CIA 7002: The 123 Workout

Christi Taylor
Year Released: 1995

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Sliding, Step Aerobics

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Iím reviewing this workout after doing the warm-up, hi/lo, cool-down, and stretch several times and the step once.
Please note that I am reviewing this workout as it appears on the Humble Beginnings DVD, which does not have the slide portion. (In fact, before looking over the previous reviews I had no idea there was originally another part to this workout!)

General workout breakdown: This has already been broken down and described well, so Iíll just note times and add a few more details about Christiís style here.

Hi/lo: warm-up = 11 min., hi/lo portion = 30 min., cool-down = just over 3.5 min., floor exercises = almost 9 min., stretch = 3.5 min.; total = 57.5 min.
Step: warm-up = 11 min., (vertical) step portion = 29 min., cool-down = just over 3.5 min., floor exercises= almost 9 min., stretch = 3.5 min.; total = 56 min.

Christi will introduce basic steps and layer, although she doesnít add too many layers here. Her style of instruction is to begin with a few counts of basic moves, then layer it up, run through the new variations of the moves a few times, then put them together to take it from the top. Sheíll then add on another set of base moves, repeat, and then run through all of the parts of that combo before moving onto the next. After you learn the combo fully sheíll do a few TIFTs. Christi never weaves, or slices and dices, combos; sheíll always do combo #1 on the right, combo #1 on the left, combo #2 on the right, and then combo #2 on the left (or whatever side she does first).
Christi teaches things symmetrically, although sheíll sometimes have you do the layered variation on the second side without repeated all of the break down (or build up). If she spends a lot of time repeating the next version of a move on one side (usually these are lower body intensive moves), sheíll do the same on the second, even if she doesnít repeat the few steps she took to get that variation. Her combos are tapless.
Note that when Christi says that something will be ďfasterĒ what she means is that sheíll condense the routine, not speed up the tempo. So a move done twice or thrice will now be done once, and repeating a short series on both sides will now just be done on one side.

Christi draws from what now feels like an old school style of aerobics, relying on simple, clean, classic moves like hamstring curl, grapevine, basic, over the top, ball change, v step, repeater knee, etc., adding a little flavor here and there by playing with the direction, or sometimes arms. This isnít quite ďathleticĒ - there are moves like lunge and switch / ski / skate but not really many things like basketball hop or boxing shuffle - but itís not really dance step-based, as you wonít find too many mambos, cha chas, etc. It is dancey in Christiís ability to match moves to music and make them flow together in a sequence so you feel like youíre dancing (or even flying in some parts).

As has been mentioned, thereís a decent amount of impact here. Christi shows a few modifications if youíd like to keep your feet closer to the ground. There are a number of pivots, including some quick ones across the top of the step, so be careful if your sneakers like to catch on your step and/or carpet.

The floorwork portion has three rounds: squats & leg lifts (to the side for the first two rounds, to the back for the third), ďsit-upsĒ (aka crunches: straightforward for the first round, across the body for the second, and with legs up in the air for the third), and push-ups (regular for the first and second round, what Christi calls ďtriceps push-upsĒ but are commonly called (modified) dips) for the third).

The stretch is done seated, covering the upper as well as lower body. I added in a few more lower body stretches, however, especially after the step portion.

Level: Iíd recommend this to experienced exercisers at least at the solidly intermediate through low advanced level who are comfortable with at least a moderate Ė but preferably moderately high Ė level of choreography.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced in cardio, although Iím more of an intermediate plus when it comes to step, since Iím still working my way through more complex step aerobics workouts. I pick choreography up pretty quickly if itís broken down and cued well, which is very true here. I felt confident with the choreography after just one run through (again, know I think Iím better than average at picking up Ė although probably not exactly executing Ė choreography), although I could stand to clean up the routines, especially the kind of fussy arms, with another run through. This gave me a solid steady state workout that had me in a moderately high work zone according to my heart rate monitor even though I wasnít going all out with the impact and arm movements.

Class: 2 women join Christi, who instruct live.

Music: mostly upbeat instrumental, with some vocals. Since I donít have many, if any, older CIAs and Cathes, I canít say I recognized the tunes.

