Fat Burning Breakthrough

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 2000

Categories: Step Aerobics

I was pleasantly surprised by this workout! It's much more intense than I'm used to from Kathy Smith. It would be perfect for intermediates, but also for advanced exercises looking for solid workouts that aren't Cathe intense. I also think it would be a good intermediate choreography tape for those who have been doing basic stepping and want to learn more choreography.

This workout has already been broken down very thoroughly, so I'll just add impressions. I liked the setting: Kathy and her crew work out on a platform set up in front of woods. It's all very green and pleasant. There are plenty of low-impact options. There is a modifier who does the whole workout without a step, which I think is very cool--and savvy in terms of marketing. A step workout that you don't need a step to do! (That said, I am not sure that you really would want to do this workout without a step. I don't think it would be nearly as interesting). I found the choreography to be fun and varied; it kept my interest, even though it's not advanced. The combos build quickly and consist of a variety of moves, so there's really no time to be bored and there's not a lot of filler. No marching in place, not too many basics. You can also get a decent upper body workout if you heavy up and skip the compound options. It's short, but she does two sets of exercises each for back, biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders. The abs section also felt quite thorough considering how brief it is.

I didn't care overmuch for the music--it's too soft and nondescript. But there's also nothing to actively dislike about it either. I wish they had varied the choreography in Zone 3; it's basically the same in Wave 1 and Wave 2. Since you stay in Zone 3 for a pretty long time, it didn't seem like the best choice to simply repeat the same move but vary the counts. Still, the moves that you do definitely get the heart rate elevated, so they are effective. I would have to agree that Kathy's cueing is not the best. She introduces certain moves--like over the top or around the world--in a way that makes it clear she thinks some of her audience will never have seen these moves before. But then she does not break them down and teach them. Adding more explicit verbal cues would have helped. The miscues didn't bother me too much, but the cessation of cueing did. After she's taken you once through the combo, she stops cueing. She may then change the combo in different ways but not verbally cue those changes. This isn't really a problem for experienced steppers who will see what she's doing and jump right in. But for less experienced steppers or for those who do not catch on to choreography quickly, it could be a problem. Because Kathy combines basic moves and more intermediate choreography, I think this would be a good workout for those looking to become more advanced choreographically, but the lack of cueing might be frustrating.

But those are minor quibbles in what is otherwise a nicely produced, fun, and surprisingly intense workout.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is her usual upbeat, cheerful, energetic self in this workout. She has good rapport with her background exercisers. Note to those who find themselves shell-shocked by her energy and enthusiasm in Timesaver Lift Weights to Lose Weights: She is a bit shrill early on in this workout, but her voice modulates itself as the workout progresses.