Iím reviewing this workout after doing it twice.
General workout breakdown: This floor cardio runs just under 30 min. The warm-up (6 min.) is pretty thorough, warming up both lower and upper body, and ends with a couple of static stretches after more range of motion movements. The workout proper consists of two 9-10 min. segments in which you run through short series of moves, which you do first on one side and then the other. There is no TIFTing (taking it from the top), or stringing combos together. Many of the moves are drawn from classic aerobics (e.g. grapevine, v step, rocking horse), kickboxing (e.g. punch, upper cut, twist with hands in guard), or more athletic moves (e.g. squats, lunges side to side, swinging a bat). In a few instances Karen offers a more intense Ė that is, usually a higher impact Ė variation of one of the moves but keeps a modifier with the original one. Then, you move straight from cardio into a yoga-inspired but still very athletic stretch (4 min.). I was surprised after the thorough warm-up not to have a proper cool down; I would have liked to have seen Karen fill out the full 30 min. with a minute or two of simple moves to bring the heart rate down before the stretch.
Level: Iíd recommend this to experienced beginners through mid-intermediates. This is definitely a workout where you get out of it what you put into it. It can seem like a breeze if you donít put some oomph behind the moves. The choreography is pretty simple, but if youíve only done walking videos this may prove frustrating the first few times around.
Class: 2 women, 1 of whom shows low impact modifications, join Karen.
Music: upbeat instrumental music. Itís nothing special.
Set: bright interior space with blue carpet and white walls, in front of which are hung blue shapes.
Production: clear picture and sound, simple camera angles that show what you need to see when you need to see it. Karenís voice is louder than the music.
Space Requirements: You should be able to extend your leg behind you and do a grapevine (i.e. about 2 steps to each side). For me, at 5í8Ē, I need a space about 6-7í wide by 5-6í deep to do all of the moves fully; I could shorten it up a little if I needed. Overall, this, like most of Karenís workouts, is compact.
DVD Notes: The main menu allows you to play the entire workout or to choose one of the chapters (warm-up, cardio 1, cardio 2, cool-down).
Comments: As mentioned, this DVD can be done with practically no impact. If you have very cranky knees, just stay front instead of doing the few quarter turns or pivots that Karen does.
If you like the cardio here, you may also like Karenís other cardio offerings (such as the cardio portion on Burn & Firm, which is also on Slim Physique, aka Sleek Physique). Some of the more athletic moves reminded me of Kathy Smithís Functionally Fit Peak Fat Burning, too. The cardio segments from 10 Minute Solution Carb (& Calorie) Burner and the Shape Bikini Body Bootcamp Transforming and Redefining workouts arenít all that different, either, although perhaps a little higher in impact; these might be the logical next steps if you find yourself wanting something a teensy bit more challenging or intense.
As always, Karenís personality is low key but positive, and her cueing is consistent, solid, and mirrored (i.e. when she says ďleft,Ē she means your left).
April 5, 2008