Set: the 1995 CIA set, with neutral colored walls and window frames, with a fireplace featuring flower arrangements off in the corner. Itís pretty boring and tame, actually, especially by later CIA standards.

Production: clear picture and sound, especially since this is a VHS transfer. Christiís voice is louder than the music. Overall the camerawork is the usual CIA stuff, although I could do without the up and to the side shot that appears from time to time.

Equipment: Only the step portion uses a step (Christi and company use a full-sized club step with one set of risers, which is what I used, too); the warm-up, hi-low, cool-down and floorwork, and stretch are all done on the floor. You may want to grab a mat for the floorwork and stretch, which is done mostly seated.

Space Requirements: This requires a good deal of space, but you donít need a whole gym or studio. You should have enough room to grapevine side to side and take a step or two forwards and backwards for the warm-up, to do that plus move up and back a few big steps for the hi/lo, and be able to grapevine off to the side plus work comfortably behind your vertically placed step for the step. The cool-down walks up and back a little, but you can keep it in place if youíd like. The floorwork and stretch are compact: if you can lift your leg to each side and behind you thatís all the room you need.

DVD Notes: As mentioned, everything but the slide portion of this workout is on the Humble Beginnings DVD, with the warm-up, hi/lo (divided into four combos), cool-down, and stretch on one DVD and the same warm-up, step (divided into four combos), same cool-down, and same stretch on another DVD inside a regular-sized case.

Comments: I forget about this workout, but itís actually a nice one, if a little on the short side. (I loves me my Christi, so about 20 min. of aerobics after a long warm-up isnít enough to satisfy me. ;)) As mentioned itís not as dancey as her later ones, but itís not quite as athletic and straightforward as CIA 5004. I find what it lacks in complexity it can make up for in intensity, although itís not significantly less complex or more intense than many of her other workouts (if more intense than her later workouts like M:P, Cardio Collectibles, Ultimate Cardio Core, and so on).

Christi also has vertical step portions on CIA 9801, Step Heaven, Still Steppiní, and Solid Gold Step. There arenít that many vertical step workouts out there, at least not many new ones. Admittedly, Iím late to the step aerobics game, but on my shelves I can only find Kelly Coffey-Meyerís portions on Get Ready, Step, Go and Step-Boxing 2 as well as Katina Hunterís Vertical Step Party (and rumor has it sheís working on Vertical Step Party 2). Iím finding vertical stepping a nice change of pace; itís different enough to prevent boredom but not so different that oneís mind canít wrap itself around the change in orientation. It also lends itself well to a slightly more athletic take.

Instructor Comments:
I donít know what else to add about Christiís cuing and personality that hasnít been said already! She mirror cues, although I generally find her to be kind of stingy when it comes to verbal cuing of directions. That said, she very helpfully calls out which direction you should turn in a way I found very helpful: ďaway from meĒ and ďtoward your back wall.Ē



This video has three parts: Hi-Lo, Step, and Slide with exercise tube toning. ( I did the hi-lo and step sections. Although slide looks a bit tedious to me, Christi did actually make it look sort of fun.) The warmup of the tape is too long (10 minutes?), but for someone new to Christi this may not bother them, as it is a good intro to her layering or add on style. Having done all of her other tapes, I found it repetitive and too long, so I stopped and ff'd after 5 minutes. The Hi-lo section is much less dancey than her other hi-lo. You can modify it to lower impact, but it is really suited to a higher impact. Lots of knee and hamstring moves, but jumping and turning while you do them. I think the choreography would suit a Cathe fan who wants a hi-lo workout. The step workout could be a really good introduction to someone new to Christi. That doesn't mean it is easy or boring! She takes longer to teach each move than she does in her new tapes, but it is still a fun workout. The impact is low here, although it can of course be modified up. For those who love the music in Christi's other tapes/DVDs, this one doesn't have that fun factor. I found the music to be pretty boring. Still, I will do this workout occasionally, just for something different. Not a favorite, but it is Christi :-)

Instructor Comments:
Christi is such a clear, fun instructor! This is one of her first videos, and other than the brief introduction, she is so comfortable in front of the camera. She is not quite as smiley in this video (compared to HLH, Just for Fun's , etc.), but she is still so great to work out with!



