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Energy Sprint

"Energy Sprint": 80 min., approx. 40 min. step plus upper body toning with light weights and lower body toning using the body's resistance. Level: advanced

When I first reviewed this tape 3 years ago, this tape had done more for me than any other. My cardiovascular endurance increased dramatically in less than a month of doing this tape 2x/week, thanks to the interval training. Keep in mind when reading these reviews, however, that at the time this was the hardest video on the market. Since its release, other, tougher interval videos have appeared, namely Reebok's Intense Moves and Cathe Friedrich's Interval Max, it's still an excellent choice.

The video starts with lower body toning then proceeds to about 40 min. of aerobics and high-intensity (and sometimes high impact) aerobic sections called energy sprints. The sprints *really* get your heart going, pushing the limits of your aerobic threshold. They are followed by short, lower-intensity recovery segments. The end of the tape has thorough upper body and ab toning. The music is motivating, too. I wouldn't call the tape dancy, but rather dance inspired-- the movements are graceful and controlled, and use lots of large limb movements and balances.

I've owned this tape for a long time, and I'm still amazed at the thoroughness of the workout. It is one of the most meticulously thought out workout I've ever done.

Unfortunately, this video is SO effective that eventually the sprints became simply aerobic instead of pushing me over my aerobic threshold, even when I used an 8" step with all the high intensity variations. I found myself wishing that Karen would produce a "sequel." A month or two after writing the above review, I resumed running after a 6 month absence, and I was 45-60 sec. faster per mile than I was BEFORE I stopped running. I attribute this speed gain to the high intensity intervals.

Even though this video is no longer challenging enough for me to be considered an interval workout, and I now prefer strength training with heavier weights, I still use Energy Sprint on occasion as a solid aerobic workout that reminds me to be diligent of my form and to use the fullest possible range of motion. If I go a few weeks without doing this video, even if I've been doing a wide variety of aerobic activities, I come back to it amazed that Karen manages to find at least a few muscles I'd been neglecting. This is truly an exercise video classic!

Wendy Niemi Kremer

"Karen Voight's Energy Sprint" (Advanced-Step Aerobics, Toning)

"For all levels" - HAH!! If you can finish this 80-minute workathon the first time, I am not worthy. Karen works every single muscle except maybe the ones that wiggle your ears, first with lower-body toning, then building into a killer of a step workout that combines fast and slow intervals (or "sprints"), then a weight-lifting and crunch session for the Ben-Gay icing on the cake. Warning: you may have to call in sick the next day!
Grade: A+

Sue Bryant

Karen Voight's Energy Sprint is recommended highly everywhere. I have to admit that I didn't like it so much at first because it lacks FIRM video's beautiful set. This truly pushes your heart to work. The more I use this tape, the more I appreciate it.

Annie Jen

Karen Voight's Energy Sprint

An excellent video for advanced steppers. Choreography is not very difficult, easy to follow (and excellently cued) step patterns that build and flow well. Karen demonstrates near-perfect form and is a no-nonsense (no whooping) instructor. I've owned this video for about a year and although it isn't so challenging anymore, I still enjoy doing it and get a good work-out too.

Eileen Boettcher

"includes fast-paced interval work that Voight calls 'energy sprints'; they're comparable to doing quarter- to half-mile running pick-ups. Athletes involved in stop-and-go sports like tennis, basetball and soccer will find this workout especially useful, since you constantly change directions as you pour on the speed."

Women's Sports+Fitness, Jan/Feb. '95

Great tape. 1 1/2 hours (longer than the others), and starts out with a strengthening segment, then goes into interval training.

Larry DeLuca

Karen Voight's Energy Sprint -

I love this tape. I like her no-nonsense style, great form and cueing, and interesting without being dancy movements.

