Cathe Friedrich Reviews

High Step Training Review (A Top Aerobic Step Workout by Cathe Friedrich)

February 24, 2016

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High Step Training with Cathe Friedrich is a timeless aerobic step workout. You’ll need some equipment and about an hour to do this total body workout. Let me tell you everything you need to know before you hit play…

There are 5 cycles of awesome in this routine.

You can expect:




This is a total body workout.

Here’s what High Step Training looks like:

There is one flaw in High Step Training.

Cathe doesn’t tell you what weights to use.

I’ll tell you what weights to use and exactly what you’re going to see in this incredible advanced program…

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.

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength


a high step*

8, 10, 12, 15, & 20 lb dumbbells**

a mat

*You’ll need a high and low platform/step to do High Step Training.  Cathe uses a high step that’s a shorter version (in length) of a regular aerobic step, with several risers (4 or 5).

*I have a high step that’s only two pieces.  That works, too.  I use the bottom half for the 8” work.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a high step I recommend one like this or this.  You need something strong and sturdy to be safe.

**I use the dumbbells listed above to do High Step Training.  Cathe uses a barbell, too.  You can do this workout without a barbell.

Length-60 minutes

HRM-445 calories


My rating– A

If you don’t own any dumbbells and don’t know where to start then 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 High Step Training with Cathe Friedrich

The obvious question: Can I do High Step Training with an aerobic step like this one?

Yes, yes you can.

High Step Training is one of those rare instances where Cathe Friedrich does not mention what weight she’s using for each exercise.  This makes me a crazy person.  I’ll share with you the weights that I use when I do this workout.  I think Cathe is using a lighter weight than I do for most of the exercises.

High Step Training features 5 cycles of exercises.  Each set starts off with a short cardio segment followed by a leg move (or two), then a few exercises that focus on an upper body muscle group.  When you’re done you’ll have hit every major muscle group (except abs).

Despite the annoyance that she doesn’t tell you what weights she’s using, this program is a solid A.  The premixes are all just shorter versions of the main workout.

Yes, I know this video came out a long time ago.  It’s still good.  Don’t judge a video based on its age.  You’ll miss out on a lot of good ones.

Make sure you read to the end of this post for tips on each section of this routines as well as links to 4 different ways you can get your hands on High Step Training.


The warm-up is about 5 minutes long and includes some stretching.

The Main Workout (The Exercises in High Step Training)

Cycle I

Cardio Blast One

Get out an 8” step.  I use the bottom half of my 2-piece high-step, or you can use one end of your regular step with 2 risers.  You’ll quickly realize that this step is pretty high to do fast-feet shuffles, but you can do it.  You’re not tired yet.


Get your high step ready.  Every section starts off with step-ups on the high step.  She says ‘grab a heavy dumbbell’.  I think she grabs a 10.

I use a 12 lb. DB for these.  There are 15 per side.

Since she does this move in every cycle you can alternate a heavier weight in some sections.

Squats are next.  She uses a barbell.  I don’t have a clue how much weight she has on that thing.  I use two 15 lb. dumbbells to do these.


Tricep push-ups on the high step.

One-leg lunge with an overhead press.  You’ll need one weight.  I use a 12 lb. DB for these.  When I remember we do two sets of these I sometimes wish I’d grabbed a 10.

One-arm tricep dips.  These are weird.  My elbows don’t like this move.  I don’t know how Cathe dips so low on this exercise.  Pay attention to which leg you’re supposed to be holding out (it’s the same side as the tricep you’re working).  You can’t really cheat on these.  You’ll feel it.  There’s another option with a dumbbell if you don’t want to do the dips.

Tricep kick-backs are next.  I use 8’s.  I think Cathe is using 5’s.

Cycle II

Cardio Blast Two

Every cardio blast is done on the 8” step height.


Step-ups on the high step with one heavy dumbbell.  I use a 12.

Like before, there are 15 per leg.

Next is a plié squat. Cathe uses her barbell.  I use two 15 lb. DB’s.


Cathe keeps her barbell for the first shoulder exercise.  It’s an overhead press.  I use 15 lb. DB’s.

For the next shoulder move Cathe has you support yourself on one arm on your step in a side position.  Like the one-arm dips this feels weird.  She tells you to get a towel to put under your elbow.  You’ll also want a mat under your bent knee if you’re not on carpet.  This angle really does hit the lateral shoulder muscles in a unique way but if you’re just too uncomfortable then sit on your high step and do the move.  I think Cathe has a 5 lb. weight on this but I use an 8 lb. DB.

Rear delt flys are next.  Use 8’s or 5’s.  I use 8’s.

Next are decline push-ups with your feet on the 8” step.  If you have an 8” step I’d do this exercise just like she does it in the video.  The angle keeps the exercise focused on your shoulders.  Just do regular push-ups if you don’t have a step this height.  But know that you’ll be doing regular push-ups in the chest interval coming up.

