CIA 9004Robert Mellott, Tina Lanzoni, Debi Weaver
Year Released: 1996
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics
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This video was a very pleasant surprise for me. I bought the entire 9000 series because it was a better deal, not really caring if I liked this video or not - I knew I would like 3 tapes from the series, and I figured if I liked this tape, it would just be icing on the cake. Well, it turns out this is the tape I have done the most so far, and I really enjoy it. Robert's hi/lo workout is fun, intense and easy to pick up. I find the step workout to also be a lot of fun. Tina and Debi each teach a 17 minute step routine, and I like both of the routines. However, the first time I did Tina's routine, I almost tripped on my step several times, it seems a bit dangerous to me. But now that I know it, I do like it (I modified one fluttering foot move that seems useless to me, but I do the rest.) The way I use this tape is to do the hi/lo routine, and then follow up with either Debi's routine one day, then Tina's routine the next time I do the tape, giving me almost a full hour of warm-up, and cardio. I do my own cooldown and stretch, because the stretching at the end is pretty minimal, and not worth the fast-forwarding needed to get to it.
I like the way Bobby put his routine together - it was really non-stop. I would say his cueing was mediocre, but not bad. I call Tina and Debi, "the screamers" because they seemed to be screaming the whole time, which I found a bit irritating. It seems to me that would be more acceptable in a live class, but it gets old on the video. But their cueing is pretty good, and the routines were fun, so I try to ignore the screaming and silliness.
I can't add anything else about Robert's routine that the other reviewers haven't mentioned. His routine is tough but fun. During the intervals between the more choreographed segments, we do plyos. This really gets the heart rate up.
Tina & Debi's step section is not as tough cardio-wise as Robert's section. Tina's choreography is dancey & I didn't have trouble picking up the moves. I had a blast doing them. I didn't like Debi's section as much. It just wasn't as interesting choreography-wise. It was easier to pick up though. I still will do her section since it's o.k.
The toning section is too short (42 minutes for lower body, upper body, & abs). For the lower body, we do lunges, squats, outer thigh work, & calf raises using the steps. Tina does not use weights however. But I always use them anyway to target the muscles better. The upper body had some different moves with the exertube. We also used dumbbells. Debi gives really good pointers about form during this section. I did feel the reps while I was doing the sets. I especially like how Debi mixes up the counts. For example, sometimes we do the reps with 2 counts going up, 2 counts going down. Then we will do them 4 counts going up, 4 counts going down. I really felt the reps doing it that slow. We finish up a set doing 8 single reps. Like the other reviewers state, the upper body section & the ab section could be done twice then I feel it would be a good upper body/ab sculpting workout. We need more variety for the lower body stuff.
Robert is an excellent instructor. He cues really well & he makes me want to exercise. I like when he says, "Don't be afraid to shake." & other stuff like that. And he's not saying it in a chauvenistic manner. Tina & Debi have a lot of energy. They are having fun.
Robert Mellott (who introduces himself as Bobby) starts off with a high/low section that never slows down until the very end. I should call this high-impact -- not high/low. It's wonderful! He keeps you moving at high intensity throughout the whole 35 minutes, and it feels great! I want more of this guy! The choreography is not hard to follow. I'm not sure whether to call it intermediate or advanced in terms of choreography, but it's definitely athletic and not dancy. He also inserts intervals/plyos here and there. This section deserves an A!
Next are Tina and Debi co-teaching a step routine. It looks fun, and I suppose it would be if you're in the right frame of mind, but it didn't do much for me. Some of the dancier-type moves they did just didn't seem to add much either in interest or intensity. But the instructors are very friendly and likeable, and good at cueing. Grade B.
All three instructors are very likeable. The routine done by Tina and Debi wasn't really my style, but they're very engaging instructors. Robert is awesome!
I'm in total agreement with MaryAnn about this tape. Robert Mellott's hi-lo is the best thing about it, and probably the only part I'll be doing regularly. It's very similar to Greg Twombly's style - very intense and jumpy, and just dancy enough to be interesting, yet easy to learn. It also fits easily into small rooms like mine. Robert adds brief plyometric intervals to keep your heart pumping between combos. But I continue to be unimpressed with the step on the 9000 tapes. I managed to pick up Tina's combo after a couple of tries, in spite of her constant chatting, and it has a few fun if tricky moves. Debi's combo was a little less confusing. But with all the shuffling around the step, walking around it, etc., my heartrate couldn't stay up. Both women are so bubbly, I almost thought they were drunk. I didn't even get to the toning part. Unless it's a real earth-shaker, I won't bother fast-forwarding through the step to get to it. A for Robert, B- for the rest.
Robert's cueing could be improved, but he's energetic, enthusiastic and shows promise. Debi and Tina sound like lots of fun in person, but on a video, I wish they chatted and giggled a little less and instructed a little more. Charlene Prickett fans might like their "folksiness".
Robert Melloff is outstanding - as an instructor and choreographer. His hi/lo is one of the best I have ever done on any CIA tape (and I have 20 of them). His routine is mostly high impact, no marches in place, no walking in place, like some other instructors. He goes on and on with no breaks. There are boxed grapevines, v-steps, kicks, jacks, pivots, lunges, 3 or 4 plyometrics segments which gets your heartrate up into the stratosphere. He is great and hope he does more CIA videos.
As for the next section, Tina's routine immediately frustrated me with her fluttering and quick step moves (similar to Patrick on 9001) - Debi's section looked easier to follow but I didn't even try it.
The toning portion of the tape lasted about 40 minutes and was so-so. The upper body was excellent using the tubing (you can substitute weights), and you can do it over again to get in another set. The ab work was good too, but too short like the other CIA's.
I will only do Robert's hi/lo from this tape combined with a different step section from my CIAs.
Robert Mellott's aerobic rules...35 minutes of interesting aerobics that is a mix of high, low and plyometrics...Easy to follow yet not boring. You'll pretty much get most of these moves the first time.
Tina and Debi's class was excellent...Also 35 minutes long, this consisted of stepping. Tina's routine was very cute, along with Debi's. I've taken classes with both of these ladies in person, and I love their style (especially Tina). Fair warning: This portion is definitely made for the intermediate to advanced stepper. Beginners should not try this routine!
The body training section, 42 minutes, was okay/good. I didn't care too much for Tina's leg work; not really challenging enough for me; I felt there should have been more inner thigh work; she also didn't use weights. However, Debi's routine ruled - she gave samples from a lot of different upper body exercises. Debi's upper body routine could be re-wound and done again to get an extra set in; she tells you this near the end of the routine. Tina's lower body and Deb's upper body routine could also be split up - lower body one day and upper body the next day. The whole routine finishes with ab work.
I feel this tape is one of CIA's best; however, I am partial because I have taken both Tina's and Debi's classes before in person. I feel all the moves in the entire video are interesting and not all that complicated to learn.