Fit to DanceChristi Taylor
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.
Just a note: Christi introduces this as ďDance Fit.Ē
General workout breakdown: Denise and Marcy have already described this one so well thereís little for me to add except a few quick notes and a few fleshed out comments:
- I thought the pace was reasonable: not too fast, not too slow.
- I found some of the strength moves awkward, namely the superman and/or back leg lifts on the step (I followed the modifiers on the floor), the knee bends in the down dog leg lift series, and the core segment seated on the step (this series bothered my hip flexors and wrists).
- Overall this can be kept low impact and pivot-free, if thatís an issue for you, although there are a few twists, bounces, and hip action to be wary of if your knees are very sensitive to torque. Those with wrist issues should preview first and come up with alternatives for a few moves.
This is an ďintervalĒ workout in the CIA / Collage sense of intervals, namely alternating one style of exercise with another, especially cardio and weights. That said, Christi does mention changing your heart rate, bringing it down at some points but then bumping it up at others. Perhaps because this was my first time with this workout I didnít find the changes to be dramatic enough to be true intervals for me (I was wearing my heart rate monitor, so this isnít just going by perceived exertion), plus I sometimes found that when Christi said my heartrate should be soaring it wasnít all that high and when she said it should be dropping it was staying pretty steady. At any rate, I agree this felt more like cardio work with weights added to boost the intensity rather than the full body strength training routine promised on the front cover, and I used it as such. Those who use this for strength training will find more endurance benefits than anything else, as this is definitely a lighter weights / higher reps kind of workout. You most likely wonít be going to fatigue, much less exhaustion or even failure. I canít think of any body part thatís way overdone or underdone, although the arms get a lot of attention in the relative scheme of things. IMHO this is rather light on the legs, with very little weighted lower body work, but if you want you can really get into those lunges, squats, etc. (which may involve going slower than Christi) to get more out of the moves.
The moves here are pretty simple, and Christi gradually adds in variations or new steps. If you somehow donít get something the first time around, donít worry because youíll have numerous opportunities to practice things with the multiple runthroughs. There is no TIFTing, or taking it from the top; once the song is over the moves are thrown away (although a number of the strength moves, like lunges, squats, biceps curls, and triceps kickbacks, appear multiple times).
In some ways this one is great for those who crave variety, because youíre doing something different every five minutes. That said, this can also get rather repetitive, because within that 5-minute song you may be doing the same thing or at least similar things many times. So this is a good one for days when you donít want to have to think too hard but donít want to settle for zoning out on an hour-long run; itís not such a good one for days when you crave lots of intellectual stimulation (which some of Christiís older step and hi/lo workouts can certainly provide!).
Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediate through maybe intermediate / advanced exercisers with some familiarity with step and weights. You certainly donít have to be a choreo hound or serious weights person to like this; in fact, you might find it more enjoyable if youíre not! Similarly, those who donít consider themselves intensity junkies or high impact lovers may find this much more their speed.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced exerciser, and this workout was a nice solid one for me: not particularly challenging, but not a light day workout, either. I love Christiís hi/lo and step, but Iím not the biggest fan of much of her strength training segments, as some of them feel a little too different for the sake of being different to me, and unfortunately this had a few of those (I guess Iím a back to basics kind of gal at the moment).
Class: 4 women join Christi, who does the whole routine and instructs live. As mentioned, the 2 in the back (but positioned more toward the center so theyíre almost always visible) stick with the basic versions in some cases to modify.
Music: The cover boasts of music by DJ Brian Howe and music styles ranging from hip hop and jazz to reggae and Latin to classical and Italian love songs. The upbeat music has a few instrumental tracks but has more vocal songs, most of which are pop-style happy love songs, and the distinction between styles isnít all that dramatic, IMHO. I canít say I recognized any of them except the ďDance of the Sugar Plum FairyĒ on the synthesizer, however.
Set: the usual interior set for Christiís latest productions: gauzy white curtains along a plain wall (here highlighted in green lights) with column-like thingies.
Production: clear picture and sound (although Christiís microphone almost sounded a tad echo-y at first), usually helpful camera angles focused on showing the exercisers.
Equipment: step (Christi & co. use a Reebok step; I used my full-sized club step with one set of risers Ė the drawback to this one is the ridged top, which means if you also have this you might want to grab a towel or mat to place down for many of the strength moves) and at least one pair of dumbbells (I also used 5#; interestingly, as Marcy mentioned, Christi recommends 3-5#, but the back cover recommends 5-8#). Christi also recommends putting a pillow or towel on the step for the superman and leg lifts on the step, but honestly theyíre more comfortable on the floor or lying the other way around on the step).
Oh, Christi and her crew appear to be wearing black weight lifting gloves (not weighted gloves, as it might seem at first glance). Those are definitely not necessary, unless your dumbbells are really rough or something.
Space Requirements: Youíll need space to work all along the step, especially behind the platform, but this doesnít require much extra space beyond that.
