Totally Hot Cardio

Christi Taylor
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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I am 56 years old and I do my exercises every other day, inside my home, and in front of the TV. I do both hi-lo and step aerobics. My favorite fitness instructor is Christi Taylor. I love her choice of music and her routine or choreography. It is fun and lively. If you like to incorporate dancing in your exercises then you will love her DVDs. Though you will get a pretty good exercise from her DVDs your legs or lungs or both will not feel like giving up. Here are my favorite exercise DVDs from Christi Taylor.
1.Totally Hot Cardio Ė my personal favorite among the three.
2.Fantastic 4 Workouts Ė best value for your money with 4 workouts (2 hi-lo and 2 step)
3.Totally Cool Step Ė my favorite Step Aerobics DVD.
These DVDs are for intermediate and advanced aerobics people. But if you have good stamina and enjoy dancing GO FOR IT.

I only recommend exercise DVDs which I normally use. The following are my criteria:
ēIt should have at least 40 minutes of cardio exercises excluding the warm-up, cooldown, and stretch. For both 1 and 3 you should do the Cardio Bonus to get the minimum 40 minute exercise.
ēThere should be at least 3 persons in the DVD doing the aerobics.
ēUse of popular dance music.
ēDVD cast show enthusiasm.
ēEnjoy and look forward to exercising.

Both 1 and 3 have exercise tutorials called Move Master. I did not use it. Just went straight to the exercises and rewinding to master the steps. I mastered it on the 3rd day.

Christi likes to do spins or 360 degree turns. Even though I wear eyeglasses I do all of her spins. But for newcomers I suggest that you avoid exercising on the carpet. Also, do the spins after you have mastered the choreography. This applies specially to spinning on the steps.

Jaime Suapengco


Level: Inter/Advan
Impact: Mixed
Choreography: Moderate
Length: 48 minutes
Instructor: Christi Taylor

This is a floor aerobics DVD by Christi Taylor. Christi, as usual, is enthusiastic and seems to be having a great time during her workout. She absolutely sparkles. She also seems to have an excellent rapport with her background exercisers.

There are two modifiers in the back that you can see a little better than in her Step Heaven DVD. She should still place at least one of them in the front though. They keep the moves low impact for most of the DVD.

If you've never done Christi before or complex choreography, this will be very tricky for you to catch on, but it's not as tricky as Hi Low Heaven. There are plenty of low impact moves you can substitute. I won't break down the moves, as that has been done.

LIKES: Cueing is great, and Christi is magic. Many low impact options. The music is pretty good, although not as great as her Heavenlie series. I got my heart rate up and was sweating. The DVD also inclues a bonus warm up (haven't done it), MoveMaster instructional section in which she breaks down her complex moves (which I have not done but will preview), and an abs section. I like that the ab section is included, because I hate popping out a DVD just to add on ab work. This DVD is a little less complex than some others that I have tried, so I can save it for lighter days.

DISLIKES: grapevine, grapevine, GRAPEVINE! They are nearly endless, and I just don't have the space for it. I think I could have been more challenged and exaggerated the moves more if I had the space. The music also could have been better, even though it's not bad. I also think it's a little boring because it seems you're always going side to side, and rarely up or down or twirling or varying the steps much.

All in all, however, this is an excellent intro to Christi. Don't let the complex choreo deter you from enjoying a good DVD.



Iím reviewing this workout after doing it too many times to count (maybe several dozen?).

General workout breakdown: This has already been broken down well; Iíll try not to repeat too many things.
This 47-min. hi/lo or floor aerobics workout has almost 42 min. of aerobics (just over 22 min. for the first half, and just under 20 min. for the second), with a final combo (almost 2 min.) for a cool-down and just over 3.5 min. of maintenance stretching (mostly static). As mentioned Christi begins with her ďinvisibleĒ warm-up (these base moves become the first part of her first combo, but fortunately she changes them so theyíre almost something completely different by the time youíve done the whole first combo). There is a bonus 5.5-min. additional warm-up as well as a just over 13-min. bonus cardio, which TIFTs all combos together three times (for an extra 7.5 min. of cardio) plus adds in the cool-down and stretch. If you do the bonus warm-up, the full routine plus the bonus cardio, cool-down, and stretch youíll put in 61 min.