Like a lot of other folks who've reviewed this tape, I only do parts of it--but I enjoy the parts that I do--warm-up followed by hi/lo or step (usually step). Hers is the fanciest footwork this side of Cathe Friedrich--they must be cousins or something:) I especially enjoy how in the step section she utilizes the floor almost as much as she does the step. But what I really appreciate the most is that both legs and both sides of the body get equal treatment, so to speak. She has you work a combo on your right leg, then your left leg before you move on, rather than "take it from the top" first on one leg and then the other. (Am I the only one who sometimes gets annoyed when other dancy-type instructors don't repeat the routines on the left side as much as the right side? I'm always worried that prolonged use of their tapes will result in my looking lopsided and walking funny one of these days!) This tape has been in my rotation for five months now, and it's still as much fun to do as it was to learn. Keep 'em coming, Christy!

Grade: A+

Instructor Comments:
Those of us who've talked with her via e-mail and her website know her not only as a great instructor, but a geniune friend. She lives her Christian faith without being preachy about it, and is a role model for me in that respect:) There is nothing artificial in the way she presents herself on video--they don't edit out the sweat or touch up her make-up between segments--probably because she doesn't wear much, if any. As the workout progresses, she gets as delightfully disheveled as I do when I exercise with her. At one point on CIA 9801, she sings out, "I love this job!" Well, what can I say? I love this woman:)

Melissa Cooper


I believe this video belongs in the Hall of Fame, so I just wanted to give another positive review.

It was this video which opened up the world of hi/lo aerobics to me. I had previously thought NON-step aerobics was either really boring or too complicated for me to enjoy. I had tried Kari Anderson, and found her hi/lo videos hard to get. I bought this video for the step routine, which is very unique and fun. But it was the hi/lo routine which taught me I could do a fun, complicated hi/lo routine and therefore expanded my video options tremendously. Once I got the routine on this tape down (it did take several tries), I could do those Kari tapes which had confused me before, and have been able to pick up other hi/lo with relative ease. It is like Christi taught me how to do hi/lo in general, not just her routine.

This is an excellent tape - one of my favorites.

Instructor Comments:
I really think Christi is the best instructor out there. I love Cathe F. and a lot of other CIA instructors, but if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Christi. Her cueing is just about perfect, her teaching method is excellent and her choreography is so much FUN. She also has a great personality, and it is so enjoyable to work out with her tapes.

Lisa C


I've come to the conclusion that I dislike almost all tapes until I do them about 3-4 times. Fortunately, I didn't write a review for this tape right away. I would have said that Christi seemed very boring compared to Jennifer Mills, particularly when she reads from the teleprompter at the beginning, that I found some of the moves irritating, and that I was thinking of putting it on the Exchange.

Now, however, I love this tape and keep doing it again and again! Christi has a sweetness I didn't notice the first couple times, and the hi-lo particularly has some great moves once you get the hang of them.

I still don't like the "running man" where you sort of run on your step. This comes right out of a hop-turn kind of thing on the floor, and I don't see how I could possibly go into the Running Man without losing my balance and falling off the step. I no longer even try the running man and do a modified move, so it doesn't bother me anymore.

I should add that I am reviewing the step and hi-lo portions only. Next comes slide, which I don't do, and then some abs and stuff. I don't like having to FF through slide to get to a cool-down, so I just do my own stretches and stuff when I'm done.

Instructor Comments:
Christi doesn't have the hip-hop feel of Jennifer Mills - the only other CIA instructor I've tried - but she does seem very sweet and likable, and her cueing is excellent.

Jen Blaske


Count me as another Christi convert! When I first tried this video I realized I'd never had so much fun with hi/lo. Christi clearly belongs in the same category as Kari Anderson for her brilliant hi/lo routines. She's not as "dancy" as Kari, but her choreography is comparably complex.

Others have already descibed this workout very well, so I'll just add my thoughts. I think Christi has what it takes to singlehandedly (or footedly?) revive interest in traditional, hi/lo aerobics. I had been getting somewhat bored with hi/lo, yet along came Christy and now some of my step tapes are gathering dust!

