Still Jumpin'Christi Taylor
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Whew! Christi managed to do it *again*. Actually, I was afraid she couldn't make another workout as great as High/Low Heaven, or else she would try to outdo herself and mess it up. But my fears were totally unfounded -- this is outstanding! It's an hour-long high/low workout, with music that's just as fantastic as that in High/Low Heaven, and advanced intensity throughout. I think the choreography is a little less complex in this one, but certainly not boring. It's divided into two sections. I think they're both roughly equal in time, but I didn't keep track. At the end of the first section, there is an inset with a cooldown/stretch so you can stop there if you want to. If you go all the way through, you will feel totally worked out by the time you're done -- the intensity is constant. Although I am a high-impact person, I did notice that a lot of the moves can be done low-impact. This makes it great for those who shy away from these types of tapes because of the impact. Everything about this workout gets an A+ -- even the covers (really cute)!
If videotapes had personalities - and we all know they do - Still Jumpin' would be my ponytail personality workout. Everything about SJ conspires to make you want to shake your ponytail, snap your fingers and go. Even though I cut my hair short over a year ago, I still manage to make a few little wisps in back bounce and roll when I get into my "hopscotch," my double ponies and my hips-and-heels. American Bandstand, here I come! (Note to self: turn all mirrors to face the wall.)
Before I get too carried away with praise for SJ, not to mention the fascinating nuances of my sweaty hair, here are some details about the actual workout.
SJ is a 60-minute cardio-lovers dream. The music is a great mix of popular vocals and oldie & goodies. "Turn the Beat Around," "Enough is Enough," and "Still the One" are just a few of the songs you'll find yourself happily crooning along to. And if the music doesn't woo you, the choreography sure will. The complexity is on a level with Hi/Lo Heaven's stage one or Happy Hour Hi/Lo. All delivered with Christi's trademark style: she takes a standard hamstring curl, a pony or a mambo, makes a few rhythm and directional changes, adds some crisp and classy arm movements - and suddenly you are way past working out and well into the DQZ. (Dancing Queen Zone.) This is a bare midriff and tie up your shirt tails workout, because you'll just know that Patrick Swayze is coming to dirty dance you off your feet at any moment.
The intensity is about equal to Christi's other hi/lo videos, but because the first two choreography blocks start out mostly low impact, it builds slowly. Don't panic, endorphin addicts, the workout will take off on you before you know it.
Christi has pulled out all the stops to make this workout accessible for choreography addicts and people-who-count-out-the-beats alike. She and the front row of exercisers demonstrate all the spins, pivots and twists that the choreography lovers desire. Then the back two rows - dressed in eye-catching hot yellow shirts - stay with the simpler option. Christi also managed to please the combo lovers and those who can't bear to hear another rendition of "lets take it from the top" by dividing the 45 minutes of cardio into two segments of completely different choreography blocks. Segment 1 has 4 blocks of choreography and lasts almost 25 minutes. Then on to segment 2 which flies by with just 3 blocks of choreography.
And then, for those who don't have time to do the whole workout, no need to fast forward to the cooldown, just follow along with "mini-Christi" on the little screen and stretch while the cast is starting segment two. All of these efforts endear SJ to me even more, because they show that Christi listens to her fans and responds.
Christi's cueing is spot on and peppered with Christi-isms. Right after a song lyric saying, "I can't go on," Christi starts to teach a new step and says, "I'm going on." Pause. "Even though I can't." Pause. Giggle. Then explains. It's cute. And I get completely and embarrassingly choked up when "Still the One" starts playing during the very last combo and Christi dedicates the song to her husband. "Looks like we made it Ö look how far we've come my baby Ö" Yeah, look how far we've come. I love this video.
What can I say, Christi did it again. How can it be possible to keep making video after video and produce such perfection. Only Christi can do that. I am addicted to this tape, especially the first section. Believe it or not, when I first previewed the tape, I was disappointed in the music. The first song in the first section just didn't do it for me. But after two or three times, I found myself smiling and humming along. I love "hips and heels" and the "double ponies." Only Christi can change my mind about a song, and now I sing along while working out to "Dancing Queen." She has the key to the magic box that only she can open and produce workouts like this. I wonder what's next? Whatever it is, I can't wait.
I really like Christiís Just for Fun series. What makes these videos even more special for me is that I got to be at the filming of them. My reviews for both are exactly the same.
The addition of low-impact (for me) and simpler choreography (for others) modifications makes this workout extremely enjoyable. Once again, I love Christiís music, I love the moves, I love seeing higher impact options for days my back doesnít hurt, I love this video!
The only change I would make would be to have all of the participants showing the modifications on one side of the screen and Christi and the ďdancier optionsĒ participants on the other side of the screen rather than having one set in front and the other in back. I think there might be a little less distraction from the viewerís perspective. Some old Jane Fonda tapes did that and it worked well for me (for example, Lean Routine and Janeís first 2 step tapes).
This is a fun, fun workout. I would say the overall intensity is low-advanced/high-intermediate but is fairly consistent throughout the workout (i.e., your heart rate will stay in the same range throughout). The choreography is complex but not overwhelming. I mostly do Cathe videos and it took me about 3 times to get this tape all the way through. Because Christi does such a great job of breaking the moves down, it is really easy to stick to the more basic versions until you are ready to add the twists and turns.
The music is great! Each time I do this video, I like the music more and more. The set is pretty basic, I didn't find anything that was annoying or distracting.
It's obvious that Christi is having a blast with this workout. Her cueing is great and she does a super job of putting each combination together. Also, I really like that she has her background exercisers doing more basic/low impact versions. It makes it really easy to learn/modify the workout. Grade: A.