Christi combines standard hi/lo aerobics moves with a bit of a dancey flair, and here she throws in a few kickboxing moves (kick, boxer shuffle, bob & weave w/ punch, upper cut). As always with Christi, youíll often start with grapevines, chasses, hamstring curls, knee lifts, mambos, hamstring curls, squats, lunges, hamstring curls, and other moves which get jazzed up as the routine progresses. Although this isnít straight up dance, Christiís ability to match moves to music and make them flow together in a sequence will make you feel almost like youíre dancing.
A few things that Iíve noticed with so many repeat doings: the first half of this workout has many steps based off of grapevines and the second off of hamstring curls (have I mentioned that there are hamstring curls?), so be prepared to do a lot of these, especially if you stick with the modifications. The second half has a few more repetitions of each block plus does an additional TIFT (three vs. two in the first). Just as an FYI, if youíve reached your TIFT tolerance by the time youíve made it through the main workout, skip the bonus, but combining the two halves spices things up just enough for me that I donít mind three more run throughs.

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. Sheíll then add on another set of base moves, repeat, and then run through all of the parts of that. She often uses the ďwatch meĒ method, although here she and her two ďflippersĒ will launch right into the final variation with just a warning that a move change is coming up. I appreciate that Christi only changes one thing at a time and almost always gives you at least one chance to see and then do it on each side before adding any other changes.
Christi teaches things symmetrically, and she balances out break downs on both sides, more or less. Christi never weaves, or slices and dices, combos; sheíll always do combo #1 on the right, combo #1 on the left, combo #2 on the right, and then combo #2 on the left (or whatever side she does first), and so on.

The bonus abs (6.5 min.) is taught by Christi via voiceover while Julie demonstrates basic crunches, twisting crunches, crunches w/ leg lift, twisting crunch w/ leg lift, back extension with arm movements, and crunches with legs straight in the air. This bonus is also found on Totally Cool Step.

Level: Iíd recommend this to experienced exercisers at the intermediate through low advanced level who are comfortable with complex choreography. Christiís choreography is not the mind-numbingly complex out there, but you do have to enjoy choreography. My now dh (then bf), who prefers simple, simple, simple tried this once and didnít even make it through the warm-up before just doing his own thing (which was probably jog in place for the whole rest of the tape). That said, this can work for someone working her way up to more complex choreography because of the inclusion of the modifiers (who are also found in Christiís Hi/Lo Heaven and Solid Gold Cardio). And if youíre new(ish) to complexity and or Christi, definitely follow the modifiers the first time through before tackling the flourishes.

This was my first Christi and my first complex aerobics video. Talk about throwing myself into the deep end the first time in the pool! My first time through I made it through the warm up and then promptly found myself floundering as soon as Christi began turning it into the first combo, even following the gals in the back. For me Christiís cuing wasnít a problem; itís more that I was still trying to get a hang of the new moves or variations when Christi moved on. But I kept at it, following the modifiers until I felt confident in the routine, and by that point I was grateful there wasnít more breakdown and/or no slowing down to introduce the next step. Then I slowly added in bits and pieces of the full routine as I felt able, until one day I was doing the full thing. Woo hoo! Now I breeze through the full choreography, to the point where I can almost zone out. But this can still give my heart a good workout: this past time I wore my heartrate monitor, which showed me in my moderate to almost moderately high zone, although I felt like I was working harder than that, as I didnít even have the energy for all of the higher impact moves.

Class: 4 women join Christi. The two in the back row, wearing all black, stick with the lower impact / less pivot-heavy version of the routine, while Christi, Julie, and Theresa (who, despite claiming shyness manges to break out her inner ham on camera, especially during the cool-down when she gets so into her wavy arms she forgets to focus on her feet) show the full shebang. When the workout begins the modifiers are easily visible, but as Christi, Julie, and Theresa really get going they often travel in front of them, especially as they pivot, so Beth is right that it takes some effort to see what theyíre up to back there.

Set: the 2002 CIA set with red sponged walls, blue beams, brightly colored geometric art, and various seating arrangements along the back and side. Itís a lot of color!

Production: clear picture and sound, with both Christiís voice and the great soundtrack clearly audible without drowning each other out. The camera angles arenít particularly flashy and as a result are helpful. There is one odd moment where suddenly the camera cuts to almost an overhead shot as Christi says via voiceover, ďKeep going! Good job!Ē, which I suppose is to cover up some oopsie.

Equipment: sneakers, preferably ones that can pivot well on your floor surface. You may want a mat for the additional abs bonus.

