Three different Circuit Training Workouts in one DVD. ? A 32- minute Cardio Circuit with 4 cardio-step routines to blast calories and help you lose weight. ? A 32 minute Strength Circuit to focus on firming up all your m... more »uscles with weight training and your own body weight. ? A 56 minute Complete Circuit to mix it up and give you the best of both worlds by alternating fun cardio-step routines with weight training.« less
"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. "
Excellent & fun workout
Workout Princess | Queens, NY | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I am the first to review this, let me say that this is an awesome fun workout. Definitely intermediate to advanced. There's much variety with this DVD. There's a choice of just doing the 32 min cardio, which is just using the step. Then there's a choice of the 32 minute weights. Lastly there's a choice of the full 56 minute workout, which can also be broken down with the a la carte menu...
Warm-up: 5 1/2min Cardio: 32 min (w/warm-up) Weights: 32 min (w/warm-up) Abs: 6 min Butt/Legs: 3 3/4 min Cool down: 3 3/4 min
I'm new to KV and this is my second DVD of hers. My first is her Great weighted workout which is also really intense. The background to this Ultimate Step Circuit is a barn like set up but who cares, the workout is fun and the music is upbeat. She cues you in to all the moves. There's one guy and a girl, who may have been in her earlier workouts. You need a step and one set of heavy (5-10lbs) and one set of lighter (3-5lbs) weights. When u do the total workout, you do first cardio/weights combo...it's nice the way she breaks it down. KV is sooooooo defined and toned. Just to give u an idea of my level of workouts, I alternate with this DVD, and KV great weighted workout, Tamilee Webbs Weight Loss, Bootcamp and Crunch Pilates...all fun workouts. I hope all the dedicated exercisers buy this DVD or preview it on Collage. Always preview so you know what you're getting. I definitely give this 5 stars."
The best out there!
A. Holt | NYC United States | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great workout for someone that gets bored easily while working out. The constant cardio then weight segments keep my mind off the clock. I have only done it 5 times and everyone is noticing! This works fast! If you want to buy just one DVD, get this one!"
Angela Walker | 07/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm 35 years old and started stepping in the early 90's but I haven't stepped in 5 years. This workout took me a few workouts to catch on and if I had to give some advice to make it easier to learn I would say...set the step up so you're facing the TV and mirror her feet and body to get the moves. I was really confused trying to decipher left and right and when I mirrored her, I got it instantly! I got this DVD because of the great reviews and doing this workout brought all the reasons I used to love to step back and made me sweat. I'm not very articulate with giving a review and I rarely do but I have to say, in the past 7 days of doing this workout (everyday because I'm addicted!) I have trimmed down a great deal and I'm more relaxed and happy. Probably just a release of good endorphins from doing something that is thoroughly enjoyable. I love it and just thought it deserved some credit."
Not for beginners!
Sarah | 06/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I got this after I finished taking an aerobics class to keep with it, and I thought it was okay after several tries, but it's definitely more advanced than I was ready for. I've used it a few times, but often get frustrated and just turn on some music for my cardio circuit instead. I read all the great reviews, but nothing (at the time) was mentioned about it being for a more advanced stepper. My issues with it (as a beginning-intermediate stepper) were that she switched to new choreography too quickly and often without a good explanation of what she was doing (mostly during cardio circuit, she's better at describing during the strength circuit). I also felt like I had to keep my eye on the TV the whole time because there weren't enough audio cues, which is really difficult when you're constantly switching directions. By the time I figured out one step, she'd moved on to something else, so I wasn't getting a complete workout. I'm sure it's fine for advanced steppers or maybe just more coordinated people, but I'm going to try a different video for now."