Kickbutt Steamin Cardio

Heidi Tanner
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This workout has already been broken down, so I am just going to add my own opinions. I am reviewing this workout after having done it a small handful of times. I adore the WHFN workouts (as well as the older/original Fitprime series circa 2002) but haven't been crazy about the cardio oriented selections based on my experience with Lean and Fast Cheetah. They seemed overly strength oriented for a cardio workout and monotonous and repetitive with the choreography. In fact the first time I did Steamin' Cardio (both versions) I wasn't crazy about it. But I recently did it again and have fallen in love with it. The music is superb, I like the wide variety of aerobic tunes and exercises, it is much more intense than Lean or Fast Cheetah, the floor work was timed at the end (my preference), and the floor core work was really unique, effective, and fun (probably the best of the WHFN).

Heidi leads with 5 or 6 female background exercisers (the same women you see in most or all of the WHFN workouts). One of the things I like about Steamin' Cardio with Heidi is that you can see her sweating and panting right along with you, reminiscent of Firm Volume 1! I know that's uncouth for videos these days but I like to see the instructor working hard along with me.

Like all WFHN workouts, the production values are excellent and the set is like an updated mansion Firm set with classical statues, torches, and a uniqueness that is often not found in the simplistic sterile sets in most new workouts. Heidi uses light hand weights (I used 5# which is the heaviest I would recommend) for two 4-limb segments, and she used the tall step for a couple of tall box climb tunes. She had two fairly dancy sets that were a little hard to follow (pivots, etc.) but I was able to follow along. There was also a few kickboxing moves which got the heart rate up there. My heart rate was up almost the entire time (falling slightly with the dancy tunes), the time flew by, and it was intense! The floor work included clams to work the side waist, an interesting pilates move (star I think?) to work the buns, and some great ab work (leg walks and reverse crunches with dumbbells held behind the knees).

I would consider this an intermediate workout suitable for those who enjoy AWT and/or cardio with a strength flair, and for those who enjoy Anna Benson productions. Overall grade A+!

Instructor Comments:
Heidi just shines in this workout. I was very pleased to see she lead several of the WHFN workouts and she does a great job in all of them. She looks just as exuberant and healthy as she did in her Firm Cardio workout from years before. She gives clear instructions, is always encouraging, and demonstrates the moves with good form.

Emily B.


The workout has already been broken down in detail. I didn't think I would like this one as much as I did! I don't generally like long cardio workouts (long being more than 30 minutes). You only need a high step (or tall box, or step stool) and light hand weights for this one. The cardio is mostly low impact -- she does some jumps but they can easily be modified. The cardio portion comprises add-ons to each routine until it is complete, and then is repeated a few times with each side leading. It goes by quickly, because each individual routine is fairly short. The only complaint is the first time she does a new move, she cues while doing it rather than cuing ahead of time. But, by the next time doing it, you know what is coming and the choreography is definitely simple enough to catch on. I like the fact that some light weight work and 4-limbed moves are thrown in during the workout - again, because I get bored with pure cardio workouts. The last cardio routine is fun and less intense before going into core work and stretches.
I really like the flow of the workout, the variety of the cardio routines, and the corework at the end (I often do weight work the day before and leave out abs) so this workout is great to alternate with.

Instructor Comments:
Heidi is very pleasant and seems to have fun doing the workout (and sweating!)



Women's Health & Fitness Network Steamin Cardio is part of the KickButt series and is 6 minutes of Pilates, 20 minutes of cardio, 11 minutes of yoga and 4 minutes of weights. It's a remake of the original FitPrime's Steamin Cardio originally lead by Kelsie Daniels. In this one Heidi Tanner leads dressed in orange and black, to nearly identical choreography and music, and she does a great job! Her beautiful smile lights up the set and she looks like she's having a blast the entire time! Her punches could be a bit more forceful, but that shouldn't stop the kickboxing fans from giving those segments their all.

The warm up will be familiar from the original Steamin Cardio, and Heidi does a great job with it! Next is a cardio segment featuring side lunges and kicks with knee-ups. This segment in the original one always confused me for some reason, but this time I nailed the choreography right away! I think it's because Heidi stays facing more to the front and I was able to tell which leg she was on. Whatever the reason, I loved it and the music drew me right in! The cardio in this workout is the best I've seen for low impact but high intensity from ANY instructor I have tried so far!! And with my knee issues, I can't do high impact and lots of stepping or jumping, so I am SO happy to have this workout!