Cycle III

Cardio Blast Three

Remember all the cardio blasts use the 8” step.


Back to those step-ups on the high step with your heavy weight.  This set is still 15 per leg.

The next move is really challenging.  Keep one heavy dumbbell (I use one 15 lb. DB).  Stand in front of the high step and do hover squats.  The pulses are killer.  You’ll be cussing Cathe.  There are 4 sets of 15 pulses along with some individual squats.

The pulses hurt.  Stick your butt out.  We all want thighs like Cathe’s and this is how you get them.


Cathe uses her barbell for these slow curls.  Grab your 12’s and/or 15’s.  You know what you can handle.  There are four different sets of curls in this section.  You may want to have two sets of weights.  I use 15 lb dumbbells for the slow curls and 12’s for the hammer curls with the back lunges.

Cycle IV

Cardio Blast Four

By the time you do a few of these scissor moves your step will feel like it’s 8 feet off the ground. We’re all in the same boat. Don’t give up.


This time you do TWO sets of 15 leg presses on the high step.  If you’re tired or been thinking about going down in weight for these then now is the time to do it.  I do both sets with my 12.  I have a 10 lb. dumbbell close by.


For the row and dead lifts Cathe uses her barbell (of unknown weight).  I use two 15’s.  Bend at the waist.  Don’t round your back.

Next are wide back rows with dumbbells.  I think Cathe has 8’s.  I use 10’s.  Notice the position of her hands.

Cycle V

Cardio Blast Five

The last cardio blast will make it clear just how fatigued your legs may/may not be.  Be very careful doing these straddle toe-taps on the 8” stepYou will catch your toe on the step and have an embarrassing nasty, painful spill if you don’t fully commit to these (when I say something like that it’s usually because I’ve already fallen at least once).  Sometimes I just do the taps behind the step. 

Keep your core tight.


Leg lifts on the high step with your heavy dumbbell.  This is your last set of these.  Sometimes I get crazy and use a 15 lb. dumbbell on this last set.

Now you do hover/sits over the high step.  Cathe uses her barbell.  I use two 15’s.


Push-ups have arrived.  She doesn’t do nearly as many as she does in some of her other videos.

The next move is a combination lower body move using a step (she introduces a new step height with 3 risers at this point—just use your 8” step height if you don’t want to scramble around trying to figure out how to match that height now that the video is almost over).

You lie on your back and do chest flys with your arms while you do hip-ups with one-leg on the step. Cathe is using 10’s for the fly.  I use my 12’s.  There are a bunch of these so 10’s would be fine.

The last move is a cross-over push-up on a low step (she has one riser).  I use the top half of my two-piece step.  These are so much better to me than regular push-ups.  I have no idea why.


The stretch is a good one.  It feels so good to stretch your neck.   I always forget to do that.  She does it here.  She doesn’t do any stretching of your tri’s or shoulders.  You might want to throw a few moves in there to do those muscle groups.  The tri section was long.

Now What?

I love High Step Training.

Do I recommend that you rush out and purchase a high step so you can do this video?  No, but if you already have a high step then definitely consider adding this one to your library.  

Or go ahead and buy the video and modify the routine using a regular aerobic step and however many risers you have.

You can find High Step Training on Cathe’s site, Amazon, and over at Collage Video.

*And don’t forget you can access every single Cathe Friedrich workout (there are several hundred) plus her LIVE workouts (from her home studio) that Cathe posts every week at Cathe on Demand.

Learn more in Everything You Need to Know about Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand + Live.

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  1. Jessica says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for all these fabulous reviews. I LOVE Cathe, and I would be overwhelmed with the choice on her site if I didn’t have your posts to go to.

    • Wow! You just made my day! Thanks for taking the time to share that with me! I’m a Cathe ‘superfan’! Lol! I used to go online trying to find out all I could about her videos before I bought them and never found any reviews that were what I was looking for so I decided to make them myself! I’m so happy to hear they’re helping????. Best, Mickie

  2. Denise Schmidt says:

    Hey Strong Southern Lady: I just found your blog via Cathe’s Pinterest. Just started reading your reviews and they are incredible and very enjoyable.

    I have been a fan of Cathe’s for almost 20 years. I think I may like her older workouts even better than her newer ones. This is one of my favorites.

    I agree with you – and miss the “old” ladies we grew up with – Cede and Lorraine. I felt like they were family. I wonder where they are? At least we still have Jaya and Brenda. Oh well, change is a part of life.

    As I get time, I will read all your blogs and am now following you on Pinterest. Keep up your fantastic blogs. Thank you very much.

    • Thank you, Denise! I love hearing from other Cathe Friedrich fans! I agree with you, I LOVE so many of her classic routines, and High Step Training is one of her best. Have you tried Cathe’s new programs? I’m a huge fan of the Strong and Sweaty series.

      Thank you for your support and comments!

      Mickie (One Strong Southern Girl)

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