Advanced Cardio Plus Abs

Andre Houle
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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I am an intermediate exerciser who has recently been getting into more complex choreography (and loving it!). I got this workout on a great sale since I was getting Andre’s Advanced Step workout as well.

It takes me awhile to learn complex choreography and I took a few workouts to learn this one. It is not super complex, just has little details I wanted to get down and feel comfortable with. While I was learning it, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like it or not. It has a lot of hip shaking and shimmy type moves. However, as I got sections down and knew the moves, I found myself enjoying the workout. It didn’t seem to elevate my heart rate like some other workouts and he even incorporates little segments where you do high knees and other cardio moves to get the heart rate up.

Now that I know it, this is my conclusion: I enjoy the workout. It is not an intense workout, but it would be good on days I want a lighter workout and I want to have fun. Here are some other considerations:

Space: This workout does take some. It doesn’t need a huge workout space, but you do move laterally and backward and forward and cover some ground. In fact, this is how I keep my heart rate more elevated in some segments.

Set and Exercisers: It is a standard CIA set with two background exercisers. If the same set over and over bothers you and you own other CIA videos, you probably wouldn’t like it. I liked the background exercisers and, at times, followed their style rather than Andre’s, especially the woman.

Impact: Mostly, the workout is low impact. There are some higher impact moves and one or two of them I had a little trouble modifying easily. However, I worked out moves that worked for me. Of course, modifying the impact down, dropped the intensity.

Music: I did notice it because it had a latin feel to it. It went well with some of the moves and I enjoyed that.

Instructor Comments:
Andre is warm and encouraging in this workout. I just enjoy his style and his cueing, and I did so in this workout.

Laura S.


I really wanted to like this video. I'd heard so much about Andre's Advanced Step that I thought this one might be good for days when I don't want to do step. Unfortunately, as previous reviewers have stated, it's not very intense. I only did 15 minutes of the video before I took it out and chose a different workout.

The Good: Low-impact, dancy moves. Andre is peppy, and the background exercisers both have their own style, which is fun to watch.

The Bad: 15 minutes into it, I felt like I was still warming up. I planned to do 30 minutes, then stop, so I felt like I was wasting my time. I've found many workouts that are low-impact and/or have relatively simple choreography that still get my heart rate up and make me feel like I'm really working. This is not one of them. There's also a lot of TIFT-ing, despite the fact that you really don't do much in the first 15 minutes. I felt like I could have mamboed on alternate legs for 15 minutes and acomplished the same thing.

I would recommend this video to someone who wants to try dancy hi/lo, needs the steps introduced slowly, and doesn't like high impact. I really liked Andre, so hopefully his step workout will be more interesting to me.

Instructor Comments:
Energetic, enthusiastic, great dance moves. In this video, he wears an orange tank top with a Crunch logo on it, with shimmery silver pants. The background exercisers (one and one woman) wear orange tanks with dark-colored pants.



I love this tape and I love Andre. I enjoyed Andre in CIA 9901, but this tape is much more fun to me!

To preface, I am a high intermediate exerciser. I have good cardio endurance and can do most tapes that Collage rates int/adv as long as I stay low impact. I'm still too heavy for high impact and too heavy to really be an advanced exerciser. That said, I thought the intensity level of this tape was perfect. During the first combo I was at about 65-70% of max and then stayed between 70 and 80% for the remainder of the workout. I think it's a good workout but not killer. Someone who craves intensity should check elsewhere.

I really love having a workout that doesn't assume that because I need low impact that I'm a beginner. The new moves come quickly without a lot of breakdown, but I found it surprisingly easy to follow. I previewed once and was able to do 90% of the moves the first time through. It's nice to have a tape that keeps my heart rate up without ANY impact modifications.

Andre is adorable in this video and makes it really fun. The moves are all dancy standards that have been given a bit of attitude to make them more complex. I agree with the Collage rating of Moderate on the choreography.

I know some of the earlier reviews dismissed this tape, but if you can pick up choreography fairly easily and you like low impact, give it a try. This workout flies by and is a complete ball. This one will vie with Altheatized for the title of most fun video in my collection.

Instructor Comments:
A personality that bursts off the screen! Fun choreography made even more fun by his wonderful and motivating personality.

