B.E.S.T. (Best Ever Step Training)

Patrick Goudeau
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Step Aerobics

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This is a fun new workout from Patrick. The workout runs just over 45 minutes, and starts with a dancy warmup combo of about 10 minutes. The cardio section is around 30 minutes, and there are 3 different combos, all done with a horizontal step. The choreography is dancy, complex, and typical Patrick--lots of turns, mambos, cha chas, and quick feet steps. Combo 1 features the Boomerang move, where you lunge twice off the step, then do a reverse turn into a mambo cha cha. Combo 2 has a "Scoot Across" move, and Patrick brings back the Wizard of Oz move from 9001. Combo 3 is a bit shorter than the others, and I've found it the easiest to learn. There is a step-kick cha cha move, that moves into a hamstring curl/grapevine toward the back of the room, and then you're hopping back over your step. The cooldown/stretch is around 5 minutes.

The impact is mostly low, with a few hops over the step. You will need a fair bit of space around your step in every direction. The intensity is similar to his CIA workouts, intermediate-advanced. I find the choreography a little more difficult than CIA 9001, but find it more doable than 9906, (which I have yet to master.) The music is pretty good--I think it's a notch above the usual workout music, but not sing-along fun. In general, I think that this is Patrick's most consistent and fun step workout yet. I wish the workout could have been a little longer, but what he does present is a lot of fun.

Patrick is backed up by two exercisers, Nico and Kari. They do not whoop or yell, but still seem to enjoy themselves. There are no modifications shown--Nico and Kari stick with the base move while Patrick layers the moves, but once he is finished teaching the layers, you don't see the base move again. Although I have never thought that cuing is one of Patrick's strong points, I think he does a pretty good job this time. He teaches at a pretty quick pace, and there is not a lot of breakdown. I don't mind this, but if you do (and you really don't like rewinding), then you might want to avoid this workout.

While the production quality is pretty good, there are some wacky camera angles and that MTV-like black and white camera work that can be annoying. I'm also not wild about this set--it features gray and black artificial walls put up around a small area, which give the set a claustrophobic, box-like feel. Above the back wall is a row of bright lights, which often cause a glare that obscures Patrick's face, and shines right into your eyes. This may be distracting to some, or bothersome to those who are sensitive to bright lights, strobe lights, etc. Personally, I found the lights to be very distracting when I first viewed the workout, but not so bad when I actually did the workout.

This workout is best for intermediate to advanced exercisers who enjoy complex step choreography. If you are a fan of Patrick's earlier workouts, you will likely enjoy this one as well. The DVD is a bit pricey ($25.95, and there are no bonuses, just the 45 minute workout), but I found the workout lots of fun and enjoyable enough to justify the price, and I can see this one being in my rotation pretty often.

Instructor Comments:
Patrick has a lot of charisma and charm, and a great smile. The choreography is fun, interesting, and creative.

Mary K.