Cathe Friedrich Reviews

Drill Max is One of Cathe’s Best Cardio Workouts for Women

July 10, 2019

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Drill Max is a VERY thorough cardio PLUS strength training workout.

The choreography is easy but the drills are HARD.  Do not underestimate this one.

ATTENTION: Make sure your mood today is: I’m a total badass.  Bring it on.  Before attempting this program.

This post is a breakdown of one of the premix* routines on Drill Max (Cardio & All Upper Body) and will give you a good idea of the main workout, too.

*A premix routine is just a reconfiguration of the main workout (usually with an additional focus).  Most of Cathe Friedrich’s programs have several extra premix routines on them.  This is a huge reason to invest in her workouts.  (You get a LOT for your money.)

Here’s what you’ll need and what you’ll be doing in Drill Max Cardio & All Upper Body…

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 holding a green exercise band and doing the Drill Max workout

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength


aerobic step with 1 riser (per side)

3 lb. and 5 lb. dumbbells (you can do the entire workout with just the 5’s)

a mat

a long exercise band

a stability ball*

*Air your ball up before the workout.  Make sure the ball you’re using isn’t too heavy (you’ll be holding it and doing high-impact cardio for one segment).

I have 2 stability balls. My larger stability ball is perfect for sitting on to do exercises, but it’s too heavy to use for stretches and cardio work. (I have a smaller (lighter) ball that I use for that.)  It’s a pain but I’m too cheap to buy a 3rd ball (plus the whole fiasco of where to store them) that might serve both purposes.  Hopefully, you have one ball that’s perfect for everything.

TIPA 55-65 cm stability ball like this one should be perfect

Length-60 minutes

HRM-359 calories


My rating- A

✔ 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 Drill Max

There are 6 premix workouts on Drill Max:

Cardio Blast (39 minutes)

Ultra Cardio Blast (63 ½ minutes)

Scrambled Cardio Blast (46 minutes)

Cardio/Leg Blast (57 minutes)

Cardio & All Upper Body (60 minutes *you’re reading about this premix*)

Total Body (52 minutes)

Cardio & All Upper Body is broken down into 6 sections.  Each section has a short cardio drill followed by an upper body strength exercise.  The short break to do strength training is nice because some of the cardio drills are killer.

Wear cross-trainers (if you have them).  Drill Max has a lot of lateral cardio exercises and running shoes just aren’t as good for that kind of work.

Drill Five requires more space than I normally recommend.  But the rest of the workout is pretty compact.  It’s up to you if you want to move some furniture before you get started or not.

The choreography in each drill is simple but this is an advanced workout.  It’s hard, girls.

Remember to read to the end of this post for tips on every section and links to a few places you can compare prices on this video 🙂


The warm-up feels long to me.  You’ll need your step for this part.  Listen to Cathe.  She cues perfectly to get you through this 9 ½ minutes.

When you do the push-ups, Cathe says ‘another 8’ after the first 6 reps so I think this is supposed to be 16 reps but you get to stop after 14 (I know, very sad.  You can throw in 2 more reps if you’re feeling like a badass already but there’s a lot more in this workout so I always save it for later).

Main Workout (The Exercises in Drill Max Cardio & All Upper Body)

DRILL ONE (cardio first)

You’ll need your aerobic step and a 5 lb. dumbbell for the cardio portion of this drill. 

There are So. Many. Line. Taps.  After this first drill you’ll know just what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Strength Training

Military Presses

2 sets of 16 reps with 10 lb. DB’s (dumbbells).  Listen to the form pointers and keep your core solid.

Functional Rotational Presses with a Front Raise using 5 lb. DB’s.

It’s a mouthful but Cathe shows you how to do it.


You’ll need your exercise step again for the cardio step portion.  This drill has a lot of lateral movements.

Strength Training

Get your fitness band for Scapular Retractions with an underhand grip.

Bomb Diver Push-ups/Plank Push-Ups

You’ll do 3 sets of 4 reps of both exercises.  Pay attention to the form.  I suck at bomb diver push-ups.  They’re really hard and I always feel like I’m doing them wrong. I redeem myself on the plank push-ups.

A word of advice: No matter how bad you may be at some of these exercises you’re not allowed to sit down and watch Cathe do them perfectly.  Do what you can every time.  This is your workout.  Don’t ever skip anything (unless you have a medical reason).


You need your stability ball for this cardio routine.

If your ball is too heavy then hold on to it for as long as you can then put it down and finish out the section.

Strength Training

You’ll need 10 lb. DB’s and your stability ball*.  (The ball is optional for this section.  I sit on a step or stand up, instead.  I feel like the ball is in the way).  You’ll be doing traditional and hammer curls. 

You may be tempted to pick up heavier weights (12’s) but I always stick with the 10’s.  The 3-count reps are tough with 12’s.


This is another step routine.

This is the easiest step section, in my opinion.

Strength Training

You’ll be doing Push-ups on the Stability Ball.

Guess what?  These are kind of dangerous.  If the ball flies out from under you, you’ll agree with me.  I can actually get in a few reps on the ball but the amount of trembling in my arms is disturbing so I usually opt for regular push-ups on the floor.

Front Raise with one 5 lb. DB.

You’re allowed to lean into the ball for this exercise.  Be careful because it feels so good to lean on that ball that you’ll end up completely melted into the ball.  That’s wrong.  Keep your core stable and your chest up.  Stay strong.


You won’t need any equipment for this cardio section.

You’ll get tired of the forward hops before this part is over.  There are 3 sets of the hops/skipping drills.

Strength Training

You’ll need the Stability ball, a mat, and light weights (Cathe uses 3 lb. DB’s but I use my 5’s)

You’ll do front and side raises with your torso on the ball.  The ball should be right below your boobs.  Yes, it’s hard to breathe when you’re smooshed into the ball.


Cathe uses the step for this last cardio section.  She calls it a ‘football drill’ because you do exercises similar to agility work that you might see football players do around tires.

In the main workout on Drill Max (not this premix) this cardio portion ends with burpee tuck jumps and hops over the step.  You should be SO HAPPY that they are omitted in this premix.

Strength Training

Tricep dips on the stability ball.

This is another exercise done on the ball that really shouldn’t be done on the ball.  I highly recommend you do the dips on your step.  Try a few of them on your ball and you’ll see why.

The second exercise is a see-saw push-up on your ball.  These are kind of fun but on the easy side.  Make sure your hips are on the ball this time (rather than pancaking your boobs) to get the most out of it.  The next exercise gets your attention again.

Your last exercise in this workout is a tricep push-up on the 5 lb. DB’s with a side raise

No, you’re not the only person who thinks Cathe is going way too fast to keep up with on this exercise.  Just get in all the reps and don’t worry about keeping up with her.

Cool Down/Stretch

This part is about 6 minutes long.  Don’t skip it.  Everyone needs to work on their flexibility.  The circle stretch feels so good.  Don’t stop the workout before you get to it.

Now What?

Cardio & All Upper Body is probably my favorite workout on Drill Max.  I like the changes in tempo you get by breaking up the cardio sections with weight work.

All 7 workouts on Drill Max are challenging.  If you’re looking for a new program that will burn a ton of calories and get you stronger then Drill Max is a good investment.

You can find Drill Max on:

Cathe’s site


Collage Video

And don’t forget you can access every single Cathe Friedrich program (including every premix on Drill Max) and her Live workouts with a membership to Cathe on Demand (it’s awesome)

For more details about Cathe Friedrich’s on demand program read, Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand + Live.

Thanks for reading ’til the end. You’re a badass, seriously.


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