Timesaver Cardio Fat Burner

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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Well, after giving this one away years ago, I recently had a craving to do it. Not sure why-- perhaps I have overdosed on badass Jillian and Bob Harper workouts lately.
So, I got a copy and was eager to pop it in the DVD player and get to work. Part of me wondered if it would be yet another case of :have to have that workout! Now that I have it-- what was I thinking?" Thankfully, this was not the case.
Yes, yes, Kathy is a little overexcited in this workout and there is a fair amount of whooping but it really didn't bother me. Like I said, maybe I've overdosed on the badass attitude prevalent on other workouts and a little enthusiasm and joy provides something of an antidote.
As usual, Kathy has good rapport with her background exercisers and shares the spotlight with them rather than just barking orders at them.
The first workout is taught add on style. There is a lot of taking it from the top, but the teaching segments are pretty brief, so I never got bored. This twenty minute segment really seemed to fly by. Most of the moves were fairly basic-- V steps, ham curls, marches, but she also adds somewhat more dancy moves such as a chasse, charlestons, chachas, and also some big movements such as scissors. Some participants add more high impact moves. This was the first add on hi/lo routine I ever mastered and it took me a few tries, but I got it all this time. This is a solid intermediate routine with basic to moderate choreography.
The second routine is teach a small combo block, perform it with or without high impact movements, and move on to the next block. There are 4 blocks in all and it runs 20 minutes also. If you do all the high impact I would rate it int/adv. with basic choreography.
The set is that studio with the arched brick background that has been used fairly frequently. The music is instrumental upbeat standard dorky aerobics stuff which I am perfectly happy with.
I'm glad I reacquired this workout.



Please note that I wrote this review about 5 years ago; I'm copying and pasting it as originally written.
This was one of my first fitness videos, and I used it regularly when I first started working out at home. At the time of the review it had been about two years since I had used this regularly.

It's worth knowing that this has been rereleased at least once since I picked up my copy, and it's probably on one of the various Kathy Smith compilations that have also been released in the past few years.

General workout breakdown: There are two segments of roughly twenty minutes each: a “Progressive Combination Routine” and a “Mixed Aerobics with ‘Calorie Bursts.’” The first segment is taught add on style, or “taking it from the top”; you learn a step or two of the routine, add it into the routine, and repeat the routine with the added steps a few times before adding another routine. (Kathy tends to have you hold with a basic step, like marching, while you’re learning a step; you then repeat just that step a few times before throwing it into the mix.) The second segment has four blocks of about four steps. Each block is quickly introduced and then repeated several times; you then move onto the next block, not repeating any moves from the previous block. During the repetitions you have the option of repeating the steps exactly as they were taught or taking them up for a “calorie burst,” or mini-interval. There is a 7 minute “Strip Away Stress” stretch at the end, bringing the total time to about 47 minutes.
There is no warm up or cool down to this workout. The first routine starts slow and gradually builds, so intermediate exercisers may not need to do much before diving in. I wouldn’t recommend starting the second routine cold, especially if you plan on doing the “calorie bursts.” The workout moves directly from moving almost up to the last second of the second routine into sitting for the stretch, so you need to add a cool down. I would often take make my movements smaller during the last repetition of the last block, then walk to the kitchen for water.

Level: I’d recommend this to a beginner with some choreography experience to a low- or mid-intermediate exerciser. This was one of the first exercise videos I ever bought, and it was a good buy for its flexibility because you can choose to do the following: first routine only, second routine only without “calorie blasts,” second routine only with “calorie blasts,” first and second routines without “calorie blasts,” and first and second routines with “calorie blasts.” I started with just the first routine, and by the end I was doing both with blasts.
The choreography is moderately complex, with the moves coming mainly from aerobics but a few athletic moves in there, too. Most of this workout is low impact, although the “calorie blasts” are high impact.

Class: Kathy leads 10 women and 2 men of various ages, body sizes, and ethnicities who help cue moves (first routine only) and do plenty of whoopin’ and hollerin’ (both routines).

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: I didn’t care much for the beat-heavy synthesizer music; I found it cheesy. The bright interior set appears to be some loft-type space. The picture and sound quality are all right. I found the constantly changing camera angles and techniques, including blurring the image, distracting.

