30 Minutes to Fitness: Cardio Blast

Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Step Aerobics

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Kelly Coffey-Meyer is one of my favorite fitness instructors, but I tend to have more of her strength-focused DVDs than her cardio ones. However, I enjoy plyometrics and was curious about this DVD, so I decided to give it a try. Like all of the offerings in her "30 Minutes to Fitness" series, this DVD contains two workouts, each approximately 30 minutes in length (although the routines run a bit long here, which is actually one of the things I don't like). Kelly teaches the workout live with her two usual background exercisers, Lauren and Samantha. Lauren modifies the first workout without use of a step, and she modifies the second workout to be mostly low impact.

The Main Menu offers the following options: Introduction - Workout One "Athletic Step" - Workout Two "Plyometrics" - Premixes - Chapters. The Chapters Menu lists the warm-up, the five step combos, and the cool-down, for the first workout, and for the second workout, each exercise is listed individual along with the warm-up and cool-down. I have provided additional details below.

WORKOUT #1 (36.5 minutes)
The 5-minute warm-up includes squats right-left, step and shoot, alternating knees, step/lunge back, tap on/over the step, insole taps on the step, and punches. Kelly teaches the step combos in an add-on, "take it from the top" style, but once she is finished a combo, she moves on to the next one.
*Step Combo #1: Start with basic step; adds speed bag with lift back. Next, turn step and knee with thrust punch. Add squat moving down the step and triple insole.
*Step Combo #2: Start with a tap on/over step; add a side hop. Perform double side hops over the step. Add front-back step touch.
*Step Combo #3: Begin with triple knee and pulsing lunge back; add triple corner jab with jack. Next, jog with "shoot." End with side step with side kick out.
*Step Combo #4: Start with low squat v-step followed by jack. Add knee "charleston" and then L-step with shuffle. Finish with power tap with knee.
*Step Combo #5: First move is a jack followed by heel pump; add squat with punches, then hamstring curl with jack. Pivot over step squat to finish.
The short stretch (<2 minutes) for this workout uses the step and targets the hamstrings, hip flexors, side, shoulders, inner thighs, and back.

WORKOUT #2 (35 minutes)
The long warm-up (6 minutes) for this workout includes slow side steps, knee wraps, hamstrings curls, jobs, leaps to the front/side, and squats/squats with knees. There is also a brief round of stretches for the hip flexors, calves, and quads. The exercises are performed in two sets of eight (really, 16 right in a row), which is then repeated once. Here they are as listed on the chapter menu:
*Squat Jump
*Jacks Over Square (Kelly uses a folded towel)
*Hop Overs
*Tuck Jumps
*Long Jumps
*Heel Digs
*Splits on the Move
*Jump In Straddle Out
*Side Lunges
*Power Knees
The 3.5-minute aerobic cool-down incorporates jogs and marches and then repeats several of the stretches from the warm-up to finish.

There are only two Premixes on this DVD: they are Step Plyo Blast (41 mins.) and Step Plyo Blast (49 minutes).

I found both of these workouts to be just okay. For the step routine, I definitely liked that the choreography was not too complex and that Kelly incorporated kicking and punching. On the other hand, I thought that the combos dragged on too long, and there were WAY too many jacks for my liking (on of my least-favorite moves). For the plyometric workout, I thought that some of the moves were a lot of fun and easy enough to modify the intensity to your own level (e.g., I like to jump, but I do smaller jumps than Kelly for the "squat jump," and I love that she included lower-impact moves such as the "heel digs" and "power knees"). Despite this, I felt that there wasn't enough variety in this routine, and I just can't see using it on a regular basis. Finally, the premixes didn't offer much variety, as they just weave the pylos into the full step combos.

As with all Kelly's DVDs, these routines are well-produced, and they are likely to appeal to intermediate exercisers. They just did not fit with my particular needs.

