CIA 2401: Cardio Crazy

Gay Gasper
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics

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This is an interval workout consisting of step, hi/lo, and strength sections using tubing. This workout is expertly led by the very enthusiastic Gay Gasper. The total workout time is 70 minutes including warm up, intervals, core training, and cool down. Gay is very good with cueing, often cueing a count or two ahead of time and using the "watch me" style of cueing. Her choreography style reminds me a lot of Petra Kolber, where she starts with a base block of choreography, changes one or two moves by layering or upping the difficulty (adding a plyo move, directional change, etc.), and then weaving and splicing all together. I thought the music and choreography was fun, although there was a bit too much TIFTing at time.

What I Liked
I liked how Gay taught (basic block, then more difficult), and I loved her personality and enthusiasm. The combos were simple to pick up because of her excellent cueing. I liked the combo of hi lo and step. I loved that there were different levels of intensity shown, and that the modifier was in the front. I liked that Gay demonstrated different options for people who didn't want to turn or do triples around the step (if you have carpet for example), different intensities, keeping it low impact, etc. There was an option for everyone!

What I Didn't Like
Although it seemed like a good idea, the strength section with tubing wasn't really executed all that well. I couldn't see what she was doing with the tubing when she was arranging it to do the strength moves, so I couldn't get my tubing in place quick enough before she was 3-4 reps into whatever move she was doing. She also didn't explain it that well. I got frustrated and used dumbbells. There really wasn't enough strength for this to count as interval training, in my opinion, and could have been kept out. The hi lo was not very creative either, it just felt like a lot of the same moves done side to side. It wasn't bad, just could have been better. Finally, there was more TIFTing than I like. I was just on the edge of getting bored with the section, when she would change it up. So although I didn't turn the dvd off, there was ALMOST too much TIFTing for me, someone who generally doesn't mind it.

What You Should Be Aware Of
There is some impact, pivots, and turn steps, so be prepared to modify. Luckily, Gay has a great modifier in the front row! Also, I know this is a deal breaker for some so I'll mention it: there is some whooping. Quite a bit of it actually. It's not as bad as, say Amy Dixon's Women's Health workouts, but it is noticeable.

Instructor Comments:
Gay's enthusiasm is what kept me going throughout the dvd, although there was a bit too much TIFTing for my taste. She cued very well.



In general:
I really, really liked this workout. It was right up my alley choreography-wise. And as for the music, YAY - Gay used some tunes from CTX on this, and she also used my favorite song from Step Blast - which really made my day. For each segment she uses a different tune, thankfully.

The entire workout consists of three sets each of a cycle of one hi/lo, a step segment and a compound resistance band segment. The segments vary in length, but the band segments are the shortest, I believe the total time for all three segments is around 8 minutes. The hi/lo and step segments vary from maybe 5 to 8 minutes each. The entire hi/lo time length is around 15 -20 minutes, and the entire step segment times add up to around 20 or so minutes (please don't quote me on the times, okay?). Each of the band segments consist of a couple of exercises done back to back, and then repeats three times through. Some of the resistance band work is new (to me). I am very pleased that Gay chose to use bands as opposed to dumbbells. I appreciate the variety, and one could easily substitute with dumbbells if desired. Please note that the strength work in this is strictly used as a cardio intensifier. I wouldn't consider this a weights day in the least (unless you are a very beginner exerciser. Then I would consider this a weight day). The step and hi/lo segments are moderately paced, and not complex choreographically, but the moves were interesting and fun, without causing me to trip over my step. I really enjoyed some of the moves, such as the 'L-step with the two-knees-up and tick tock' on the step. These are the type of moves that initially I have to work on, but they don't take long for me to 'get', and once I get them, I am having a blast with the move every time. Each of the three step segments is taught add-on style. The first segment works up a combo. Then, for the second segment, after the new choreography is introduced and run-through a couple times, you stick in the previous segment's choreography and take it from the top. Ditto with the third segment, and the hi/ lo is taught in the exact same method. I found this method fun and refreshing, and reminiscent of Cathe's Step Blast Challenge in Step Blast, or the Rhythmic Step Challenge in RS (albeit, not as challenging a level as those). I should also add that Gay runs through every added-on move maybe a few times more than the typical step- queen or -king VFer would like. I am a perennial non-complex stepper, so this suited me just fine. If you are someone who is bothered by a few run-throughs of a step move, this might be a sticking point for you. (But then, if you are this type of stepper, it is likely that you are not choosing this workout to begin with, or at least you are aware of these caveats at the start.)

The cool down consists of an easy-to- get step combo. It was fun.

The ab section consists of some great ab work that i really enjoyed. It wasn't totally killer, too-fast paced, and never- ending though - it hit the spot and it was just long enough, not too short at all. She switches up the exercises often enough so you're not rolling your eyes and getting annoyed. She keeps things interesting.

Instructor Comments:
Gay's cueing was impeccable - I don't think she even made one slip-up the whole workout. Gay's enthusiasm is infectious as well - she is having a great time. It's clear that she really enjoys her work, and so do I.

Kathy Weller


I still canít decide whether I like this or not. The format is step, toning with tubes, and high/low. There are 3 segments of each. The toning is boring. It consists of compound moves using tubing, and I donít like either. The step is okay. The high/low is rather boring as well Ė the choreography is basic and repeated way too many times. The step choreography is basic and athletic, too, but I found it more interesting, or maybe it wasnít TIFTed quite as much. The overall intensity is good Ė intermediate to low-advanced, and the music is okay. I might do the step portions on a short day or combine them with another workout, but I really donít know if this is going to be a long-term keeper. I like Gay a lot, but I found this workout bland.

Annie S.