CIA 2604: Double Cardio Bosu BlastSeasun Zieger
Year Released: 2006
Categories: Step Aerobics
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it twice. Iíve used my Bosu both times.
General workout breakdown: This Double Cardio DVD contains 2 different full workouts: one is All Body Cardio, a step cardio & weights circuit, and the other is Bosu Blast, a cardio workout on the Bosu with a bonus core segment. Iím reviewing Bosu Blast here; my review of All Body Cardio is posted separately.
Bosu Blast (69 min. total) begins with a warm-up (7 min.) of basic aerobics moves (e.g. mambo, basic, step w/ rear leg extension, knee lift) building up into a short combo; not only do this get you used to working with the Bosu, but this becomes the first combo of the workout proper (with some tweaks, of course). The warm-up concludes with a mix of more dynamic stretches followed by static ones, mostly for the lower body. The cardio portion (44 min., with 3 of the final min. reserved for a cool-down) mixes common (step) aerobics moves - in addition to those used in the warm-up, over the top, pendulum, straddle, insole, figure 8 - with more athletic ones - drop squat, kick, jog, lunge, and more. Seasun builds up combos on both sides, interspersing a few blasts of simpler moves, one of which serves as preview of the upcoming combo while the other is purely to get your heart rate up. Seasun includes a decent amount of break down, and thereís also a lot of TIFTing (taking it from the top) and repetition in general, especially since the warm-up combo becomes the first combo. You generally run through the whole routine twice after learning each new combo, for example. During the final two rounds of TIFTing, Seasun slices or weaves the combos together (that is, combo 1 on the right, combo 2 on the left, combo 3 on the right, etc.). Almost all of the moves involve the Bosu, although a few steps are performed on the floor. I had a little trouble distinguishing between the beginning and the end of the second combo, with the squat off to the side move, and the fourth and fifth combos, which both included over the top moves with only one footfallís difference, but other than that the combos were relatively straight forward and easy to pick up.
The core/abs & stretch (18 min.) begins with plank work (hands on Bosu), with rocking the upper body and leg lifts; quick child pose and chest stretches serve as breaks between series. Next come rotations (a sort of seated Russian twist) w/ weight in hand, heel drops, basic crunches (w/ leg and arm variations), all seated on Bosu, with low back releases in between. The core segment ends with side plank on the Bosu.
The final stretches (barely a few minutes) touch upon the outer hips, back, inner thighs, side of the torso, and hamstrings.
Level: Iíd recommend this to exercisers at the intermediate plus through maybe mid-advanced level who are comfortable with moderately complex step aerobics choreography. Seasun suggests you can stay with the base move if you crave less complexity, but as Katharine mentioned these variations are not shown all the way through. Iíd also strongly recommend prior experience with the Bosu before trying Seasunís segment on the Bosu, as she spends little time explaining things like food placement plus assumes you feel comfortable working on and around the unstable surface.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced exerciser. I have my own Bosu but donít work with it all that often. In terms of this workoutís intensity, letís just say I have room to grow as I become more used to working with the Bosu and as my cardiovascular endurance improves. Still, this was within my current abilities. Iím a big choreography hound, who finds it easy to pick up choreography that flows together and is taught / cued decently, which is certainly true here, as I was comfortable with the choreography, although executing the moves sometimes proved a little tricky!
Class: 2 women join the main instructor, who instructs live. This crew is pretty serious, but considering how tough it is to stay on that darn Bosu I donít blame them for concentrating so hard on the footwork; when they do crack a smile, itís a genuine, ďOMG, this is tough!Ē type of smile.
Music: upbeat remixed vocals and instrumentals with a beat. Iíve heard much of this soundtrack before in other videos, including a few other CIAs and Evolutions.
Set: the 2006 CIA set featuring brownish walls with window-like cases displaying assorted objects, furniture placed along the back wall, etc.
Production: crisp picture and sound, good balance between the instructorís voice and the music (both clearly audible without having to crank up the volume), nothing too crazy in terms of camera angles or quick shifts or close-ups. Itís what youíd expect from CIA.
Equipment: a Bosu is obviously the main piece of equipment used, although 1 background exerciser uses a regular club step (w/ 2 sets of risers) for the warm-up and cardio portion and nothing for the core & abs. Youíll want a light dumbbell (maybe 2-5 lb.) and possibly a mat for the core portion.
Space Requirements: You should have enough room to step off the Bosu and kick to the front and back plus enough room to move around comfortably beside the Bosu. If you are more limited in space, there are a few moves where youíll need to follow the previous layer, which is usually more compact.
DVD Notes: The main menu offers you the choice of Workout One ďAll Body CardioĒ with Sharon, Workout Two ďBosu BlastĒ with Seasun (Intro to Workout, Start Workout, Stretch to Workout, Core & Abs, Stretch, Bio & Content), Sharonís credits, and Seasunís credits. Combos are often chaptered separately, but thereís no way to access these except by remote while playing the DVD.
Comments: Thereís some impact, although the Bosu does absorb some of that. Iím not an impact junkie, and I donít find this bad at all, although I donít get as much air as Seasun does. A few turns get in there, so be careful with foot placement, especially since most of the turns are on the Bosu.
If you havenít worked with the Bosu for cardio before, you may first want to check out Rob Glickís two videos, Bosu Calorie Combustion or the longer Bosu Cardio Fusion, just to get a feel of how to move on and around the Bosu and gain some confidence in working with the unstable surface.
Seasun cues very well, with mirror cuing, although sheíll switch between verbal and visual directional cues. She cues in advance of the move changes.
I find Seasunís personality great here. Sheís upbeat, encouraging, pleasant, etc., and it seems genuine rather than forced. Sheís focused on cuing and instructing the workout, without extraneous comments. If you need tons of energy from a cheerleader type, well, she may not be your best choice, but for me sheís just right.
A fun workout, and one of the few that one can use either a Bosu or a step. I used a step and grooved along. I am a big fan of Seasun's workouts, so I'm rather biased in liking it! The choreo is a little easier than in her other workouts, which for me is wonderful because I got most of it the first time through, and could just let go and have fun. I got to work out with Seasun and not trip all over myself, a big plus! The abs section at the end is another legendary Seasun abs workout--challenging!
Cons: Seasun cued lower-impact and easier choreo moves, but unlike 'Rock Steady Step' it didn't have a modifier actually showing the moves. The second blast can be modified by tapping repetitively, but that's not enough to get your HR up. After going through all of the choreo segments, at the very end we TIFTed perhaps one time too many, but that's not bad, since I chose this workout for an easier-than-advanced choreo day.
Seasun is one of my favourite instructors! She has fun and gives a good workout.