Happy Hour Hi/LoChristi Taylor
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it several times, although Iíve probably only done the abs portion once or so.
General workout breakdown: This 59-min. workout begins with 7 min. of warm-up, just over 38 min. of hi/lo or floor aerobics, just under 3 min. of cool-down and stretch, and ends with just over 10 min. of abdominal strength training.
This has been broken down and discussed so well by so many others that Iíll just add a few thoughts.
I agree that overall this feels more like CIA 7004, a slightly more athletic style than Christiís later offerings, and that the amount of repetition is at the upper limits of my realm of tolerance (admittedly I have a pretty high level), especially that last portion of combo #3, which just doesnít make me jump up and down with excitement. As someone who came to this after learning Christiís somewhat later routines (the ones from the early 2000s, like Totally Hot Cardio, Solid Gold Cardio, Still Jumpiní, and Hi-Lo Heaven) I have to admit Iím partial to her later style, so this is a little harder for me to like, but ďnot my favorite ChristiĒ and even ďa kind of dated ChristiĒ means I still think this is better than many of the other hi/lo workouts out there.
This is definitely mixed impact if done as is, although you can add a few more hops and skips here and there or take some out as you see fit, as others have mentioned. There are a few pivots and other quick turns, some of which are going to be hard to take it unless youíre very confident in your ability to modify, especially without modifiers shown.
Level: Iíd recommend this to at least intermediate exercisers comfortable with at least moderately complex choreography.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced whoís definitely better than average at picking up (although maybe not executing) choreography. This workout gets me into that moderately high heart rate zone that leaves me feeling worked out but not wiped out (you know, it leaves me a sweaty mess, but I donít feel like Iíve been run over by a steamroller), and the choreography keeps my interest, although unlike some other of Christiís workouts I think my body gets more of a workout here than my brain.
Class: 2 women join Christi. (As noted, thereís a swap in the early part of the workout, and the replacement does an amazing job keeping up, although thatís partly a testament to Christiís great cuing.)
Music: upbeat instrumental and some vocals. I canít say I really recognized anything (this is one of the older videos I have, so I donít have many other videos that would have been using this soundtrack), nor would I consider this particularly exciting.
Set: CIA set with kind of a Southwestern flair in its desert-colored walls, geometric designs, and large earthenware pots (although Iím not sure where the large green plant fits into that scheme).
Production: clear picture and sound (especially since this is a VHS transfer), camera angles that prove more helpful than not.
Equipment: sneakers that can pivot on your flooring.
Space Requirements: You need to be able to take several big steps side to side (at least a grapevine with room to do a little more on the ends) plus a few steps forward and back. If you donít have quite as much depth as length, as is the case in my space, you can keep most of the moves that travel forward and back in place, but youíll still need to be able to go side to side.
DVD Notes: This comes on the Terrific Trio DVD with Stepping Zone and Strength, Balance & Flexibility.
You can skip the intro to get right to the main menu. Your choices for Happy Hour High/Low are Introduction, Warm-up, Jumbo Combo #1, Jumbo Combo #2, Jumbo Combo #3, Cool-Down & Stretch, Abdominals, and Credits. (Additional options are to Contact Tayloríd Fitness and Christi Taylorís Aerobic Instructor Training Program.)
Christi is as always upbeat and focused on cuing. She cues ahead of the move rather than on it, as per usual. She mirror cues, with a decent amount of verbal and visual directional cues included. I was surprised to read comments on Christiís lack of cuing, because I felt she cued consistently throughout the workout, although I suspect what is tripping people up is her reliance on shorthand cues rather than breaking down footfalls or stating all components of a move (e.g. ďright lungeĒ refers to a series of lunges that starts on the right foot, but if youíre expecting ďright lunge, left lunge, now right again,Ē than I can se how youíd feel cues are missing). Those of us who are familiar with Christi know that she does this, but she could have been clearer that sheíd just use a short term to refer to a series of moves (she does make a point to do this in some of her last videos, however). I agree that Christiís amount of preparation beforehand makes things seem effortless Ė the cuing, the transitions, the matching of moves to music, and even the fun!
This is the second Christi Taylor video I've tried, and I think it will probably be my last. Those who enjoy advanced choreography--including frequent directional changes, turns, etc.--are likely to enjoy this video, but I've found that complicated aerobic workouts are just not for me.
Christi's 7-minute warm-up immediately introduces you to some of the moves that you will use in the first aerobics pattern, and she also includes a series of stretches. During the aerobics portion, Christi first teaches a very simple, easy-to-follow combo, but then she increases the intensity and complexity by adding on, which usually included arm movements and directional changes. She utilizes a "take it from the top" teaching style in which she frequently returns to the very beginning, combining all combos learned thus far. There are about six different sequences in this workout, and at the end of the aerobics portion, Christi runs through the entire routine several times in a row, bringing the aerobics in at about 39 minutes.