Next is 4 limb using weights. I used 2 5# weights and that felt just right. There are small jumps in here which didn't bother my knees at all. Then we use the high step and do more punches. By this point in the workout I was sweating, which is always a sign I'm working very hard. The next cardio segment is another one which always confused me in the original workout, but not this time. It features lunges, dips, V steps and pivots, and I would say it's the most dancy of the entire workout, but also the most fun!!

Back to the high step for handstands. Not as many as in the original. Also some triceps dips, hover springs, then a combo of handstands with hover springs. If your heart rate is not elevated by now, either you're in super great aerobic shape, or you're just going through the motions in this workout and not giving it your best. 4 limb again with 2 5# weights, but we're more still now, rowing and lunging with dips and cursy dips.

Heidi calls the next section "boot camp". It's front lunges with plank holds, push-ups and jumps. It makes you feel very strong when you finish it!! Kickbox is next, and Heidi does a neat hop-scotch move in between arms that I can't remember in the original, but it might have been there. Cardio drills are next - jump rope moves, fast feet football moves, small jumps, and cross fronts and back steps. We then get the high step again for straddles with dips back and that jump move while in dip position. I was very careful not to go into a full dip, and she only does two each time, so my knees were fine with this. The final cardio segment is mambos, box steps, and V steps. It's really fun!!

We then do a much deserved standing stretch, and if you keep the moving leg off the floor you can add a nice balance component here as well. Core work follows on the floor, first doing pulses with the weights again while your legs are extended, then lowering the weights and doing leg walks. Heidi then puts the weights behind her knees and we do a rocking move that really works the lower abs!! Oblique work completes this sequence. More balance and plank follow, then the infamous clams!! My obliques will be feeling those tomorrow!! Finally, the stretch! The workout ends at a little over 51 minutes.

Absolutely WONDERFUL!! A+!!

Instructor Comments:



I received these 2 dvds (along with the others in the series) as a free offer from WHFN.

Of all the original FPs that were remade, this one has suffered the most in translation. Kelsie Daniels was just incredible in the original- that woman

can move! Heidi is a competent instructor who just doesn't bring the same energy and fire to the workout- at times, she seems like she is two breathes from collapse.

There's something about this workout that really bothers me- there's an aura to it that it can't be done well or even properly. Maybe its because some of the cast has such horrible form on the plyo jumps WITH WEIGHTS. Maybe its because there are moments when Heidi seems to be in trouble. A couple of the women in the cast trip over the steps at various times. Personally, I kinda like it when the cast misses choreography, but I get worried when the form goes bad or gets sloppy.

Of all the new FP/KBs, this one seems to be the least oriented around juggling equipment, but each song still ends with a pose and then you stand there while Heidi says whats next. It felt very stop and start-y to me.
While doing the workout, I felt taxed, and not in a good way. I'm not sure its a good idea to have people drop their heads down for a partial handstand move WHILE THEIR HEARTRATES ARE ELEVATED FOR CARDIO and then transition them into jumps and back into the handstand move. yet, not long after the workout ended, I felt as if I hadn't worked out. This is supposed to be a cardio workout but its too broken up with push ups and posing and so on. I would also say that there really isn't 6 min of pilates or 11 min of yoga. There is about that much time of pilates inspired ab floor work and yoga inspired stretches. There is a few min of resistance work- push ups and some 4 limb cardio with light weights- mentioning it is a joke- there isn't enough of it to constitute weight training, but it does break up the cardio. Heidi also refers to a segment as low impact when you do lunge jumps. Whatever.

And the football runs look and feel ridiculous. They are in lots of these workouts for some reason. So- to sum it up-
the bad: some ill advised moves, an instructor that seems out of her league at times, ostentatious statues, not enough attention or intention paid to making this a CARDIO workout and posing, posing posing.
the good: music and vocal tracks at great volumes, not competing with each other; crisp visual production- clear picture and easy to see instructor; the music is really cool in this one.

Verdict- trade or sell pile.

Instructor Comments:
I like Heidi. She seems like someone familiar, the kind of woman you'd refer to as one of the gals and hang out with and have a drink together. that said, i have yet to really like any of her workouts.