Circuit Party

Katina Hunter
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This cardio and weights circuit video clocks in at 60 min.
The workout is constructed like this: during the warm-up (7 min.), Katina introduces a simple short cardio combo done all on the floor that serves as the base for all of the following cardio segments. After a short round of dynamic stretches, the workout proper starts. With the exception of the abs segments, you do the weights segments first, then the cardio. In the weights segments, the movements are done at a quick but controlled pace, with quick but controlled transitions between moves. Katina varies the tempo or adds in pulses (e.g. set of 12 singles, set of 8 rounds of 3 pulses each, another set of 12 singles). I would say this is more endurance, since the sets are on the higher side (but not too high) and you move straight from one exercise for a body part to another exercise for that same body part. The cardio segments, which run 3-5 min. each, use light weights. All are built off of the common pattern with variations related to the previous strength segments (e.g. a basic step touch morphs into a squat side to side, a step touch with a chest press, a step touch with overhead press, a step touch with hammer curls, and finally a step touch with twist side to side). The workout ends with a stretch (3.5) that focuses primarily on the lower back and lower body. (I added on inner thighs, outer hips, triceps, biceps, and shoulders to finish stretching myself out.)
Here are the exercises:
- Legs (10 min.) = squats, plie squats, static lunges, tap outs (w/ tubing in firewalker position), donkey kicks (w/ resistance band; **N.B. Katina leaves out the second two sets on the second side**)
- Back & Chest (9 min.) = standing double arm rows, lat pull down & lat pull back (w/ resistance band), chest press w/ rotation, chest flye, push-ups
- Shoulders (5 min.) = overhead press, lateral bent arm raise, front straight arm raise
- Biceps & Triceps (8 min.) = hammer curls / hammer curls w/ rotation, side curls (sometimes called ďpreacherĒ curls on videos), regular biceps curls (w/ tubing), triceps dips, reclining triceps extension (skull crushers?), narrow triceps / chest press
- Abs (6.5 min.) = basic crunch (w/ inner thigh squeeze), crunch w/ twist across body, curl w/ passing ball between legs and extended arms, leg lower / twist / raise, 1-armed & opposite arm superman

Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediates through intermediate / advanced exercisers. Experienced beginner / intermediates might want to drop their weights for the cardio segments and/or follow the low impact modifications; low advanced exercisers can heavy up on the weights and add in the plyos from the get go on the cardio segments. I consider myself an intermediate + to maybe very low adv. when it comes to weights and cardio, and I felt worked out but not wiped out. The day after I found myself with some gentle upper body DOMS (although I think my shoulders were saying the workout with the weights I used was almost overkill), including in the forearms (must have been those hammer curls with rotation).

Class: 4 women join Katina. At least 1-2 of the background exercisers stay with the low impact version of the cardio (which means leaving out the plyo squat Katina adds).

Music: pleasant and appropriate, not too beat heavy and not too soft. Mostly instrumental. I hadnít heard much of it before.

Set: bright, neutral-colored interior space, with ďwindows,Ē potted plants, furniture, and some artwork arranged sparsely around.

Production: clear picture and sound. The music is as loud as Katinaís voice. For the most part camera angles are helpful, although there are a few close ups or funky angles.

Equipment: Katina and crew use several pairs of dumbbells (moderate for the strength portions, light for the cardio), tubing, resistance band, step, stability ball, and mat. I used 4-10 lb. dumbbells for the strength and 3 lb. (for all upper body segments) and 5 lb. (for the lower body segment) for the cardio segments. (Although I could have gone heavier on the lower body, say with 12-15 lb. in each hand, I personally wouldn't go any heavier than what I did for the cardio, and I might even drop down to 2 lbs. for the shoulder cardio segment.) I'd say you'd be OK with either tubing or a resistance band, depending upon what you have. The step is only used as a platform for the upper body exercises on the floor plus the push-ups and dips. I don't have a stability ball, so I used my Pilates ring (which didnít make for great tossing).

Space Requirements: You should have enough room to do a grapevine behind your step, lunge to each side of your step, and still have space to do push-ups, dips, etc., without tripping over your equipment.

DVD Notes: The main menu offers these options: Introduction, Play Program, Plan Your Own Party (Chapters; the DVD is chaptered by segment, so legs with weights are in one chapter, legs with cardio in the next, and so on Ė except for the abs & stretch, which are in one chapter), Party Mix (I Love Weights Mix, 37 min.; I Love Cardio Mix, 26 min.), and Credits. I would like to have seen each body part in its own chapter (i.e. biceps in a separate chapter from triceps), but I can live with the current chaptering except that I think the stretch should be by itself.

Comments: I almost didnít order this video, because I usually donít care for cardio & weights circuit videos. But the description proved too intriguing; I personally donít have anything else quite like this in my collection. (I would be surprised if there arenít similar videos out there, but I havenít managed to come across them; I donít normally do AWT or AWT-type stuff, so this is new territory for me.) Surprisingly, this may be my favorite out of Katinaís new series, although I like Step Party 2 a lot, too.

Iíve never seen Katinaís original Step Party with its functional training segments. I donít have Pump Party, but I have seen some of the latter on Vertical Step Party. From what I can tell, CP is different from her previous strength training in that it focuses only on one body part at a time and doesnít really have multi-limb/-joint (or, in common VF parlance, compound) moves. From what Iíve seen of PP, Katinaís form is crisper in CP.

This is kind of sort of something like Kelly Coffey-Meyer's cardio and weights circuits (The Shape of Things to Come, A New You Coming, Cardio / Sculpt Fitness). The focus is on weights, with some cardio thrown in as an added benefit (I personally perfer cardio & weights circuits that focus on the weights rather than cardio workouts that throw in a few weights moves). Also, the simple athletic cardio seems like something Kelly would devise. Kelly's a little more polished. Still, Katina puts forth a solid, straightforward, yet still interesting workout here.

Instructor Comments:
Katina spends much of her time announcing moves and counting out reps, saying things like "Up two, down two." She mirror cues. She includes some form instruction and pointers, but thereís nowhere near enough here for those new or even relatively new to weight lifting. Katinaís fairly serious and down to business here.