Equipment Needed: sneakers

Comments: There are some shuffles and partial pivots, so be careful with your foot placement or substitute in something else if you work out on carpet. Kathy is sometimes off beat, and everyone in the class messes up at some time, so it’s hard to pick a person to watch when you’re learning the routines.
You don’t need a lot of space for this workout. You should be able to take two medium-sized steps forward and back and two large steps to either side.

DVD Notes: The DVD allows you to skip the introduction and select your workout. In addition, there’s “Kathy’s Tips on ‘The Fat Free Snack Myth,’” some healthy snack recipes, and trailers for other Kathy Smith videos.

Conclusion: I traded this one away, although I certainly got a lot of use out of it before I did. This is a good workout, but Kathy’s enthusiasm, the class participation, and camerawork never did anything for me. I could only do this workout with the sound down low, and as time went on the sound got lower and lower. That said, I’m glad I got it when I did, because I’m not sure I would have done so much cardio at first if I hadn’t discovered it at a mass market retailer. (That was before I discovered VF, and Prevention’s Walk Your Way Slim, which I now use if I want basic aerobics, hadn’t yet come out.) But now that I’ve discovered Christi Taylor there’s no turning back. (I use Christi’s Funktional Fitness for my 20 minute short aerobics fix now.) Actually, now that I think about it, I traded away all but one of my Kathy Smith videos. I only have Kathy’s Peak Fat Burning now; that’s a good follow up video to this one.
I can’t forget to mention that the stretch segment was my favorite part. I sometimes used just that after other workouts, and it helped me improve my flexibility noticeably during my first few months of working out. The stretches focus primarily on the lower body. There’s nothing too innovative or exciting; it’s just a good, basic stretch routine. I almost kept the DVD just for the stretch.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy’s very enthusiastic here, which sometimes causes her to trip up her cues, and she lets her students help lead the class, with varying degrees of success. She works both sides evenly and means for you to mirror her moves. During the second segment, Kathy mentions the high impact options and some modifications by voice over, but the rest is done “live.”



This is a great cardio workout that really helps with slimming and increasing flexibility in the lower body. As others have mentioned, the video is split into two 20 minute cardio sections followed by a seven minute stretch. My hamstrings really feel looser when I finish the cardio (done with impact) and I've noticed my thighs and butt getting smaller. My heartrate does increase especially when I do the higher impact version of the workout. I have no problem with the lack of an official warm up--Kathy builds the cardio slowly at the very beginning--but do wish there was a cool down before the stretch. Overall, I'd give it an A and feel it appropriate for intermediate exercisers.



I liked this video. I didn't LOVE it, but I liked it. I was hesitant to purchase it because it has gotten such mixed reviews, but I wanted non-step, non-dance, fairly athletic hi-lo and this fit the bill perfectly. I also liked the idea of having two separate 20-minute cardio routines . The routine is slightly (and I mean slightly) dance-y, but the choreography was pretty simple and easy enough -- I got most of it the first time through. Kathy doesn't cue as well on this video as she does in some of her others, but it isn't really a glaring oversight. Also, as others have mentioned,it doesn't have a true warm-up, but the first section starts off fairly slow, so I didn't feel like I really "needed" a warm-up. I did both 20-minute segments together (adding a few of the intensity bursts from the second half) and felt like I got a solid intermediate level workout. The second workout would also be great as an add-on to a strength video or another cardio. I think the first segment is a bit too easy to stand on it's own for anyone above beginner-level. I was well into the first segment before I even broke a sweat. The set is a bit "crowded", because she has more background exercisers than usual, but I thought this was a nice change of pace. Particularly because the background exercisers were fairly diverse and took turns leading the workout with her. Overall, I had a good time with this one. This isn't Kathy's best effort, but I would still rate it a B+/A-

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is a bit more hyper in this video than usual, but that sort of thing never bothers me. She is off-beat at times, but I didn't think that it compromised the workout.

chi-town pear


I like this video a lot and it has become a core aerobic workout for me. I don't find it long enough to be a complete workout. Consequently, I usually combine either one or both of the 20 minute segments with another tape.