Space Requirements: As mentioned, this requires a good deal of horizontal (side to side) space; ideally you should be able to do two grapevines to each side, but if you can only fit three total (one and a half to each side) and are willing to travel on non-traveling parts and cut out the traveling in other segments you can probably make it work. Youíll also need some space to move forward and back, although you can get away with taking a big step and kicking front and then back. At a kind of uncoordinated 5í8Ē I can squeeze this into about 5í forward and back x 8í side to side.

DVD Notes: You can skip the opening intro to get to the main menu, with its options of Instructor Training Program Promo, Bonus Abs, and Bonus Cardio on one side and Introduction, Start Workout, Bonus Warmup into Workout, MoveMaster, and Behind the Scenes. Donít dally at the main menu or any of the side menus too long, as the workout starts right up after a minute or so. The workout itself is chaptered by combos.

Comments: This was my first Christi, and it remains my sentimental favorite among her hi/lo offerings. In fact, this is one of my favorite workouts ever. Hearing the soundtrack instantly boosts my spirits and sets my toes a-tappiní. (And this soundtrack tending towards old favorites doesnít feel as dated as some of her others full of top-40 hits, which at that time were boy bands and pop princesses.) I donít do this one as often as Iíd like because I have so many others and because I donít want to burn out on it. I want always to enjoy it and have as much fun as I do each time I pop it into the player.

Iím a big fan of hi/lo, but Iíve found few others besides Christi who make fun, interesting floor aerobics videos - particularly ones that arenít too dancey or too basic - that I want to do time and time again. (My other favorites include Amy Bento, Marcus Irwin, and Marc Oliver Kluike, with honorable mention to Gay Gasper, Katina Hunter, and Marcos Prolo.) And Christi may make what are the most intense without being too high in impact Ė a winning combination in my book. I know several folks have heard the death knell for hi/lo, and with Christi and Marcus not making any more videos I guess itís true. 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 THC, as my first love.

Instructor Comments:
Christi cues so well, almost always cuing each move each time through, even mentioning both the modified and full move where relevant, which may be confusing at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly. She does cue a little ahead of each move, so be aware of that if youíre used to instructors cuing just before or on the move change. And she mirror cues, although she doesnít often indicate turns or break down footfalls in terms of direction.
I could not mention Christiís singing of cues since everyone else has, but itís worth repeating because this is all part of her great ability to match moves to music - few instructors seem intuitively to be able to work so well with music, and here sheís designed the routine so well she rarely, if ever, stops to get back with her music - and part of the fun she exudes when both teaching and doing these routines.



I've done this video for the second time ever today and I like it even more this time.

The great strength in this video is that it is fun, but it is also a good intense workout! I always work up a respectable sweat with this one, but the time flies. Believe me, I was in no mood to work out today, but halfway through the routine, I was in the endorphin zone.

With Christi's reputation with intense complex choreography, I was a bit nervous about trying her out, but I had no trouble picking up the moves with this video. Sometimes, I'd forget stuff but I wasn't lost from the word go.

With fun songs like "Hey Look Me Over", "Joy to the World" and "I Don't Wanna Work", this workout feels like the good old hi lo workouts I used to love to do in the gym when I was just a kid (back in the 80s). But the workout itself is not dated at all.

I was so impressed with Christi Taylor with this DVD that I have ordered her Solid Gold Step and Cardio and Totally Cool Step, which I will review in the future.

Instructor Comments:
Extremely good at advance cueing; inventive choreography that flows well with the music.

Lady D


Totally Hot Cardio is one of my favorite workouts now, but Iíve definitely had a love-hate relationship with it. The background is that I first tried it in summer 2004 and got very frustrated with it and traded it. At that time, I was just getting into hi-lo and even moderate choreography. This workout does have moderate choreography compared to Patrick and Seasun, but it is at the top and dancy end of moderate choreography. I even tried the Move Master with little success. Christi uses counting in this video while demonstrating the moves, but that doesnít work for me because I need the words/cues to make any connection to the actual workout.

I bought Mission Possible almost immediately after it was released, hoping this would be the gateway to Ďgettingí Christiís choreography. Alas, it wasnít, but it was invaluable to me in that I learned how Christi cues, the very base moves of some of her choreography, and what she calls certain steps.

Then, another VFer gave me some priceless (for me) advice in tackling Christiís workouts. Following this advice, I tackled and mastered Funktional Fitness and Hi-Lo Heaven stage 1.

Finally, I was brave enough to take the plunge with Totally Hot Cardio once again. I reasoned with myself that I had a better background to learn it and the Move Master issues wouldnít be such a problem anymore because I wouldnít need to bother with it.