At the end of the aerobics, Christi spends about 2.5 minutes stretching before moving on to the abs work. In this segment, Christi does not perform the moves herself; rather, she supervises two of her background exercisers. The abs work consists mainly of standard crunches, but Christi ups the challenge by performing many of the moves with one leg in the air as well as inserting plank holds between the abs sets. The abs section is about 10 minutes long, and then Christi finishes with a few more quick stretches to bring the entire workout time in at just under an hour (I clocked it at 59 minutes).
Although I actually found the aerobics portion here to be slightly more easier to follow than the other Christi video I had tried, it was still very confusing to me. As a result, I found myself frequently modifying the routine (sticking with the initial simplier version of the move, cutting out the turns, etc.) to the extent that I wasn't able to keep my heart rate consistent and didn't feel like I got a very good workout. While this is definitely a solid workout for those who enjoy complex cardio routines, choreography klutzes like myself would do best to look elsewhere.
Christi generally offers excellent mirrored cueing, although I found that she does not always cue all the moves in the combo every time through (ie, she assumes you've learned it, which wasn't always the case for me). She's quite chipper and often sings out her instructions. She works out with two background exercisers, but no modifications are shown during the aerobics portion (there are some modifications for the abs moves).
I have to say out of all the 150 or videos I have, Happy Hour Hi-Lo and Kari Anderson's Two the Max are currently my favorite all-cardio tapes at this time!!!
She begins with a 7 minute warmup and stretch, then does approx 40 min of cardio...
Her fun, calm, sweet demeanor makes her feel like a workout partner more than an instructor. She makes all the moves look effortless, and takes you through each move, usually shows you the move first before you try to do it...
the moves are not complex :... she will do 2 or 4 reps of a move then on to 2 of another then on to 2 of another.... the trick is learning the names of the moves so that you know what comes next... That is I think the reason they say this tape is complex.... But I was able to mostly follow and I'm NOT a dancer by a longshot!!!
The music is techno.... (DH enjoyed listening while he was washing the car) for me this music just makes me want to move... When she does a pivot she places other moves in between...unlike others who go from one spin to another without giving you a chance to catch up... and she brings you down to marches every so often...
After the cardio she does a 10 min(approx) Ab session...
then finishes with a standing stretch...
I think she's outstanding!!!!... I can't wait to receive her hi-lo heaven...
Total Rating: 10 out of a possible 10 points... Her charisma is enigmatic, and her energy is contagious. If you like hi-lo and you are willing to put effort in to learning at first, you will not be disappointed.. just my opinion.
Her fun, calm, sweet demeanor makes her feel like a workout partner more than an instructor. She makes all the moves look effortless, and takes you through each move, usually shows you the move first before you try to do it...
I'm kind of glad I procrastinated in reviewing this video, because now I can compare and contrast it with Christi's newest, Hi-Lo Heaven. A year after its release, Happy Hour is still an excellent video that should not be forgotten in all the (well-deserved) accolades being heaped on Hi-Lo Heaven.
The music is the same as on CIA 9905 and a few other CIA videos. It is a good, driving instrumental soundtrack, but doesn't have all the pop hits HLH boasts. And it doesn't have the eye-catching Heavenly Bodyguards, although Yinka, Tonya and Kim are all good dancers. However, I think Happy Hour's choreography is every bit as good as HLH's. If I have just under an hour, I usually reach for Happy Hour instead of HLH. There are three combos, with some left and right splits within them, and the whole thing is as tightly put together as a brand new Lexus. Christi's transitions are just the best on earth - keep putting one foot after the other, and before you know it, you've gone from simply jogging up and down the room to twirling and leaping like a pro. Half the time I don't even notice when Kim enters the room! It did take me awhile to get over what happened to Tonya, but she looks so joyful and radiant that I'm glad her family decided to leave her in the video. There is some TIFTing, as one would expect in a long-combo video, but not as much as on 9801, plus the warmup is separate from the main routine. Happy Hour remains a must-have or at least a must-try for any Christi fan, and if you were befuddled by Hi-Lo Heaven, it may provide an easier way to latch on to her amazing talent. Grade A+ (as if there was any question).
I have only done this video twice, so having said that, here are my thoughts thus far. I enjoy this video and I find it inevitable that I compare it to 9801. The intensity feels about the same as 9801, but maybe a little less. I get a good cardio workout, but I have to really concentrate on it. The choreography is definitely not as complex, which I liked on my first time through when I was learning, but I donít know how long this workout will keep my attention. It may just be a little too repetitive and simple for me long-term.