Christi's step section is good, too, though I usually prefer more power moves in my step routines. After an intense hi/lo section, though, you'll be glad to take the intensity down a notch.

The slide and tone section is not very intense, as others have said, but by this late in the workout you'll be so tired that a more strenuous slide segment might send you to the emergency room! I don't usually have time to do this section, so I haven't done it very often.

All in all, this is a top notch workout for those who aren't afraid of complex choreography. Christi is a real find!



What can I say that hasn't been said about Christy before? She is absolutely fabulous. She seems so sweet and natural! The hi/lo in this tape is just about my favorite of any cardio work (step or floor). My only complaint is that when I am having one of those "Great Body" days I would like to go through the whole routine a couple more times at the end, not just once (but then there are days when it seems I can't get my feet off the ground and am thankful it is done).

The step portion is almost as fun as the hi/lo. Lots of moving around all sides of the step & plenty of interesting and fun combinations. I really like to do the slide portion after the step, but alone it is not very intense. It alternates simple slide combinations with toning with different size bands. I just have one band, a great big long yellow one that came with my step & I use that as best I can.

It took me at least 3-4 time for me to get the choreography down in the floor and step sections but it was well worth the effort!

Tonya Bednarick


This is an excellent video and workout. Christi Taylor, the instructor, is extremely charismatic and fun. She talks a lot saying things like "My oh My - Pace yourself", and periodically giggles and sings along with the music. Itís so much fun. Her cuing is excellent. The intensity and choreography of this video are very advanced. There is a very long HiLo warmup (about 10 minutes) - probably the fastest moves in a warmup that I have seen, and it is also a lot of fun, and I normally donít find warmups to be fun. After the warmup, she takes us right in to HiLo aerobics. This workout is very challenging and the moves are very fast. It took me a little longer than normal to learn the moves, but it was worth it. It is fun, but it really challenges you for the full 30 minutes of HiLo. The music is fun, and like I said so is the instructor. Typically I find step aerobics to be more challenging than floor, but this section showed me how tough floor aerobics can be. The Hi-Lo is followed by step aerobics, which are not as hard as the HiLo, but are still a lot of fun. Like Cathe Friedrich, Christi uses the entire area around the bench which prevents boredom. She has a lot of fun moves, that I have never seen before like the running man. The step section is about 30 minutes long. Then she moves in to the slide workout, which is very fun as well. This section also requires exercise bands for resistance. I bought a slide and it sat in my closet for about 6 months because I thought the video that came with it was so boring. Christiís slide is fun, and the resistance training with the bands adds variety. There is also a long stretch and floorwork to follow. Overall, this is an excellent video. I have to force myself not to do it every day - time restrictions help - the complete workout is almost two hours, but it is very easy to only do the sections you want like HiLo followed by slide, etc. I would recommend this video to any very advanced exerciser who enjoys dancy, complex HiLo and Step moves as well as a fun, energetic instructor who talks a lot and giggles, but doesnít whoop.

Andrea H


The reviews preceeding mine do an excellent job of describing this video. All I have to add is - Move over Kari Anderson!! Christi begins with one of the most unique warmups I have ever seen. It's a little repetitive but a lot of fun. I have never done a warmup that begins with grapevines and was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to stretch. Although the warmup incorporates a lot of rhythmic limbering for the calves, hamstrings and hip flexors, it lacks static stretches for these and other muscle groups.

The hi/lo is absolutely amazing! I completely agree with Joyce's review that this segment should follow step, not preceed it. From the hamstring turns to the turning lunges/hamstring series to the single kicks- turning double lunges-kick-step-hop-turning kick-ball-change combination, the pace and impact simply doesn't slow down for a minute! Combo #2 is my favorite. It begins with a unique "X" move (like a V step moving forward then moving backward but still facing front) into a double knee crossover followed by two single knee turns into a really fun knee-up, scissor-mambo-triple step series. There are 4 combos in total and all of them require a lot of concentration and attention to form. Stay light on your feet and don't think too much about messing up or else you're bound to fumble!! And ensure those heels make contact with the floor to keep calf and ankle pain at bay.

