CIA 8001: Workout Revival

Charles Little
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Step Aerobics

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I'm reviewing this tape as compared to other CIAs because before I found CIAs, I probably would have loved this tape. Now, I find it just okay. The hi/lo segment starts out very dull, but picks up with some interesting choreography. But the problem in the hi/lo, and the step as well, is that Charles repeats the moves so many times and when he does this with the low-impact moves, your heart rate dives, e.g. imagine what a soaring heart rate (from a series of lunges) does when you do about 30 v-steps right after that. Because of the reptition as well, the finished product is very short. By the time I've learned all of the moves in a combo and I do it from the top, I like it to be a long series and this was not. What I really found odd, though, was that when Charles was done doing it from the top three times, he teaches a couple new moves as though he's going to add them on (and they're pretty low-impact too so, again, the heart rate drops), and then the segment just ends and there's Charles ready to start step. Very strange. Also weird -- he takes a PE check in the very beginning of the hi/lo before you're really even working, then a heartrate in the middle and not once during the step segment. The 35-minute step segment follows the hi/lo and again, Charles spends way too much time going over the moves, especially the intial move, which is nothing more than a hamstring straddle, hardly brain surgery. His most complicated move was a shuffle repeater which most CF fans know already so it didn't seem like much, but the rest I found to be pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. The workout was probably high intermediate/low advanced so I got a decent workout from it, but it's not one I'd be jumping to do again anytime soon.

Grade: B-

Instructor Comments:
Charles is very likable, cues reasonably well (although there is an entire section in one of the sections where he doesn't say a work, just expects you to remember!) and doesn't chat a lot, which I like.

Donna Kahwaty


I was very disappointed with the 32 minutes of high low on this tape. The moves were very easy, but too many pauses causing the heartrate to drop. I found it frustrating and would jog in place. He took two heartrate checks in just a 15 minute span. The moves were slow and large, and for some reason I was constantly on the wrong foot. I think the intensity is for beginners. But Charles made up for this with his step workout. I found it to be a lot of fun, high intensity with shuffle repeater (like Cathe) and knee ups with lunges (like Cathe also). It was a great step workout lasting 25 minutes. The ab section was very good and intense also. Even though it was 8 minutes, I felt like I had a good ab workout. The music was the same old music from 6001 and Lynne Brick's Bod Buster tape. For the $8.00 I paid it was worth it and I will do the step workout again combined with either Jennifer Mills or Christi Taylor hi/lo aerobics.

maryann parker


This 90-minute video includes 35 minutes of step, 35 of hi/lo, a short abs section, and warmup and cooldown, for a total of 90 minutes.

The hi/lo section is first, which is my only complaint about the video. I harp on this all the time, so you can tune me out if you're tired of it , but step should always be first, because you get tired and have a tendency to be too clumsy on the step. It's even more pronounced in this video, as I proved (accidentally) to myself yesterday. I did it in order so I wouldn't have to waste time rewinding and fast-forwarding. Well, it was about all I could do to complete the step portion -- even though I've done this workout many times successfully doing step first, then hi/lo. So from now on, I'll just suffer with the fast-forwards and rewinds -- it's a pain, but the workout is fun and challenging enough that I'll continue to do it.

The hi/lo is full of fun choreography; I'd call it intermediate level. Charles is excellent at teaching each part of the routine one at a time, and then bringing it all together so that one step just flows into the next. By the end, even though you've got several "parts" to remember, you don't get lost because it all flows so well.

The step is fun, too. There are some high-impact moves on the floor, such as scissors and cha-chas. At the beginning, there is one step that I (still) find extremely awkward, so I modified it. You're doing straddle knee-lifts, and on the last count, you're supposed to bring your front foot back tothe back so that you're once again facing the TV -- the problem is, your front foot is on the floor. Maybe it's just that I'm too short -- Charles doesn't seem to have any problem with it. But I do, so I modified it so that I'm doing my knee lifts facing front the whole time. It still flows into the next part of the routine very well. I'd call the choreography in this section intermediate to advanced.

The abs section is very good. It gets progressively challenging. It's not very long - about 7 minutes.

The only reason I'm not giving this an A+ is because of the hi/lo being before the step. Therefore, I'm giving it an A-.

Instructor Comments:

Charles Little is extremely good. I bought this tape because I liked him so well in "Stay Fit." His cueing is very good, and his routines are surprisingly easy to follow and remember despite sometimes complicated choreography.

Annie S.