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✔This post is a review and detailed breakdown of Circuit & Intervals and will give you an idea of whether Cathe Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Step is for you. All you need is an aerobic step and 8 lb. dumbbells to do the workout exactly like Cathe Friedrich.
Cathe’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Step is an incredible program.
I burn almost 450 calories doing one of the routines (Circuit & Intervals) on Cathe’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Step.
*You’ll find Circuit & Intervals in the ‘Premix’ section of the main menu.
Here’s what Greatest Hits Vol. 1 looks like:
Let me tell you what you’ll want to know before you hit the play button…
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Aerobic Step with 1 riser (per side)
*This is the only weight Cathe Friedrich uses in this premix. I use 10 and 20 lb. dumbbells (instead of the 8’s).
*Follow the link to find a detailed explanation of my choreography rating. Don’t let that rating intimidate you from trying this routine.
My rating– A
✔Here’s a helpful post to browse if you’re still trying to figure out what dumbbells to buy, 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
I’ve reviewed the main workout on Cathe’s Greatest Hits Volume 1, too. The premix routine I’m reviewing in this post (Circuit & Intervals) adds sections of resistance training in between the step routines in the second half of the workout. The main workout doesn’t include any dumbbell exercises.
Pro Tip–Adding weight training to your exercise routine will change the shape of your body in a way that cardio alone can’t accomplish.
Circuit & Intervals uses parts of the routines from Step, Jump & Pump, Imax 2, Cardio & Weights (you can find these 2 programs on the same video), and Xtrain Super Cuts and splices them together. This gives you a little taste of several different videos, which I love.
There’s some choreography to learn in this premix (I’m giving it my Experienced level choreography rating), but you’ll have it all down by the 3rd or 4th time you do it.
Remember to read to the end for valuable tips on each section of this workout plus links to a few places you can compare prices for this video 🙂
The warm-up is a low-impact step routine to raise your heart rate, but there’s no stretching. It’s from the Step, Jump & Pump video and is about 5 minutes in length.
It’s pretty simple choreography but if you’re not listening to her you’ll fall behind. She cues the moves perfectly so pay attention and you’ll have no problems.
The first part is from Imax 2, all you need is your aerobic step (with one riser).
If you’ve done Imax 2 before, then you’ll be fine. If you haven’t then you may get frustrated.
There are short segments of choreography that she repeats 6 times followed by a cardio blast. The challenge is that she doesn’t build up the steps for the choreography sections, she just jumps right in. I recommend that you stick with it because Imax 2 is a lot of fun.
You’ll pick up the steps fast and by the 3rd time you do this workout you’ll be a pro at the choreography. The cardio blasts are tough and really raise your heart rate.
Here’s the pattern (the step routines are short and all different, the blast sections are the parts to take note of):
Step Routine One (repeat it 6 times)
Blast I: Ski Hops with Tuck Jumps
Step Routine Two (repeat 6 times)
Blast II: Side squats with Sumo Arms
Step Routine Three (repeat 6 times)
Blast III: Power Straddle Hops over the step with Turning Jumping Jacks and 8 Plié Jacks (these are awesome and so hard). A good song comes on that will re-energize you before the blast ends.
Step Routine Four (repeat 6 times)
Blast IV: Power L’s off the side with Power Turning Squats
At the end of this section you’ll hear Cathe say, “We are done.” Don’t get excited. You’re not.
This section is from Cardio & Weights. You’ll need your aerobic step (with 1 riser) and a pair of light dumbbells. Cathe uses 8 lb. dumbbells for this entire section but I use 10 and 20 lb. dumbbells.
Cathe teaches you all the choreography in this part so you’ll have no problems keeping up with her. In fact, you may get a little bored with all the repetition.
The step routines are longer in Section II because of the time it takes to add in all the steps that make up the whole segment. Like section I, you’ll repeat each step routine 6 times once you learn all the pieces.
The step routines in this part will build up your heart rate a little and then you stop and do resistance training before doing more step aerobics.
As I mentioned before, Cathe uses 8 lb. dumbbells for all of the weight work. I’d tell just about anyone except my mother that that’s not enough weight for most of these exercises. I’ll tell you what I use.
Here’s the pattern:
Step Routine One
Remember it takes a few minutes to get in all those steps. The tempo is pretty slow. Stay with the music and you’ll be right on.
Weight Section I
You’ll need your 8 lb. weights for Plié Squats with an upright row
Notice that the row is on the down side of the squat. This will feel a little weird at first but it makes the combination harder.
*I use my 10 lb. dumbbells for this exercise. There are 32 reps.
Step Routine Two
This step routine is fun. Gotta love that music. The choreography is slightly harder in this section but the more difficult steps are always the most fun once you get them down.
Weight Section II
Cathe gets out her 8 lb. dumbbell again
I use an 8 or 10 lb. dumbbell for this exercise.
The move is a lunge back with a one-arm tricep extension
You do the extension on the same side as the leg that’s back. The tempo is fast so you may want to start with an 8 lb. weight the first time you do it.
Step Routine Three
Get ready for some turn moves. Try not to get dizzy.
Weight Section III
The next exercise is a back lunge with a hammer curl
You do a set on one leg and then repeat it on the other leg.
Cathe uses her 8’s. I do this exercise with 10’s.
Step Routine Four
This last step segment is what I call the dreaded Buttercup routine because you’ll have the freaking song stuck in your head all day long.
Weight Section IV
The last exercise using weights is a dead lift with a row
Cathe uses her 8’s but I use 20 lb. dumbbells*
The exercise is controlled even though she moves pretty fast. The dead lift is for your hamstring/glutes and the row is for your back.
*Use a lower weight the first time you do the routine. You could hurt your back if you do the combination wrong with a heavy weight.
This segment is from Cathe’s Xtrain Super Cuts video. Get ready for a crap load of push-ups. Cathe splices in the push-up/sit-up combo from this workout into your last section of Circuit & Intervals. It’s so hard! But you can do this.
You do 5 push-ups and flip over and immediately do 5 sit-ups. You do that combination 8 times. Do NOT skip this.
You’ll be so proud of yourself the first time you do every rep in this combination (because you’re awesome).
The stretch segment is from Body Max 2. It’s a good one. You need to stretch back out your lower body and this section does it well. I love that the stretch isn’t rushed.
Circuit & Intervals is my favorite premix on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Step.
The choreography is challenging but you don’t have to be Mensa to figure it out (and it’s fun). And I love a step workout that includes weight work.
Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Step is a good bargain.
You get a taste of 7 different videos: Imax 2, Cardio & Weights, Body Max 2, Step, Jump & Pump, Athletic Step, Drill Max, and Super Cuts. This is a great way for you to get a free sample of several videos (that you may want to consider adding to your library).
And don’t forget that you can get access to EVERY SINGLE Cathe Friedrich workout with a membership to Cathe on Demand + Live. This is an INCREDIBLE service. This article will answer any questions you have about the membership.
Thanks for reading!
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