Step and SculptJay Blahnik, Linda McHugh
Year Released: 1995
Categories: Step Aerobics
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On cardio work, I am an intermediate exerciser who is playing with advanced choreography. So, in the past few months, I have acquired a lot of tapes with advanced choreography. At some point, I decided that it would be nice to have a few workouts that are less complex, but still give me a good workout. This tape is one that I acquired through a trade in this quest.
I assume this workout is the step companion to Low Impact and Stretch Challenge, because they both have the same group of background exercisers and is set on the same set. Many of my comments will sound familiar if you read that other review.
Jay Blahnik and Linda McHugh lead this workout with four background exercisers. The set is plain, but not bad – it looks like a workout space with wood floors and plain walls. The music was more fun than the usual Dynamix type stuff. There is a fair amount of whooping at a few points in the workout, but they all seemed to having such a good time that I didn’t mind.
Jay and Linda teach the warm up and cool down together. At times, it’s hard to tell who is “officially” leading, but they do it so seamlessly it doesn’t matter. They trade off teaching the four combinations in between. Here are some details about the workout:
> 1st combo, Linda leads. A lot of fun with kee ups, mambos, turns, and hip swings.
> 2nd combo, Jay leads. Turn steps, moving on and off the step, steps on top of the bench with upper body moves, lunges from on top of the step. Went through the first side of this combination, then combined it with the first combination. Then, did the second side of the second combination and then combined the two combinations together on both sides.
> 3rd combo, Jay leads. Steps on and over the step, scoops on top of the step, and repeaters.
> 4th combo, Linda leads. Step up, straddle over the step, step taps, and knee ups. Then, they combined the third and fourth combinations.
Step portion lasted 40 minutes. It was followed by a 10-minute sculpt portion. I did not do this section, but here are the moves:
>Lunges off step
>Upper body moves on top of step with tubing
>More lunges off the step
>Push-ups off end of the step
>Crunches on the step
The workout ends with a stretch.
These two instructors have something special in their workouts together. They have a lot of fun. They blend their leading together.
I enjoy this tape so much, I felt I needed to add my review. Kathy is correct that this tape is not the longest, and IMO that makes it perfect for the busy exerciser. Eulonda is correct that Jay and Linda are thorough about building their combinations, and IMO that makes it perfect for the choreographically challenged. Nonetheless, I do think that they put together some interesting choreography, and I particularly like the smooth way they splice back and forth from one instructor (and routine) to the other. I also have to say that I particularly like the cooldown, as it is long enough and not too funky.
I enjoyed this video. I'd rate it as intermediate in intensity level, and moderate/advanced in choreography. I'm an advanced exerciser, who is more used to Cathe Frederich's high impact step videos. I didn't feel challenged enough in this video (though collage ranks it as intermed/advanced intensity).
My main criticism, though, is that Linda and Jay take too long to build up the sequences. The moves are fairly basic (i.e., step kick, lateral arm raises while doing a side step, mambos on the floor, v-steps, hop turns, lunges). The advanced exerciser will immediately recognize these standards, so some of the instruction seems unncessary. I would've liked the video much more if they had taken out the little basic steps and compressed the routines more quickly. Overall, I think Kari Anderson is a better choice for people looking for an intermediate/advanced video with complex choreography.
Aerobics Choreography: Complex
Emphasis: Total Body
Total Time: 52 minutes
This video is one of the funnest exercise videos I have ever done. It's fast paced and the moves are sometimes complex but the tempo of the music and the step routines makes the 27 minutes of aerobics go fast. It certainly will get your heart rate up and make you sweat, but you wont realize that until the aerobic section is over. The step routines are fresh and fun while certainly aerobically challenging. Your body will feel great when your done. Jay and Linda blend so well and they move back and forth between the two of them . You don't even realize at times whose leading.
One thing I need to share. I have never seen a video that shows just how much a true exercisers can sweat. Linda is absolutely dripping wet from sweat throughout this video. Linda is the worst, but the other participants are also sweating pretty hard. Another thing that is sometimes distracting is that when they switch back and forth it's hard to hear what they are saying. After you learn the routine it won't be a problem any longer because the routines are so fun.
The last 10 minutes consists is a toning segment. It starts with backward lunges off the step, then lateral raises using the x-ertube, bicep curls using the x-ertube, and last abdominal exercises. A person won't be disappointed with the exercise video.
EXCELLENT! I love this tape. Linda and Jay are excellent instructors. The choreography is interesting and the cueing is excellent. The toning at the end is a nice added touch. My only complaint is the stepping section (as well as the toning) could be longer. The stepping section only lasts for 26 minutes; I usually rewind the tape so I get a longer workout, but it would be nice if the tape gave a cardio section that was at least 35 minutes. I believe the toning section only lasts for about 8 minutes; that could be extended as well. This tape is a nice addition for the advanced stepper or teacher who would like some additional choreography. I only downgrade this tape from an A because the cardio section could be longer; however, I give the tape an A for choreography. Grade: B+