30 Minutes to Fitness: Cardio Quick Fix

Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Lower Body Strength

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Despite not clicking with KCM on one of her early workouts, she's since grown to become a favorite of mine. She doesn't do that many strictly cardio workouts, so I was interested in this one.

As usual, there are lots of options here. There are two workouts, plus a "bonus" toning segment for hips/abs/glutes. And there are lots of premixes. If you have done KCM workouts before, the selections will look familiar: half of one workout with half of another, et cetera.

Kelly is working out with three exercisers, unlike some of her newer videos where she is alone. One of them, Noelle, shows modified versions of the workouts. In both workouts, she gives great options for modifying that allow you to stay in tempo with the higher impact versions.

The choreography level is not complicated for either workout. I never know how to rate the intensity accurately, but I'd guess it at intermediates and up.

Workout 1: 25 minutes. After a nearly 4 minute warm-up, Kelly leads you thru a series of two cardio sequences, taught in add-on fashion. The choreography is simple, but still fun and engaging. It includes some basic boxing moves. Lots of upper and lower body action. Noelle displays low impact moves that include some modified moves for the upper body if you need them. I liked this workout the best.

Workout 2: 29 minutes. March it out, heels in front....this looks familiar. Ah, same warm-up as in workout 1. This workout is a series of athletic drills that move from lower to higher impact, then repeat. They include a marching/jogging sequence, a squat/pop squat sequence, a opposite knee/arm raise march/jog, a side step/skater sequence and so on. Like workout 1, there is lots of upper and lower body integration. I think Noelle does a great job of demonstrating low impact options in this.

Between the two, I preferred workout 1 much more. It took me longer to get my heart rate up in the second one, as some of the low impact moves just couldn't mimic the intensity of the high impact moves (I hate to complain, as I greatly appreciate KCM having a modifier and my knee issues are certainly not her problem.) I didn't really start feeling it until around halfway thru, when they moved to some boxing combinations, which definitely did get my heart rate up. Also, while I find drills effective, I also find them a little monotonous. I found myself eyeballing my watch during the second workout, despite KCM's cheery personality and motivational demeanor.

Just to make sure you get your money's worth, Kelly throws in a "bonus" workout on the menu that is 15 minutes long. You will need a single weight (I think 8 pounds max, 5 is what I used) and a mat, if desired. Modifications are provided by Noelle in this segment as well. This segment includes reverse lunges which get combined with an oblique-focused rowing move and a warrior two sequence (both of these will get repeated with weights.) Kelly said our love handles would be burning in the warrior sequence, but I felt the burn pretty much in the butt and hamstrings. You then go to the floor for knee crunch/one legged down dogs and a move Kelly calls the "ugly runner", which is probably my favorite exercise name of all time. You basically lie on one side and duplicate a running movement. As she says, if you are just watching it looks easy but your hips BURN on this one. Finally, there is a one-legged bridge you combine with some lateral knee drops to work your inner thighs. This is followed by a brief stretch. Despite the short time, this segment is no joke. I was sweating buckets. When Kelly laughingly asks at one point if we were glad we turned the bonus on, I was like, "No...but yes....but, no."

Other incidentals: Kelly uses vocal music here. It's good and effective. She and her team are in coordinated black and green. They stand out well against the background. Kelly's cuing is, as always, first class.

This is a fantastic workout to do as a stand alone (particularly if you do the bonus too), or combine with a toning workout. Even though I'll probably reach for workout 1 more, I love this DVD. And I can always chose from the premixes to do some of workout 2.

Instructor Comments:
What can I say? Kelly is awesome. She looks phenomenal, she's down to earth, her cuing is excellent and her low key humor and encouragement will keep you going. She really has a twinkle in her eyes during the bonus segment, and I love when she admits that a move that was killing me was tough for her.



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

Kelly Coffey-Meyer has become perhaps my very favorite instructor. Not only does she now teach in the town where I grow up, but also she's about my same age (mid-40s), and I just really click with her low-key, down-to-earth style. That being said, I DON'T always click with all of Kelly's workouts, nor do I own all of her DVDs. Furthermore, I'm not a huge fan of cardio. However, after I saw the clips of CARDIO QUICK FIX, I thought it looked like fun, and I was interested in trying it.

Kelly works out here with two of her usual background exercisers, Sam and Laurie, plus a new modifier, Noelle. The Main Menu offers options for Introduction - Workout 1 - Workout 2 - Bonus Abs/Hips & Glutes - Premixes and a Music On/Off option. (I found the music to be fun; it's mostly vocal and very upbeat.) Other than an optional mat for the Bonus segment, no equipment is necessary for these workouts. I have broken down each in detail below.

