ShapelyGirl: Let's Get Stepping!Debra Mazda
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Step Aerobics
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This is my favorite step workout ever - I have a several different step workouts, from Denise Austin to Brenda Dygraff to the Buns of Steel videos, and this is by far my favorite. For one, I like the basic movements; I'm really not a fan of complicated moves/combos (two left feet!), so keeping it simple is for me! But just because the moves are simple doesn't mean they can't be challenging. While I'm sure this may be boring for advanced steppers, I found this to be challenging as well as easy to follow. Debra's cueing is perfect!
Plus, this is a 37 minute aerobic routine - my other tapes are only 20 to 25 minutes, but I like that this is longer - it helps me build up my endurance. I did this a few times, then tried the Brenda Dygraff routine, and while it was only 20 minutes, the moves are more complicated than Debra's. And I didn't even break a sweat! Usually this tape kicks my butt, but not this time, thanks to doing the Shapely Girl step workout.
For beginners, she gives plenty of options to make it as easy or challenging as you like; one of her steppers does a no arm workout, which is great for people just starting step, or those of us who haven't worked out in ages. It makes a difference between finishing the workout and giving up. But again, you can make this challenging by simply raising your step height, adding wrist weights, etc. This isn't a DVD I'm going to get rid of after I get past the beginner - beginner/intermediate levels, that's for sure! (unlike my two Denise Austin step tapes - they're very good, but mainly for beginners).
Another plus about Debra's workout DVDs are the premixes - there are two aerobic mixes in addition to the main workout, a 31 minute and a 25 minute, perfect if you're short on time, or again, if you want to start with a shorter workout and go from there. AND there's a bonus short toning segment :) AND one mix that combines includes aerobic and toning. You definitely get your money's worth with Debra's DVDs!
The only thing I would change in this video is the inclusion of a 'slow down' period in-between the aerobic and cool down segments. Going from your target heart rate RIGHT to cool down is awkward. It's not a problem for me, as I just pause the DVD and do the cool down once my heart rate is back to normal.
Lastly, I love Debra's attitude - she's so positive and has a very 'coffee talk' personality, which is great :D She knows exactly what to say to encourage you to give your all. As challenging as this workout was to do the first time, I did it the whole way through. Her encouragement really does make a difference. And I actually have FUN while exercising - there's no 'dread factor', LOL.
So, in all, HIGHLY recommended! I ordered her walking workout yesterday after reading all the glowing reviews. I can't wait!
Debra Mazda is my favorite instructor next to Gin Miller. She's knowledgeable, positive without being perky, has a very earthy, warm personality. She knows just what to say to give you your all. Her fitness videos and programs are geared toward plus size women, but really, anyone can do her workouts. They are mainly beginner/intermediate workouts, so a more advanced exerciser may not find them challenging enough.
Another great thing about Debra is that she, herself, has had to struggle with her weight, and succeeded in losing 160 pounds (she used to be over 300 pounds, and is now a healthy size 12) through exercise and healthy eating, no quick fixes or gimmicks whatsoever.
In summary, her experiences plus expertise form a perfect combination for success.