Top positive review
64 people found this helpful
Good but Need to be Patient, Focused & Nimble
on July 18, 2005
I've used this DVD about five times now and am finally appreciating the benefits. It wasn't love at first sight - I was very frustrated the first couple times and even quit midway. In the cardio sequences, Karen often starts a new move before giving the signal, leaving you stranded behind your step. It's very off-putting. Nevertheless, I forced myself to hang with it and am glad I did. As other reviewers mentioned, the complete workout (55 min) is a nice challenge for an intermediate exerciser. I'm starting to be able to anticipate her moves so the poor cueing is becoming less of an issue.
The weight-training component is unique, which keeps me interested (not your standard bicep curls...) and targets areas that my other DVDs do not (see my other reviews). However, I really have to pay attention to form (not that that's a bad thing) - some of the moves are unusual and a bit tricky; others are very subtle movements, requiring concentration to feel a burn. Also, there aren't many reps so you have to make the most of each.
I find that the pacing on the step movements is unusually fast (normally, I want to move at the same speed or faster than the instructor). One one hand, I like that this routine makes me hustle but it's harder to keep good form and a bit taxing on the body. So I do not recommend it for someone who wants to minimize the impact on joints.
The music, set, and background are neutral to good - nothing amazing but not drawbacks. I like that the set is simple and well-lit and that there are only two people behind Karen. I haven't noticed any poor form on their part, which helps me to concentrate on mine. The overall mood is serious/professional but they'll flash a smile here and there.
I'd say this is a high-intermediate/low-advanced workout because the cardio movements are so rapid. By the final cardio sequence ("the tick/tock") I am approaching my breaking point. Karen works up a sweat in this workout, which I find comforting. Both the warm-up and cool-down (before abs) should be a couple minutes longer. The ability to split the DVD into two workouts - 34 minute cardio and 32 minute weight-training is a nice feature. While it has its issues, this DVD is a good value at around $10.