The step segment is easier to learn than the hi/lo but still plenty challenging. It is done with the step in vertical approach and Christi keeps the surprises coming with a lot of neat new choreography such as a turn, turn-straddle, grapevine off the bench, up-up lunge back, straddle-turn combination. This is my favorite pattern in the routine. She begins the workout with a tap up, triplet (a fast 1-2-3 step on both leads), 360 (a-la PowerMax) combo into a step kick and turning basic series. There is also a very unique straddle-floor twirl that doesn't incorporate the bench, moving directly into a running man on the step followed by a mambo-straddle triple step into a mind-boggling up-back-jack, which I've still yet to master.

As the stepping progresses, Christi continues to incorporate both the floor and the bench with moves that I, an instructor too, would never in a million years be able to dream up!

Overall this is a first-class production which I highly recommend to very advanced exercisers who like dancy, choreographed workouts from beginning to end, with no slowing down in between!

One last comment: I am having so much fun with this tape that I've yet to notice Christi humming the cues. This is something I will have to be cognizant of next time through!

Instructor Comments:
Christi is one of the most inventive choreographers on video. I thought I had seen it all until I got this tape on trade! From the warmup to the cooldown, Christi keeps on delivering the most fun, complex, and interesting combinations I've done in a long time!

Roberta Kagno


This tape consists of a 12 minutes warm-up followed by 30 minutes of the best floor aerobics for the advanced exerciser I have ever done. Christi is an impeccable cuer - a great instructor who even hums while she instructs. She does pivots, kicks, jacks, mambos, shuffles. The step aerobics is a lot of fun but not as powerful, but that's okay since you totally knocked yourself out with the floor aerobics. After the 30 minutes of step, there is a slide section I didn't do since I don't have a slide, but I did improvise by doing squats and then used my tubing for the upper body. She also instructs an ab section/push-ups which is tiring and totally knocks you out. Great video. Unfortunately she has only two CIA videos and I called CIA recommending her highly.

Instructor Comments:
Christi Taylor is an outstanding instructor for both floor aerobics and step aerobics. I highly recommend her two tapes CIA7002 and CIA5004.

maryann parker


I can sum up this workout in two short sentences. Awesome Cueing! Very fun and interesting step and floor aerobics!! But these don't even say enough about this video.

The workout begins with a sort of long warm up combination which gets a little repetitive. It then moves to hi/low floor aerobics. I'm not much of a floor aerobics enthusiast but this is a fun routine which proceeds VERY QUICKLY and is mostly high impact.

The step routine is another very fun part with some unique moves like the "running man", etc. Again, it flows smoothly and VERY QUICKLY". I make this point again because this is not a workout you can coast through. I found myself really having to focus on what was coming up.

The next section is slide. I don't have a slide so I can't review this part.

And if you still haven't had enough...the last part is an abs/pushup/standing leg lifts section. As Sue put it in an earlier review, this is "total body punishment".

I have one complaint. I really feel that the step section should precede the hi/low. This is a personal preference as I tend to get tired and sloppy after a strenuous 30 minutes of aerobics. I think, and have found, that it's less dangerous to be sloppy doing floor aerobics.

But...this is a great workout!!!


Instructor Comments:
Christi Taylor is an excellent instructor. Her cueing is the best I've seen. She has a very unique style of as Mandy put it "singing the cues". It's really neat!

Joyce Thurman


The stepping is filled with fun, constantly changing complex choreography! She does a lot of turns, pivots, leaps and hops using all sides of the step. The bench is faced toward the TV. Her cueing is awesome! You will never be bored doing her stepping. She even does the 360 move in Cathe Friedrich's Power Max video. I think Cathe took this move from 7002 because Christi's video was made bore Cathe's. Christi's stepping segmant which is about 30 minutes and has a lot of power. She does the final, total step combo 3 times instead of the normal 2. It is really fun.

The high/low is mostly high impact and not too complicated. I'm mostly a stepper so I don't like to do high low so much.

The slide and pump looks fun but tough! I don't have a slide so I didn;t do this part. During the slide work, they do resistance with tubing. She then instructs the other two girls in the background for some ab work. A great cool down follows. This is a great all round tape. The only thing I didn't like is that the stepping segmant is only 30 minutes and the tubing is really "flirting" for resistance. I like HEAVY WEIGHTS.

