Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of Cardio Leg Blast with Cathe Friedrich

June 22, 2019

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Pop squats, plyo jacks, jump ropes…if you think these phrases sound like dance moves from the 80’s then you’ll be learning some new stuff with Cardio Leg Blast.

Mixing up your fitness routine with new workouts is one of the best things you can do for your exercise program.

Constantly challenging your body with different exercises is exactly how you change your physique (and prevent boredom).

Here’s a preview of Cardio Leg Blast:

Cardio Leg Blast is one of my favorite lower body sculpting routines.

This program isn’t just a bunch of squats and lunges.  

It’s a perfect blend of cardio intervals paired with lower body exercises to really shape your legs and glutes.

If you’re looking for a challenging workout that’ll change your body then buy this one.

Let me tell you what equipment you’ll need and exactly what you’ll be doing in Cardio Leg Blast with Cathe Friedrich (and where this routine is really freaking hard)…

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.

Cathe Friedrich doing a front lunge onto an aerobic step in the Cardio Leg Blast workout

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength


Aerobic step with 3 risers (on each side)

a variety of lighter dumbbells (5, 8, 10, 12 and 15 lbs.) and something heavier (like 20 & 25 lb. dumbbells)

an exercise loop

4 dixie cups (or any paper cup or object you can use as a marker)

Length-56 minutes

HRM-428 calories


My rating- A

My Favorite Premix: #17-Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 7-12) + Core #2–Girls, eat your Wheaties before you attempt this premix routine.  It’s tough.

Recommended reading: 

✔Your Ultimate Guide to Buying and Using an Aerobic Step

✔A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells

The Important Stuff about Cardio Leg Blast

Cardio Leg Blast is a cardio and strength training routineThere are 12 circuits.

Each circuit starts with a cardio ‘blast’ interval followed by a lower body strength-training exercise.

The cardio blasts are hard.  You’ll actually be happy to grab a weight and do a squat when it’s time.

One reason I love the Xtrain Series is because of the way the Cathe Friedrich gurus provide you with on-screen information for the weight segments.  

You’ll want to know what weights Cathe is using so you can pick yours, accordingly.  (And sometimes she forgets to say what she’s holding.)  You’ll really appreciate this feature if you do exercise videos regularly.

on-screen image from Cardio Leg Blast
Helpful On-Screen Info for each weight segment

Cardio Leg Blast has 20 premix workouts (extra routines)Some of the premix routines are shorter than the main program and some are (much) longer.  There are workouts in the premixes that include abs and upper body segments, too.  The main program is just legs and cardio.

The stretch segment at the end of the main workout is awesome.  Don’t skip it.

Cardio Leg Blast is one of my favorite leg programs.  If you’re looking for a second option that’s a great lower body challenge by Cathe Friedrich then try Butts & Guts.  (You can read my breakdown of Butts & Guts.)

Read to the end to find out exactly what to expect in the routine as well as links to a few places you can compare prices for this video 🙂


The warm-up section feels lengthy (for a warm-up).  It’s almost 9 minutes long.  You won’t need any equipment for this section.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Cardio Leg Blast)

Cathe uses an aerobics step with 3 risers on each side for the rest of the routine.

Tip-You can do this workout with 1 or 2 risers on each side but I’d recommend that you eventually invest in the extra risers.

Circuit One

Blast #1

You’ll be doing a combination of pop squats, jump rope and plyo jacks.

*If you have no idea what I just said don’t worry about it.  Just know that these moves don’t require a bunch of coordination but they work.  Your heart rate will be elevated by the end of blast #1.

Lower Body Strength Exercise #1

Alternating Back Lunges with 15 lb. DB’s

There are 24 reps

Circuit Two

Blast #2

This time you’ll do a combination of wide squat touch the floor and split jumps.  (It sounds like I should add an ‘s’ to floor but then I feel like I’m talking about more than one floor so just try to envision the exercise and forget about grammar for now.  Like I am:-)).

Strength Exercise #2

Plié squats with one 25 lb. DB

There are a bunch of singles and she throws some low-end pulses in to the middle of the set

Circuit Three

Blast #3

Explosive alternating side lunges with one 8 lb. DB

You WILL hurt your back if you don’t keep your core solid when you do this.  Don’t just swing the weight.  You have to control it.

Strength #3

Elevated lunges with one 20 lb. DB

You’ll position one leg up on the step and do a one-leg lunge on the support leg.  There are 16 single reps and then a couple of low-end pulses on each leg.

Tip-If you have bad knees then you may want to go down in weight on this exercise.

Circuit Four

Blast #4

Grab your exercise loop (Cathe calls her product a firewalker band) and put it around your ankles.

