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If you're tired of looking at walls while you work out, then the scenery in this video, which was shot on the island of Guam, may entice you. Karen Flores and her class of four fit women exercise outdoors at the edge of a lake, facing a waterfall. Very pretty! This 45-minute workout includes 23 minutes of step aerobics.
The video has some oddities. In the warm-up, Flores faces her class instead of facing the viewer. This might seem like an advantage because when we're behind her, it's easy to follow her feet. But the camera angle keeps switching--first we're facing the class, then we're facing Flores--and we find ourselves on the wrong foot or using the wrong arm each time the switch happens. They all face the same direction for the step routine (whew!), but Flores cues the foot that she is using rather than the one that we, the viewers, are using. In other words, she says, "right, left, right," when for us, it's actually "left, right, left." This is very distracting, and it's surprising that no one in the production alerted her. Flores's cueing is barely audible, and she doesn't describe what the move will be, so you're basically just following visually. For example, her cue "up" turns out to mean step up, knee lift, step down, and lunge back. Her moves are very repetitious--16 repetitions on the same leg of the move just described, for example, repeated twice in the workout, and endless "up and over" moves. The pace gets faster until, by the third aerobic segment, the music is 145 beats per minute. Step aerobics is safe and effective between 120 and 128 beats per minute. The five-minute upper-body segment is just more step with arm moves--no weights or tubing.
The scenery is lovely, but as a step workout, this video doesn't rate among the best. --Joan Price
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