Still Jumpin is great! Fun and with just right intensity. It was my first Christi's tape and I think it is a good introduction tape to Christi's hi-lo because:
- background exercisers show modifications
- the workout does not move too fast (hi-lo heaven moves faster I think?)
- the choreography is moderate, not too complex.
- Christi's cueing here is excellent and I love how she sings the cues :)
- intensity builds up gradually
The first part of this workout is more low-impact than high-impact probably, and when you start for about 15 minutes you will probably be thinking it is too easy (in terms of intensity) if you got used to Cathe and are advanced exerciser, but intensity increases gradually and it is perfect after about 20 minutes and the whole second part. Intensity is intermediate for the first part and probably hi-intermediate - medium-advanced for the second part. I love the second part a little bit more probably because it has more high impact moves - I like this "jump rope while turning" move most.
The music is the best I have heard on exercise video so far and matches the moves very well. Music was one thing that motivated me to learn the moves, and of course Christi is very motivating and warm. My advice to everybody who got used to simpler, more athletic choreography: give it a try! I used to think I am bad at picking up moves, and I also usually prefer "simple" hi-lo moves. So initially I was reluctant to learn the moves - I would not get the most intense workout the very first /second day because of having to rewind often, but once I got the moves more or less down, I had so much fun and felt like I can dance now! This sense of accomplishment is worth all the time you spend trying to learn this tape, believe me :) And the choreography is not really hard - each time you will get more and more of it... One more thing I noticed: sometimes when I get confused with the move, I would just do something on my own instead, that feels "natural" or fun and know what? sometimes it turns out to be the right move. If not - who cares - I still feel great and do the next move together with Christi.
Several tiny things that I wish were done differently:
- I wish background exercisers were closer - at times it was tough to see them behind the front girls.
- I did not like one move: "out, out and in" - but it's just me and maybe it is partly because I can not get the hand movements for this segment right even now...
- After I did workout many times, about 15 minutes in the beginning where you learn the steps becomes a little bit repetitive and slightly boring; I wish there were a special section of the video where we would just do all combos in full several times - without having to start with simpler steps;
More of good things:
- Loved background exercisers, especially Teresa and Julie - they are truly having fun there and so motivating
- I liked to see VF-ers in the beginning and in the end of this tape
- Small window (that appears on the screen after the first part) with Christi showing stretches is a great idea
- I love the warm-up and cool-down in this workout - I find myself dancing this funny move from the cooldown days after I finished the tape :)
Highly recommend this tape!
Christi is talented, professional and very warm and funny.
Once again, Christi has come up with the kind of tape I wish Donna Richardson had made as a sequel to Donna-Mite. Most of the music on this one is from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s--you'll hear "Wooly Bully," "Then Came You" (made popular by the Spinners and Dionne Warwicke in her pre-Psychic Friends era), "Turn the Beat Around," "Enough is Enough (I Can't Go On), "Still the One", and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," among others. The first time I did this, it was as if time stood still and I was once again in my early 20s partying at the disco. Oh, what fun!!
As is this workout. Christi put as much thought and care into making the warm-up and cool-down as she did the aerobic body of the workout. I just love those shuffle-and-pivot things in the cool-down--very similar to what Franny did in "Cardio Parties." What a blast!
I really appreciate that Christi breaks the cardio into two sections and includes the picture-in-picture cool-down at the beginning of the second cardio section. The first time I did this routine, it was mid-summer 90+ Fahrenheit, and I needed to quit after 25 minutes. How nice not to have to stop and FF to find the cool-down. This workout is great for those kinds of days, as well as the ones where you're in a hurry and just can't do a full hour, or if you're the type of person who best learns Christi's style of cardio one section at a time. I'll be honest, though. I never can just do the first section and then cool down. I'd feel cheated of that great second section--and those fun steps in the full-picture cool-down!
I thought it was great that she includes SEVERAL gals that do the entire routine with some modifications like lower impact and no turns. You can stick with those as long as you need to and still get a good workout. And having several folks rather than just one to show those moves means that they're nearly always in camera range, making them easier to see and follow.
It's also great to see so many of our great VFers on the sidelines at the end and during the blooper section. When I'm done with this workout, it's only 6:00 or 6:15am most days--and yet I've already had a good dose of fun and fellowship.
There was only one quibble I had, and others might find it distracting too. Theresa Han (the lady in the black outfit to the left of the screen) is a wonderful exerciser--energetic, enthusiastic, and it's obvious she loves this workout. But there were times she appeared to be mugging strictly for the benefit of the camera, and a couple of times it distracted me from Christi. It made her little moment in the spotlight--where Christi says, "Theresa and Julie are going to show off now," and they do full American splits during the cooldown--seem redundant. (She does seem a little more like a background exerciser in the Totally Hot Cardio video just released, so I imagine someone told her to tone it down for this production.)
Nonetheless, this is the most frequently used floor tape in my rotation right now. It strikes just the right balance between challenge and fun--as do so many of Christi's projects. Keep 'em coming, Christi!
She's one of the friendliest--if not THE friendlist--instructors in the business. What a woman. When I grow up I want to be just like her!!
I won't say much about this workout since others have already gone into so much detail. I'll just say that I LOVE it. This was my first Christi and I'm so glad I tried it! I knew I would like it from the moment I saw the Collage Video preview clip :) Sixty minutes of cardio could not be more fun than this. And to make things even better, Christi packaged this with Hi/lo Heaven on DVD, so you can mix and match between the two! What fun!!
I tend to be good with choreography so I picked up most of this quite easily. I had a little trouble with the "hop scotch" part but I think that's partially because I ran out of space. YMMV :)
What can you say about Christi that hasn't already been said? She is just great. I cannot say enough good things about Christi.
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.
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).