The first 20 minutes consist of an "add-on" workout--i.e., Kathy shows the moves and you combine them all into a longer workout. It was easy to learn and it's fun. Admittedly, I still haven't mastered a few of the trickier steps but I'm not the most coordinated person. I have trouble doing the hamstring curls-into-side leg lifts-into boxes. I just keep doing the hamstring curls and it works out OK.

The second 20 minutes consist of four mini-routines which--again--are easy to learn and fun. Happily, I can handle all the steps (haha).

There's no warm up on this tape, unfortunately. Also, I find the obvious "hoot-and-holler" taped track annoying. Anyone else notice that they keep saying the same thing over and over ("go Nancy go!" and "two boxes")? It's obviously not LIVE voices saying all that nonsense. Kathy gets annoying flirting with the two men in the video, too.

All that aside, it's a decent workout. Kathy is a good instructor and her cueing is very good.



I bought this video recently after enjoying the other Timesaver-- Lift Weight to Lose Weight. I like the concept of 2 shorter classes that can be combined for a longer class. However, I must admit that I was going to put this up for trade after my first try. I was very frustrating with the choreography but thought I would give it more time-- and I am glad I did! The first class is 20 minutes of mostly low-impact. There is no warm-up but I think that is a plus, especially for those of us who hate warm-ups. I haven't found the lack of a warm-up to be a problem, in fact, I use the first class as a warm-up and aerobic section and tag on a longer aerobics class (minus the warm-up) from other tapes to get a longer cardio workout.

The second class moves faster and is harder to follow, as others have mentioned. If you do the two classes combined, you can remember the moves a little better. But if you don't, it just seems confusing, especially for those of us who are not great at dancing and don't like "taking it from the top."

The best aspect of this tape is class one- which can serve as a warmup and shorter (20 minutes) aerobic section followed by either the second class (also 20 minutes) or another tape. I like using this with other tapes (Gilad Fat Burning, Power Blast, minus the warmup and toning, for example) for a longer aerobics class. I think this allows me to do a longer cardio workout without getting too bored with the same moves or too fatigued. It can also be used as a short aerobic section to warm up to a strength tape (I'm planning on using it with Crunch Boot Camp).

As much as I wanted to like the cool-down, it seemed more of a relaxation class than a cool-down and did not seem to stretch the legs enough. Overall, I like this tape for class one and the options it can provide. Once you learn the moves, it is fun and can be a very good workout. Collage is correct in calling the choreography moderate, but the moves can be learned after doing the tape a few times. You can also go higher impact or lower impact depending on your fitness level or mood. As always, Kathy Smith's production quality is excellent (good sound and visuals) which keeps the viewer/exerciser interested. I'd rate it a B+.

Instructor Comments:
As in her other vidoes, Kathy is fairly easy to follow, enthusiastic, and motivating. I appreciate the fact that her classes have people at all levels who look real.

Sarah K


Music was upbeat, filled with variety, and loud enough to make you want to move with it. I had trouble marching in place when it came to that. I wanted to boogie down and wiggle my hips. The music was well-picked to go with these routines.

Choreography was fun and dancy, but easy to follow. If you are an uncoordinated person that would like to try a dancy video, this is the one. You don't repeat anything too much. Instead of doing lots of one move, and then moving on to more of another move, you are buliding a progressive routine, one move goes into another, until you have a whole routine. This applies to both sections.

The first section is low-impact, and you are building one long dance routine. The second section is hi/lo with three subsections. It also involves high-intensity intervals.

I think this video would be best for beginners and intermediates.

Instructor Comments:
Many people have commented that Kathy acted as if she had taken speed before doing this video. Yes, she was more upbeat. But it was fun. I think I *like* whooping. She does a good job cueing in this video; I had an easy time following her. And I think her enthusiasm made me more enthusiastic.

Shannon Davis


I'm surprised others didn't review this tape better. I love it! Yes, she doesn't have a warm-up, but that just gives me the opportunity to do my own. I turn on some music to dance to and then do my own stretches. At that point, I'm ready to go. It's not that big a deal to me.

