CIA 2703: Amazing Hot SteppingNekea Brown
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Step Aerobics
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I'm not going to break this workout down since that's been done so nicely already by the previous posters. I first saw this workout on Studio4Fitness that was part of Exercise TV On Demand a few years ago. Back then, they were showing full length CIA workouts and I got a chance to try this and Gayís Cardio Crazy (CIA 2401). I totally fell for this workout and knew I had to have it. I have only bought one other workout (Chris Freytagís Walking Cardio Shape Up this year) as a result of watching ETV OD since 2007. Iím not that great with step workouts (my last was Hot Steps in 2006), so I donít buy them often and I havenít bought another since this in 2009. I got this because I was able to pick the steps pretty much the first time through without previewing.
Nekea's instruction is very clear. She cues before the move and she previews the move (think Christi Taylor) before everyone goes into the combo. I think the intensity and complexity are comparable to Low Max maybe even higher but I keep everything pretty low impact. I think this could be a cousin of IMAX2. Itís not so complex that you donít get it by the 2nd or 3rd try. But it is interesting enough that it feels fresh each time I do it. It helps that most of the workout is pretty low impact too. But there are some blasts that kicks it up a notch like split lunges. The music is fantastic and it has an ah-mazing fun factor. What's even better is that there's no TIFTing so you'll never have to remember each combo for later. You learn a combo in add-on style and repeat it a few times and youíre done with it. Perhaps thatís why I didnít get Cardio Crazy even though I also liked it, TIFTing. I recently started to sub kbells for the core section of 2703. Itís so short enough that I skip it most times though and don't feel like I've missed a good portion of the workout. The step portion alone is about 45-50 mins.
Nekea has a great personality. Her voice is soothing. She gives excellent cues and pointers. No buzz words or wooing that I find annoying. She shows some mods for some of the higher impact moves. Her backgrounders are clearly having fun too.
The video is formatted as follows:
2) Step combo followed by a blast (this repeats for a total of 6 combos and 6 blasts)
3) Cool down
The step combos are broken down well and are not too complex. After you complete each step combo, you never go back to it (they are independent of each other). Nekea's cueing is very good. The blasts are not completely anaerobic (at least not for me), but they really increase your heart rate. Some of the blast moves include lunges on the step, plyo moves, skating and skiing, and over-the-tops.
Nekea uses the term "travel" in a way that I hadn't heard before. When she says "step knee travel", she means "step knee" on the right side of the step, then "step knee" on the left side.
The abs section is short and consists of variations on the traditional crunch, bicycle, and planks. The cool-down and stretch were also pretty short.
The music is instrumental, mostly Latin-style, and I thought it flowed well with the moves.
There are three background exercisers.
Overall, I thought this was a good, enjoyable, intense workout. The moves are not too complex and are not repeated excessively. Nekea is a very likeable instructor.
Nekea has great camera presence. She is very motivating and appears to be having a lot of fun throughout the video.
Another winner from Nekea.
Amazing Hot Stepping bills itself as a cardio interval workout. It does alternate lower and higher intensity stuff by having you learn a combination of 7-8 minutes length followed by more of a blast that is 2-3 minutes in length. There are 6 combinations taught. Some blasts are higher intensity than others. Few caused me to get anaerobic. That's OK with me, I did not buy this workout to add to my interval workout collection. I'll just stick with Intense Moves or IMax 2 for that.
My previous experience with Nekea is from doing the step portion of Mix it Up. That workout is definitely more complex. That does not mean AHS is boring. Although less complex, Nekea manages to get many fresh new moves in. The music she pairs her combinations with could be described as "Ethnic Restaurant Mix". It works. It is not my favorite soundtrack of all time, but it is motivating enough and I do like it more each time I do the workout.
Premixes include an option to do just the blasts, or just the combinations.
The thing I like about this workout is that You spend 7-8 minutes with each combination. That is a nice length for me. Not too long, but not so short that it is going to be boring. The last combination was the trickiest for me, and the last blast was the most challenging too.
Nekea comes across as very friendly and encouraging. She does not chat too much-- mostly she is cuing.
There is a nice ab section that is more traditional ab work with some planks at the end.
My one quibble is that the cool down could have been longer. It seems like you go from the last blast to standing stretching rather quickly.
The step workout is 1 hour in length with a warm up just under 8 minutes and a 3 minute cool down/stretch.