CIA 8003: Double Crunch

Jennifer Mills Palmer
Year Released: 1996

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

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

CIAs are ever evolving and becoming more home-user friendly. I hope Jennifer comes out with a new tape soon. Why? Because I couldn't stand taking it from the top over and over and over, which seems to be more common on older videos. I loved this video, the cueing, the fun, the choreography, but couldn't do it because by the end of the hi/lo or the step for that matter, you are repeating a step you've done at least it seems like 70 or 80 times since the beginning of the half hour. I've had this tape for months and have only done it once. On the exchange and hoping for more Jennifer, I even like her voice.

Instructor Comments:
Great instructor, good cueing. Needs to change the "take it from the top". Even like her voice, which bothered some. I'm sure it helps that I'm a Detroit native myself.



It was about time I got around to reviewing this video, and when I realized my review could put the video into the Hall of Fame, I sat down to my keyboard. Others have described the workout, so I'll just add my comments.

This was the first CIA video I truly loved. Jennifer is a member of that rare group of video instructors whose personality completely takes over the video screen and draws you in--a category in which I might also include Kari Anderson and Johnny G. Fortunately, I love Jennifer's personality, so CIA 8003 is a treasure!

Jennifer is just so adorable--I don't know how she manages to keep those Jenniferisms like "uh oh!" from getting old, but she does. Like fellow CIA veteran Christi Taylor, it's obvious to anyone who tries this workout that Jennifer is having a blast doing this workout and wants you to feel the same.

I'll admit I prefer the hi/lo to the step workout--the step section is good, too, but I just can't get enough of the hi/lo and I've probably done that section twice as often as the step section.

I think Jennifer ranks up with the absolute best of the CIA instructors, both in terms of interesting choreography and her superb cuing skills (something that can be lacking in some CIA productions).



"Holy macaroni," how I love this workout! A little over a year ago, I had to face the fact that I'd outgrown Donna-Mite. It was the most fun tape I had, but just wasn't intense enough anymore. Luckily for me, CIA had this tape on sale for eight bucks in one of their circulars. Jennifer was one of the wild and crazy cast members from D-M, and after reading reviews from such discriminating reviewers as Mandy, Sue B, Maryann, and Roberta, I took the plunge. I haven't missed D-M since:)

My buddies here have described this tape in exquisite detail, so I'll just add my personal thoughts. The choreography does take some time to master, but it's great fun. Jennifer just cracks me up--if she lived in Indiana instead of Michigan, I'd certainly invite her to my next party:) Because the step routine is second on the tape rather than first, I have a hard time doing all this in one shot. Maybe one of these days, I'll be a real animal and can just whip right through it. Not yet, though:) So most of the time, I like to add in just the step routine as a "dessert" for being a good girl and doing FIRM 4 or FIRM MBS. Either one of these workouts is great for those PMS/SLUG days when I really need to exercise, but want something that feels more like dancing or partying than "working out."

This one is still available from CIA, and I think they've just dropped the price to seven bucks. Get this one before they're all gone!

Grade: A+ and ten extra points

Instructor Comments:
Mix one part of Donna Richardson's attitude and sass with one part of Kari Anderson's grace and class, and the results look like this lady:)

Melissa Cooper


This is a very enjoyable workout starting with high/low and then going into step. I really like the routines and the music. It's at the intermediate/advanced level in choreography and intensity.

Jennifer Mills has a hoarse voice that you will notice immediately. Although a little distracting at first, I quickly tune it out when the fun starts. My only complaint is that she seems to use a tone of voice and/or facial gestures that make you think she's talking to children. She doesn't do that all the time, just here and there. I don't like that, but I do like the workout, and that's more important to me than what she says/sounds like.

Grade A!

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer is good at breaking down moves and cueing, but sometimes she acts like she's talking to a bunch of small children. I could live without that, but it doesn't overshadow my enjoyment of this video.

Annie S.


All it took was the first combination in the warmup to convince me I was going to love this video, and it is now one of my favorites!