I've been doing aerobics for quite awhile, but am now a bit overweight. I'm exercising at a high-beginner to middle-intermediate stage. This video REALLY works me. I still can't do both together. The moves are funky and upbeat. The music is the most interesting of Kathy's I've ever worked out to. It had a great beat, almost as if you're at a club. The camera shots were interesting, going between a sort of slow-mo, distorted shot to a realistic shot at times. The other people in the video are in great shape and look like they're having a really good time. I like that Kathy has "friends" work out with her - although they didn't have too much of a part in the instruction. Just some light banter.

She does v-step, charleston, jacks, leg kicks and some great combo moves -- the arms are very fun, also.

I've done the first 20-minute session more than the second, but they're both fun and quite a workout for me. In the second session, there are always a couple people demonstrating the higher impact moves for variation. The stretching segment at the end is very relaxing.

I'd highly recommend this tape for someone who wants an upbeat, fun, dancy workout that won't kill them. Kathy is great at cueing, as always.

I'd give this video an A.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is usually pretty mild, but in this one, it seemed as though she was trying to be a lot more upbeat and energetic. I love Kathy, and her attitude in this video was very fun and inspiring. She's good at cueing and motivation.

Colleen L.


Overall I thought this was a "decent" video. There is a short "warm up", but without any stretching. You start out the first 20 minutes with low impact moves. The moves are pretty basic with an out-out-in-in (but only one side at a time, does that make sense? so it's more of an out-in, out-in thing), knee lifts, charlestons, grapevines, hip rocks. You begin by making combinations which involve the out-out-in, adding knee ups & then charlestons. Nothing too complex.

The music seems a little too fast for the moves at times and I found myself stopping or trying to speed up to get back into the rhythm.

The set was platforms in a warehouse type setting, but the lighting was pretty decent. It was also kind of bizarre because she gave everyone a chance to "lead" with her so there were exercisers moving all over the place to change positioning near Kathy, while showing moves, which was kind of distracting.

The second 20 minute section consisted of higher impact moves and once you learned a "combination" -about 3 or 4 moves, she would introduce her "calorie burst" segments which I think were about a minute in length, which were even higher impact moves.

Following the workout was a 7 minute cooldown.

All in all I thought this tape was o.k. I only paid $9.99 for it, I'm not sure if I'd pay more for it. It's definately an intermediate tape, or for those days you don't want to do much. I'm sure I'll use it again, but I don't know how much.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is definately more "bubbly" and there is quite a bit of whooping and hollering going on. Kathy looks incredible, but at times can be annoying. I keep trying to like Kathy but her last few tapes have really been disappointing (Functionally Fit) and now this.



This video consists of two 20-minute workouts followed by an 8-minute stretch. Without any warm-up whatsoever (a first for Kathy, and not a welcome innovation), you head directly into the low-impact section. It starts slowly enough, but then progressively builds into an add-on routine that really is not that difficult to do or follow. The second workout is high/low and includes “calorie bursts," i.e., intervals. You can do each part separately or go on to do the whole tape. As always, there are exercisers who perform modifiers for varying levels of intensity ("tracks"). Veteran Kathy Smith video viewers will quickly spot crew members from former tapes. There is no cool-down, per se. You just glide to a stop and then slide into the stretch sequence. This video is designed for beginners/intermediates, but would prove too confusing and unsafe for the former and probably too easy for the latter. This is not Kathy's best effort. The companion tape, Lift Weights to Lose Weight, is much, much better. Grade: C+.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy Smith has recently admitted to having exercise-induced asthma. This explains her heavy breathing at several places in this tape. She must have had several puffs from her asthma inhaler prior to and during filming of this video, too. My goodness, she's hyper and whoops and hollers as if she's providing the sound track to a rodeo! Someone must have picked her off the ceiling after filming was over. But she does look like she's having fun and isn't nearly so serious as she was in her Functionally Fit series of videos.

Paula Weber


I enjoy this video alot. The music is upbeat and makes you want to MOVE! When I don't have a lot of time to workout, I'll do one of the sections along with one of the strength sections in the Time Savers Lift Weights. On other days, I do both of the cardio workouts.

Another inspiring thought is that several of the class members have really lost weight and toned up from her previous videos. How exciting!

Instructor Comments:
Her enthusiasm is great in this video. I don't find her annoying at all.

Kim Reid