Step PumpTonya Larson
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Step Aerobics , Total Body Workouts
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Step Pump with Tonya Larson
This DVD was broken down into a warm-up, step segment, cool down, weights segment, abs and stretch. The step work would probably be considered intermediate Ė not extremely complex, but not the most basic either. Each of the 4 segments was broken down quite a bit and then built up. Sometimes she showed layers and I found at times she added the more complex layer very quickly and there was not a lot of practice. Her style of teaching is different than some Ė she taught all 4 segments separately and then put them all together at the end (no tifting of segments once they were learned). The music was club-like but I found it too quiet to really get any energy from. Music means everything to me in a step workout, so this was definitely a huge minus for me.
The weight section contained things like squats, plie squats, push-ups, bicep curls, etc. There were basically one or two exercises for each muscle group and sometimes the exercise was combined into a compound move. Fairly basic stuff.
On the whole I didnít find this DVD very interesting. It was ok to do it once, but its going to my trade pile now. I didnít find it had much energy to it, but thatís a matter of personal taste. This might be a good DVD for someone looking to combine step and a basic weight program, and looking to move up from more basic step to something a bit more complex.
Tonya seemed nice and she was on time with the cuing but I didn't find her very animated.
This solid intermediate workout is approximately 56 minutes in length. It's broken into 2 segments, Step or Pump (full body toning). You can choose to PLAY ALL from the chapter menu if you want to play the segments together.
Serving as a warmup, Tonya begins the step portion with Combo #1. Tonya includes "dynamic stretches" to keep your heart rate up as well as more traditional stretches to prepare for the step portion. After the warmup/Combo #1, Tonya takes you through 3 additional combinations. (at the very end, you'll string all 4 combinations together for a total of 3 times)
You'll always learn the base pattern first. (background exerciser Robin maintains this level throughout the workout for those not wanting to follow the optional modifications) Tonya uses the same step count for all of the more advanced options, making it easy to stick to either the initial pattern or move into the more challenging one as you get familiar with the choreography. (e.g. one knee corner or choose knee spin away, 3 knee repeater or choose "ping pong" repeater) Mostly low impact, the workout is very easy to follow. Tonya's cuing is precise and she'll preview the options first as the background girls maintain the basic pattern. The moves are traditional but they are put together in ways that make it more enjoyable. (I've done the step portion 4 times and depending on my energy levels/sleep, have done the basic or more challenging versions and love it!!) The step portion, with the brief warmup and cool down, is 30 minutes which makes it a great "add on" to other cardio options.
The toning portion uses high reps and light to medium weights (depending on which body part you are working) to condition the entire body. (I've done this once and in just 22 minutes time, I felt efficiently worked) Tonya uses the same rep pattern (2 down, 2 up for 4 reps, then single count for 8 reps, then down & pulse 3 times for 4 reps and then finishing with another set of 8 single reps) throughout each exercise.
Tonya begins with squats (to work overall legs) and then on the next set adds an outer thigh leg lift. Plie squats are next, focusing now on the inner thighs. Chest work is next. Tonya begins with pushups on the step. Next you will perform a dumbbell fly on the bench with the option of maintaining bridge position (this will add additional attention to the glutes, quads and hamstrings). Next is a compound move working biceps and legs together. You can maintain either a curtsy lunge/bicep curl (to make it harder) or a regular rear lunge/bicep curl. Next up is an upright row. This primarily focuses on the shoulders with the biceps as helpers. Shoulder raises follow. Rows with tricep extension work both the back and tricep efficiently. This concludes the Pump workout and you'll then move onto core work.
Plank work for 2 sets (long holds) begin the core session. Tonya also includes traditional curls, curls with knee lift option which include lower abdominal focus, and twists with or without handweights.
The final stretch is short but mainly focuses on the back, hamstrings and outer glute area. (during the Pump segment Tonya includes stretches after each set to stretch the legs, chest, biceps, shoulder and triceps so nothing goes untouched)
The workout was produced by Petra Kolber and uses the same production studio that Petra used for her latest dvd offerings. The set was pretty and spacious. The music was traditional aerobic genre, coming from bigbeatmuzic.com. (the spiritual warmup music was from freeplaymusic.com) The background exercisers are: Traci Barton and Robin Vitale
As a bonus, Tonya offers 4 "spiritual warmups" that focus on different goals: Emotional & Spiritual Health, Self-Discipline, Physical Health & Hope. In each of these short 3 minute segments, Tonya shares biblical verses to help reach your personal goals. (this is optional and if you choose, you don't have to include these in your workout. As a Christian I truly enjoyed each of these offerings, but again, Tonya offered these as "optional" so you can make that choice yourself)
I enjoyed this workout tremendously and believe Tonya fills a "niche" for solid, intermediate "fun" choreography. (nothing fancy or too complex that has you frusterated learning the patterns) I hope she brings us more step workouts in the future!
Tonya is an AFAA certified group exercise and step instructor. www.tonyalarson.net
I thought this was a very good intermediate-intensity/complexity workout. The choreography style is reminiscent of Gay Gasper's or Nekea Brown's. The strength workout, while short, was quite efficient and very good for a short-on-time day.
Set: Warm earth tones, hardwood floor in a loft studio with comfortable furniture seen on the side. Rectangular windows in the background appear to open to blue sky.
Music: Generic Dynamix instrumental, nothing special.
Step: One of Tonya's two backgrounders always sticks with the basic move while Tonya shows the more complex version.
The step is 30 minutes and made up of about 4-5 combos that you eventually put all together. After the first combo you do a very brief dynamic stretch. You start with a knee up-straddle, then knee-behind (some call it a "scissor back over the step") with each leg. Then reverse box on the step (you get on the step, face the back wall and tap with other foot, then get back down) and one jack.
Other moves, not necessarily in this order, include knee up on the corner, go over the step, shuffle around, kick the corner, back up three steps, kick again, return to step and do a "basketball shoot." There is a rocking horse on the corner, into step-pivot and basic step. L-step, box-step, cha cha cha. Mambo on the step, straddle, mambo, ham curl, then four ham curls straddling the step and going around in a square.
What really made the step workout shine to me is that all these moves were seamlessly strung together. In the end you can't tell where one combo end and the next one starts. They are connected together really well.
Weights: The basic pattern for reps is four slow, 8 fast, 3 slow-one-fast, and finishing off wth 8 more fast reps ("8 more and we're done!") You do squats, squats with side to side leg raises, plies, lunge with bicep curl, shoulder lateral raises, pushups on the step, and lat row plus kickback. By using 8-lb weights, I found this to be an efficient tight-on-time weight workout.
Then you do planks, crunches with leg raise, and oblique twists in V-sit.
I had been a little concerned about the religious element, since I am not. But apparently it's only in the optional "spiritual" warmups. During the workout, the only reference to God is "thank God, right?" after completing one lively combo. :)
Calm, steady demeanor without being robotic. Very good cuing! I would definitely buy more workouts from her.