Kalpana Shankar

"Karen Voight's Energy Sprint"

I have been going to step classes for about three years and I've just moved to a new area. The gyms are rather crowded around here, so I have opted to try out some video tapes. Now, I've done some tapes before that belonged to friends, but just never really went out and bought tapes. The only tape I really had was the one that came with The Step. Well, I read your reviews for Voight's tape and I decided to take the plunge. All I can say is Wow!! This tape made me feel like I was at the gym and it really kept me movtivated. The length was not really a problem because that is the normal length of most Power Step classes that I've been to. I haven't been working out recently and I was a little hesistant about starting up with this video, but it proved to be challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Voight cues in a timely fashion and with extreme detail. I also appreciate that if she is doing a specific toning exercise, she displays the form and tells you what muscle groups you should be working. The abs section also proved to be effective. The motions were slow and concentrating to the specific muscle groups. Best believe that you feel it in the morning. The one thing that I appreciate in the video is the good stretching. After having playing sports, I am very conscious of proper stretching. She does a really good job..maybe a little fast, but good in any case. I hope to enjoy more of her videos.

Leandra Morris

Karen Voight's Energy Sprint

Not for super steppers only! I rented this video on a whim, because it was the only decent workout video at the store, even though I'm pretty new to all this. (I've only been exercising regularly for about a month and a half.) It was a lot of fun to take some extra workout time on a Saturday afternoon and challenge myself with it.

The things that made this video accessible for me were:

  • Karen has great cueing. I'm pretty klutzy but I never got lost for long.
  • Several levels for each combination were presented.
  • The backup steppers represented many different fitness levels.
  • Each combination was built up slowly from its component steps.

The aerobic portion of the workout is divided into seven Sprints, so if you wanted to use this tape for a shorter workout, it would be very easy to choose a few. Or, if you're not sure whether the workout is too advanced for you, you can just try the first one and see how it goes.

The toning portions of the workout were also enjoyable. (I admit, I skipped most of the ab work.) I particularly liked the variety of the upper body work. Karen teaches you several dumbbell moves and then combines them.

In short, if you see this in your local video store when you're picking out a movie, give it a try! I really enjoyed the change of pace after doing the first Step Reebok video over and over. And it was a great motivation to challenge myself, and to look forward to being able to do more of it in a few months.

Mary Vogt

This is one heck of a workout, and definitely advanced level. You do 40 minutes of high-intensity step aerobics and 40 minutes of toning.

The aerobic section is divided into a series of 7 "sprints," which are 3- to 5-minute high-intensity aerobics followed by a slightly lower-intensity phase, but still aerobic. This seems to be extremely effective for me -- when I first started doing this workout, I saw a noticeable improvement in fat loss as well as aerobic capacity and strength.

The back of the video says you can do this without a bench (and one person even does so in the video), but I'm sure it would be less intense that way. However, that may be a good way for a beginner to start this program.

The abs section is really good. The moves are challenging and done slowly enough so that you get some benefit. However, they're not so difficult that you can't do them, or you can't work up to them.

This is a video I'd highly recommend to any advanced exerciser or to an intermediate exerciser looking for improvement. Besides being effective, it's fun!

Annie S.

This is the first step video that I have purchased since about 3 years ago when I tried a step video at home and I injured my knee so I returned both the step and the video. I had been hesitant to try step again, but after the rave reviews from this web site about this video I decided I had to try it! I found a used, full-sized step for a great deal so I bought Energy Sprint. The length of this video as well as the power moves have really increased my cardiovascular capacity. I have alternating this video with the FIRM's Strong Body (I purchased this video as a result of reviews from this website too!) since August 96 and have seen my body change. I have lost just a few pounds, but I have gained more muscle tone for a more sculpted affect. My husband loves it! :) If you want a new aerobic challenge that gives you a great sense of accomplishment as well as a fun workout, this video is a must!

Rachelle Trigueros

I loved this video because I knew when I could get the whole way through the tape without exceeding my fat-burning target heart rate I was indeed in good shape. I didn't realize how great this video was, though, until I bought a ski machine and had to go 45 minutes the first time I used in order to feel like I had actually worked out.

When I was little my mom told me "Girls don't play sports" and so I didn't. This video makes me feel truly athletic for the first time in my life and I am loving it.

Although I own and enjoy several Karen Voight videos, ("Lean Legs and Buns", "Firms Arms and Abs", and "Strong and Smooth Moves") this one remains my favorite.

Kelli Bragg

This was my first Karen Voight tape. I purchased it after reading about how much others at this site love her. I found the tape challenging and fun. The steps are easy to learn, yet they challenge the body aerobically. I was skeptical about the toning segments. The upper body workout was great and so was the abs section. The only flaw I found in the tape was the lower body toning. After the FIRM, this toning segment just did not cut it.

