Tribal Energy Cardio

Suzanne Forbes-Vierling
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

NOTE: I received a free review copy of this DVD from the publicist.

I generally enjoy dance fitness workouts, and so I thought I would like Tribal Energy Cardio, which bills itself as "a warm-up, three workouts, and a grand finale." The DVD is instructed by Suzanne Forbes-Vierling, who leads an all-female class of background exercises. Everyone is working out barefoot, and they are positioned closely together in a studio decorated in shades of orange and brown. A live drumming group accompanies this workout.

The Main Menu appears as follows (I have added approximate times for each workout in parentheses):

Warm-Up (4.5 minutes)
Workout 1 (11.5 minutes)
Workout 2 (20.5 minutes)
Workout 3 (7.5 minutes)
Grand Finale (5.5 minutes)
Drummers' Corner/Credits

The first problem I encountered is that there is no "Play All" function; therefore, after you play each and every workout segment, you are taken back to the Main Menu, which is quite laborious and makes it nearly impossible to achieve steady-state cardio results. The Warm-Up does not provide an aerobic effect whatsoever: here, Suzanne begins with moves such as moving the head forward and back, side-to-side, gradually adding in some additional moves such as hip sways and toe taps.

The Workouts do increase the pace slightly, Suzanne's teaching style prevents these from having a true cardio effect. EVERY move, no matter how simple, is taught at half-time first, so the heart rate is constantly coming way down. In addition, Suzanne generally does everything to an eight-count, repeating each new move several times at a slower pace before FINALLY bringing it up to tempo. Furthermore, Suzanne teaches in a "take-it-from-the-top" (aka TIFTTing) style, which feels excruciating as she is slooowly building up combos--and all the while she is repeating to you over and over "gooood!" and "niiiice!"

To label Workout 3 and the Grand Finale as separate workouts is a bit deceiving. Workout 3, less than 8 minutes long, is simply a combination of the moves from the first two workouts (again, with everything put together in "take-it-from-the-top" style). Suzanne states that she is taking the intensity up in this workout, but the only thing that is different is that she does not slow down the moves to teach them. And finally, the Grand Finale isn't really a workout at all: it's just Suzanne and a large group of woman going through a routine to music (drums) with NO cuing! I call that a demonstration, not a workout.

In addition to all of the above, this just does not feel like a professional DVD. I thought that the sound seemed somewhat echo-y, and the camerawork was poor (e.g., there were times when Suzanne was demonstrating a move, and the camera would pan over to the drumming group). Although Suzanne certainly seems enthusiastic and genuine, I truly couldn't see myself recommending this DVD to anyone. At best, it might be enjoyed by beginning exercisers simply looking to get up and move, but for anyone wanting a true workout, I can't recommend this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
Like I said, Suzanne seems genuine, but I did not click with her style at all. Her cuing--when she DOES cue--is mirrored.

Beth C (aka toaster)


Suzanne leads this West African feel-good dance workout with 4 b/gers in a cool retro 70’s looking set that I love! Oranges, browns, & yellows with a butterfly here & there. The ladies work out in nice theme appropriate outfits and the music is energizing West African drums. Occasionally the camera pans to the live drumming circle. You won’t need any props for this workout and they actually w/o barefoot. The dvd contains a w/u, 3 workouts, and a grand finale. The dvd is not programmable.

Workout One: (11 min) This is an add-on style workout - you learn each move and then string them together to perform a complete dance routine. Moves include a fun “happy step,” toe taps w/ a “basket” raise, shimmy, African style mambo- chacha, thumbs up w/ a knee lift, football shuffle, and some jogging. She teaches the moves at ½ time and then moves into tempo.

Workout Two: (20 min) This is also an add-on style dance workout. Moves include: hip paddle, kickin step, circle step, march clap, standing knee pulls w/ a step (cardio and core), Mt. step, and “life is good” (pony). She teaches in 1/2 time and then moves into tempo.

Workout Three: (7 min) This section is faster paced and more challenging cardiovascularly than the previous 2 sections. In this section you will complete routine from both w/o's #1 & 2. You perform all the moves you've learned at tempo in a nice little routine with a little cuing.

Grand Finale: (6 min) In the grand finale you perform the entire routine w/out any cuing. There are 8 b/ger's in this section and there is a definate live dance performance feel to it. A great section to do once you have really mastered the previous w/o's.

I would rate this workout a solid to high beginner cardio w/o with fun but easy to catch onto choreo. This workout really has a nice positive vibe and the instructor’s sunny disposition definitely shines through. The workout contains lots of unique twists on tried & true floor cardio and plenty of fun new moves as well. Great for days when you really just want to have fun while you workout. I had fun working out w/ Suzanne & enjoyed her personality.