Cathe Friedrich Reviews

To The Max by Cathe Friedrich (A Review)

July 24, 2019

should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know

should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


To the Max is an A+ workout.

I don’t give that rating out very often but this workout deserves it.

The main program on To the Max is very intense.

If you haven’t worked out since 1980 then you’ll struggle with this workout the first few times you do it.  But this is one of those routines that’ll make you feel like a superstar every time you finish it.  It’s that good.

There are 5 main sections to this workout–step, tabata, HiiT (high intensity interval training), compound legs, and core with upper body.  

I burn over 400 calories in less than an hour.

Here’s a peek at To the Max:

To the Max requires a few tools to do the routine exactly like Cathe but you can crush this workout without every single accessory.

Let me explain everything you need to know…

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


*There are a ton of compound exercises using weights so you’ll get some sculpting, too.


Aerobic Step with 3 risers (per side)

5, 8, & 10 lb. dumbbells*

exercise loop


*Cathe also uses 3 lb. dumbbells (I don’t have any so I don’t use them.)

Length-53 minutes

HRM-434 calories


My rating– A+

TIP-Use my links to find the dumbbells I suggest you purchase.  OR read this article, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells, for more help.

✔ 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 To the Max

Learn more about one of the premixes (To the Max Extreme) that’s also on this video. (It’s my favorite premix* workout on the video)

*A premix is an additional workout that Cathe Friedrich puts on almost all of her workout videos.  You can find them under ‘Premixes’ in the DVD menu.

A few sections in the main workout of To The Max use a countdown clock.  Love those!

I give this routine (the main workout on To the Max) an A+.  It’s got a little bit of everything. (I gave the Extreme premix on this video an A but it uses slightly more equipment, which can be a drawback).

If you love Cathe Friedrich routines then remember you can get access to ALL of them (and her LIVE workouts) with a membership to Cathe on Demand.  

Read this post for answers to all your questions about Cathe on Demand.

Remember to read to the end for important tips on every section as well as links to a few places you can compare prices for this workout 🙂


The warm-up will get your muscles ready for the workout.  There’s no stretching in this section and you won’t need any equipment.

Main Workout (The Exercises in To the Max)

Step Routine

You’ll need an aerobic step with 2 risers for the step section

The choreography is slightly more than simple but you repeat every move a bunch of times so you won’t have any trouble with it.  This segment it tough and gives you a good taste of how challenging this video is.

This is the only section that has any sort of classic step aerobics moves.  The rest of To the Max uses the step as more of a tool to do circuit intervals.

Step Tabata

You’ll need a step and 2 risers, and 3 or 5 lb. dumbbells for this part

I use 5’s (I’ve never tried this with 3’s because I don’t have any).

You do four moves and then repeat them all one time.  There’s a 10 second break between each exercise.

The straddle fast-feet taps on this height/width aren’t easy. 

Keep an eye on your step.  If your legs feel sluggish already do this behind the step so you don’t hurt yourself.

This section uses a countdown clock.  Keep an eye on it.  You can do anything for 20 seconds, right?

30/20 Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training)

You’ll need a step with 3 risers

I just bought a third set of risers about a year ago.  I’d been doing this video with two risers forever until then.  Just saying.

You’ll also need a loop (Cathe calls it a Firewalker Loop).  If all you have is an exercise band (not a closed loop) then you can tie it around your ankles and it’ll do the job.

This time you do two exercises and then repeat them.  There’s another countdown clock!  

You do everything for 30 seconds and you get a 20 second break in between.  You got this.  Don’t give up.  We’re all tired.

When you do the jumps onto the step you must commit.  The step is really high. 

Imagine you’re jumping up on the dining room table so you don’t screw these up and hurt yourself.  Keep your core tight.

Compound Legs

You still need your step with 3 risers and a pair of 8 lb. dumbbells

This is where it counts people.  The best way to push through this section is to conquer each rep one at a time

Form is so important.  Stay strong.  If you’re too tired to do the reps then grab lighter weights or do less reps in each set.

Core with Upper Body

Cathe tells you to grab 3, 5, and 10 lb. dumbbells. (I grab 5, 8, and 10’s)

Sometimes my shoulders are so burned by this point that I don’t use the 10’s for any of these exercises.  Plus, you haven’t used your 10’s for anything up until now so you may just want to mess with the weights you already have out.

You might forget about your abs because your shoulders will be burning so bad


To the Max has a great stretch segment. Cathe uses a pair of discs for some of the stretches.  You don’t need them.

Now What?

To the Max gets an A+ for a reason. 

It’s fun and thorough.  You’re getting strong and building up cardiovascular endurance at the same time. 

✔Buy this one if you want a challenge.

You can find To the Max in several places:

Cathe’s site


Collage Video

And remember you can always sign up for Cathe’s On Demand service and get all her videos and live workouts!

Thanks for reading!

Have an awesome workout!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

search the database!

Excuse me...Do you have any articles on...

get it now

Don't waste another minute trying to piece together all the right workouts and equipment for the 'perfect' plan. Download a blueprint with all the steps in one place.

Your home exercise roadmap.

free guide

Take me to the quiz

Get matched with the on-demand library that aligns with your workout style, equipment and goals by answering a few questions!

Have you taken our

Workout Personality Quiz?