Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of 4 Day Split Cardio+Weights

June 8, 2016

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The 4-Day Split Cardio & Weights program has 2 discs.  This premix (Higher Intensity Step Weights First, #7) is one of the 12 workouts on the disc that’s labeled Higher Intensity Step on the cover.  There are 11 premixes on the second disc.

Higher Intensity Step Weights First is one of my favorite routines on 4-Day Split Cardio & Weights.

This premix routine is the perfect length (at 58 minutes) and has a little bit of everything.

I also love the format of this workout.  You’ll do the weight work first and your cardio work (step aerobics, in this case) last.

4-Day Split is more expensive than most exercise videos but you get 27 workouts with this DVD set.  It’s worth the investment.  (Or sign up for Cathe on Demand and get all of these workouts plus all of her other routines.)

Let me explain what you need and what to expect in 4 Day Split Higher Intensity Step Weights First…

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

The cover image of Cathe Friedrich doing a knee raise on the 4-day split video

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength


Dumbbells (12, 15, 20, 25, 30 lbs.)

62 lb. barbell*

aerobic step with 3 risers (per side)

exercise band


*optional equipment

Length-58 minutes

HRM-305 calories


Read more about my choreography ratings here.  

My rating– A

✔If you’re still adding to your dumbbell collection I suggest you read this, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells

✔ Pro Tip: This guide will be helpful if you’re in the market for an aerobic step: Your Expert Guide to Buying and Using an Aerobic Step

The Important Stuff about 4-Day Split Higher Intensity Step Weights First

I’ve reviewed a few other workouts on 4-Day Split Cardio & Weights: Higher Intensity Step (Plus Heavy Weights Chest/Back), Boot Camp Upper Body-Premix #10, and Kickbox & Upper Body-Premix #8.

It’s so good for your body to do a variety of different exercise programs.  Mixing up the format, style, and instructor will keep your body (and mind) from hitting a plateau.  I find myself habitually doing cardio at the beginning of my workouts but this premix (with weights BEFORE cardio) helps me towards my goal of trying to instill constant variety in my exercise routine.

Sometimes I hate giving that ‘Ace’ choreography rating because I worry it will scare people away from the workout.  Don’t let it.

Yes, you’ll have to learn some moves to master the step cardio portion of this premix routine, however, you’ll be so glad you learned it in the end.  The step routines with more advanced choreography are the most fun.

The weight portion (in this premix) focuses on the back and chest only.  There are 5 rounds of exercises.  I tell you what weights Cathe uses as well as what weight I use when I do the workout (and how I modify the exercises, when necessary).

There are a ton of push-ups in this program but Cathe mixes up the speed and pattern to keep it interesting.

You’ll need slightly more space than I normally recommend.  Give yourself enough space to make big moves around your step without kicking anything.

Remember to read to the end of this post for tips to help you conquer each section of this routine as well as links to a few places you can compare prices on this video 🙂


You’ll need an aerobic step with 1 riser for this part.

There’s some choreography to learn right here during the warm-up.  Don’t get frustrated.  Cathe throws in some stretching during this warm-up, too.  Yay!

This section is about 6 minutes long.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Higher Intensity Step Weights First)


Remember the weight section focuses on back and chest.

Round 1

Cathe uses a step with 2 risers for this round as well as dumbbells.


You’ll need your mat for these.

1-Arm Rows

16 reps (on each side) with 12 lb. dumbbells

8 reps with 30 lb. dumbbells

Push-ups (full and partials)

Cathe will prompt you to do a full push-up or only go down half-way for a ‘partial’ push-up.

1-Arm Rows

8 more reps with the 30’s


This time you’ll do 8 full reps, 8 bottom-half reps, and 8 top-half reps.  These are tough but try not to go down to your knees.

Round 2

Underhand Rows

Cathe uses her 62 lb. barbell for these two sets of 7 reps.  I use two 30 lb. dumbbells (I don’t have a barbell).

Incline Chest Flys

You’ll put 3 risers on one side of your step and remove all the risers from the other side to create that incline position.

12 reps with 25 lb. dumbbells

Repeat another 2 sets of underhand rows and 1 set of chest flys

Round 3

Put your step back level with 2 risers on each side.  You’ll put your foot on your step for proper positioning.  If you don’t like to prop one foot up for one-arm rows then keep your step on the incline (you’ll need it that way for round 4).

Wide 1-Arm Row

12 reps (on each side) with a 20 lb. dumbbell

Push-ups (with a butt-spike)

12 slow reps

Round 4

Put your step back on that incline (3 risers on one side).

Overhead Lat Pull

There are 8 slow reps with a 15 lb. dumbbell.  I actually use a 20 lb. dumbbell for these.  (The 15 feels too light).

Incline Chest Press

Cathe does 12 reps with 30 lb. dumbbellsI use my 25 lb. dumbbells on this exercise. (Remember you’ve already done a bunch of push-ups so your chest may be fatigued.  Don’t use a weight that makes proper form difficult to maintain.)

Round 5

You’ll need your exercise band to do these exercises.  My band* is shorter than the one Cathe has so I don’t cross it over my feet. (The link is for a long band like the one Cathe is using).

*I’ve purchased the long band since I originally posted this review.  The long band is MUCH BETTER but you can still crush this routine with the shorter one.

T-Pulls and Y-Pulls

You’ll do pulses and static holds.


There are 12 push-ups in an ‘around-the-clock’ pattern.  You’ll cross your ankles and keep them in place as you move clockwise after each push-up to hit every hour of a clock.  Cathe changes the width of her hands after each rep.  I usually stay in one spot and do the 12 reps but after each one I change the space between my hands to mimic the way Cathe is changing the push-up.


This is your aerobics section.  You’ll need a step with one riser (per side).

There are 3 step patterns to learn.  After each step pattern you’ll do a transition combination that Cathe refers to as a Blast Combo, before you move on to the next step grouping.  These blast combos are what earned this premix the Ace choreography rating.  I felt like a genius when I finally got these transition combinations figured out (#I’mA_Nerd).

After you’ve learned the 3 step patterns you’ll put them all together.

Keep the video running after the cool down so you can do the stretch.


The stretch segment is about 4 minutes in length.  You need this so don’t skip it.  Remember you’re still burning calories when you’re stretching.

Now What?

4-Day Split Cardio & Weights is worth the investment.  You get the 4 main workouts PLUS 23 additional premix workouts (that’s 27 different routines).

You’ll need some equipment to do all of the workouts the way Cathe created them but you don’t often find this many routines packed into 2 discs.

And take note that you’re also getting variety with 4-Day Split Cardio & Weights. 

Cathe does a great job of blending the different programs into unique workouts with changing cardio/weight intensity and choreography.  Each premix feels like a different workout (not just a reorganization of the same exercises).

You can find 4-Day Split Cardio & Weights on Cathe’s site, and on Amazon (I couldn’t find this one on Collage Video).

Your other option to access this routine is to sign up for Cathe on Demand.  

I answer all of your questions about a Cathe on Demand membership in this post, How to Sign up for Cathe Live or Cathe on Demand + Live.  (I recommend you try it out for a month and see what you think.  I love it.)

Thanks for reading! Have an amazing workout!


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