Crunch Cardio Sculpt

Violet Zaki
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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I know this is a bit old, but I found this DVD used recently and I'm in the habit of posting reviews for any workout I do when possible (vayos con Dios, Collage Video.)

Anyways, I got this because I thought it looked like a potential short on time/energy workout for me and I liked the instructor, Violet Zaki. I'm not crazy about the one Sculpt DVD I have of hers because the exercises don't have enough reps to feel effective and the cuing is spotty. I found this DVD to have the same problem, only a little worse.

There are lots of unique moves in this workout, it's true. Unique enough that I would have preferred some advance cuing at times. I had to stop and rewind several times, which I don't normally have to do with weight workouts. Of course, if you end up really liking this workout, you'll do it enough times that it won't matter. Otherwise, Violet cues well during the moves. More than once she says "One more," and then will say "Four more", which kind of bugs. Also, I couldn't hear Violet that well over the music. Not sure if that was just the mix on my DVD, or what.

The sets are of varying difficulty. The biceps move is way too easy, but I thought the triceps section was kind of tough. The abs were short but ridiculously hard. One move that is a balance done while swinging heavy weights out in front of you was borderline too awkward.

Some good things: there is someone demonstrating low impact moves for the few segments that require them. As someone else said, there aren't any insane get-ups like there are in other Crunch videos (depending on your taste, you might count this as a negative aspect.....)I did like the variety. Like everyone else, I thought the cardio segments were very brief and the last one felt very slapped together.

I know that effective 30 minute weight workouts are possible (Ellen Barrett's "Self Magazine Bikini Ready Fast" or just about any KCM workout spring to mind), but I don't know that this is one of them. I just didn't feel very worked out when I finished. I see other reviewers liked it and swear that the cuing is just fine though, so this is very much an individual taste matter.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Violet Zaki. She is cute and has an appealing energy.



This workout uses combination moves for the weighted segments. There isn't much "cadio," - a couple of segments of squats or lunges, that's all. To me, this workout seemed mostly a balance challenge workout, with lots of moves done on one leg. The weights are kept pretty light, the cardio isn't too challenging, so the workout isn't anything special except for the balance work, which saves the workout, in my opinion.

I recognize some of the backgrounders from other Crunch workouts, but this workout isn't as flaboyant as some of the others. The set is nice, too, nice and bright with a wood floor, instead of a concrete prison look.

Instructor Comments:
I thought she did a good job with instruction and cueing. Incuraging, upbeat, but not too perky.



Violet Zaki leads a group of background exercisers – a group of very young, very trendy young women. Since I’m neither young nor trendy, I didn’t enjoy watching them, but found them interesting.

This workout is made up of compound strength exercises with both upper and lower body moves. Balance is tested at various points in the workout. For a time, I did enjoy the creativeness of the moves, the fact that she puts together combinations you don’t see elsewhere. I also enjoyed that I could get a full-body workout in a short time.

At first, I enjoyed the workout, but after awhile it became more drudgery and I just did not enjoy it and I did not feel I was getting a good workout. At the point I stopped using it, I was working on increasing my strength and using more intense Firms and even trying Cathe.

Instructor Comments:
She is a straight-forward instructor who gives good form pointers on what she is doing.

Crunch Cardio Sculpt


This is a video that, for some reason, I traded away in an attempt to get something I highly covetted and then never replaced in my collection. although, i must admit that now that I see it's on DVD, I am tempted to reacquire it.

The focus of the video is supposedly Aerobic Weight Training, although I have heard around here that people didn't feel they got much of either out of it. I found that it got my heart rate up and kept it up for the short duration (30 min) of the workout. Violet isn't the world's most perfect cuer, but after a couple of times through the tape, I hardly noticed anymore.

I found the tape to e very energizing and a nice length tape to use during AWT rotations, when I might have been a bit short on time.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, the DVD version also has 10 min Buns on it.

I think I'll likely add this one to my collection again, the next time I see it.

Instructor Comments:
I like her. She has an accent (australian, I believe) and comes across as a very no-nonsense kind of instructor (not overly bubbly like some of the other Crunch leads)

Cori (ziggy2306)


I have to disagree with a lot of what the previous reviewer said about this video. Then again, that happens frequently with Crunch workouts – either you love them or hate them.

First, I have been a fan of Crunch workouts for a long time. So maybe I’m just accustomed to their style but I find the cueing to be excellent. The exercises alternate quickly so cueing is very important in this program. Violet is constantly letting you know how many more of each exercise to expect and what to start doing during the transition. (And they’ve toned down on the “hooting” in this one, which I think is a big benefit.)

Second, I always work up a sweat even though I use light weights to minimize injury risk (usually 6 lbs.) One caution - there isn’t much form coaching in this video and that could be a problem for beginners. The moves are basic – forward and backward lunges, tricep dips, double-arm rows, squats, bicep curls, etc. But many of them are combined and if you haven’t done this type of exercise before, then I wouldn’t start with this video. There is no time or instruction to learn proper technique.

Third, low impact modifications in this program are clearly demonstrated and, unlike many workouts, do not cause you to lose the timing and fall behind the program.

This is one of my favorite videos and I recommend it, especially if you like the Crunch style.

Instructor Comments:
The instructor is energetic and encouraging throughout the workout. Her cueing is very good.



This is a 35-minute video produced in 2001. It features Violet Zaki and a group of very young, fit background exercisers -- not my peer group, for sure! The workout combines hi-lo aerobics with sculpting using light weights. Low-impact mods are demonstrated by a backgrounder.

If you can keep up with the quickly-changing routines, the sculpting segments might work for you. Forget the cardio; I didn't even warm up in the "warm-up", and found those teeny hi-lo segments too short to accomplish much. Half an hour is just too short to do both types of exercise effectively.

Most of all, I was frustrated by the skimpy cueing. The moves aren't taught in advance (too little time, of course), and the routines change quickly with lots of add-ons. For a newbie user like me, good cueing throughout would really help. As it is, I find myself standing and staring at the screen a lot, pausing and reversing the tape constantly, and finally giving up. I use half-hour videos when half an hour is all I've got; there isn't time for all that!

It may help to mention that I'm an intermediate level exerciser who has done longer, more challenging tapes, so keeping up physically wasn't the problem. It all comes down to how fast you learn. Maybe those of you who are more familiar with Crunch, or who learn faster than I do, will enjoy this video. I'll probably be putting it out for trade pretty soon.

Instructor Comments:
Personable, but doesn't cue enough for my liking.