Mix It UpNekea Brown
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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First, let me say, I am only reviewing the step workout on this 2 workout DVD. It is a full 45 minute workout. The other workout is a shorter kicboxing/strength circuit. It looks fine, but I have plenty of good circuit workouts that I use now.
What a find! I received this one in a trade when I meant to ask for Amazing Hot Stepping. I'm glad I made the mistake.
I am not horrible at picking up choreography, nor am I a whiz-- I am somewhere in between. Usually, Cathe's stuff I pick up on the first try. On the other hand, things such as Christi's Step Heaven stage 2 have me stymied.
My favorite step workouts are probably by Christi, Kari, and Gay Gasper.
This one is fairly complex and took me a few run throughs to get down. I would rate the intensity as int/advanced, with the last combination probably being the most intense.
Anyway-- on to Nekea. After an 8-9 minute warm up, which is a fun combination in and of itself, you learn 5 combinations. There is some TIFTing throughout the workout and at the end you run through the entire routine twice. I did not find TIFTing extreme.
If you like turns, shuffling around the step, mambos, and some novelty. I think you will like this workout. I found the cuing good. There was enough instruction, but not so much that it may become tiresome in later workouts.
The soundtrack is oh, I don't know how I would describe it-- "funky"?
I liked it. It worked well with the routine.
The set is ugly CIA stuff.
Nekea just has a wonderful presence. She never comes across as forced cheery-- just warm and pleasant. She does not make lots of additional comments beyond cuing the workout. I like that.
Like I said, I am glad I (inadvertently) ended up with this DVD, and I would recommend others give it a try.
Lets see...should I give you my "good" or "bad" comments first? Let's start with the Bad. Nekea does not cue very well. It's not horrible, but the step section is quite dancy and very complex, IMO. (Please keep in mind that I have a very difficult time with complex step.) Just as an example, she does a chasse (sp?) ACROSS the step, and I thought I was going to trip & sprain my ankle! I think this is because she cues the move a little too late. LOTS of turns & pivots too. I remember that there was some concerns voiced in the forum in regards to the BPM of this workout. Normally I would not think that 140 BPM is too fast for step, but when the choreography is very intricate and the cueing is off, it is very difficult to execute, and this workout is a prime example of this. I got really frustrated & skipped to the kickbox segment.
The kickbox segment reminded me of a more choreographed & condensed version of Hollywood Trainer Kickbox Bootcamp. Not overly choreographed, just enough to keep it interesting. Again, the cueing is not the greatest, but it is much easier, IMO, to recover from a missed step in kickboxing than in other aerobics. There are 3 very short weight segments. All have varied count variations, meaning that you do the move up for two, down for two. Then a few sets are up 3 down for1. Then a few more sets are up for 6 down for 2. (or a similar count pattern.) Hope this makes sense. The first weight sement is deadlifts & bent over rows. Second weight section is reverse bicep curls with lunges then Arnold presses with 1-leg extensions (balancing on 1 leg) the 3rd weight segment is tricep dips with squats, then a few set of tri's without the squats. The cardio segments seemed easy at first, but they creep up on you & I was sweating up a storm! Nekea's trasitions are not always smooth, and the cueing is not the greatest, but I did enjoy the workout alot--lots of kicks! Yeah! Biggest complaint about the kickboxing segment is it's too short! I wanted to keep going, so I did it twice.
Skipped the tai chi cooldown. I prefer athletic-style streches. The ab section was not very good thorough. only 3 moves to target obliques, if I remember correctly. Nothing impressive, or horrible. Just not enough abwork for my taste.
So, I liked the kickboxing section, though it is not as polished as, say, a Cathe or Kimberly Spreen kickboxing workout. The rest of the w/o didn't do much for me. If you love complex dancy step & enjoy kickboxing, you will probably like this--if you have patience for lack of/missed cueing. The kickboxing segment will be a nice add- on for me, and since I like to do "pieces" of workouts, I do not regret this purchase.
Nekea is very straight-forward and professional. I found her to be very pleasant and not overly enthusiastic as some instructors can be.