I like Karen Voight's no nonsense approach and clarity of instruction. I found this tape to be comparable to the FIRM -- except for the lower body muscle toning. I still think the FIRM has the most effective lower body toning of any video series. Voight, however, has a superior abdominal toning sequence to any FIRM tape.

I also liked the way different body types were represented on this tape. It was VERY motivating and uplifting. Nice music too!

Grade for this tape: A

Amy R. Steppe

The aerobic section of this video is, as others have noted, great for pushing to "the next level". I still have not graduated to using all the power moves on an 8" step, but I can see it happening soon! The last sprint with low-impact on the floor is kinda fun too.

As for the upper body work, I generally skip it, but only because hi reps/low weight is not effective for me. Karen is, as always, very encouraging and great fun to watch. She is definitely one of my inspirations! This video is rightly placed in the Hall of Fame.

Angela Pahlow

Wow! This is an awesome workout. I am in the intermediate/advanced range and this video really pushes me to my limit, even using the lower intensity options. Karen shows great modifications, so I am able to complete this tape. She also gives the best pointers on form.

The choreography is interesting but not too complicated (ie, I don't trip all over myself trying to do this tape). I think any one wishing to increase their cardiovascular fitness level would find this tape very useful. I know I love it so far.

I want to thank everyone who reviewed this tape. I probably would not have purchased it, except for the glowing reviews on this site.

Tonya Bednarick

I bought this video because of the rave reviews it received at this site. It's a terrific workout, either on the floor or with a moderate step. I thought I was so macho, so in shape, I decided to dive right into this one using a nine inch step. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Voight indeed does a terrific job pushing up the heart rate and testing your aerobic capacities. The nine-inch step is going in the closet until I feel mastery and control in the movements. Squats, leg lifts and the like are most effective when executed properly, not when scrambling to keep up.

On that note, I would recommend that other step novices, like myself use this as a tape to strive to live up to.


Karen's Energy Sprint workout is effective. I was vertically challenged in all areas with this video. The moves looked like they would be fairly easy, but they weren't. My flexibility, strength and balance were particularly put to the test in this video. I could really feel the burn in my buttocks in some of the leg work routines. All in all this is a great video. It's a long video. These days, I try to stick to the shorter work out videos, but when I have the time and the energy, I am more than willing to SPRINT! Although it is an advanced workout, I find that with some modification, an intermediate exerciser can complete it. It will be tough though.

Lynette Vessels

I forgot how intense this video was...I haven't done it in a while, but I did it the other day and wow...What a workout! Karen works every part of your body; lower body, upper body, abs, and stretch. Pretty intense cardio moves - apparently, the sprinting really boosts your aerobic capacity; this will increase your cardio strength. I really enjoyed this video just like all the other reviewers did. However, I am in excellent aerobic shape, just like all the other aerobic animals, and I got a workout, so for those of you who haven't tried this tape, this is don't miss tape...
Grade: A+

Kathy Lapinski

Although everyone who owns a step knows what an excellent routine Energy Sprint is, I wanted to add this comment for those who don't own a step and normally do floor aerobics. Energy Sprint is a challenge on the floor. I find it more demanding than Strong and Smooth Moves. I am an intermediate exerciser. What makes me happy is knowing that this tape will be challenging for quite a while, all I have to do is add the step! You will sweat, you will feel as if you've done some work. However, advanced exercisers might find the workout too easy without the step. I wanted to add this because it has come up in other reviews about Energy Sprint. Thank you!

Katie Reaves Fisher

I'm so glad that others in VF have encouraged me to try this video. I got it on a trade and was scared to death the first time. I still haven't gotten through all the sprints, but I'm getting in much better shape as a resultI would definately recommend even beginners try this video and do as much of it as you can -- rewind to the beginning and see if you can do more the next time.
I wish Karen would come out with a video that is similar to Energy Sprint but is an hour long. I love the total body workout but it wears me out. I'm sure that's the idea, but I'll just keep at it until I can do it all.


