Half and Half

Karen Voight
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

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NAME Karen Voight
DURATION 67 minutes
EQUIPMENT Handweights and a sturdy chair
TYPE Weights and Cardio
IMPACT Mixed but easily modifiable
INTENSITY Moderate but easily modifiable
LEVEL Beginner to low intermediate

This is a good workout led by fitness expert Karen Voight. The DVD is actually a compilation of two DVDs: Calorie Burn (cardio segment) and Get Firm Fast (strength segment). Hence the name Half and Half. This workout consists of four main sections: cardio (27 mins), weights (23 mins), and floorwork (17 mins).

I'll review the cardio portion first: Cardio is mixed impact, but the moves are easily modified. The choreography is very simple, mostly step touches, knee ups, hamstring curls, toe taps, with various arm movements. You can keep the heart rate up by really intensifying the moves (taking larger steps, exaggerating arm movements, jumping a little). She doesn't really take the time to stretch before the workout however. Karen cues very well. The music is enjoyable.

Now, on the strength: the toning section has both seated and standing exercises. You start off working the lower body by doing leg raises to the side and thigh raises with a dumbbell resting against the leg. You also do several sets squats, one legged dead lifts, and lunges holding onto a chair for support. There aren't too many reps of each exercise, maybe 12. Then you have seated exercises. There are bicep curls, some exercises for the chest, tricep extensions, tricep kickbacks, bent over rows, front raises, side raises, and overhead raises.

Floorwork: consisted mainly of yoga inspired moves for the lower back and ab work. Stretching session at the end.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the workout. This is great for beginners, as Karen gives many form pointers. I also think that if you are short on time (as I have been lately) or just feel that you don't feel like working out that Karen's Half and Half will get you on your way.

PROS: Music was enjoyable. Great form pointers. Got a lot done in a short time. I felt I got a good workout without having to go all out. I would not rely on this workout for strength or endurance gains, however. This workout is strictly for maintenance.

CONS: The cardio section was way short. I would have liked for it to have been at least 10 minutes longer. Plus, the stretching section was lacking on the cardio portion of the workout. If you go straight to weights, there is no warm up, so I guess this workout assumes you would be doing both workouts back to back. This isn't really a con, though, because you can add your own warm up.


Instructor Comments:
Karen is her usual understated, encouraging self.



I did this workout for the first time today, and really enjoyed it. The cardio is mostly low impact done on the floor. Toning is integrated into the cardio. Arms have a large range of motion in this workout, which loosens up tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. The weight portion is medium weight, medium rep, and the lower body toning is great. The core work incorporates back and ab strength. The workout ends with a relaxing stretch. I burned a lot of calories with this workout- 455 in about an hour!

Instructor Comments:
Professional, elegant, excellent cuing



Iíll be brief in this review as others have broken down the content quite nicely. I tend to use this (and many other DVDs I own FWIW), in parts. I RARELY do the entire workout as is. I just wanted to add my opinion as I just LOVE the ab and back work in this one. Itís quick and effective. Karen is her usual mellow self, and the music is good without getting tiresome. I also enjoy the cardio section on days when I want to do some cardio but donít have time or energy enough for a longer workout or a more intense one. I like to do this cardio with the cardio from Sleek Physique for a bit longer session. I did not find it particularly difficult to follow, but I catch on to choreography easier than some Ė not really quick, but not slow either. My one complaint about the DVD is similar to what another reviewer mentioned in that there is no option to do the entire workout Ė although I would rarely do this, I did find it odd. I would also prefer is abs & back were separate chapters so that I could do abs without ff through the back work. I realize this may be Karenís way of trying to make sure we do the back & ab section together for proper balance, but I confess, sometimes I just want that ab section!

Instructor Comments:
Iíve been a Karen Voight fan since my first exposure to her with Your Personal Best. Her personality, although I understand some find it dry, is one that I know I can enjoy without ever once feeling ďSheís getting on my nervesĒ. The thing I enjoy most about Karenís workouts so far is their longevity Ė I think she chooses music, sets, and her commentary very carefully so that her workouts will stand the test of time. I hate hearing the same jokes over and over again! KV has yet to say anything or use music that grates on my nerves after several spins in the DVD player.



