Creative Steps III

Tim Culwell
Year Released: 1992

Categories: Step Aerobics

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This is a good, solid intermediate/advanced step tape that will challenge you, but will not wipe you out. The choreography is interesting but fairly easy to learn (hint: view the "cheat sheet" at the beginning of the video so you can see the moves broken down). The music is fun! The pace of this video is slower than many advanced step videos (such as Cathe Friedrich), but you will still get a good workout. The slower pace makes it easy to add power moves if you like (they are demonstrated as well). Tim does "take it from the top" a lot, so if you don't like that you may not like the tape. This is a tape I probably won't do often (I wonder if the tape would become a bit repetitive over time), but it's enjoyable just the same.

Instructor Comments:
I, too, used to take Tim's classes when he taught in Atlanta. I felt like I was right back in there--kind of like I was home again! Tim has a wonderful, laid back attitude, and really seems to be having a good time. He's always "checking" on his exercisers (and you, too). His cuing is excellent--very easy to follow. I wish Tim would do a CIA video!

Kristin Aziz


Back in the days when I went to health clubs and never did videos, Tim was my favorite instructor here in Atlanta. His classes were always packed, he had fun music, great choreography, and I thought he was very cute! Alas, at some point he disappeared from the schedule, and I haven't found out where he went.

When I first did this video, I thought it was a lot easier than his "live" classes. But after doing it two more times, I realized that was inaccurate - the intensity level is just as high, but the choreography is not as complex as I would have liked. I would like this tape better if each section had about one more combo in it. There are couple times that he says, "From the top" and I just want to scream, "Again?"

I do like this tape, and frankly it is a nice break from twirling all over the place at top speed with Cathe. I do wonder, though, if I will outgrow it soon just because I've memorized all the moves. I also feel I have to warn people - Tim often puts in "funky" moves or says, "Now with a little attitude." I don't really do anything funky, and it doesn't bother me because I think that's just Tim's way of enjoying himself, but I think this could drive other people nuts.

Jen Blaske


This is a full 45 minutes of cardio, plus a warmup, cooldown, abs, and stretch, for a total of an hour and 7 minutes. One thing about Tim is he always picks great music -- the kind that makes you wanna dance.

There are 3 step sections, and they progress in intensity. The first section could be considered beginner or maybe lower-intermediate in intensity. The next two get higher, with the last being advanced intensity. It occurred to me this morning as I was doing this that a beginner could use it and just increase the length as he/she got more fit. But then I changed my mind on that, because a beginner would have problems with the steps. The steps are intermediate level, and he doesn't explain how to do them.

He does explain the *patterns* however, with a "cheat sheet" at the end of the tape. (In Volume 3, he puts the cheat sheet at the beginning, which I think is a better place for it.)

Even though there is no fancy choreography, the music makes you MOVE. I find myself really getting into it, adding hops and "attitude" and even a whoop here and there. If you're like me, you'll find yourself chanting along with the cast, "Zig," "And Zag," and "Pump, pump,pump it UP!"

Gay Gasper is one of the class participants. She's looking pretty darn good. In fact,according to Tim, they're all looking pretty good, and I am, too! He keeps making comments throughout the workout like, "Looking good, Camille!" And he even told me I was looking good several times. (Gee, thanks, Tim!) I could live without that, but it doesn't *bother* me.

Tim always puts one section in that is or is approaching killer status. This one only approaches it. (CS #3 has a section that might make you pass out.) There are a series of lunges and squats in the third segment that will get your heart rate way up there (and it's fun, too).

If you like good music, long cardio with not-too-fancy footwork, and charming instructors, this one's for you. My grade is A.

Tim Culwell is very consistent with his videos. He includes a "cheat sheet" that goes over some of the tougher moves in the video at the start of the tape; this is definetly a good thing to do before you attempt the workout. I didn't find the tape hard, but the moves are very easy to get once you review the "cheat sheet". This tape consists of three sections; the first is basic, with the second section being the toughest of them all. The last section is not as tough but fun. All of Tim's videos have a cardio section that lasts for at least 40 minutes; I believe this one lasts for 41, so you'll get a sufficient workout. I recommend this video for the intermediate to advanced exerciser who wants a good step tape to add to their tape repertoire. Grade: A

Kathy Lapinski


Tim Culwell is a great instructor. Creative Steps 3 is an advanced step tape, not a killer tape, that is challenging and fun. Gay Gasper participates on this video. Tim goes through his Cheat Sheet like he does on all his videos. This gives you an idea of what the moves are, like "pump it up." There is a 9 minute warm-up and three sections that add up to 43 minutes total stepping. There is a cool down, five minute ab section, stretch and relaxation. I always liked Tim Culwell. I have Club Cardio Jam and Creative Steps 2. Since I got hooked on Cathe, he was on my back burner, but after doing the tapes again, I realize how great he really is. Also, the music on this tape is really good, gets you to really move. Looking at the tape as a observer, you may think it's not that intense, but don't be fooled. I really sweat by the time I got to Section 2. After Cathe, Tim is the next best step instructor.

maryann parker


I'd like to add a few personal comments to Kathy's review. This workout is slower and more controlled than Cathe Friedrich videos, yet it's fun and funky. Tim has a great personality, cues extremely well, and the interaction between him and the other 3 exercisers (one is Gay Gaspar) makes for a lively atmosphere. I feel this tape gives me as good a workout as Cathe videos even though the format is different. I add some power moves to make the workout more intense. Unlike Cathe videos, I have enough energy early in the morning to make it through this video and get a good workout. The funky music helps wake me up! Grade A -- Intermediate/Advanced

Joni O


Wow - this is a killer. This step workout is divided into 3 sections, and section 2 is the toughest cardio workout I've *ever* done. Many will have problems getting through it the first few times, I know I did. But it's worth it, because this workout is really a lot of fun.

Tim doesn't take time during the workout to teach the steps. Instead, there's a segment at the beginning of the video that shows them to you. It's definitely worth watching -- you'll need it. It's not that the steps are overly complicated -- it's just that Tim refers to combinations of step patterns with a single name, and if you haven't watched the introduction, you won't have a clue what he's talking about.

For example, The L Thing is a straddle-lunge-repeater combination. The L Thing is also the killer part of the workout that will take your heart rate to levels off the map! When you learn it in the Intro, you'll think nothing of it, because the combination is composed of familiar moves. Wait till he sets it to music! When doing section 2, where The L Thing occurs, you might want to take your step down one level until you get used to it.

Besides being tough, this workout is also fun. I prefer Tim's Club Cardio Jam as far as music and just having a good time, but this one certainly will not put you to sleep. The music here is upbeat as well -- one of the tunes is "We're too fit . . . We're too fit to quit," sung to the tune of MC Hammer's Too Legit to Quit.

The cardio section is 43 minutes, and there are warmups and cooldowns in addition. There's also a 5-minute abdominal
section. The total workout is an hour and 5 minutes. This workout gets an A+ from me!

Annie S.