Jennifer is the only instructor I know of who can get away with teaching off-phrase and still provide a fun, motivating, challenging and charasmatic workout. It's not that she doesn't know she's teaching off-beat at times; she will tell us, "This is going to feel weird but trust me..." And you will, and you'll have a ton of fun with this workout! It begins with a hi/lo segment that's more high impact than lo, with lots of interesting moves all sequenced into a long routine consisting of jogs, grapevines, mambos, hamstring curls, knee lifts, squats, pivot turns, kicks and inner thigh lifts. Jennifer adds turns to almost every pattern and although you'll need some space to travel, it's easy to modify for smaller areas.

The step segment is not as intense, but you'll be thankful for that after completing the hi/lo. Again, Jennifer builds a long routine adding her own sort of hip-hop, funky flair to the moves, and you can't help but want to try to emulate her style. My favorite moves in these segments are a 2 knee repeater with a lunge back and a triple step, and another unique move called a corkscrew, which involves a lot of turning but is not at all difficult to master. The workout ends with a relaxing stretch to instrumental guitar music.

I am not an easy person to please when it comes to exercise videos, and I usually end up giving a lot of new tapes away. 8003 is definitely a keeper, and I almost have to force myself not to do it every night of the week! This video is going be a serious contender with my Cathe Friedrich collection, and I highly recommend it to all advanced exercisers who are looking for a refreshing change of pace from the typical, more structured videos being produced today.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer Mills is a perky, likeable instructor without being irritating or annoying. I love her offbeat style and laid back "go girl" attitude, and I am difficult to please! She could motivate the walls to start moving along with the class! Her approach is very easygoing, not at all structured or formatted into typical 8 count blocks of choreography used by most video instructors.



The first couple times I did this tape, I thought to myself, "This is why people like her get to make videos and I will never do anything more than teach at my local Y." Jennifer is gorgeous with a really hip and funny attitude without seeming fake. She supposedly is a sign language interpreter and has a neat way of visual cuing that I've tried to copy in some of my classes. The moves are very original - my favorite is when she does one grapevine, one step touch, one grapevine, one step touch, and puts a turn in each step touch.

The tape has 30 minutes of hi-lo and 30 minutes of step, but I have yet to do the whole thing - I may do 20 minutes of each or something.

At the beginning of the tape, Jennifer introduces the "cast," which I thought was kind of neat, but they just sort of stand there, looking uncomfortable almost. During the tape, she makes jokes and comments toward them, but they don't seem very responsive. I guess this would bug some people, but I would prefer if they kind of bantered back a little, a la Donna-Mite. After a saw the tape a few times, though, it bothered me less because I noticed that they were sometimes at least smiling or shaking their head in response to Jennifer's comments.

The only problem with this tape is the music is so quiet that at times you almost don't hear it at all. Sometimes I actually lose the beat for an instant because I can't hear it.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer Mills is definitely the instructor I would most like to meet, although I'm afraid I might not be cool enough for her.



A 75 minutes CIA workout complete with warm-up and cooldown. Very high impact and fun 30 minutes of aerobics followed by 30 minutes of step. Jennifer caught me by surprise when I first tried this video - her voice was so distracting - she sounded like she had a bad cold, or laryingytis. When I actually got into the workout, I didn't notice that anymore and did enjoy the high impact workout. If you like very peppy, high impact, energetic workouts and are extremely advanced, you will like this video. Highly recommended.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer Mills is a hoarse-voiced instructor with lots of pep and energy who is great for the advanced exerciser if you can ignore her voice.

maryann parker


This is actually two complete workouts although I have always down both in order to get an hour of aerobics. The first is floor, but it is the hardest floor work that I have ever done. I know everyone is always looking for hard floor work-this is it. It is 32 minutes long, and it is rather complex,but after a couple of times I got it down pretty well. Lots of turn steps and pivots, grapevines and variations. I love her comments: Move the furniture! This compares in intensity with some step workouts I have done. The second workout is on the step and is similar in intensity to Mega Step Blast except it is 28 minutes long. Hard and complex, but she makes it fun and a little bit funky, which I didn't think I would like at all, but I do in this video. I really like it and actually look forward to doing it. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a very hard, but fun workout.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer Mills is probably my favorite instructor. She is very friendly and upbeat and I find myself wishing I could meet her. Her cueing is very good, I guess being a sign language interpreter helps her. She is not bouncy or silly, but just a lot of fun and very down to earth. She acts like she is having a lot of fun doing this video.