I feel that I am being a bit negative, because this is a really good video. The workout is fun, the choreography is still challenging compared to most, and the intensity is moderate to high. The ab work makes for a nice end to the workout. Overall, I enjoy the workout and will probably use it once every other week or so.
Christy is her usual self here; a great teacher and motivator. She seems to pay more attention to intensity level and the health of the exercisers in this video, e.g. a lot of reminders to drink water and take it easy.
Fun Fun Fun! Challenging, but not frustrating. A little weird to watch, given that many people know that the gal who grapevines off at the end died the next day. I found myself watching her looking for signs of distress. There's a sweet "in memory" at the end, though.
Absolutely awesome cuing!
I don't have much to add to what the previous reviewers have said; this is just my attempt at helping Happy Hour Hi/Lo get into the Hall of Fame where it belongs. If you are an intermediate to advanced exerciser who likes complex/dancy choreography, this video is an absolute must-have! Generally, I prefer step, as I get easily bored with hi-lo routines, but not here! As has been mentioned, you can make this one as low-key or as advanced as you want it to be. I believe that Collage has this as a "higher" impact video; I have found it to be fairly easy to modify to mostly low impact (I have an injury that is preventing me from high impact right now, and I am SO GLAD that I'm still able to do this workout). It's fairly carpet-friendly, but you do need a moderate amount of space.
The ab section is icing on the cake. I really like the way Christi switches back and forth between standard crunches and plank position stabilization work. A winner!
Christi is GREAT! I was turned on to Christi's workouts later than many, and I'm so glad that I gave them a try! Now I'm addicted! Her cueing is clear, and when she makes an occasional blooper she will joke about it. The way she sings her cues is a breath of fresh air. She's just so down to earth and REAL!
I have to agree with the rest of the crowd on this one. It's great! In my opinion, Christi is the most exciting hi/lo choreographer on video today, and she doesn't disappoint here.
I don't have too much to add to other reviews, other than my big "thumbs up" and my agreement that this video is a little easier to catch on to than 9801. I still have to give 9801 the slight edge on the fun factor, but I think that's primarily because I adore 9801's music.
If you liked Christi in CIA 7002 and 9801, don't even THINK about passing this one up!
This is an all-out rave from me. I LOVE this video. With a very few exceptions, hi/lo is usually not my favorite workout, but I find myself preferring this video to many of my beloved step videos. Happy Hour is the one I find myself reaching for on those days that I just am NOT motivated to work out. Here's why:
Christi provides a workout that is dancy AND athletic at the same time. Happy Hour is complex, but much less so than the hi/lo in 9801 and there is less choreography to remember. And it is more cardio-vascularly challenging than her 9801 routine. But not as intense as my other favorite hi/lo's (Franny's hi/lo in 9905, Greg Twombly's in 9003 and Cathe F's Max. Intensity Cardio)
Unlike her 9801 hi/lo, the warm-up is not repeated in the body of her workout. But it is fun, interesting and you'll break a sweat doing it.
Lots of Christi's famous rhythm changes keep the workout fresh and interesting.
And, of course, Christi's incredible cueing and instruction. She's a genius.
As in all of her hi/lo workouts, Christi takes it from the top, but she does it in a balanced way and will usually teach a big chunk of choreography before she has you go back and repeat it all. I have yet to get tired of the repetition. Although Christi spends time breaking down the moves to teach them, she keeps you moving throughout the workout and provides plenty of easy substitutions if you want to modify down either the intensity or complexity. And for intensity-addicts like me -- I could modify UP! UP! UP! with ease and joy. Yippee!
The music is good -- I've got to admit that the 9801 music was better, but I like this music too.
The ab work is really good. She punctuates the crunches with 3 different sets of stabilization work.
Tiny picky complaint: I wish that the cooldown was a little longer and more of a finished combo.
On a sad note:
Some people may be uncomfortable with the fact that background exerciser Tonya grapevines off the set halfway through the video and another exerciser replaces her. As many VFers know, Tonya collapsed and received medical attention halfway through the workout. At her urging, Christi & the others finished the video without her. During a stress test at the hospital the next day, Tonya collapsed and died. This provides an extremely sad note to the workout, yet at the same time, it is uplifting to know that Tonya's two young children will be able to have this video tribute to their mom, who appears full of joy and good health.
For your frame of reference, I'm an advanced level exerciser and my other favorite instructor is Cathe Friedrich.
