CIA 2302: Amazing Step Styles

Rob Glick
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Step Aerobics

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

Fun! I enjoy the chore and Rob does the right amount of breaking it down but not over-directing so you can enjoy this workout over and over. Like most, the workout is divided into two sections with a perceived exertion check in between. If you're choreo-challenged like me, just try doing one part of the workout twice for a couple workout sessions, then try both parts together. Rob's modifiers help you gradually pick up the moves. I very much enjoyed the whole workout.

Instructor Comments:
Rob is a superb cuer and has fun going through the workout, his energy is contagious!



I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: Julie, Micki, Annie, and Mary have all written great reviews describing this workout. I’ll just add a few more details in the rare chance there’s something else folks might want to know about this one.

The total running time for the workout is 63.5 min. The warm-up (6 min.) takes you through a basic combo, most of which is on the floor, into which Rob works rhythmic (aka dynamic) stretches for the lower body, low back, and shoulders. The first half (first 5 combos) is just over 22 min., the second half (final 3 combos) is just under 26, and the bonus runthrough of all 8 combos is 3.5 min. The cool-down (6 min.) takes you through a simple combo, mostly on the floor, which will lower the heartrate, then both dynamic and static stretches for the shoulders, inner thighs, torso (side), hip flexors, hamstrings, shoulders, calves, and chest.

The combos, all tapless, are also all taught symmetrically, switching back and forth between sides, with little to no downtime between combos. As mentioned, the first five combos make up the first half. These five combos become one large combo, with Rob adding in each new (relatively short) combo back in and then slicing and dicing (or weaving) the parts from the start. In the final three combos, each is made up of three smaller blocks that are sliced and diced together, then you add them together and weave – but just these three combos. In the bonus you’ll do both halves back to back, although you only run through everything once.
As you might expect, there’s a good bit of TIFTing (taking it from the top). It’s not unusual for Rob to do two TIFTs before moving on, either.

Rob’s style is somewhat dancy step aerobics. He loves his mambos and box steps, but you’ll also do some more classic step moves (revolving door, v steps, scoops) and some more athletic ones (power knees up, lunges). Those who will scream if they do many more repeaters may find this one refreshing, since this particular move only appears in the warm-up and then for a brief moment in the workout itself (where Rob remarks that he hasn’t done them all day – um, I guess the warm-up doesn’t count…).
Rob is one who uses the floor almost as much as the step, and I have to say in a few places it was actually hard to take my foot off of the step and leave it on the floor.

Although there are a fair number of turns and pivots I also found this isn’t as aggravating for cranky knees as some other recent videos I’ve tried. I think it’s because Rob is more conscious about unloading the knee and doesn’t do a lot of big twists and turns, especially on the step. And although there is some impact it’s easy to take it down a notch – or bump it up.

Level: I’d also recommend this to intermediate / advanced steppers experienced with complex choreography, although more intermediate level could take out the jumps, lower the step height, and/or do half at a time while low advanced workouts could ramp it up a little. I consider myself an int. / adv. exerciser who gets complex choreography easily, assuming it’s taught well and makes sense, which is true here. I felt confident in the choreography after one runthrough, although I’ll agree the second part, especially the first combo of it, is trickier thanks to all of the directional changes and the few rhythm moves.

Class: 4 women join Rob, who instructs live. The two in the back, who hold off on the final flourishes in only a few parts, wear red tops (or almost a top, in the one’s case), while the two in front, with black tops, do the full shebang with Rob. I agree that I wouldn’t mind seeing the two in the back swapped for the two at the front, although the one to Rob’s left (our right) puts a little more oomph into things while the one to Rob’s right (our left) seems a little overwhelmed by the whole experience and has trouble concentrating.
Note that there’s some woo-ing, which Rob perhaps unintentionally encourages by asking things “What’s next?” or “Do you remember the next part?” and even saying “Whee!” himself at one point.

Music: upbeat instrumentals from Dynamix, with that one recognizable remade pop song. I agree that the music, while not bad, could have been better, and that would make this workout just that much more fun.