Doreen Bochmann


This quickly became my favorite of the 8000 tapes I recently acquired. It's fun, dancy and offbeat, a real "spring fever" workout. Jennifer Mills, like Gin Miller, balances skillful instruction with a laid-back and playful approach, and the refreshing 70's-style music and gym-class outfits add to the retro mood. This tape is loaded with fun new steps and variations I've never seen before. For instance, instead of ordinary old grapevines, you do the "crazy grapevine": grapevine for four counts, step-turn for two, grapevine back on the downbeat, and step-turn. Neat!! You will need lots of space though, and all the twirls and kicks may put your furniture in danger. Like Mandy, I love the step even more than the hi-lo. From the corkscrew to the soccer kicks, the turning lunge series, the "pop-step" L-step and the waterfall, Jennifer keeps throwing new stuff at you and her enthusiasm never wanes. She closes with a cooldown and stretch done to refreshing guitar music. This tape is shorter than most CIAs (about 70 minutes) but it'll work you out and put a smile on your face. Grade: A+

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer has that hip, "go-girl" attitude of most of the Crunch crew, without being phony or too loud.

Sue B


This is a one-hour circuit workout (but it is called interval on the box). You alternate toning exercises with stepping. The step choreography and intensity are intermediate, and the toning is beginner/intermediate. Advanced exercisers probably will not find it very interesting or challenging, but intermediate- level exercisers might get some good use out of it. Grade C.

One other note: On the back of the box, it says that Mary Lee has a video called Mega- Sculpt that was rated as one of the 50 greatest videos of all time by New Body magazine. I've never heard of that video, though. Come to think of it, I don't think I've heard of that magazine, either. The box also says Mary Lee has written three fitness-related books.

Instructor Comments:
Both instructors seem about average as far as instructors go. Nothing really outstanding or negative about either one.

The video starts off with a dancy warm-up that has really fun music to get the blood pumping! Then you do high impact for 30 minutes. Very complex combinations of turn,pivots and jumps. She rarely breaks down the combinations so you have to rewind a couple of times but after you get it, it is a lot of fun. All in all, I feel the choreography is like cheerleading and very fast and complex. Definately not for beginners. Any advanced excerciser who loves high impact aerobics with a lot of complex choreography will love it. The next 30 minutes is complex step. My absolute favorite part of the video! They use a 6 inch step and Jennifer's combinations are really challenging. One of the advanced combination is what they call a corkscrew. You keep turning and turning then go back the other way. It is a lot of fun once you get the move.She adds a lot of pivots to keep you challenged and NEVER bored! The music is really upbeat and dancy too.If you have Kari Anderson's Great Moves Step 2, it is the same music used in her video..Some of the moves are high impact; Jumping on the step and over the step. There are some karate kicks on the step as well. You will love this work out if your the kind of person that loves complex choreography, high impact and great fun music using your step! I give this workout an A+ . The cool down is very relaxing and she does some good stretches for your hamstrings, quads, calves and hip flexors. The music is nice instrumental guitar.

Jennifer is my alltime favorite CIA instructor. She has great cueing and a smiling/laughing personality. I have so much fun working out with her that it makes the time fly. Her choreography is advanced and complex; similiar to Cathe Friedrich. A lot of turning, and jumping on the bench . She is constantly adding on to each combination andthen going all the way back to the beginning ,so your never bored! I truly feel Jennifer really has a caring attitute. She keeps asking "How are you feeling? Are you keeping up? I know you are!"

Mandy Lee


Just doing my part to nudge this gem along towards the hall of fame.... I just got this video during CIA's $7 sale. This tape was a real steal-it's the best CIA tape I have ever done! This hour-long workout just flies by and I am currently trying very hard not to do it every day!

Other have described this tape very well, so I won't break it down. Both the hi/lo and the step segments are very well down-although the step is my favorite because Jennifer manages to make it tough and funky-my heartrate stays up the entire time.

Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this tape-it is excellent!

Instructor Comments:
She is a wonderful instructor! Cues very well and seems so down to earth and sweet. I am waiting for more CIA videos with her!