Video Fitness

Step Reebok: The Power Workout

(Intermediate/Advanced-Step Aerobics)

More "Step Reebok", with same set, music and instructor, but this time it's a 40-minute long hi-lo workout using "power" moves (ie. jumping, jogging and hopping). Since the pace is fairly easy, this is actually not as hard as it thinks it is; the moves are easily modified to low-impact, so an intermediate or even an "advanced beginner" could brave this one. Excellent Gin Miller cueing and form, and two heart-rate checks. A countdown clock in the corner of the screen tells you how much longer till you can have that beer.
Grade: A

Sue Bryant

"Step Reebok: The Power Workout"

  • More advanced workout. Uses power (propulsion) moves with the step
  • can be a *real* tough workout.

Larry DeLuca

* Step Reebok: The Power Workout with Gin Miller*

Reviewer's Note:--I rented this one (for free!) from the public library, so this assessment is based on only one day's workout. I was also in a weird mood when I wrote this, so bear that in mind.

The set is darkened, but illuminated from the floor--just enough light to outline the six-pack abs and admirable biceps, triceps and delts of the cast. Anyone over 12% body fat may get an inferiority complex before the workout even begins.

Although Gin Miller leads the workout, she doesn't say a word as she performs the moves in a ridiculous low-slung biker-style get-up. She does, however, give hand signal cues, which are mostly easy to follow. This Gin is referred to henceforth as "Sign-Language Gin".

In addition, there is a triple column of TV screens down the right hand side of the viewer's screen for much of the workout, plus several other TV's placed around the set. Each contains an identical, pre-recorded close-up shot of Gin's face (collectively referred to henceforth as the "TV Gins"), lit from the left with the right 1/2 of her face in shadow. It is these multiple TV Gins who talk you through the workout, but she/they do so in this monotone, low voice that makes you feel as if you're being given SUBLIMINAL workout cues. This "Big Brother-whispering-in-your-ear" flavor is further enhanced by the cast of obviously professional dancers who execute the moves so flawlessly and mechanically that they resemble "robots taking a step class", as a friend once described the Step Reebok cast.

I had never experienced one of the "official" Reebok videos before, so I guess I was in for a bit of a surprise. I don't know if the other Reebok videos strive for the disjointed, angular music video look, but this one definitely seemed to strive for that sort of cinematography! I regret to say that the creative camera angles did not positively contribute to my workout experience, and, in fact, it made it difficult to follow, even though the steps were not complex. Whenever I looked to the TV to see if I was performing a move correctly, the camera seemed to focus in on the perky-chested Barbie-like torso of one of the cast members, but rarely on her feet.

The workout itself has intense but rather basic, mostly linear choreography, and the soundtrack seemed to be slightly off from the choreography, which made it even more difficult to stay on the correct foot. Most of the power moves are pretty standard--very little that Cathe Friedrich or Karen Voight aficionados would find intriguing. Both Voight and Friedrich's moves are much more multi-directional and do a better job of working all muscle groups through their full range of motion.

Overall, what makes this video intense is the constant barrage of power moves with very few "recovery" interludes. I had sufficient cardiovascular endurance to perform all the moves without getting winded, but with so many consecutive power moves I did experience some lactic acid burn in the quads and glutes.

I did not know whether or not to be thankful when an occasional "X minutes remaining" appeared at the lower right of the screen. When the video is over, I suggest you turn it off immediately in order to avoid a series of pseudo-interviews with the robotic cast members, who offer such insights as "Power Step is just SOOO-O. so-o Cool. You just can't NOT get in shape with this workout," and "This stuff is, like, SOO-O intense," as they flutter their eyelashes, flex their muscles, and comment on fellow cast members bodies.

Though Gin Miller is always a consummate professional with perfect form, I don't think this workout will appeal to home exercisers trying to simulate the experience of a live step class. If you long to appear in Michael or Janet Jackson's next music video, on the other hand, you may enjoy fantasizing your way through it.

Wendy Niemi Kremer

This was only my second step video, and at first I was totally impressed with it. The music is really jammin', and the music video/MTV style production is a lot of fun. After the production quality novelty wore off, though, I realized that this is really quite a boring workout. The warm-up is interesting enough, but the following step routine consists of a way-too-long set of straight basic stepping, a way too long set of straight v-stepping, and then a pretty ok set of lunges and straddles. This is a really good workout for a beginner (I used to think it was way intense!), but will likely be REALLY boring for the advanced stepper. I have mixed feelings about the recorded instructional that is shown alongside the workout space; on one hand I like it that she has taped the instruction at her leisure so that she can concentrate more on her form during the workout, but it is kind of wierd to watch an instructor who is not actually speaking during the class.