This workout starts with an approximately 5-minute warm-up. Kelly runs through moves such as marches, heels front, squats right and left, toe taps, front cross, knee hops, and body lifts. She does not do any stretches. She then moves right into the cardio portion of the workout. This basically consists of two long sequences--e.g., she teaches a series of moves in add-on fashion, running through this several times, then moves on to the second series. The first sequence is significantly longer than the second at about 10 minutes. Moves include marches, hip dips to either side, body lifts, insole tapes (adding a bit of impact), shuffle with arms in/out, step/grapevine with jab/cross and flurry, and a softball pitch and catch. Although Kelly does repeat the sequence (a.k.a. "take it from the top"), I found the moves to be fun, different, and engaging. The second series is shorter at about 6 minutes. Here the moves are more standard--e.g., side shuffle, jog, 3-knee repeater, step heel, jump rope, side-to-side, and curtsey push--but Kelly ups the intensity with a bit more impact. At the conclusion of this workout, Kelly moves quickly through approximately 2 minutes of all-standing stretches, bringing the total workout time in right around 25 minutes.

For this 29.5 minute workout, Kelly ups the intensity somewhat by performing higher impact drills. (Viewers always have the option of staying low impact with Noelle.) Following the same warm-up as Workout #1, there are an additional few minutes of low-intensity moves (e.g., squats right-left, marches, jogs) which feel like sort of an extended warm-up. Kelly then begins the drills. She starts with a lower impact move, then she switches over to a more intense version of this move for about 30 seconds. The movement pairs included marches to jogs, pop squat knee lifts to knee pops, side-to-side steps to skaters, elbow smash to elbow smash with hop, bob & weave to front punch with side leg lift, jacks to jack with jump, side-to-side step to chasse with floor touch, squat to squat pop, and back lunge to squat. As usual, Kelly finishes with a quick (<2 minutes) stretch, moving through hip flexor, quad, and hamstring stretches.

BONUS: Abs/Hips & Glutes
Here Kelly and crew start standing with their mats nearby. Kelly begins with a shallow reverse lunge, adding in a Figure 8 arm motion. Next comes a "lunge with pull" move standing with he legs in Warrior position. Both of these moves work the abs, hips, and glutes, especially in the second round, when Kelly repeats both moves holding a light dumbbell. She then moves to the floor for a core move which begins from a hovering table position and moves out to a 3-legged down dog. Coming onto her side, she performs what she calls "ugly runner," a sort of running legs move to work the hips. The final exercise is performed in an elevated reverse table position (or optional on the floor) dropping the knees to either side. Kelly finishes with some quick seated stretches. I loved the standing portion of this Bonus in particular; it even kept my heart rate up!

As always, Kelly includes a wealth of Premixes on this DVD. These are really a great addition, as they make you feel like you are getting 10+ workouts on one DVD! Here is the list of Premixes from that menu:

*Quick Fix 1 (1st set workout 1 and 1st set workout 2) - 27 min
*Quick Fix 2 (2nd set workout 1 and 2nd set workout 2) - 23 min
*Quick Fix 3 (1st set workout 1 and all of workout 2) - 36 min
*Quick Fix 4 (2nd set workout 1 and all of workout 2) - 34 min
*Quick Fix 5 (both workouts) - 44 min
*Quick Fix 6 (workout 1 1st set and bonus) - 29 min
*Quick Fix 7 (workout 1 2nd set and bonus) - 27 min
*Quick Fix 8 (workout 2 1st set and bonus) - 29 min
*Quick Fix 9 (workout 2 2nd set and bonus) - 27 min
*Bonus Workout with Abs, Hips, and Glutes - 15 min

Overall, I really enjoyed these workouts. Although I consider myself a high intermediate exerciser, as noted above, I don't really like cardio, and so I don't tend to seek out high-intensity cardio workouts. For that reason, I provided Workout #1 on this DVD, which was probably more at an Advanced Beginner/Low Intermediate Level. I definitely found Workout #2 to be a solid Intermediate workout and one that is definitely modifiable to different levels depending on how much impact you choose to do.

So, I would definitely recommend this DVD, but it is probably most ideally suited to exercisers who are at the low- to mid-intermediate level.

Instructor Comments:
I just love Kelly's style--I find her enthusiastic without being over-the-top and completely warm and relatable. I've never had any problems whatsoever following her excellent mirrored cuing.

Beth C (aka toaster)


Below are three separate posts that I put on the forum about this DVD. I figured if I combined them, it would make a review. Hopefully, this information will help you decide if you want this DVD.

