Take Another StepCharlene Prickett
Year Released: 1998
Categories: Step Aerobics
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A few things about me before I review the tape: I'm an intermediate exerciser who has only recently rediscovered step due to finally getting a new, regular-sized step and a new wooden floor (as opposed to the disgusting carpeting over the slab I had to deal with before). I decided on this tape after I got sick of doing the only 2 step tapes I had in my collection, and I only found out about this tape because I clicked on Charlene's name in the Instructor Index; this tape doesn't show up on the Step Aerobics Index at all. What's up with that?
But on to the tape. This is a solid, fun intermediate tape. It starts out with a nice warm up, with a grapevine across and step touches on the step, then onto some good stretches for hip flexors and hamstrings. Then it's on to the stepping portion, where there's a slew of fun steps. Knees off the side, straddles, a basketball shooting move, turns and hops around the step; Charlene will keep you going without repeating a sequence. Yup, no TIFTing (Taking It From the Top) here, which really keeps it moving along. I sweated quite a bit on this one, and I'm only using a 4" step!
After the stepping, you go into a cool down, with a nice slowed down routine (after taking an exertion check). A note about one of the steps in the cooldown: Charlene has you doing a side touch onto the step and cha cha cha on the floor combo then cues late when she tells you to put the foot doing the side touch over the step. Meanwhile, the camera is focused on Jeanette's head, which really helps - NOT! After the first couple of times you'll pick it up, but I found it disconcerting at first. Also with this move, if you're short (like me), Charlene tells you not to put your foot over the step - I found myself doing this anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.
Then she does some stretches, holding them for longer than a few seconds, which really feels good. She does them on the step (sort of) but she tells you you can take it to the floor if it's uncomfortable.
The only other thing that bugged me (and it may only be me) was how Charlene sometimes says "reverse basic" instead of "left basic" or "right basic." At 5:00 in the morning, I can't always remember which foot I started with, so saying "reverse" doesn't mean much. ;-) Not a biggie, but it messes me up sometimes.
All in all, I give this tape an A-.
I worked out in the 1980's with Charlene's show, It Figures (not available in the U.S. anymore), and I always found her to be very likeable and down to earth. She's chatty in this tape, but she's focused on the cuing, not on the latest fitness news. She cues pretty well throughout, with just a few glitches. Quite an inspiration, proving that you can be fit in your 50's (and beyond!).
I wasn't too keen on trying this video when I previewed the first five minutes, but when I actually did it, I liked it alot. I had to do lots of my own jumping throughout, but the slow tempo and big movements made it easy to adjust the workout to be more advanced. Charlene did not chat too much about other topics, but just concentrated on the moves. She explains the moves as if you are an inexperienced stepper, so I was way ahead of her doing my plyos and jumps. The workout itself is only 35 minutes, so I added this on to Franny's 9905 hi/lo. Charlene does not "go from the top" and the workout went very fast. I would consider it low intermediate because of the numerous basic steps and marches off the step, but advanced exercisers can easily adjust.
Charlene looks great in this video. She is a perfect example of a lean, slim woman with lots of arm definition. She sets a great example for the over 50 exerciser.
I noticed there isn't a review of this tape, and since it's one of her newer tapes that I actually like, I thought I'd do a review of it. This tape is intermediate to advanced and is really fun to do. I had no problems getting the steps the first time. Charlene has a good variety of steps, such as turns with and without a hop, a jump around repeater, karate kick, cha cha cha, basketball shoots, lunges off the side, straddles and squats on the bench. One of my complaints about Charlene is that she does too many straddles for my taste, but this tape doesn't seem to have that problem. There are straddles, but not too many and they're more fun than some of her other tapes.
I had put off doing this tape for quite a while after buying it because I had been so disappointed in some of her other newer tapes, so it was a nice surprise to find that I liked this one so much. I recommend it, especially if you like Charlene.
Charlene cues really well and makes the steps easy to learn and fun. She's chatty as usual, but I don't mind it at all.
Another fun step tape from the "new" Charlene. In her last few tapes, she has added a lot of new choreography -- still nothing fancy or complicated, but much more interesting and stimulating than some of her older tapes. Here she even does some turns, which is completely new for Charlene!
As always, Charlene gives you an excellent cardio workout from beginning to end. The stepping part is about 45 minutes. I would call it high-intermediate/low-advanced in intensity.
I don't think this is quite as fun as her Step It All Off tape, but almost. It is an excellent addition to any Charlene fan's library, and I give it an A.