Micki Voelkel


For me, Advanced Cardio is a clear case of why I can't always prejudge a tape based on reviews. I really wanted this tape, but held off because the few reviews on file were negative and said it wasn't intense enough. But then a few other people (who didn't write reviews) said they enjoyed it and I like Andre quite a bit so I decided to give it a try. Because of the intensity warnings, I wore my HRM so I could be objective.
The warmup was fun and sufficiently warmed me up, but as we moved into the first combo, I had my eye on my HRM and was disappointed to see that it was barely at 60% capacity. But then things started to really kick in. By the time we combined combos two and three, I was up to about 75%. I will say that the intensity is a bit uneven, but my HRM said I averaged about 70% througout the 40-minute cardio section. Is it the most intense tape I have? Absolutely not. But it was SO much fun. It was like Christi a few notches down on the intensity scale.
I am not a funk dancer, so I was scared off by that word in the reviews as well. But the "funk" is really just a little hip-swishing that actually made the workout kind of fun for me. The moves flowed together very well; I felt like I was really dancing. And I appreciated the low impact because I dont' do too many, and any I've tried have not been this complex (and I LOVE compex).
There are four combos total, including the warm-up. You put them together twice at the end, with a power drill in between. My heart rate was at about 80% at that point.
This all said, I do want to say that I have a fair amount of room to move around in, so I could make my moves bigger, which certainly helped. I agree that this is not an advanced video, as the title says, but it is solidly intermediate/low advanced, and good for a low impact, low HR range day for the advanced exerciser. Normally, I trade anything at this level of intensity, but this was too much fun to get rid of. The time just flew by.

Instructor Comments:
Andre is a lot of fun and always makes me laugh with his comments. He's the reason I ordered this tape, despite the reviews.

Donna Kahwaty


I am probably in the minority but these workouts were not for me and I traded them away after trying them only once. These were my first Andres videos but I had recently attended his live step class at Cardio Classic in SF. The choreography was tough but I made it through. Andre's great personality and enthusiasm were very motivating for me and his music was great.

Overall I don't think these workouts are bad but they're just not for me. I thought the step video was better than the hi-lo. when I previewed this video for the first it looked so fun because of the danciness and innovative choreography. However, there was so much emphasis on the choreo that I barely worked up a sweat at all. To be fair, in between combos Andre does throw in a few power moves, but it just wasn't enough. The moves didn't really flow for me and after a while I stopped and put in another tape. I would say this is low intermediate in intensity, good for people who love dancy workouts and aren't looking for high intensity. There are lots of turns and hip swinging moves. I didn't try the ab workout. Some videos just don't click for me and I know I won't do them again, which is why I traded this immediately.

Caroline Kim


I had big hopes for this video, because I just love Andre and really enjoyed the Hi/Lo in 9901. I was hoping that this workout would have a similar type of choreography but longer and maybe a little more intense. But it isn't. This video is just too dancy for me. I like dancy, I like complex, I even like shaking my hips, but I don't like it when the dancy is a funky kind of dancy. I had the same reaction to Breakthru Cardio Dance. However, I do have to say that this video had more potential for me than the Breakthru video. Some of the combos seemed kind of fun and it seemed like it would be easier to get the intensity up. However, I could not get into the first combo at all, and unfortunately that is the one that gets repeated the most.

I suspect that if you can do this video without feeling like a fool, then it is probably a lot of fun. It probably also is of high intermediate intensity with some high intensity blasts thrown in. If you can really get into it, you could probably get a fine workout. I barely broke a sweat because I couldn't get my body to move properly.

Instructor Comments:
I still love Andre and will try any tape he puts out, because I enjoy working out with him.

Lisa C


This high/low workout starts with a fun warmup. The problem is that 15 minutes later, I still thought I was warming up. I lost interest at that point. The preview looked sort of fun, but the intensity just wasn't there. While the choreography ranges from intermediate to advanced, the intensity is strictly beginner to intermediate. The choreography is somewhat dancy, but can, for the most part, be done without all the fluff. Some of it gets downright goofy. He also has an annoying habit of introducing a new move on the 8th count of the old move (i.e, he does the last 7 counts of whatever the current routine is, and then launches into something totally different on count 8.) He would be less confusing if he waited until count 1 of the next phrase like everyone else. Once you get over the initial confusion, the moves are pretty easy to get, though. This is a good tape if you're looking for lower intensity, but it definitely doesn't live up to its "Advanced Cardio" title.

Annie S.