Still Jumpin'

Christi Taylor
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Iím reviewing this workout after doing it almost a dozen times (maybe more?).

General workout breakdown: This 63+-min. hi/lo or floor aerobics workout begins with a warm-up of just over 5.5 min., has almost 52 min. of workout (first half, with four combos, just under 27 min., and second half, with three combos, coming in at 25 min.), and an almost 6-min. cool-down and stretch.

Since so many others have already described this workout well, thereís not much else to say. Iíll just add a few more thoughts.

Christiís teaching method: Christi always begins with basic steps but quickly layers them, either transforming the moves, changing the order and/or rhythm, or cutting down the number of repetitions. Her style of instruction is to begin with a few counts of basic moves, then layer it up, run through the new variations of the moves a few times, then put them together to take it from the top (TIFT). Sheíll then add on another set of base moves, enough to form half a combo, add a layer or two, and TIFT. Then sheíll add on the rest of the combo; once sheís done, there will be another TIFT. Two TIFTs of all three or four combos close out each half, but the seven combos are never added all together anywhere. Christi teaches things symmetrically, and she balances out break downs on both sides, more or less. She often uses the ďwatch meĒ method to show you whatís changing. I appreciate that, with a few exceptions, Christi only changes one thing at a time rather than throwing out whole chunks at once.
Christi never weaves, or slices and dices, combos; sheíll always do combo #1 on the right (or whatever side she does first), combo #1 on the left, combo #2 on the right, and then combo #2 on the left, and so on.

It is easy, thanks to the modifiers, to keep this workout low (or at least lower in) impact and relatively pivot-free. You can borrow some of the full arm movements and adapt some of the full routine to boost the intensity a little, too, however.

The cool-down is different in that Christi does a step on the floor type of routine. It felt weird when I first got this because I didn't have a step, but now I don't mind all that much because I'm happy to see a real cardio-based cool-down these days!

The stretch here has decently long holds. It focuses on the hip flexors and quadriceps, which I love because those are notoriously tight muscles for me. Christi also stretches the calves and hamstrings, although she spends a little less time on the back of the leg in comparison to the front (which I donít mind all that much since I usually do yoga afterwards). I like to add something quick for the inner thighs and outer hips / glutes while watching the camera pan over the crowd of VFers attending the filming. (I wish I had discovered Christi sooner so I, too, could have been there!)

Level: Iíd recommend this to experienced exercisers at the intermediate through low advanced level who are comfortable with complex choreography. Christiís choreography is not mind-numbingly complex, but you do have to enjoy choreography. That said, this can work for someone working her/his way up to more complex choreography because of the inclusion of the modifiers (who are also found in Christiís Totally Hot Cardio, which is roughly equal to this in complexity, Solid Gold Cardio, and Hi/Low Heaven). And if youíre new(ish) to complexity and or Christi, definitely follow the modifiers the first time through before tackling the flourishes.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced in cardio. I pick choreography up pretty quickly if itís broken down and cued well, which is very true here. I did this one somewhat early on in my foray into complex choreography (I started with Christiís Totally Hot Cardio and Solid Gold Cardio), and it took me a few times, even following the modifiers, but it wasnít long before I was adding in bits and pieces of the full routine until Ė voila! Ė I was doing the whole thing. This week I wore my heart rate monitor, which confirmed that I got a solid steady state workout that had me in a moderately high work zone for the first half and moderate for the second half.

Class: 6 women join Christi. The four in the back row, wearing bright yellow, stick with the lower impact / less pivot-heavy version of the routine, while Christi, Julie, and Theresa (who with Julie certainly brings some enthusiasm, although the loud set drowns them out to some extent) show the full shebang.

