Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of Boot Camp with Step (a Cathe Live workout)

June 30, 2019

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I don’t give out an A+ rating very often (you can read about my ratings here).  But Boot Camp with Step LIVE has it all—cardio, total body strength training (including core work) and you don’t need a ton of equipment.  There’s also a good stretch at the end and anyone can do the moves. These are the details that make this workout an A+ routine.

To access this incredible workout you’ll need a membership to Cathe Live or Cathe on Demand + Live (that’s the one I have).  The Cathe on Demand library is full of over 200 workouts just like this. It’s worth the money.  

My advice is to sign up for a month and try it out. (I’m NOT an affiliate for Cathe Friedrich’s On Demand service but I recommend it every day because I love it and believe it’ll be an asset to your home exercise routine.)

Click here to learn more about Cathe on Demand

Here’s a taste of the Bootcamp with Step Live routine:

Now I’ll tell you all the important stuff you need to know to crush this routine (and feel like a badass all day long)…

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


Aerobic step with 2 risers/side

Dumbbells (8, 10, 12, and 15 lbs.)

Length-52 minutes

HRM-355 calories


*Remember my choreography rating has to do with the complexity of the steps—not the intensity of this program.  This is an advanced workout (with simple choreography).  Read more about my choreography rating here.

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

Important Stuff about Boot Camp with Step Live with Cathe Friedrich

Cathe doesn’t always tell you what size weights she’s using.  I’ll tell you in this post what to grab. 

If you don’t have my post with you when you do this routine then write this information down somewhere to help you. 

Cathe’s dumbbells for her LIVE workouts: blue-5 lbs., small black-8 lbs., orange-10 lbs., purple-12 lbs, big black-15 lbs. 

TIP-If you plan to do more LIVE Cathe Friedrich workouts—and I hope you do— then go ahead and write this down and put it on a post-it note close to where you keep all your workout equipment.

Or use this handy graphic.  You’re welcome 🙂

A Cheat Sheet for Cathe Live Workouts

Bootcamp with Step Live is for the intermediate or advanced athlete.  Use a lighter weight (than me and Cathe) if you’re new to Cathe Friedrich.  Most of her workouts are advanced.

There are lots of water breaks in these LIVE workouts.  Be happy.  You’ll need them.

Boot Camp with Step Live is a mix of weight work and cardio intervals. (TIP-this is the format for every Cathe Friedrich workout that has ‘boot camp’ in the title).  

For this routine an aerobic step is used for the cardio ‘blast’ segments that are sprinkled between the weight sections. If you’re in the market for an aerobic step, here’s one just like the gym style step Cathe uses in her workouts.

There are 8 circuits.  Each circuit (besides the core section) has a cardio step blast then a lower body weighted exercise followed by upper body weight work.

Cathe has her step at 8 inches (that’s 2 risers on each side) but you can do this routine at 6 inches (1 riser each side) if you don’t have the extra risers.


The warm-up is about 5 ½ minutes long.  There are a few simple moves.  Have your step ready.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Boot Camp with Step Live)

You’ll start the workout with a cardio blast.

Remember all the cardio blast sections are done on your exercise step.

Circuit One


Power 15’s on each side (twice) followed by jumping jacks.



15 lb. DB’s

24 reps, then a break, then 8 more reps

Rear Delt Flys

12 lb. DB’s

3 sets-12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps

Short Water Break

Circuit Two


8 Knee ups with a down tap, you’ll make a circle around your step

16 jumping jacks


Plié Squats

15 lb. DB’s

You’ll be picking up one DB at a time and then placing them back down in an alternating pattern.  She ends the set with pulses.

Overhead Press

12 lb. DB’s

Cathe does a changing pattern of alternating and double-arm reps.  There are a TON of reps and 12 lbs. gets really heavy before this set ends.  You might want to use 10 lb. DB’s if you’ve never done this workout.

Water Break

Circuit Three


You’ll be traveling the long way over your step in sets of 6 reps, then 16 jumping jacks.  If you’re using 2 risers on each side remember how high your step is.  Don’t be lazy when you travel over the step or you’ll trip.  I’ve done this.  It’s bad.  The step is loud when you crash on it and people will come running.


