Great Moves: Step ConstructionMarcus Irwin
Year Released: 1998
Categories: Step Aerobics
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This is a fun, solidly intermediate step workout. Because it was designed for instructors, combinations are broken down pretty thoroughly and yes, there is a good bit of marching in place. But I still find that my heartrate gets high enough for long enough for me to consider this a good workout for a shorter cardio day. The workout is also almost all low-impact.
Marcus is one of the best teachers and cuers in the business. I think this workout would be ideal for someone who wants to take the next step and try more complex choreography, as Marcus does such a good job layering the moves and fitting the blocks together. The choreography is not as complex or interesting as some of his later work, but I still found it interesting enough once the combination was put together.
The workout consists of a warm-up, brief stretch, step workout, and final stretch. There is no cool down: Marcus moves directly from a final TIFT of the step routine to a stretch.
The set is basic, but bright, airy, and pleasant. I have heard the music in other workouts, but that did not bother me. It fits the workout fairly well.
A note about Marcus getting off the count of the music: he himself is well aware of that and mentions it several times when he is teaching the move that gets off the beat. I found it pretty unobtrusive and was not irritated by it.
Marcus is a fantastic instructor--he both teaches and cues well. He has a charming personality, self-deprecating and light-hearted.
Step Construction is a perfect title for this tape - Marcus takes each of the moves and builds slowly to a point where they're more and more complex. The Great Moves series is designed to show instructors new moves, so the warm up and cool down are relatively brief. The overall tape is a quick 42 minutes, with about 38 minutes of step. I was thinking it might be a intermediate in intensity, until we got to "7 knees". That really turns things up a notch, so I'll rate it intermediate/advance (same as Collage). The choreography is complex, but the building process is such that it's easy to keep up. What really makes this tape stand out is Marcus. He's fun, perky-but-not-annoying, and has a self-effacing kind of humor. I'd love to see more tapes from this guy! Other reviews have mentioned that the music gets off of from the steps at one point, but it's really pretty unobtrusive.
Personality plus! His cueing is great, he builds the steps slowly so it's easy to catch on, and his accent is adorable!
The intensity of this tape is more of an intermediate to high-intermediate level, but the FUN is advanced! Marcus teaches some really neat choreography, and he makes it extremely easy to pick up by layering gradual changes on top of more basic patterns.
As enthusiastic as I am about this workout, though, there is one part that is AWFUL. It comes when you're putting together a couple of routines (you'll know it when you get there). Marcus is one beat off during the whole thing. He does two repetitions of it "from the top," all off beat. This is wildly annoying, and I hate it that they (the producers) let it go out like this. It's such an awesome tape otherwise. But here's what I do: I just don't look at the TV during that part, and I do the routine to the music. It's pretty easy to do it that way, because Marcus teaches so well. So save your sanity and just don't look at the TV for these few minutes. Because if you do look, you'll be frustrated enough to choke him!
If it wasn't for that one part, I'd rank this an A+. But because of that, I'm lowering it to an A.
Marcus is a "star" in my book. I'll buy anything he comes out with.
I was going to do this tape a few more times before posting a review but I just can't bring myself to waste my workout time. For those of you who never heard of the tape, it is one of the tapes in Kari Anderson's Great Moves series and is led by Marcus Irwin.
Although there were several aspects I like about the workout, I must admit I was a bit disappointed in it. It is advertised as an intermediate/advanced workout but I think it is solidly intermediate. I am at an intermediate fitness level and had a hard time getting/remaining in my target zone. I would not rate this as an advanced workout in the least and in fact, I found it a bit boring. It consisted primarily of variations of basic steps, mambos, and marches, marches, marches......
It uses the same soundtrack as CIA 9703 and other CIA workouts(which is really getting boring) and consists of basic steps, side steps, and hamstrings. Then you alernate a series of verrry slow basics with regular basics. It seem out of tempo with the music and just doesn't "feel right" (if that makes any sense). Then you do some step kicks and walk around the step to step kick on the other side--I kind of liked that. One move that I definitely think I should caution you about is a move Marcus calls "the peg leg" It is like a one-legged march with the leg on the side of the step. You put the weight on the leg that is on the step--be careful with this (if you are slightly klutzy like me) because if you do that too close to the edge of the step, the step will fly up at you!!!
With that all said, however, it could just be that the real purpose of this video is to give aerobic instructors some ideas (which is what the Great Moves series is designed to accomplish) and I think it is good for that purpose. It gives instructors some good ideas on how to create variations of simple basic moves.
Marcus seems like a really nice guy (I love his Australian accent)and he cues well BUT he talks a lot about how tough the workout is (I didn't find it to be so) and one thing I don't care for at all is the fact that he has you march a lot while he demonstrates a move. I think that would get old fast if you do this workout more than a few times.
This video has a much more beautiful set then the older Great Moves video's. The back bright windows are covered with a see through sheet and it looks so pleasant to the eye.
The workout starts off with a small warmup but no stretching.
Marcus does alot of marching and does mostly low impact except for moves where you have to unload the knee. He tells you to keep going on the move while he shows you a new move. Sometimes it's marching for 16 counts! Not me! I don't like being taught that way. One thing happened in the middle of the workout, Marcus started getting off beat of the music. So he would start a move on the 6 count instead of the 1st 8 count. This was so so bad. I could never do this workout because of this. He finally got back on beat by a knee hop that looked like he was about to trip. He does alot of mambos and step knee ups. The choreography is intermediete. Some turns around the bench but nothing exciting. He does a lot of the choreography on the floor. The music is the CIA 9703 step music that you hear in almost all the new CIA video's which is getting so old. He then does some marching at the end off beat of the music and this got annoying as well. I like to do a back stretch to the beat of the music but he didn't. All his moves were off beat. His microphone got a lot of static too which was irritating. Technical problems. As you can tell, I wasn't that impressed with this workout. Marcus is a charming instrucor maybe his next video will go better for him
Marcus does a very good job on cueing but gets off the beat of the music which is so aggrivating!!! He has a great Australian accent and charming personality. His choreography is ok alot of mambo's. His workout has a lot of low impact. He has a bulky muscly look to him and he wears these really short shorts that look strange on a man if you know what I mean. Can you picture Speedo bathing suit working out? During the warmup, his t-shirt already had huge sweaty armpits.