I am so glad I did! I really love this workoutóit picks up my mood and I choose it often when I am feeling tired and donít want to work out. I admit that the grapevines in the first combo go on and on, but Iím willing to overlook it while I warm up to ďWeíre Haviní a Party.Ē The second and third combos donít thrill me, but they are okay and the music is okay there.

The second half (combo 4-6) is the whole reason to get through the first half of the workout. There is another set of grapevines with uppercuts in the sixth combo, but I donít think grapevines fit well there, so I simply substitute a sashay/chasse/whatever-itís-called. I really like the music and sing along while dancing through Christiís cues. After all, how could I not have fun while singing? (I know this isnít the song title, but I love it when Iím exercising and hearing ďI donít wanna work.Ē ;-) )

Instructor Comments:
Christi seems to be having a lot of fun and cues well. I like singing along to the music while she sings her cues. She cues the moves ahead rather than on the move and is rarely late. I like her teaching style now that I've gotten used to it.

Karen (Rhae)


This is my first experience with a Christi video. I should say up front that I'm not very good with complex choreography, but I'd heard that Christi's hi-low workouts were easier to follow than her step, so I thought I would give this a try.

The workout begins with an "invisible" warm-up, which means the warm-up stretches Iabout 3 minutes) merge right into the first cardio combo. Christi begins with simple steps such as a grapevine and then gradually adds on with arms movements, twists, and turns for more complex sequences. In the first half of the workout, she strings together 3 different combinations, combining only 2 together at first and then all three. She does the same thing in the second half of the workout, this time using 3 new combinations. (The DVD is chaptered for each sequence.) At the end of the cardio, Christi incorporates a quick but thorough 3 minutes of stretching, bringing in the total workout time right around 50 minutes.

The DVD has several bonus features. The 6.5 minute abs segment, performed to the tune "Tequilla," is a fairly standard sequence of crunch variations. There is also a bonus warm-up, which involves 5.5 minutes of more specific stretching than what is included in the workout's "invisible" warm-up. There is also 13 minutes of bonus cardio in which all six combos are performed together; or, for the more choreographically-challenged, there is a 7 minute "Move Master" segment which breaks down the individual moves in each combination (Christi is facing away from you for this feature). Finally, there is a "Behind the Scenes" look at the making of this video--at 24 minutes, this is probably quite a bit more footage than what would interest most people.

As expected, I had trouble following the choreography in this video. First of all, you need A LOT of room from side to side, which often presented a challenge. Secondly, although I could usually follow Christi's initial moves, once she started changing directions, I was lost. Two of the background exercisers did offer low-impact, modified versions of the exercises, but they were very difficult to see. However, I found that by remaining faced forward towards my TV the entire time (ie, obmitting all of the turns), I could at least follow along enough to get a good workout.

So, although this video was not for me, those who like complex choreography and upbeat 70s-style music (eg, "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Your Song," "Jerimiah Was a Bullfrog") are likely to find it to be a fun, intense workout.

Instructor Comments:
Although Christi offered very good mirrored cueing, it wasn't enough for me to keep up with her complex choreography. She is clearly having fun though; she frequently sings out her cues to the tune of whatever song is playing at the time. She works out with four background exercisers, two of whom show modifications, but I found them very difficult to see (they were both in the back).

Beth C (aka toaster)


The workout is choreographed with the repeat user in mind. There are no comments that will become boring after one or two viewings. The steps that appear complex on the first viewing become easy after a few times through the workout. The moves range from athletic to dance, with lots of ham curls and grapevines. It's an effective workout that flows easily (from the first, I did the whole thing) where I sweat but I'm not stiff - and have lost inches. I highly recommend it; I will be buying more of Christi Taylor's workouts.

Instructor Comments:
Christi's instruction is excellent. She cues very well, and has obviously put a lot of time and effort planning the workout. Thank you!



I adore this tape! Itís a 48-minute intense high/low workout with Christiís fantastic choreography and great music. The time flies by because itís so much fun. Songs include Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog, Devil in a Blue Dress, and lots of other great ones Iím forgetting the names of. If you have High/Low Heaven to compare it with, the choreography is harder than Phase 1 but not as hard as Phase 2. I would characterize this workout as high impact even though a couple of the exercisers show low impact. You can always try that as an option, but it just doesnít look like as much fun. Grade A+++.

Annie S.