I bought this video off the Ya-Ya exchange. I love all Karen\'s new stuff. Usually, I wait for them to hit the retail outfits like Target but I didn\'t feel like waitng.
This is a great DVD. The menu options are Half Cardio, Half Weights and Mix and Match. In mix and match you can choose Warm-up(4 1/2 min), Cardio(23 min), Weights(12 min lower, 10 min upper), and Floorwork(back 5 min, abs 6 min and stretch 6 min).
The cardio is fairly uncomplicated and does not take up a lot of space. There is some jumping but it easily modified and there isn\'t really that much. I modify because I don\'t like to jump. I liked the music, there is vocals and it sounds kind of clubby, like you hear on a dance station. You never really stay on one combo for too long, there is very little tiftt, and it moves right along. I have only done that section once.
Weights is next. The same type club music is in this section also. I have done this section many times. There is no warm-up so I do that first. Lower body is first, you start off with plies. Then you work one leg at a time. There is inner and outer thigh work, lunges done at differnt tempos and one-legged deadlifts. Then you do squats and move onto the other leg. She uses 8 or 10lb weights and one exerciser uses 5lbs and they all use a chair.
Upper body is next. She has you work your back, chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps with one exercise after the other. There is no resting. Most of the exercises are done sitting in the chair. The chest work is very skimpy though, I usually do a couple sets of push-ups before moving to the floorwork.
Back and Abs are next. Back is done first and then abs using traditional and pilates exercises. I love her ab and backwork and was not disappointed in this section. It doesn\'t last long but it\'s effective and efficient in Karen\'s usual manner. A relaxing stretch follows, it is mostly lower body focused.
I\'m glad I did not wait to get this. I think it\'s a must for Karen fans. A solid intermediate video, I did work up a sweat on both sections and my lower body was slightly sore in a good way the next day. A keeper!

Instructor Comments:
Karen is her usual excellent self in the video. She gives clear and concise instuction in her no-nonsense way. She\'s also in great shape and looks like she really enjoys herself. There are 2 background exercisers with her. There is nice bright set with exercise equipment in the background and pictures of her video cover on the walls.



This workout consists of four main sections: cardio (27 mins), weights (23 mins), and floorwork (17 mins). Cardio is mixed impact, and the weight section only uses a set of dumbbells and a chair. The floorwork includes abs and back as well as a good stretch.

The cardio section is 23 minutes plus 4 minutes of warm-up. I'm an intermediate exerciser and I found it to be a comfortable yet challenging pace for me. She moves quickly from section to section so it doesn't get too repetitive. Low impact moves are shown first, building up to higher impact moves, so you can stay at low impact if you want to. I did find that she seemed to be in a bit of a rush to teach some sections and get everything into that 23 minutes. The cueing tends to be a little bit off in places. I also found myself wishing that this section was a little longer. That said, I think this will be a really versatile piece of cardio - easy to combine with other parts of the tape or add on to other workouts.

In the introductory lecture Karen said that she would be using 8 pound weights. I used 10 plus 2 pound ankle weights for the leg section and still didn't find it to be that tough. Advanced exercisers would probably find this to be too easy. The only other equipment used here is a chair for balance. There are some interesting leg lifts that I found to be a nice break from the usual endless rounds of squats and lunges. The upper body part is similar in style. Karen uses the same weight for all exercises and moves very quickly in between exercises. This means that you get a lot done in a short amount of time. However, if you wanted to switch weights there isn't much time to do it.

Then there's a 17 minute floor work section. The abs and back portions are short (5-6 minutes each) but tough! Again, some interesting and different moves here that are quite refreshing. Some pilates influence in the abs section. I really enjoyed the stretch at the end too.

A few more things: the music is dance club type stuff - Brittney Spears sort of thing (not that I know much about popular music).... with some more alternative type stuff mixed in. The set looks like an aerobics studio with some equipment in the background. It seemed kind of dark and shadowy at first but I didn't notice much while doing the workout. There were two background exercisers, one of whom was doing low impact modifications during the cardio section (pretty sure abut that - I didn't pay much attention to them).

The DVD is fully chaptered, but for some reason there is no option to do the entire workout. So after each section you have to go back out to the menu and choose the next one.

In summary:

This workout might be for you if: you donít have a lot of time to work out, you need a short abs/back/stretch section to add on to other workouts, you donít like a lot of equipment changes, you like Karen Voightís style, youíre looking for a flexible workout that you can use in many different ways.

This workout might not be fore you if: youíre a choreography clutz, you like to customize your weight for each exercise, you usually work out with advanced videos such as Cathe.

I did like this workout and I think I'll find myself doing it, or parts of it, quite often. The way the different sections are broken up will make it really easy to add parts on to other workouts. It would also be a great addition for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to work out.

Instructor Comments:
This is my first time I've seen worked out with the new, long-haired Karen. It's kind of strange, because she looks so much different but moves and sounds the same as always! As usual, Karen uses a straightforward instructional style with lots of form pointers.