I did Workout 1 from Cardio Quick Fix. It was a good workout for this morning, but I'm not sure of what I think of the workout for the long term. It has fresh moves and combinations - you haven't done this workout before. BUT, she does two combinations in it, building each one a move at a time. In other words, there is a lot of TIFTing.

I thought the music was really good. Much of it was vocal and it seemed to fit the workout really well. For me, music is "good" as long as it goes beyond the standard techno beat stuff that is used so much and as long as it fits the workout. I don't expect "good" music to be stuff I listen to in real life.

The set was kind of forgettable to me. It was bright and it was easy to see; I didn't like it particularly, but I didn't dislike it either.

The only background exerciser I really noticed was Noelle, the new modifier. There wasn't a whole lot for her to do in this workout in terms of modification because most of the moves were low impact. She didn't put in hops when the others did and that was about it. I imagine there will be more call for modifications in the second workout.

This morning, I did Workout 2 from KCM's Cardio Quick Fix. It is basically pairs of moves, one easier and one drill oriented. So, you do the warm up. Then, you do these pairs of moves. Usually, she starts out with what I call an easy move - marching, side steps, basic squats or lunges, jumping jacks, etc. - and then she morphs it into a more high-impact and more intense version of the move. So, side steps went into skaters. Double side steps went into a chasse with a reach to the floor. Jumping jacks went into one jumping jack and one air jack. Squats went into pop squats. Etc., etc. She would do the combination one time and then repeat it. Then, she would move on to the next set of moves. There was no TIFTing or putting the moves together beyond repeating the pair of moves.

I thought Noelle did a good job of leading with a low impact move. I pretty much did the workout with her. Kelly cracked me up. At one point, she points out that if you want to up the ante, you can keep doing the harder version when she repeats the pair and starts with the easier move. Then, she says, "I'm not the boss of you, right? Do what you gotta do!"

I thought the music was good. Remember, my definition of "good music" is any music with vocals that match the workout well. So few instructors these days do anything beyond the techno-beat music, that I think those that do more should be applauded.

Overall,I thought it was a good workout that I wonder if I would ever do again. It's basically sets of drills. That's not my cup of tea usually. But, I wonder if the premixes won't give some really good options where the two workouts are intermingled. This workout is the kind that could give a really good oomph when combined with segments of Workout 1. We'll see.

Quick Fix Premixes:
-Quick Fix 1 (1st set workout 1 and 1st set workout 2) - 27 min
-Quick Fix 2 (2nd set workout 1 and 2nd set workout 2) - 23 min
-Quick Fix 3 (1st set workout 1 and all of workout 2) - 36 min
-Quick Fix 4 (2nd set workout 1 and all of workout 2) - 34 min
-Quick Fix 5 (both workouts) - 44 min
-Quick Fix 6 (workout 1 1st set and bonus) - 29 min
-Quick Fix 7 (workout 1 2nd set and bonus) - 27 min
-Quick Fix 8 (workout 2 1st set and bonus) - 29 min
-Quick Fix 9 (workout 2 2nd set and bonus) - 27 min
-Bonus Workout with Abs, Hips, and Glutes - 15 min (this is actually on the main menu)

This morning, I tried out a couple of the premixes. It seems like a lot of the power of Kelly's workouts these days is in the premixes because they give you so many options. Plus, I wanted to see how they were structured. I really like some of Kelly's other DVDs where she gives premixes that intermingle the two workouts and I wanted to see if that was done here.

First, I tried the Workout 2 1st set and bonus. This was my chance to do the bonus as well. And, I really, really liked it. Much of it was standing and I could actually do the floor moves (following Noelle on one or two of the moves where my knees wouldn't do what Kelly was doing). Abs workouts are not my thing and I enjoy finding one that works for me periodically - most of the time those have standing moves in at least part of them.

Then, I tried Quick Fix 1 (1st set workout 1 and 1st set workout 2) because I wanted to see if the workouts were intermingled; and, they weren't. It's exactly as it says. You do all of the first set of workout 1 followed by all the first set of workout 2. I quit at the beginning of the segment from workout 2 because I was ready to be done.

I am torn about this DVD. I had hoped to love, love, love it. Instead, I like parts of it. I can see myself pullilng it out to do the premix with the 1st set of workout 1 with the abs bonus. That one would be fun. I can also see doing a premix with one segment of each workout.

Some people will absolutely love this DVD. Others will be disappointed by it. I really think it goes to personality and whether you click with it. It is a solidly intermediate workout. I imagine some advanced exercisers will click with it and just modify up while others won't think it's worth their time. With the modifier, people who aren't up for the full impact and/or intensity have options.

Instructor Comments:
Kelly is great in this workout. She's relaxed. She's funny. She's motivating. I can see why so many people love her workouts. She is fun to work out with!

Laura S.