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  The older step videos were a little outdated (80's style), but they really did the trick.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:

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