Instructor Comments:
As noted, Kelly is one of my favorite instructors. I thought she cued well here; I could generally follow her for the step even though 1) I usually don't do step workouts, and 2) I was just using the top portion of my Fanny Lifter (I don't have a full-sized step).

Beth C (aka toaster)


This DVD contains two workouts, Athletic Step and Plyometrics. I've only done the Athletic step portion, as I'm still a little wary of an all plyometrics routine (though on preview it looks approachable!)

The combos were interesting without being difficult to remember. They were definitely athletic, but I wasn't bored (and I love dancey step!) There were only a few moves with my back to the tv, so following was not a problem. Note that Kelly uses more taps than many instructors, and that she often defaults to an alternating basic.

There is a fair amount of high impact - bench hops, jumping jacks, plyo lunges (I think that's the name, it's a lunge where you jump up instead of pulsing.) I can do a fair amount of impact, though not super high, and this was mostly fine for me. The only thing I didn't do was the fast feet taps, as I always worry about tripping on those.

If I had a criticism, it would be that the combos seem to have about one more repeat than I would prefer. I'd rather string together all the combos at the end once or twice, but I know that's a matter of preference! I've done this workout twice now, and I look forward to using it in the future. It is longer than 30 minutes with warm-up and cooldown, but it's still a great workout in a short time period. I like to do it on days where I'm planning to add on abs or some other workout.

Instructor Comments:
This is my first experience with Kelly, and I loved her! I found her to be encouraging and warm, while still giving what were (for me) good cues. I love her interactions with her background exercisers. She seems to be having a great time, which makes me want to work out with her! I'm looking forward to trying some of her other workouts soon.



This is one of my favorite workouts acquired in 2010. It was a trade that I didn't expect much from and that I am still doing months later.

There are two workouts on this DVD, Athletic Step and the plyometric workout. I did each one once for the experience and then have done Athletic Step exclusively since then. I did the premix once with one ploymetric move between each Athletic Step segment and will do it again in modified form when I have the time. I have arthritic knees that are bothering me quite a bit these days, so I follow Lauren and even modify her some. She does jumping jacks and some other jarring, but non-torquey, moves and I need to modify those. Lauren doesn't use the step, so, for me, this is a floor workout.

I thoroughly enjoy this workout from beginning to end. Historically, I have liked dancey cardio, so I was a bit surprised how much I like this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Kelly cues pretty well in this workout and she is funny and fun to work out with in this workout.

Laura S.


My review is for the Athletic Step section of the workout. But first one note about the DVD. The premixes include a 41-minute mix of Athletic Step with one set of Plyo moves between each combo and a 49-minute mix with Athletic Step and two sets of Plyo moves between each combo.

Athletic Step is exactly what the name says, it is a non-'dance-y' combination of interesting but not choreographically complex step moves. Kelly even says a few times through the workout that 'you're not going to find any mambos here.' I don't remember how many combos there were exactly (4 or 5) but she puts each together, adds on a few moves as she goes then moves on to the next combo. There is no TIFTing and no putting-it-together-at-the-end. The steps are basic and include jump shots, step hop-overs, squat Vs. There are some jumping jacks in between steps and a smattering of kickbox moves - thrust, jab-crosses, squat punches, etc.

I really enjoy this workout. It's tough but not puke-in-a-bucket tough and I appreciate that. I can get my heartrate up and feel that I have had a solid cardio workout in under 45 minutes with this one. The pre-mixes with Plyo moves add an even greater challenge so you can grow with this one.

Most of the music is re-mixed versions of identifiable songs. I much prefer this music to your standard fare of electronic music found in most step workouts.

I recommend this workout highly.

Instructor Comments:
Kelly is humorous and motivating. She's conversational throughout but no weight loss or body image talk. I really like her style. I've heard comments about her cueing style but I've never had a problem. When I've done a workout for the 3rd or 30th time, I don't want to have every step told to me. She also makes me laugh at the end when she does a few mambos for those of us that missed them.