Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cathe's Rhythmic Step

Cathe Friedrich was once dubbed "the queen of step" because her step aerobics workouts are so much fun!  I discovered her somewhere around the year 2000.  I had seen her workouts in the Collage Video catalog for years, but never went near them because they were rated Advanced Level with the choreography being Complex.  I had a friend in Seattle who kept telling me how much she loved Cathe's workouts.  So I decided to take the plunge and order Cathe's Cross Train Xpress (CTX) set (at the time, a box set of 6 videos -- now in a dual dvd set).    I thought that since these had just 1/2 hour cardio workouts (plus weight work for a different body part each day -- I'll write more about CTX another day), I could handle the intensity and could figure out the choreography.  I was wrong.  The intensity was okay, but I was completely lost with her steps.

My friend told me she'd loan me a few of Cathe's earlier step videos, which were a little simpler and would teach me the basics of her style.  She sent me a HUGE box with a several Cathe videos, many other fitness videos plus her favorite lotions (which I still love!)  The older step videos were a little outdated (80's style), but they really did the trick.  I tried Step Jam, then Step Heat and before I knew it, I was flying over the step like Cathe and her crew!

I quickly learned the cardio in all the CTX workouts and have been loving Cathe's step workouts ever since.

One of my very favorites is Rhythmic Step, which came out in 2001.  It was the first of her dancier step routines and is a ton of fun.  One thing you learn quickly about Cathe in her cardio is her warm-ups are not plain and simple.  They are step moves that you'll later combine and build with later in the workout.  After the warm-up, there are 3 combinations set to great music with a zigzag challenge at the end.  What's a zigzag challenge, you ask?  Cathe takes the 3 routines that you've learned and weaves them together so you have one BIG routine at the end (which you do on each side twice).  I like that about Cathe.  She doesn't just say, "Let's do this one more time" and leave you wishing you could do more since you've FINALLY mastered it.  In many other step workouts, I am always sad to leave a combo that I've spent time learning and just dump it off on the side of the road.  I was happy to make use of it at the end.

Now that Rhythmic Step is on dvd, you can only buy it combined with 2 other workouts (which I don't do often because they have a lot of high impact), so it's a little more expensive than it was on video, but it's worth every penny.  I used to do a rotation where my cardio was Rhythmic Step on Monday.  Yesterday I decided to start my week the same way and it made me smile throughout!  Take a look:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pausing to evaluate

For those of you who have joined the Healthy Habits challenge, we're 3 weeks into it and may want to pause and see how you are doing with accomplishing your goals.  I know when I joined the last challenge, I had some goals for myself amidst the challenge goals.  I wanted better control of my eating.  I wanted to be more consistent with my workouts.  I wanted to make sure I didn't let go of either of those goals as we packed up our home to move.  And I wanted to lose the rest of the weight I'd gained from the move the year before. 

I felt great about how much control I had over my eating howEVER I knew in my heart that if I just went a few more steps beyond what the challenge specified (notice that there aren't any limits in portion control, how many grains/starchy vegetables we eat, how intense our workouts are, etc.) that it still is possible to get a perfect score and not lose weight.  Maybe you don't need to lose weight (or don't care if you do), but if you're like most of us, you do.  

In the last challenge, many people reported losing 10 or even 15 pounds after the first 4 weeks.  I hadn't lost an once.  I kept going on, feeling like yes, I was healthier, but wishing I had some outer results as well as inner.  So after 5 weeks, I decided to really crack down on my eating and do what I knew would help me lose weight and feel great (which for me is a very high raw diet).  I felt fantastic and lost 8 pounds and several inches in those last 3 weeks.  I felt like I'd truly reached my goals by the end.  I even stopped eating at 8:00 when we were driving in late to our new house.  My goals were in tact and I fit into my old clothes again.

With this challenge, I decided to start out the same way.  Get the control down with the goals as is and then stop to evaluate after a few weeks to see what I needed to do to truly reach my goals.  I'd hoped to pause after 2 weeks, but I did have some dark chocolate on Easter Sunday for my free day and it messed me up a bit.  I craved sugar most of last week and got off track mentally.  I finally have my mind back in place with my body and am ready to raise the bar for myself for these last 5 weeks.

Maybe you're not ready quite yet, or maybe you've struggled more than you've thought you would and don't even want to continue.  Don't give up!  It's all part of the process.  We have our ups and downs and shouldn't throw away what we once thought to be worthwhile goals.  Pause for a moment to contemplate what you really want and then continue onward.

Let me know how you're doing!  And remember, don't give up!