CIA 9701: The CIA Step Workout

Donna Read
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Step Aerobics

This has become one of my favorite CIA videos. First, I really like the format. It's an hour-long workout, with a warmup, about 45 minutes of stepping (nice and long!), and a cooldown. Though I like a lot of the longer CIAs, I get tired of fast-forwarding and rewinding through parts I don't use. I'd rather have a solid hour of quality.

Others have described the workout itself quite well. I would say it has intermediate intensity and intermediate to advanced choreography. That fits me perfectly - I can do most Cathe Friedrich videos on a 6" step and do most of the power moves, but I like to use this video on days when I don't want the constant intensity of Cathe. The music tempo is a little slower, and you can decide for yourself where to put power moves and where to keep it low impact. I find myself in the lower part of my target heart range, but it's nice to be able to focus on the complex choreography and just having fun.

Even if you are pretty good at picking up fancy choreography, it will probably take you a few times to get the moves down. Donna isn't quite as clear with her cuing as some instructors (Christi Taylor comes to mind), and she doesn't break down the moves as much. Plus, there are a few times she teaches a new move when your back is to the TV. Aagh! That was a little frustrating, but it was worth it to rewind and practice, because now the whole routine just flows along and I really have a great time.

I love the music in this video - it's not the same old same old - it's instrumental and makes you want to add a little danciness to your stepping.

Another thing to note is that the stretching is more thorough than in other CIAs. Donna holds the stretches for a nice long time, plus she has a good amount of stretching for the upper body.

All in all, an excellent workout. A+!

Instructor Comments:
Donna Read is a very friendly, likeable instructor. I especially like it that she's very fit, but she's not all "buff" and lean, so she represents a look I feel is attainable for me. She enjoys herself and is a good dancer, so it's fun to watch her.

Mary Truscott