You’ll be doing front and back hops with your legs spread.  You throw in 2 plié jacks after every pair of hops.

Strength #4

Wide stance dead lifts with 20 lb. DB’s.

Listen to Cathe’s prompts.  You’ll be changing tempo during the set.  Remember this exercise is mostly for your hamstrings.  You’ll feel it in your lower back, too.  Form is really important.  Your back should be flat and your legs straight (but not locked out), and try to keep your head in its natural alignment with the spine as you bend at the waist.

Circuit Five

Blast #5*

*Welcome! You made it to the hardest blast segment. 

Two plyo jacks with four air jacks.  There are 4 sets of those.  Then you rest for a few seconds and do two more sets.

I hate air jacks (because they’re really hard).  Just saying.

Strength #5

Squats with 20 lb. DB’s

There are 16 reps.

Circuit Six

Blast #6

Lateral skates with dixie cups (or any 4 objects you can use as a marker.)  Confession-I never use dixie cups.  I’m a rebel like that.  I do this blast exercise behind my step and use the corners of my step as my visual markers.

Strength #6

Step ups with 20 lb. DB’s.

You’ll be ‘stepping’ up onto your aerobics step with the same foot for 16 reps (and then switch feet).  Don’t drop to the floor like a bag of sand when you step back.  You should land soft.  Listen to Cathe’s pointers.

Circuit Seven

Blast #7

Power 7’s on the step combined with jumping jacks.

*If you don’t know what a power-7 is don’t worry about it.  It doesn’t take a lot of coordination but it’s a cardio challenge.  You can do it.

Strength #7

Static lunges with 20 lb. DB’sThese are a one-leg lunge.  There are 16 reps on each leg.

Your legs will be a little wobbly at this point.  If you can’t maintain proper form then go down in weight or do less reps.  Always go for quality over quantity.

Circuit Eight

Blast #8

Fast feet shuffle on the step.

You’ll quickly discover that fast-feet-shuffling on something so high is harder than it looks.  If you’re doing a lazy version then you won’t be able to keep up.  If you’re going as fast as the team then you’ll feel this in your core (that’s good).

Strength #8

Moving plié squat with one 25 lb. DB

Circuit Nine

Blast #9

Two-feet jump onto your step.

The step is high!  I know your legs feel like concrete right now but you have to give 110% or you’re going to have a nasty accident.  Trust me.  This has happened to me.  It’s really loud (and painful) and embarrassing when you crash on your step.

Strength #9

Deadlifts with 20 lb. DB’s with toes elevated (I put my toes on 5 or 8 lb. DB’s)

Circuit Ten

Blast #10

Two-feet jump onto your step (again).

Strength #10

Side lunges with one 15 lb. DB

There are 16 reps per side

Circuit Eleven

Blast #11

Step knee-up down tap on the corner (of your step) with jumps onto one foot (on to your step) in between sets.  (I know, I know, more aerobics mumbo jumbo.  I apologize.  Once you see it you’ll be fine, I promise).

Strength #11

Single leg dead lifts with 12 lb. DB’s

*Yes, Cathe does a lot of dead lifts in this routine.  It’s a good thing, Girls.  You’re shaping and sculpting your butt and hamstrings.  Who doesn’t need to do that?  (If you’re saying, yep, my ass is good, I don’t need any of this, then I seriously hate you right now.)

Circuit Twelve

Blast #12

The last blast exercise is an L-step off the side with a lateral jump over your step.  There are a lot of reps.  Really go for it so you clear your step safely.

Strength #12

The last strength exercise is an alternating front lunge onto the step with 15 lb. DB’s.

The tempo on this exercise is maddeningly (no, I’m not British, but I get to pick the words for this thing and I’m kind of a wierdo, in case you haven’t noticed) slow.

I’m always ready to finish by this time so I have to talk myself in to keeping the pace of the team (yes, we’re part of the team).  Concentrate on doing a deep lunge and try to forget about how long this set is taking.

Cool Down/Stretch

As I mentioned earlier, don’t skip this part.  You need it.  Your legs will probably be sore tomorrow.  Stretch all your muscles back out while they’re still warm.

What Now?

I love Cardio Leg Blast.  You get a TON of workouts in this program (21 routines).  It’s a great investment.  Who couldn’t use another good leg workout??

You can find Cardio Leg Blast from Cathe Friedrich’s Xtrain series in a few places:


Cathe Friedrich’s site

Collage Video

And don’t forget you can access Cardio Leg Blast (and every other Cathe Friedrich program) with a membership to Cathe on Demand.

Learn more about a Cathe on Demand membership.

TIP-If you’re looking for another amazing Cathe Friedrich video then read Ten 5-Star Cathe Friedrich Workouts for some ideas.

Thanks for reading!


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