Intense Live

Dawn Pappas
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Step Aerobics

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I've done this VHS-only workout a couple of times now, and each time I do it, the first 10 minutes makes me want to rip it out of the VCR and throw it out the window. But then I get through it and realize I've had a good workout in one of my favorite formats--first half intense cardio, second half toning.

Others have broken this down pretty well. I just had to add that I think this could've been almost a great video, if not for the awful cuing (it gets easier to follow during kickboxing, or maybe I just pick up quicker on kickboxing), the unnecessary "behind the scenes" moments between each segment (not very entertaining) and the incompleteness of the toning--you basically only do shoulder work, outer thigh work and abs.

Instructor Comments:
Bouncy and full of energy, like a friendly instructor. Prone to yelling. Her cuing is very, very fast and can be frustrating, ala Mindy Mylrea. However, she is motivating.



I really like Dawn's workout in CIA 9804 so I wanted to try this tape. I was able to get it for less than $10 on eBay. It was fine, but not a keeper (even short term) for me, because I doubted I would do it again. The main reasons was because I have a hard time incorporating tapes that do multiple things in it (a little step, a little kickboxing, a little strength) into my rotations. I will make the effort if I find the tape really good like Mindy's CIA 2K02 tape or CIA2K07 RAW, but this tape was not worth the effort. Another disappointment to me was the production values. CIA tapes are my lowest level of production I can handle. This was filmed in what appeared to be high school gym with a large cast and there was sunlight coming in the windows which I found very distracting.

If you like more athletic and intense workouts and don't care about production values you might enjoy this workout. Otherwise, you might want to check out CIA 9804 for a better Dawn Pappas workout.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Dawn and would still consider checking out a new tape from her.

Lisa C


Right now, this is one of my favorite videos. Others have described the format pretty well, so I won't go into detail about that. What I like is that it is pretty easy to follow, but challenging aerobically. There were times during this workout, where I actually got to failure, i.e., squats on the step and especially during the kickboxing segment. The kickboxing segment, by the way, is awesome. I tried Tao Bo and Stephanie Steel's kickboxing and was totally turned off to it. Dawn's segment is alot of fun and by the end, I could only get my leg a couple feet off the ground. But, at the same time, I was laughing because it was so much fun! Take my word for it, I never laugh when I'm working out, especially when I am totally challenged! At that point, I am more likely to curse. I recommend you try this tape and keep an open mind. When I reviewed it, I thought it would be hard to follow because Dawn kept running back to different class members and encouraging them. Didn't matter, the tape was pretty easy to follow and I got a great workout even the first time I did it. Also, it is filmed in a gym, not one of those pretty CIA sets. But, it is the workout I am most interested in. For your reference, if it helps, I am a real Cathe Friedrich fan and I also like Gin Miller and Charlene Prickett's workouts for variety.I also liked Kathy Smith, until I outgrew her tapes. I also like some of the Firm tapes, especially Strengh, Cardio and Tough Tape.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Dawn's style. Her moves are more athletic than dancy in my opinion, and her workouts are challenging. She seems to really enjoy what she is doing.

Kathy McGarrigle


What a great workout. Dawn starts out with a pretty intense warm-up (6 minutes) and follows with 20 minutes of plyo using the step, including lots of squat jumps, lunges, the heel, toe over the top like Cathe (only you stay facing the same side), and the lateral lunge (like Step Works and Body Max). She then does about ten minutes of high intensity floor aerobics with jumping jacks, plyo moves, then a great 10 minute kickboxing segment with very high kicks (not much choreography, which I like) - she stays facing the front, lots of front and back kicks (ouch). Then a short part with handweights (I used 6 lbs) of shoulder working while marching to keep the heartrate up (no biceps or triceps), and to the floor with killer outer thigh lifts with a weight on the leg (really tough, but no inner thigh work), and the ab section was short but I was burning like crazy. I usually do about 90 minutes during the week, but this 60 minutes pooped me out. Some of you may not like two things: she walks around sometimes like Kathy Smith does in the TimeSaver Weight workout and she is a bit loquacious; also, after the tough intervals there is a break showing backstage preparations. But in my opiinion, it's the workout that really counts and this is intense, and the music is the same as Step and Stones II. Love it!! Intense Step here I come.

Instructor Comments:
Loved her on her CIA segment and wasn't disappointed with this tape.

maryann parker


The first section, warm up and step, is 30 minutes and it goes so fast that you're done before you know it. Nothing fancy, she puts a bunch of moves together and then you repeat the same thing on the other side and then you take a water break and then do the second step section. Tons of plyo moves. Dawn adds power to almost every move but someone is always doing the low impact version. It's not as intense as Mindy's Sports Interval's, but it's fun and it got my heart rate soaring. It's very fast paced, no slowing down until the end of each combo when you take a water break. She does 4 sets of the plyo lunges on each side, doing 6 lunges at a time, that one really gets your blood pumping. I only got confused one time during the second step segment where you do a peg leg, then a reverse turn step to the back of the step, knee up on the step and then two knee ups on the floor, then you hop across, do a small U-turn and jump onto the step twice. Once you get it, it's fun. She does one combo that has the heel up on the step like in Cathe's tape, Dawn calls it the John Travolta, you do the heel up on step, hop over to the other side, do a jack, run around the step and do two bunny hops. It's fun because it's simple and you don't have to think too much. Next is the kickboxing segment. Dawn burns out your quads with jump squats and then just tons of pulses and then regular squats but you go very deep so my quads got a really good workout from that. You do the punches to the front, jacks, punches to the front with the other arm, nothing new there. You do a bunch of front kicks with a knee up on the other side, then you turn it into a front kick with a back kick and then you do fast front kicks and then switch sides and do the whole thing on the other side. The last kickboxing combo is three punches to the front with a repeating knee, you keep alternating that and slowly turn the knees into front kicks, one at a time until you are doing all three front kicks. I was hoping there were some side kicks and roundhouse kicks in the routine, those are my favorites. Next is upperbody work with light weights. You do front raises, military presses and front raises with palms facing up, she adds lots of pulses in. Next is lowerbody floorwork and that was so tough! You don't use ankle weights, instead you put a weight on the top of your quad but you're laying on your side with your legs out in front of you in an L shape and it makes it so much tougher. You do straight leg raises, then pulses, then you raise your leg up higher and pulse, you bend the top knee and do raises with pulses, then you bring your knee in and out and then pulse it. My legs were burning by the time I was done with that section. Last but not least is abs. You do two count crunches, climb the rope, lower ab crunches, just your basic ab routine but you do enough of a variety to keep from getting bored. I have to say I really enjoyed this workout, it was different, fun and easy to break up if you're short on time.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Dawn's personality. I have her Intense Step and I've liked her ever since. The only thing I didn't like, because once you see it you don't care to see it after that, was during each little water break they would show behind the scenes footage and by the end of the tape, you've seen enough. But, I took that time to get a drink and catch my breath.

Dawn Henson