Melissa Dewey

This is a decent 50 minute step workout. The choreography is very basic, athletic and easy to follow. Even though the workout is decent, I don't think I'll do this tape very often.

I absolutely *despise* the set and the cast. Those pre and post-workout scenes that they shoot in the locker room make me completely nauseous. Can the cast be any more cheesy or vacuous. One cast member in particular annoys me... the one with the long, blonde curly hair. C'mon we all work out here, and we know that a hair-do like that is fine for your senior prom, but it would last 5 seconds in the gym. During a workout, long hair belongs in a ponytail... not cascading down your back with a cute bow on top. Anyways, these are minor details, but cumalatively, they get on my nerves enough to make me pass on this video. Like I said, it's a solid sweat, but I have other favorites.

Christine Letsky

This is a decent high-intensity step workout with basic choreography. There are lots of power moves that will get your heart rate up, but you can leave them out if you want to. The set is that techno-industrial look, which I hate. It's dreary and depressing, in my opinion, but I know it was considered some kind of "breakthrough" by some. Personally, if smoke started coming out of the floor when I was doing step, I'd high-tail it the other way. But the set isn't enough to make me dislike the tape.

Gin is a "talking head." She doesn't actually cue when she's doing the workout. The cueing comes out of a TV screen. It's very serious; there is no hint of Gin's great sense of humor.

I recommend this for someone who wants good intensity but uncomplicated choreography. If you've seen the original Step Reebok tape, this is very similar, except higher-intensity and many more power moves.

You won't know from this video how fabulous and fun Gin really is. Her later videos show her personality much better.

Annie S.

Others have described the atmosphere of this video well - it's dark and industrial looking. I'm one who doesn't mind this - it's different, and I get tired of the typical video set (an aerobics studio with a wood floor, the video instructor and several exercisers behind).

I really like the music in this video. It's very percussive, and I can jam away to it. The main reason I like this video is that in just 40 minutes, you can get a pretty decent aerobic workout. Five minute warmup and stretch, 30 minutes of step aerobics, 5 minutes cooldown and stretch. I use this on days when I'm crunched for time.

Almost all of the moves are power moves (hence the name), and I think this is a challenge for the advanced exerciser. I consider myself intermediate to advanced, and I have to either modify the moves (which is very easy to do) or lower my step.

The moves themselves are very basic. Basic steps, v steps, repeaters, over the top, etc. At the end you do a squat-lunge combination that is pretty killer - I feel the burn! Because the choreography is basic, it's easy to learn and do, and yes, does have the potential to become boring. I use this video when I don't want to have to think too hard, and can just go on autopilot.

Overall grade for this video: B+. It's not one of my favorites, but it has its place in my collection, and I use it maybe once a month.

Instructor comments: Gin doesn't show a whole lot of personality in this video. As others have said, she narrates the video separately and speaks in somewhat of a robotic way. Her outfit is pretty awful (all black with this red thong thing), but she cues very well, both by speaking and hand motions. I really like Gin in other Reebok videos, but in this one, she's just there.

Mary Truscott

I never get tired of doing this video. It's stimulating first thing in the morning. It's challenging and really shapes up your lower half. The only thing that bothers me is that they always start at the beginning again. (I should say that I get bored easily.)

So, for the first half of the video, it seems like your doing the same moves over and over and I get anxious to get to the good stuff - the side squats that do such a good job on your butt! The costumes, set and music are wonderful and put me in a good mood.

Instructor comments: Gin is great. Love the separate voice track.


Gin Miller is great. She is easy to follow and she is very motivating. I don't understand comments about her outfit, her "dead-serious head", cheesy cast and so on. Why does it bother anybody??? As long as it works and it's fun... You do the video to get the results, so wor


Gin Miller is great. She is easy to follow and she is very motivating. I don't understand comments about her outfit, her "dead-serious head", cheesy cast and so on. Why does it bother anybody??? As long as it works and it's fun... You do the video to get the results, so wor


I've read some reviews where this video is quoted as "boring", "decent", "intermediate" and it makes me wonder whether these people and I did the same video. This video kicks butt and that is on level one of the step. The entire 40 minutes is jumping, squatting, lunging and every possible way. The entire video is high impact and like Gin says, the video leaves you FINISHED when you're done. Perhaps it's not one of the more fun videos. There's no interaction with the viewer, it's all strictly business; but if you're looking for a video to work you out and good - this is it!

Instructor comments: We don't "interact" with Gin as much in this video. She speaks in the background and the view is such that you can't really see her, but she's great in this and every video.

Denise Berger
September 30, 2006

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