These gals are SWEATY when they are done with the high/low and stepping. It's like being in a real aerobics or step class.

Instructor Comments:
Christi Taylor is the BEST instructor I've seen in the CIA series. She is very friendly and caring and you know she loves to teach because it shines all through her cueing. I would consider her cueing as good as Cathe Friedrich. She doesn't hoot and holler like Cathe but does something different. She sings her cues. I know it sounds weird but she must know the music and choreography so well that she sings, " right repeater ect." on the same tone as the music tone. This gives her teaching a uniqueness from all the rest of the instructors. I call her the singing instructor. She has a good voice too!

Mandy Lee


TOTAL BLAST is the only phrase that sufficiently describes Junior's high/low workout on this tape. I have such a *great* time doing this. It's a little on the dancy side, set to very good music, and Junior's teaching and personality are the icing on the cake. (Not to mention his good looks.) Even though his choreography is dancier than a lot, he always starts off by showing you a base move that you can keep doing if you want. He then takes the base move and adds tons of turns, fancy arm movements, etc. I usually just do my own arm movements, because I'm not really into "fancy" arms. (Besides, they're too hard to remember!) There is one move in here that I haven't yet had the guts to try. Before he shows it, he says not to do it unless you feel secure. Well, when I see him do it, I immediately become insecure. But it looks so fun, I'm going to try it one of these days. He calls it a double turn. You're simply turning around twice, but it's pretty fast. I can see myself falling on my behind on that one!

Next is step with Sherry Catlin. This is also fun, but lower-key than Junior's high/ low. Sherry is quieter and not as charismatic, but she is still a very good instructor and I like this section, too.

The third part is cardio combat, again with Sherry. I got pretty bored with this. It's not as intense as what I want, so I won't be doing this part anymore.

Finally, there's a short strengthening section with Junior, using an exertube. It's upper body, and it just "flows" so well from one move to the next. It's short, but enjoyable and effective. On the back of the box, it says that this section is 27 minutes and includes abs. But there are no abs, and it's really more like 20 minutes.

I will continue to do this tape for a long time to come, and just fast-forward through the cardio combat section. My grade for this is A.

I enjoyed Christi Taylor's workout on CIA 5004 so much, I bought this video on which she is the only instructor. Christi has a pleasant, girl-next-door personality, cues very well, adds plenty of form and safety tips, and presents some of the danciest, most mind-boggling choreography on video. 1-2-3 is positively NOT for novices, or for persons who want to just coast through a video the first time. But if you're up to the challenge, this video will kick your butt !!

The hi-lo segment is simply the toughest, most awesome floor aerobics I've ever done. I give it a "killer" rating because the steps become so fast and complex, if you lose your wits for a second you'll be tripping all over your feet. There are turning lunges and turning kicks, scissors, mambos and a super-challenging kick/step-hop/turning kick/ball change combination, all in lightning-fast succession. And just when you think it's over, Christi chirps, "One more combo!" Thanks to her thorough instruction, learning the steps isn't hard; it's being able to DO them that is! The step segment is not as intense (a blessing if your brains are already scrambled by the hi-lo) but is still full of interesting new moves such as "running-man", a straddle/floor twirl, and other moves that combine floor with step. The third segment, "Slide n' Pump", combines slide intervals with tube toning. I don't have a slide, but I fake it by doing squats. The sliding is slower and more focused on lower-body toning since the cardio is already taken care of. After the cooldown, there's yet ANOTHER workout, an abs/pushup combo, for total body punishment. Even Christi starts getting giddy with fatigue at this point, while most of her viewers probably pass out upon hitting the floor. My only complaints are that the warmup drags on a little too long - I usually fast-forward after about 7 minutes - and the Step Max soundtrack (also used in CIA 6001 and 6004) is ready for retirement, already.

1-2-3 is currently at the top of my video stack, and I almost have to force myself to do anything else. CIA's production has also improved, with better sound/picture quality and more camera angles. Major bonus: after "testing" 1-2-3 only a few times, I lost 5 pounds! For that alone, it deserves a big A+.

Sue B