DVD Notes: After a quick kind of blurry homemade-video introduction showing some behind the scenes-type stuff, the main menu pops up listing Play All, Play All with Music Only, Intro, all of the different ďintervalsĒ individually, and Credits.
I agree that Christi cues well and mirror cues; itís worth noting she cues well ahead of the move, which may take some getting used to if you normally work with instructors who cue on the move change. She has a positive, encouraging personality thatís not too perky, although she does sing some cues and sing along (which never bothers me, but I understand it drives some people up the wall). Sheís comfortable in front of the camera but still professional, as always.
Today I did Christi Taylor's Fit to Dance which I got in a trade. It's a 70 min. long "interval" workout". I guess you could call it a circuit workout because it uses weights but I think it more to be cardio and the weights add an extra intensity. Although there was core work which was pretty good. I heard mixed reviews on this like either you love it or you hate it. I guess I'm in the love category because it was actually just the right kind of workout for me right now (starting to do lower intensity workouts after doing 3 years of Cathe's high intensity). It consists of 13 intervals, 1 and 13 being the warmup and cooldown and stretch. I'll go over briefly the other intervals:
2 - Power scissors, jacks, knee repeaters with arms, hip shaking
3 - Used 5# - step crossbacks with bicep curls, kickbacks, chest press and upright rows and overhead press with kicks
4 - Step - Step side, cross back (mambo 2x - pulsing) with arms, squat off side, cha cha, squat off back, cha cha
5 - 5# - Squat off step with bicep curls, squat off, cha cha with bicep curls and kickbacks, squat off back with front delt raise
6 - Running mambo, running basics (2 across step), step touch 4x (fast beat) (really hopping side to side), funky arms at the end
7 - Supermans on step, back leg lifts lying prone on step, leg raises and knees bend and straighten, scoop pushups (divebombers) and leg lifts (standing splits)
8 - Grapevines, ponies, walk 3x forward and hop knee, skip in place, 2 pivots
9 - 5# - Squat side with side delt raise, pulse delt raises (3x); turn to diagonal and straighten arm each side and then with heel while bringing elbow back; back lunge with kickback and then bicep curls with back leg lift
10 - (core work) Sitting on step (like you're about to do tricep dips), lift one leg at a time, then lift hips into bridge; tap toes 3x in front (sounds easy but really felt it in my core), tap toe out to side and kick 4x in front alternating legs
11 - Step - stepback lunges with pulses (and arms overhead) and hips, squat side and cha cha
12 - 4 situps while lying on step, lift R leg, L leg, then toe taps (8x), pull arms in, stand up with arms up, come back down on step (repeat many, many times).
Christi uses 5# for all the weighted intervals (as did I) and her modifiers used 3#. I found 5# to be enough.
Choreography was basic but for some reason, I didn't mind it not being complex (which is what I love and why I fell in love with Christi in the first place). Music was good.
Christi is great at cueing as usual although this one didn't need much. She is her usual bubbly self singing along as she goes. She really seems to like shaking her hips although there was nothing complicated about it.
Bored with your dvd workouts? Have exercise A.D.D? Then you'll enjoy Christi Taylor's Fit to Dance workout. The 70 minute workout contains 13 different modules, each with a separate music track, which is sure to keep interest high.
Christi's somewhat dancey combo's are light & fun, nothing too intricate. (Christi uses 2 modifiers for those that may find the moves too difficult) You'll need a step, a set of light hand weights and if desired, a mat for the abdominal work at the end.
Sometimes intermixing strength moves within the choreography, you'll tone the entire body as you burn fat. Christi uses multiple exercise principles, varying from dance to high-low, step to pilates, hip hop to more traditional strength work. The workout contains the following chapters (including one for warm-up and another for cool-down):
Squat Combo: 3 pulses with a knee, lunges, squats and twisting moves included in this segment.
Walking Weights: Slowing the pace, Christi begins with step back ball change & hip rocks. The leg pattern remains the same throughout as Christi adds different elements to strengthen biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest.
Latin Legs: Christi uses the step in this segment. Dancy latin moves are incorporated. (lots of ball changes, cha-cha's, turn step moves)
Nutcracker: Weights and the step are used to work the legs and upper body at the same time. (my legs felt it in this segment from all the marches on & off the step)
Hip Hop: Christi throws in some easy to follow hip hop moves. It's pretty quick feet work, however she keeps it low impact.
Core: Lying over the step (or modify on the floor), you'll train the back muscles.
Aerobics: Using more traditional moves, Christi puts together a little combo that includes such favorites as grapevines, step touches and hamstring curls.
Squats & Weights: Basic squats with upper body movement continue to keep the heart rate up all while toning the legs/upper body.
More Core: Seated on the step, Christi begins with leg kicks. She continues with glute lifts. This segment has some seated jacks & quick kicks so participants may want to view it at least 1 time to get the feel of the exercises.
Lunges: Non weighted lunges off the top of the step with various rhythmn changes are offered in this section.
Abs: Traditional ab work (situps, crunches) are performed while laying on the step (or floor). This really fine tunes the core area.