This time you’ll use your step for the lower body weight exercise.

Cross-back lunges off the step with one 15 lb. DB.

She does 2 sets of 15 pulses (one each leg) followed by a bunch of 3 pulses.

Water Break

Overhead Tricep Extensions with two 12 lb. DB’s

This is another exercise where 12 lbs. might be too much weight.  There are a lot of reps.  I struggle with 12 lbs. (but I always start with the same weight as Cathe).

Circuit Four


Straddle jump burpees

Listen to me.  Pretend like you’re jumping up on to your kitchen counter.  That should (hopefully) keep you from doing a puny jump that doesn’t clear the top of the step.  You have to really go for it or you’ll catch your toe.  I know your legs are heavy and these are hard.  But don’t be a wimp.  You can do this.


Alternating back lunges with 15 lb. DB’s

Get ready for a bunch of low-end pulse reps

Water Break

Bicep Curls with 12 lb. DB’s

There are hammer curls, static holds, and standard curls (Your biceps will feel pumped up like two grapefruits after this section.  Find a mirror and take a few seconds to flex in front of it after this workout.  Yep, you’re awesome.)

Circuit Five


This blast is a travel over the short end of your step with changing patterns.  The blast ends with fast feet shuffles on the floor.

Water Break


Squats (Yes, again)

15 lb. DB’s.

28 reps (Cathe starts working the room and ends up doing a weird number of reps)

Tricep Dips (on the step)

Keep one foot out in front.  There are 2 sets of 32 reps!  Switch the foot you’re holding out in front of you.  I barely get in all these reps.  My arms are trembling way before the set finishes.  Try not to collapse into your shoulders.  Make each rep count.

Circuit Six

Ricochet over the step with a jumping jack.  (In case you aren’t familiar with these, Cathe demos this move before you start.)  These are fun.


The lower body exercise is a side to side lunge holding your 10 lb. DB’s.

Warning-You can hurt your back on this exercise.  Keep your core tight and don’t swing or jerk the dumbbell.  Consider going down in weight if you have back issues.

Short Break

Lateral raises with 8 lb. DB’s

Water Break

Circuit Seven


Squats in a box around your step

I love this exercise.


Plié squats with 12 lb. DB’s

These are different than the plié’s from circuit two.  This time you keep your DB’s in your hands.

Water Break

Crazy 8’s with 12 lb. DB’s 

This is for your biceps.  This is a short set so you should try to do it with the 12’s.  Cathe walks you through the pattern.

Circuit Eight


Cathe calls this exercise a ‘drop pop’ off the end of the step.  It’s an easy leg abduction off the long end of the step with a little jump/pop.  Then you finish with jumping jacks.

This is your last cardio blast.



Dead Lifts with 15 lb. DB’s

Listen and watch Cathe’s form pointers.  This exercise if mainly for your hamstrings.  If you feel it mostly in your back or somewhere else then adjust your form because you might be doing it wrong.


The first time I did this workout I remember thinking, ‘Holy crap we’re going to finish this thing with no push-ups!’  Well, sadly I was wrong.

You’ll do 3 sets of push-ups.  There are 10 reps, then 8 and the last set is 6 reps. (This is called a ‘drop set’.  If you learn all the jargon it makes the workouts easier to follow.)

I hate push-ups but I never skip them because they’re an awesome exercise.  Do them on your toes (for as many as you can).


The core section has a bunch of exercises and the tempo is fast.  Try to keep up.  (Side hip lifts always surprise me with how (deceptively) easy they look.)

We all want 6-pack abs.  Do every rep.  You’re almost done.

Cool Down/Stretch

The stretch segment is only about 2 minutes long but it’s thorough.  You need to stretch out your muscles while they’re still warm.  Don’t skip this.

What Now?

I love all of Cathe Friedrich’s boot camp workouts.  I like getting a little bit of everything in one routine.

If you’re trying to decide which live workout to try next then consider reading about these:

Metabolic Circuit Blast Live

Metabolic Conditioning Live

Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand + Live

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