Set: the 2003 CIA set with a red wall insert between two slit windows (makes you feel as if someone might be spying on the set), with brightly colored mostly plastic-looking furniture and accessories and that Joan Miró print hung the wrong way (Argh! I just want to fix it. I know, talk about random things that bug someone…) plus the Rothko(-esque?) prints along the side wall with the odd swooping cut outs in front.

Production: clear picture and sound; mostly helpful camera angles, although I could do without the sort of to the side angle, especially when it didn’t show Rob’s feet. It’s what you’d expect from Greg Twombly and the CIA.

Equipment: step (Rob and crew use a full-sized club step with one set of risers) and sneakers that can pivot on your flooring and platform.

Space Requirements: You’ll need plenty of space behind and in front of your step plus be able to work off to the sides as well. Although this certainly covered a lot of floor space, I didn’t feel squeezed in my decent-sized - but by no means large - workout area.

DVD Notes: After the CIA intro and standard warnings, your main menu options are Intro to Workout, Mix & Match (i.e. the chapter menu; Warm-Up, Combo #1, Combo #2, Combo #3, Combo #4, Combo #5, Combo #6, Combo #7, Combo #8, Bonus – All 8 Together, and Cool-Down; a few of the combo chapter points aren’t perfectly on, but since Rob often right into the next block without leaving clear breaks in places I’ll cut the editor some slack), Bio & Program Content (identical to the back cover), Contact, NUGENIX (a print ad for a DNA-based nutrition company – not sure what this has to do with anything else here), and Credits.
One odd thing is that if you play the workout straight through (with the Intro to Workout option) the bonus cardio segment is AFTER the cool-down. So have your remote handy so you can skip forward, then back.

Comments: Yeah, I have no idea what the three different styles of stepping are, either. There’s no mention of them in the workout itself. Now I really want to know…

I agree with the comparisons with Christi Taylor, especially in terms of style, complexity level, and intensity. VFers recommended Rob to me way back when as someone else I might like as a Christi fan, and honestly I see that comparison better now with this workout than his hi/lo workouts (which are a tad dancier and less intense than Christi’s stuff – and often space hogs, to boot). Also, Rob had clearly started hanging out with the Evolution crew (Marcus Irwin, Rebecca Small, etc.) before he filmed with them; you can see their influence in how he breaks down some of the moves (especially when he does some basic steps, then backs off to a march, and then really gets going with the layering) plus the inclusion of the Elvis move.

This is a slightly older title, but I think it’s still worth a look, especially if, like me, you were relatively late to the step aerobics craze and have discovered you “need” more variety in your collection once you’ve gathered up all of the Christi Taylors and worked your way through a number of the CIAs and Evolutions on DVD. The number of new releases among step cardio videos, especially those with any sort of interesting choreography and most especially those with well taught complex choreography, has slowed in recent years, so these older videos are going to keep some of their value, especially one like this where the choreography still feels interesting, different enough, and even fresh. This is a keeper for me.

Instructor Comments:
I agree that Rob is a good cuer, although I wouldn’t have minded if he had been a little more specific and/or included more directional cues (although when he does he mirror cues). And he definitely uses the “watch me” method very well.
I’ve only seen Rob as a solo instructor, actually. I like him. I know he’s not a favorite for many on VF, but I never got any weird vibes from him, even during the one quick hip shake move here. I find him professional without being stuffy, positive without being peppy. He’s clearly comfortable in front of the camera, with an engaging on screen personality, but he never loses sight of the fact he’s teaching you choreography. He mentions this is a good time to get the heartrate up and burn those calories a few times, but that’s about it for that sort of thing.



This is a terrific step workout from Rob Glick. There are 8 different combos, and all are pretty dancy and complex. The workout is mostly low impact, although there are a few jumps and leaps, but most could be modified. There are lots of mambo variations, box steps, scoops and straddles, and quite a few moves that have you twirling off your step in various directions, so you definitely need room all around your step for this workout.

The music is okay, not terrific, but I think it goes along well with the choreography. Rob has 4 women as background exercisers, the two in the back row usually demonstrate slightly less complex options.