Music: I totally agree that the selection of upbeat instrumentals and (remade) vocals adds to this workoutís fun factor. Some of the music selection is a little cheesy, but itís good, fun cheese. :)

Set: the 2001 CIA set with red walls, wooden barn doors, window onto what looks like a dead branch, and yellow and baby blue balloons. Itíll wake your eyeballs up first thing in the morning: itís the visual equivalent of strong coffeeÖ

Production: clear picture and sound. The camerawork is good, except I could do without the preponderance of side angles (perhaps because there are so many folks on set someone kept feeling the need to cut over to the side?), at least one of which seems to be slightly off the color settings of the other cameras.
Yes, the Mini Me inset showing a quick cool-down and stretch option that plays for the first few minutes of the second half is a holdover from the VHS days. It was a great idea for the VHS, but with the DVD itís just as easy to skip to the full cool-down and stretch.

Equipment: sneakers, making sure that you can pivot and turn on carpet (alternatives: dance sneakers or a piece of tape over the toebox, or stick with the modifiers).

Space Requirements: Youíll need a decently deep space for this one; you should be able to take several steps forward and backward, and the more the better. That said, you can shorten things up (that is, keep traveling moves in place) if you have a normal-sized room rather than a studio. The flip side is that, unlike some of Christiís other hi/lo offerings (THC and SGC come to mind), you wonít need as much horizontal space: you should be able to do a grapevine across your floor, with enough room for another step or two on each end.

DVD Notes: This comes on a DVD with Hi-Lo Heaven; it is packaged together with a DVD of Still Steppiní and Step Heaven. By the way, this Fantastic 4 DVD is a must have for any Christi fan and is a great bargain, with 4 great workouts of an hour or more for the price of one, really.
The chapter menu pops right up Ė love this! Your options are Introduction, Warm-Up, 1st Half Ė Combo #1 / Combo #2 / Combo #3 / Combo #4, 2nd Half - Combo #5 / Combo #6 / Combo #7, Cooldown & Strech, Bloopers, and Credits.

Comments: Although Totally Hot Cardio has a special place in my heart as my first Christi, Still Jumpiní may be my favorite among her hi/lo offerings. Christi doesnít say, ďThis is just for fun!Ē without good reason! I popped this one in this week after trying to like another instructorís latest offerings, and I was reminded how much fun working out can be. I was also reminded that when youíre having fun not only does time fly but itís easier to put all you have into what youíre doing, making it that much more effective. I had a big, goofy grin on my face, and that doesnít happen all that often. I was also drenched in sweat, which does happen fairly often. But the two donít always go hand in hand. I realize Christi isnít for everyone, and I wouldnít try to force her on anyone, but for me this is one awesome, great, wonderful, effective, and FUN workout!

Iím a big fan of hi/lo, but Iíve found few others besides Christi who make such enjoyable, interesting floor aerobics videos - particularly ones that arenít too dancey or too basic - that I want to do time and time again. And Christi may make what are the most intense without being too high in impact, a winning combination in my book. (I was reminded after my two weeks of trying another instructor whose workouts leave my feet aching and my shins splinting that I donít have these problems after Christiís stuff.) I guess hi/lo as we knew it is pretty much dead now that Christi and Marcus Irwin and other greats are no longer making any more videos and gyms have long ago taken these classes off of the schedules. Itís a shame, really. Hi/lo videos like Christiís have always given me a good cardiovascular workout that exercise both body and mind with only a pair of shoes and some floor space (and when I first started out exercising at home that was all I had). Iíve enjoyed getting acquainted with the step and am now conquering Christiís step workouts, but Iíll always come back to her hi/lo, especially Still Jumpiní.

Instructor Comments:
I canít think of anything else to add about Christi that hasnít been said already. I agree that Christi is definitely having a great time here, but she never loses sight of the fact that sheís instructing a workout, and itís a credit to her preparation beforehand that sheís able to lead so well while having so much fun. Sometimes during non-aerobics portions she seems a little uncomfortable trying to come up with things to say (see the bloopersÖ), but during the stretch portion here sheís very relaxed and conversational (so much so that she almost forgets to the do the quad stretch, but she catches herself quickly). Iíve described Christiís teaching methods under ďGeneral workout breakdown,Ē but Iíll just add that as always she cues ahead of the movement and mirror cues (although she doesnít include that many directional cues).