I adore this tape! Itís a 48-minute intense high/low workout with Christiís fantastic choreography and great music. The time flies by because itís so much fun. Songs include Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog, Devil in a Blue Dress, and lots of other great ones Iím forgetting the names of. If you have High/Low Heaven to compare it with, the choreography is harder than Phase 1 but not as hard as Phase 2. I would characterize this workout as high impact even though a couple of the exercisers show low impact. You can always try that as an option, but it just doesnít look like as much fun. Grade A+++.

Annie S.


WU and Hi/LO: 35min
CD: 8 min.
Bonus Cardio and CD:13 min on DVD
Bonus Abs: 6 min
Level: adv. choreography
Intensity: int./adv

Known Music:
Having a Party
Your Song
Baby I' m a Star
Joy to the World
Do You Really Want to Fly
Bang On the Drums All Day
Devil with the Blue Dress

Christi' s warm up is " hidden" in the first section of the workout. I found the chest stretch ackward while doing other moves on along the floor, and the hamstring stretch felt too brief to feel sufficient.

The workout itself was challenging, choreography speaking, and kept me on my toes. No problem, because I really enjoyed it! I liked all the moves, and they are all variations on the basics- lots of pivots, turns, mambos and hamstring curls. How does she come up with it all?

I tried the Move Master on the DVD. Each combo is reviewed slowly on each starting foot once. Personally, I don' t find that doing a move slowly helps me, but it may for some. I didn' t try the Abs section.

The behind the scenes footage on the DVD contains much of the same stuff in Christi' s Totally Cool Step.

The music was great; this will be one of my favourite hi/los. Grade: A+

Instructor Comments:
Christi' s got the cueing gift. She sings her cues, and the fun she' s having is catching. Always a pleasure to work out with!

Jennifer V


The workout is structured as follows:
An "invisible warmup" of grapevines, shoulder rolls, squat/roll-ups combined with hamstring stretches and cross marches blends nicely into the workout. The body of the workout consists of 6 combos, taught in Christis usual "add-on" or "layering" style. Some of the moves include reach the corner, a fun push-pivot-kick, and shuffle-ball change/ squat-ball change. There is also a section that reminded me of Hi-Lo Heaven (I think?) with a hip-hip and bob and weave move. I really enjoyed a two-squats with a half turn...It's all fun!
The impact of this video is easily modified both hi and low, with two backgrounders showing low, and two showing high with Christi.
I liked the music--perfect volume level: A mix--We're Havin' a Party (?), Daniel's Song, something techno-ish with lots of drums and someone chanting "oh-oh" but not in an annoying way, Prince--Baby I'm a Star, Jerimiah was a Bullfrog, another techono-ish one with some vocals (talk to me), I don't wanna work...this all works just beautifully with the choreography!
The workout ends with a cool down and something that drives me absolutely NUTS: The girl on the right (short dark hair) has her arms circling her head and waving all around while they are doing the cool down. Arghh. I know it sounds petty, and I can see that she is just having fun, but it is annoying and distracting. I may not do the cool down because of it.
I have the DVD version of this workout, and I am very satisfied with the structure, although I think there could be a few improvements with chaptering--for those who don't like to pre-program. The options availavle are:
Start Workout

Bonus Warmup into Workout (this is just basic squats and stretchy moves, just Christi)

Move Master (again, just Christi, no music, moving with her back to you, counting out the moves)

Behind the Scenes (a little too long, and if there could have been another workout instead of this I would have loved it. It is about 30 minutes long!)

Bonus Abs (Christi's voice, Julie demonstrating. Pretty basic crunches)

Bonus Cardio (I love this. All the combos put together and repeated 3 or 4 times)

Instructor Training Proram Promo (tiny little 10 second preview)

I would have liked to see each combo chaptered so I could practice any that might cause me problems--but I guess you could do that with the Move master, which IS chaptered by combo. However, it is at half time, so that might not work for everyone...
I was going to say that I'd like the warm up and cool downs to have their own chapters, as well, but I guess since these are "invisible" within the workout, they may have been hard to chapter.
I love this workout and will do it often, as I do all of Christi's stuff!

Instructor Comments:
Christi is friendly, fun, energetic and professional (as usual) in this video/DVD. Her cuing is right on (although she doesn't seem to use the "watch me" method as much, probably because of the Move Master at the end, which makes watching her to learn a move unneccesary. ) She has created new, fun choreography for those who like to dance, and cues it well enough for even those who may like more basic stuff to be able to catch on. Christi is so happy to be working out that she makes the time fly!