The step segment of the workout is about 50 minutes long. Combos 1 through 5 make up the first half hour of the workout, and Rob gives you the option to stop after combo 5 if you are pressed for time. However, I found the last 3 combos to be the most fun, with moves like the Guttermarch, the Crab, and my personal favorite, the Fly. This DVD version also includes a bonus section that allows you to TIFT all 8 combos, and is programmable to allow you to choose the sections you want to do.

Rob's cueing and teaching is much better than in the G-Force videos, where it seemed as if he kept you in a basic holding pattern for a long time while he taught the combo. Here, he's much more quick about it. He cues the basic moves, then says "watch me" as he layers. I suspect that some people may want more cueing than this, but I was able to pick up the moves by the third go with this workout, and I'm not the quickest learner of choreography.

Intensity wise, I'd call it intermediate/advanced, similar to Christi Taylor's workouts, and I reached my target heart rate with no problem.

Instructor Comments:
Rob really shines on this solo effort. His choreography seems much more innovative and creative than before, and again, his teaching has improved so much. He has a very easygoing and charming manner, he's handsome and comes across as a genuinely nice guy. I'd love to see him make more workouts with Patrick and Darrin, but if he continues to make solo workouts of this caliber I will be content.

Mary K.


For reference I am a low advanced exerciser--I can do Cathe but modify her moves somewhat. I pick up complex choreography easily.

This is now my new favorite step video. It consists of eight full combinations of choreography all of which are quite complex. Rob breaks things down just the right amount; I was able to get everything down the second time through.

The choreography is really what makes this tape shine. The moves are very dancy and flow together beautifully. The end result is that you feel like you are flying. There are many twirling moves and mambo based moves. I personally found it very knee friendly because it's also low impact. If turning moves bother your knees this may not be for you. There are several truly innovative and fun moves which have unique names--crab walk, gutter march, fly, and the Elvis.

The music is the same as the step music in the CIA 2200 series. I personally like it and think that Rob's choreography fits the music better than any other routine that has it. It's all instrumental and the only recognizable song is "Sweet Dreams."

Impact is minimal although there are some leaps. It requires a fair amount of space all around the step, particularly in front. I have only a moderate workout space and was able to fit although I had to modify slightly.

Intensity level for me was similar to Christi Taylor's step tapes. I used my heart rate monitor the first time through and it was in the similar range for Christi's tapes and I thought in places more intense. This is a good cardio workout but not killer. I personally was drenched by the end both times I've done this workout.

Rob is very charismatic and handsome. I have a crush. And I don't see myself getting bored with this one. If you like Christi Taylor, Franny Benedetto or Andre Houle I think you'll really like this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Charming, encouraging and a great cuer!



Can you say FUN? This is a brain-burner workout meant only for those who enjoy complex choreography. While the intensity ranges from intermediate to advanced, the choreography is advanced throughout. Rob does lots of turns, ending up on all sides of the step, and lots of mambo variations and “quick-feet” variations. Even with the non-stop complexity, I found myself able to make it through the first time with minimal problems. I do think many of the moves could have been explained better (cueing left, right, front, back, etc.), but overall, Rob’s cueing has tremendously improved since the G-Force videos. If this is a good example of his solo step workouts, I hope he makes a lot more. One lingering question I have, though, is that this is supposed to be 3 different step styles – however, I still have no clue what they are! Grade A+.

Annie S.


The first half of this video was fairly easy to follow and pick up. I managed to follow along on the first viewing without too much trouble. The second half and last four combos are a little more complicated and I had to follow one or two of them in slow motion to pick up the moves. The music is average. It keeps the tempo of the steps going, but is otherwise nothing to sing along to. The two back exercisers that are supposed to show the simpler steps don't always do so. However, they have far better form and personality than the front two. In fact, I found the front left exerciser (Hibba) distracting and consistently stepping with bad form and posture. Rob has a fantastic personality and a good teaching style. There are a couple of combos that I wish he would have given more break down to, but that might make the workout a little boring once it's been mastered.
All in All, I really enjoy this workout and can see myself doing it for a long time to come without getting bored.

Instructor Comments:
Rob has a great personality and teaching style. A couple of his exercisers could work on their form and posture, but the back two have good form, personality, and energy.

Julie E.