Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of Imax Extreme (A Serious Cardio and Step Aerobics Challenge)

February 11, 2018

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Attention: Don’t skip this program just because it’s not the newest Cathe Friedrich production. If you do, you’ll be missing out on an incredible opportunity.

This is one of Cathe’s most challenging classic step aerobic programs.

I burn over 650 calories in this workout.  That’s a LOT, girls.

There are 3 workouts (The Gauntlet, The Viper, and Imax Extreme/Xtreme) on this video (The Terminator).  Each routine splices pieces of different Cathe Friedrich workouts together.

This review covers the Imax Extreme workout which is a compilation of parts of the videos Cardio & Weights and Imax 2 blended together.  I love these types of videos because I get a taste of other workouts that I haven’t purchased yet.

Here’s what Cardio & Weights looks like:

Here’s what Imax 2 looks like:

Let me tell you exactly what you’ll need and what you’ll be doing in Imax Extreme…

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



Exercise (Aerobic) Step with 1 riser on each side

8, 10, & 12 lb dumbbells

Length-77 minutes

HRM-659 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 Imax Extreme with Cathe Friedrich

I put the Imax Extreme routine in the category Cardio+ because there are a few weight segments.  But the segments are short and Cathe uses light weights.  In fact, this is one (rare) time that I actually use a heavier weight than she does.

The choreography gets an Experienced+ rating because there are sections where you aren’t ‘taught’ the step routine before she jumps into it.  However, those sections are short, you repeat them, and Cathe’s great at cuing.  Just listen to her.  I think you’ll have them down after 3 or 4 tries.

I know this video is old.  Don’t write and tell me that.  It’s a great workout.  Don’t judge this program because it doesn’t have a snazzy modern set and the girls aren’t wearing the latest fitness attire.  You’ll be missing out if you do.

This is a 2-drink workout for me.  Be prepared.

It wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra space for this workout.  I think you could do it in the standard 5 x 8 area but it’ll be more comfortable to have a little bit more room.

Read to the end of this post for tips on every section in this program as well as links to 3 different places you can find The Terminator Video with the Imax Extreme program.


The warm-up is an easy step routine with a little bit of stretching.

Take note of Cathe’s outfit (the black with pink piping).  These segments come from the Cardio & Weights video and she walks you through each step routine and then does a short weight set.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Imax Extreme with Cathe Friedrich)

Step Routine

Cathe starts the program with a step routine.  The first step interval comes from the Cardio & Weights/Imax 2 video.

There’s some choreography but Cathe teaches you the steps and there’s a lot of repetition in this part.


Now you’ll start adding in short strength-training segments between the step intervals.

The first move is a plié with an upright row.  Cathe uses 8 lb. dumbbells.  I use 10’s.  You’re going to want to raise the weights as you come up but notice that she’s doing it opposite of that.  It’s harder.

Step Routine

Now you get the first step routine from the Cardio & Weights/Imax 2 program.  Again, take note of her outfit (the red top).  On the parts of this workout that come from Imax 2, Cathe doesn’t ‘teach’ you the step routine.

Cathe immediately starts doing the moves.  I found this very irritating the first time I did it but now I love that about it.  Hang in there.  Once you learn the steps you’ll appreciate the speed. 

You won’t get bored of the repetition that comes when you normally build up the routine piece by piece.  She repeats these short step sections 6 times.


Now there’s an intensity blast.  The blasts are hard but short.  She uses the step for most of the blast intervals.

Step Routine

This section is from Imax 2 again so you have to pay attention.  Listen to her and learn the names of the moves.  Eventually you’ll be able to look at your step (and not her) and follow along by her cues.

Remember she does it 6 times.


This blast is a power box around the step with genie hops (I know, exercise mumbo jumbo).  Use 2 feet on the genie hops if you have bad knees.

Step Routine

Now we’re back to a segment pulled from Cardio & Weights so you know this step routine will be easier.


Get ready for overhead tricep extensions with a lunge.  Cathe uses 8’s again, but I use 10’s.

Step Routine

Now you’re back to Imax 2.  These sections are short and fun, again, 6 times through.


Another blast on the step.

Step Routine

You get another Imax 2 segment.  Don’t get frustrated.  Listen and learn.  You got this.


This blast is really hard.  I am NOT complaining but she only does the blast 3 (instead of an even 4) times so it always feels incomplete. 

You’ll see what I mean and you’ll be oh, so happy that there are only 3 sets.

Step Routine

You’ll be glad to see this section from Cardio & Weights.


Get your 8’s (if you’re following Cathe) or 10’s (if you’re following me) and do back lunges with hammer curls.

Step Routine

This is another step segment taken from Imax 2.  You can do it.


The blast is a straddle tapThere’s no lazy version of this move.  Either commit to it or break your neck.  If your legs are too tired to do it then don’t.  Just do a lunge up and over the step or something else to keep your heart rate up.


More from Imax 2.  I know you’re tired.  I know it’s hard.  You’re burning tons of calories and getting in shape.  You got this!


Be ready for tuck jumps.  It’s just cruel to put them here but guess what?  You can do it!


You’ll be very happy to see this step section from Cardio & Weights until you hear the song ‘Buttercup’ for a few minutes.  The song is annoying.


This is the last weight segment.  She does a double arm dead lift/rowShe uses 8’s here.  I use 12’s.


This is the last step/blast section.  The blast move is so hard.  I’d never pull off all the plié jacks if not for the good song that comes on.  You’ll be glad to hear it.  The music matters.

Cool Down/Stretch

Do NOT skip the stretch.  This is a long and tough workout.  You need to stretch back out while your muscles are still warm.

Now What??

Imax Extreme is an amazing workout.  If you like step aerobics I’d recommend buying The Terminator.  (I’d give it an A+ if it was slightly shorter and had an ab segment.)

✔You can find The Terminator on Amazon and on Cathe’s site.

You can also find the Imax Extreme workout on Cathe on Demand.

Cathe on Demand is probably the best way to access this program, in my opinion (because you can try it out and see if the steps are too complicated or not before you purchase the video).

You can find out more about Cathe on Demand in this post, Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand.

Thanks for reading!

Have an amazing workout!

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