio, Christi incorporates a quick but thorough 3 minutes of stretching, bringing in the total workout time right around 50 minutes.

The DVD has several bonus features. The 6.5 minute abs segment, performed to the tune "Tequilla," is a fairly standard sequence of crunch variations. There is also a bonus warm-up, which involves 5.5 minutes of more specific stretching than what is included in the workout's "invisible" warm-up. There is also 13 minutes of bonus cardio in which all six combos are performed together; or, for the more choreographically-challenged, there is a 7 minute "Move Master" segment which breaks down the individual moves in each combination (Christi is facing away from you for this feature). Finally, there is a "Behind the Scenes" look at the making of this video--at 24 minutes, this is probably quite a bit more footage than what would interest most people.

As expected, I had trouble following the choreography in this video. First of all, you need A LOT of room from side to side, which often presented a challenge. Secondly, although I could usually follow Christi's initial moves, once she started changing directions, I was lost. Two of the background exercisers did offer low-impact, modified versions of the exercises, but they were very difficult to see. However, I found that by remaining faced forward towards my TV the entire time (ie, obmitting all of the turns), I could at least follow along enough to get a good workout.

So, although this video was not for me, those who like complex choreography and upbeat 70s-style music (eg, "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Your Song," "Jerimiah Was a Bullfrog") are likely to find it to be a fun, intense workout.

Instructor comments: Although Christi offered very good mirrored cueing, it wasn't enough for me to keep up with her complex choreography. She is clearly having fun though; she frequently sings out her cues to the tune of whatever song is playing at the time. She works out with four background exercisers, two of whom show modifications, but I found them very difficult to see (they were both in the back).

Beth C (aka toaster)

December 12, 2005

I've done this video for the second time ever today and I like it even more this time.

The great strength in this video is that it is fun, but it is also a good intense workout! I always work up a respectable sweat with this one, but the time flies. Believe me, I was in no mood to work out today, but halfway through the routine, I was in the endorphin zone.

With Christi's reputation with intense complex choreography, I was a bit nervous about trying her out, but I had no trouble picking up the moves with this video. Sometimes, I'd forget stuff but I wasn't lost from the word go.

With fun songs like "Hey Look Me Over", "Joy to the World" and "I Don't Wanna Work", this workout feels like the good old hi lo workouts I used to love to do in the gym when I was just a kid (back in the 80s). But the workout itself is not dated at all.

I was so impressed with Christi Taylor with this DVD that I have ordered her Solid Gold Step and Cardio and Totally Cool Step, which I will review in the future.

Instructor comments: Extremely good at advance cueing; inventive choreography that flows well with the music.

Lady D


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