I just wanted to add a different perspective. I got this tape through the exchange because all the reviews were so positive. I was a little hesitant because everyone said KV was kinda serious, but figured that was okay because I liked Tracie Long a lot. Well, KV makes TL look like a cheerleader!

I have not done this tape and probably will never do it. I watched it for about 10-15 minutes, and it looked so boring and serious that I had no desire to do it even once when I could do Cathe F or Kari A instead. I'm sure it's a great workout. But I just wanted to say that it may not be everybody's thing.

Jen Blaske

Others here have given thorough run-downs of this workout, so I'm only going to add my personal thoughts. This has been a once-a-week tape for about three months or so. I don't do all of the power moves, and I only use a six-inch step--but let me tell you, I've NEVER done an aerobic routine that works me out so thoroughly. When I make it through that last "sprint" on the floor, I feel like I can conquer the world. Between the enjoyable choreography (especially the fourth sprint, where you glide over the top and it feels like you're airborn!) and the topnotch jazz-flavored soundtrack, I get so caught up in this that not only do I finish it feeling pleasantly bushed, but whatever stress I had at the end of the day is l-o-n-g gone. The next day, I swagger into my office feeling like I could handle a whole room full of university administrators:) This is a great cross-training tape. Walkers, runners and marathoners could use it to increase their endurance and/or improve their speed, as Wendy did. Karen is also very thorough in her toning, though, to be honest, I don't care for that part of the workout. (The FIRM has spoiled me, I'm afraid!) Folks who don't care for FIRM-type strength training could give this a try--lighter weights and more reps might be just the ticket.

This one is definitely NOT for beginners. I was one not so long ago, and this would have probably put me in traction had I tried to do it in the early months of my fitness program:) However, high intermediates and low advanced folks should find enough modifications included in the workout to make it accessible as they build up their strength and endurance.

I would gladly pay full retail price for this workout. Not for nothing is it in the VF Hall of Fame. But my lucky day came this past July, when I acquired it through the Video Exchange. And it's the best bargain I've had all year. Don't look for me to trade it away anytime soon. You ain't gettin' my copy away from me. No sirree:)

Grade: A+++ and 10 extra points

Melissa Cooper

I have really, honestly tried to like this video. Everyone else loves it, and in theory the workout is everything I could want. But the truth is, I can't stand it. I feel frustrated and grumpy after doing it. For me, it just feels like a waste of time. I can't put me finger on exactly what it is that I dislike. I think maybe I just don't enjoy Karen Voight. I find the moves basic and boring, I find the toning ineffective, and the workout just seems to go ON and ON. ("up, down, up, down"). Life is too short, and Cathe Friedrich's tapes are too good for me to do this workout again. I hate to be the only one who dislikes this workout, but so be it :-) I give the workout a "C".


This was my instant favorite video. I have only one thing to add to all the raves that everyone else has posted here: Karen includes differently-sized people in her workout class. IMO that not only is terribly important for the self-esteem of us consumers, but speaks worlds about her own lack of prejudice. Without saying a word, this video makes clear that even though Karen has the body of a goddess, you can be fit without needing to have that kind of perfect appearance.

Susan Haas

I really like this video. It is my favorite interval training video. Why? Because I love the music. I like the bright set. I like all the different people in the background. Some are using a 6 inch step, some an 8 inch step and some are using no step. The choreography is easy for me but this workout is not easy. I love it how that sprints have a screen at the bottom of the video so you can see how long each sprint is. It helps motivate you to push harder. The warm up is very energizing and then Karen goes into toning using the step. It easy very easy if you are an advanced Firm user. She uses no weights. The sprints are fun! fun! fun! I LOVE the music so even though the choreography is basic, I can just tune out the choreography and work on the intensity. The last sprint is done on the floor and boy were my endorphins pumping. The way the music is on the last sprint is like a finale music. You even do this clap move and it was like an applaude that you are just about to end. The upper body work is very easy compared to the Firm. Karen uses light weights /high reps and does toning on the step. The exercises are Pushups, chest flies , tricep , bicep and a little shoulder work. I felt like it was a good light toning work using 6lb dumbells. Perfect to do day after a tough heavy weight lifting day like MI-S or Tough Tape. The abs were very good. I loved the music all throughout and the cool down music was beautifully done. Just a wonderfully put together workout. I have to say it again that I love how her dogs come on the set at the end and she picks them up and rubs there bellies. I give this workout and A.