I LOVE Christi. The more I do other videos, the more I appreciate the brilliance of Christi. She is so natural and full of joy with the camera, her workouts feel so spontaneous and fresh -- yet her routines are practically flawless, and you can tell she put a lot of thought into the design and instruction of the choreography, along with many hours spent practicing the routine. I'd love to take a live class with this woman.
I don't know what it is about this video, but it really does provide me with a *happy* hour! Of all the tapes I own, this one seems to go by the fastest! I've only done it three times, but I really like it. I'm actually smiling as I do it, maybe because it doesn't seem as intense as my Cathe Friedrich tapes. (I'd rate Happy Hour as low advanced.) I wanted a hi/lo tape to alternate with my step tapes, so I read the reviews, picked this one, and I'm really glad I did. The music is great, and the moves are a lot of fun. This is my first experience using a Christi Taylor tape, but it won't be my last. I was worried about the choreography--I've read how complex her moves are--but even though I still don't have the tape down 100%, it's so much fun to do that I don't care. I even like the ab work at the end.
Christi's a very down-to-earth and likeable instructor. For some reason, I even like it when she sings her cues!
I don't know how else to describe this tape but to say Wow. I've only been seriously exercising for the past 9 months, so I'm probably a high intermediate. Since I have a strong dance backround, I get really bored with most tapes that are at my level, so most of my tapes are advanced. I have to say that this tape is at a perfect level for those who want an intense workout that isn't killer. The warm up is a full combo, so you are able to get into it right away instead of doing a lot of marching in place. She then builds four combos for the body of the workout. After you learn each combo she combines it with what you've learned before. In some videos this might get boring, but not in this one. The choreography is so much fun that I know I'm working hard, but I'm not watching the clock. After the body of the workout there is a short cool down, then she goes into ab work. It's not anything new really. A lot of crunches at different speeds that she breaks up into three parts by having you hold a push-up position. I strongly recommend this tape for anyone who likes lots of interesting choreography. I do suggest that you preview it at least once before doing it. It really helped me know where the more intricate parts were in the tape before I did it. Rose
Christi is in her element when designing intricate choreography. She is having a great time instructing on this tape, and it's contageous.
I love this tape (but Christi has not made a tape yet which I do not love.) The intensity is advanced, but not killer. It is more intense than 9801 and seems more similar in intensity to the hi/low portion of 7002. It is a nice mix of high and lower impact moves.
The choreography is also advanced, but there is less choreography than in her tape 9801. It is taught more slowly and is easier to learn. Some moves are similar to previous tapes (like the squat on each side with no pausing in the middle, and hamstring turns -which I love) but there are also new moves and the choreography is put together in a new and fresh way. The choreography has more of an athletic feel in this tape than in 9801, which felt a bit more dancy to me.
The warmup is about 7 minutes and is actually a very fun low impact combo by iteself. The workout is about 38 minutes and is made up of 3 long combos (or you could look at it like 6 shorter combos - I am going by when she switches left and right leads). When teaching the combos, Christi takes it from the top halfway through teaching each combo and again at the end of teaching the combo. You only go through once on each leg, so it is not too irritating. (Although it might get more irritating as time goes on.) At the very end, I think you do the whole routine 3 times through. The cooldown is very short, and the stretch is also short (one of the few flaws in the tape.) An ab workout which is about 10 minutes is also included at the end of workout.
This will definitely be a long time favorite of mine.
Christi is my favorite instructor for two reasons, and both apply here as well as her other tapes. She is the best at creating interesting, fun and smooth choreography. The moves always flow well into each other, even from one combo to the next. Also, she is an excellent teacher.
I REALLY like this high/low workout. It's at an advanced level, with interesting choreography that's not dancy, and it's a lot of fun. Having said that, I do have to admit that it is not one I would want to do too often. The reason is that it just borders on being too repetitive. If we had done the final combo one more time, that would have been too much repetition. So to keep it fun for myself, I'm not going to do it very often (maybe once a month); otherwise I'd get bored with it. I do not care for the abs section (except for the stabilization), because that really is much too repetitive! But I didn't buy this tape for the ab work, so that doesn't bother me. Grade A-.
The master is at it again - a great hi/lo tape from one of the very best. The choreography is much easier than 9801 - more like 7002. I love the music even though it's overplayed on the other CIAs. I just never get sick of hearing that tune from the warm-up of Interval Max and Franny's 9905. It's 38 minutes long with Christi's usual fun combos that are never boring. The ab routine was 9 minutes with three sets of push-ups interspersed - very intense (nice to see Julie, from 9801 joining them). Any fan of her other tapes will not be disappointed.
Christi is amazing - she makes every workout worth every penny. Her tapes can be used over and over without boredom. Her personality is contagious and you can't help but giggle when you workout with her. I greatly admire her and hope she continues to make videos for many years.