CIA 9701: The CIA Step Workout

Donna Read
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Step Aerobics

I really enjoy this tape -- it's a solid step workout that keeps me interested, gets my heart rate up, and gives me a great workout without stressing my knees or totally wiping me out. Although the speed is a bit slower at the beginning, most of the tape is done at 127 bpm (thank you Wendy for making that bpm counter available!), close to the top of the Step Reebok "safe" range. I prefer this preferable to faster speeds - it allows for full extensions and a more complete range of motion, which gives my thighs and glutes a better workout and gets me into my aerobic range without bothering my joints.

I thought Donna's cueing was quite good -- although some of the combinations are complicated, I was able to get all of them the first time through the tape (not always the first time through the combination, but she repeats each segment enough that I was always able to catch on before she moved on to the next). There were a few times where her description of a step made it sound more complicated than it turned out to be, and so it could have been a little easier, but for the most part I think she did a great job. I appreciate that she continues to cue each step within a combination all the way through the tape -- it really irks me when instructors teach 5 or 6 complicated combinations and when they do all their TIFTs they tell you the first move in a 16 or 32-count block and you're supposed to remember all the rest!

I liked the power intervals -- but you do have to pay attention to the fact that the hamstring curls on the step aren't just curls, you should be bending your knees and shifting your weight to get those thighs and glutes working, and then they become intense!

I'm looking forward to getting Donna's CIA 2K06 -- I like her style!

Randy Pollack