Instructor comments: Karen Voight can be repetative in her cueing but it doesn't bug me so much as it did when I first did the workout. After doing the workout for a while, her "up, down, up, down" cueing doesn't bother me. She makes the workout fun even though she is very serious. Her choreography is nothing like Cathe Friedrich. It is basic stepping. Karen reminds me of Helen Reddy. Her body is very toned. I like it how her dogs come on the set at the end of the video.

Mandy Lee

I admire Karen in many ways. As a long-time dance student, I like the way she understands what full range of motion is about, and her accuracy and carefulness in moves.

I like this tape for its tough and thorough workout and its music which may be the best I've ever heard on an exercise video. The set and style were sort of lacking for my taste: it was sort of bland, and the exercisers and outfits were not very attractive to me.

But I say that in comparison to the very sophisticated Strong and Smooth Moves, which I had for two years before I got the ES tape. I happen to love SSM as a nice lengthening, stretching antidote to the tighter moves of a step or Firm tape. I feel light, relaxed, and graceful after doing a Voight tapeóboth ES and SSM.

SSM actually helped me prepare for this tape and understand how to modify some of it (I have a slight knee injury).

I couldn't help thinking that Karen had some "style" coaching after ES. Her make-up is better, and so is her vocal delivery and outfit. :) I admit that if I'm going to kill myself working out alone in my living room, a little admiration/inspiration helps.


This is my favorite straight aerobics video of all time! I must admit that I don't like many step aerobics videos, because they usually have too many silly turns, changes of direction and too much jargon for me to keep up. Ms. Voight has none of that on this video. The only changes of directions she has are necessary ones in order to work your other side. This is a difficult tape, but difficult in a good way in that you're really getting a great workout, and not getting confused. The beginning of the tape is straight step aerobics with interesting and exciting moves which in addition to strengthening your heart and lungs also tone your lower body. She uses a lot of optional high impact propulsion moves which I have really help tone and tirim my upper legs in ways that weight training and other aerobics videos just haven't been able to. I would call this an advanced video: I started working out with it using my lowest step height and was still winded; after working with it for several months I am finallly at the highest step height.

There is an upper body toning segment at the end of the tape using light weights. It's fine but since you use the same weight to work different muscles it's not as effective as some. She also does a modified push up which I find really hard to do correctly (so that I can feel my muscles working), so I just do conventional pushups for that segment. I loved the ab section at the very end, where she uses three variations of the same exercises, depending on how you arrange your step.

In the video, Ms. Voight, is teaching a "class" where the "students" are using different step heights or the floor for variations in intensity.

Instructor comments: On this tape, her cuing is excellent. She doesn't confuse me with a lot of the step aerobics jargon that I find so annoying with other instructors. I find her descriptions (i.e, "down to get up") so much easier to follow than those of other step instructors.


Well, what else can be said about this workout?! Everyone has done a great job describing it, so I'll just add my opinion to the heap. This video is awesome! When I first got it, it kicked my butt in two or three sprints. But now, it is so much easier, and so much more enjoyable. I highly recommend this tape for any intermediate or advanced exerciser.

Instructor comments: Although some people prefer a more perky instructor, I love Karen's professional attitude. She gets down to business, and she knows how to keep you motivated and energized. She is defintately in the right field.


This is a GREAT tape. I use it to challange myself with. This is one of those tapes that keeps you motivated. I find myself praying for the recovery sections to get here but after it is all done I am proud to have done the entire thing. The step aerobics are fun and not dancy so anyone will be able to do them (except that you may not be able to keep up for a while). Definately advanced, but intermediates don't be intimidated against buying it, you can do as much of the intervals as you can and work up to the whole tape. You will really be able to monitor progress this way.

Instructor comments: Amazing - what else can be said for this instructor - clear, fun, motivating as always!

Cinnamon Conrad
September 23, 1998

Ok, I know I will be in the minority here, but I just did not find this video challenging at all. The lower body toning was such a waste of time for me - it did nothing! The arm section wasn't much better. The abs were just O.K. I guess after the FIRM I've been spoiled. I at least thought the step aerobic part would be good. Boy was I disappointed! I'm not saying it's easy or anything, it just wasn't nearly as tough as I had thought it would be (especially after reading all the reviews - that's why I bought it in the first place!). My heart rate didn't get up as much as I thought it should, even with the power moves and doing it at the hardest level. I guess I was looking for something in the same league as a Cathe video. If you are an Intermediate to almost Advanced level, this would be a good workout. But if you're looking to be really challanged at that level - or if you are currently an Advanced exerciser - this will not be a challenge for you. I hate to say it, but I'm going to return it and get a Cathe I don't already have. I feel so bad not liking this video. I was looking so forward to getting it and trying it out.

Instructor comments: She was really the only thing I did like about the video. She is straight forward and very likable. Someone said she looked like Helen Reddy - she does!

Diana Mason

This video is not a bit challenging. I am mystified by all the reviews I have read claiming that this is a good video for advanced exercisers. I started the tape using a high step and holding three pound dumbells in each hand. After three sprints I had not broken a sweat at all and my heart rate was barely above resting level so I quit in disgust. I think this would be an excellent video for beginning exercisers--the instructor is good and the workout is thorough in terms of the number of muscles it targets.

Tamsen Love

Type: Interval step cardio plus light strength work
Length: 80 minutes
Intensity: Intermediate
Choreograohy: Easy
Music: Bland instrumental

The workout: After years of having Energy SPrint on VHS I decided to get it on DVD. I'm glad I did! There's more bang to the buck with excellent chaptering and a few premixes:

Warm up 6.5 min
Quads, Hams, Butt 8.5
Calves, inner thigh, sprints 1+2 10 min
Sprints 3+4 10 min
Sprints 5, 6 +7 23 min
Upper Body 12 min
Abs and stretch 13 min

Because the premixes are so short, they lend themselves well as add-ons. That said, I doubt I would ever do the upper body premix, its just to short and uses too light of weights too really be effective. I like the abs add-on, but why have abs and stretch as one choice? Why not have each separately? I can see myself combining this with another strength workout using the sprints to create a circuit workout. The cardio portion of this workout is its real strength. The convenience of this workout on DVD is worth the extra expense.

Score: A+ for cardio, D for strength

Instructor comments: Karen is the consummate instructor. Always displays perfect form and impeccable cuing.

Peggy Elliott
September, 2004

The outfits, yikes, purple tights and pink leotard on one exerciser. Karen is in standard nineties fare so I can ignore others (including Star Wars Taunwe lookalike in background.) One thing I did like alot (not present in newer videos) is the fact that background exercisers are in all colors, shapes and sizes. Personally I'm tired of all the clone exercisers I'm seeing in current videos.

The music is forgettable, but I didn't care since I was so busy trying to listen to Karen.

The set is indoor gym look. Again forgettable.
Timer on the bottom I loved because I needed that motivation to push myself to finish the sprints. Most high intensity videos end up hurting my hips the next day, but not this one. I think this is as gentle a version of high impact as I've ever tried. No jumping from the floor to the step or step to the floor business (which I don't believe is particularly good for joints or back.) The jumps are lifts on the step, etc.

Exercise level: Lots of simple combos and lots of room to push yourself even further. Not for the dancey folks(no cha chas or mambos), this is for the athletic lovers. I think this is a tape for intermediates and low advanced. That said, it is also one that this beginner will be doing on a regular basis. Probably too easy for real advanced based on other advanced videos I've viewed.

Video can easily be done in small living room space (mine is) but maybe shouldn't be done in an apartment with neighbors below.

Total time: approx.85 min. Time for sprint from warmup to cooldown was 57 minutes by my watch. Tape said 40 min though, so that's confusing. Rest of tape has upper, lower and ab strength segments which I didn't do. You should probably finish up with more stretching than she does after the sprint. I had the vhs and if dvd is chaptered then you might prefer it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommend unless the dated feel bothers you. Not me though.

Instructor comments: This is my first experience with this instructor and what a pro. No chatter from this lady, and very no nonsense. She previews every sprint combo before starting the sprint. I never had a problem following her and I have two left feet.

Linda (aka fanofladyvols)


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