Video Fitness

Cardio Kicks

Cathe Friedrich

Love..Love..Love..Can you tell that I really like this tape? I was skeptical at first whether I would find another kickboxing style tape that I would really like. This tape is awesome. I prefer more choreographed kickboxing rather than the Tae-Bo style. This tape is a happy medium between the two styles. There is good choreography and also a super drills section the best of both worlds.

The kickboxing starts out with a nice active warm up. You're doing low intensity front, side, and back kicks along with jabs, hooks, uppercuts, etc. and lots of shuffles and squat moves to get the legs good and warm Then you do some short stretches and move into the first kickboxing segment.

In this segment the kickboxing is more choreographed. The kickboxing is flavored with Hi-Lo. You do classic kickboxing moves packed into short combo while adding hi-lo spice. You do some nice kicking combos. A really fun 2 front kicks, 2 sidekicks, 2 front kick combo. You also do a fun shuffle with a hope around the world in a box formation. Another small combo is a modified grape/2steps to the side, sidekick combo. My favorite is the jab, cross, knee slam. I really like those knee slams. She does do a lot of jumping jacks and roping in place. But you can easily modify those to heel jacks or even marching in place. She also does some moving knee ups with speed-bag arms. Those moves are not in the order I mentioned but they're in there and their fun :=)

I really found my self enjoying the second section of drills. You do both kicking and punching drills. A lot of the drills contain some high impact plyo moves, but again it's easy to modify if you need to. My favorite drill is the three punches down combo with a plyo jump..WoooHooo! Another drill you do is a three plyo jump moving forward with a jumping jack block back. You do some nice kicking drills doing stationary fronts kicks then you move into the sidekicks. I really also liked the stationary punching drills

I know I'm missing a lot of the other fun moves that she does. But even the first time that I did this tape I knew I was going to love it. It's very fun and intense at the same time. I think Cathe did a great job creating a signature kickboxing video rather than just borrowing from all the other kickboxing videos on the market. I suggest everyone get this video and soon!

Susie F.

Billy Blanks watch out! Looks like Tae Bo is not the only kickboxing workout for the advanced exerciser. There is a new girl on the block and I think she can definately give Billy a run for his money.

Cardio Kicks is not just hard but it is fun too. Most of the kickboxing moves are pretty simple and they are combined with other athletic aerobic moves to make this workout one sweat filled, intense hour that you will remember. When she comments that so much sweat is flying off that you need an umbrella, she is not kidding. I had to wring my clothes out at the end of the workout I was so drenched. Me, who does and has almost every Tae Bo advanced workout ever made.

First Cathe starts out with a nice long warm up doing things like front, side and back kicks at a slow pace to help you warm up. Then what Cathe calls the "intermediate" workout begins. Another VF reviewer said that this workout is a little more choreographed than most kickboxing videos and this did concern me at first. You see, I'm not a dancy workout kind of person and I really don't like choreographed moves when it comes to kickboxing (hey I'm a Tae Bot!) but have no fear if you are choreographically challenged like me. Like in any Cathe video, the moves are easy to catch on to and Cathe's cueing is superb.

Cathe explains some modifications for most of the moves if you don't have enough space in your workout area or want to do some of the moves lower impact.

After she finishes with the "intermediate" section (at this point I was really ready to call it a day), she tells you there is a lot more left. At this point I think I mumbled something like "you've got to be kidding." She wasn't.

The advanced section included lots of plyo jumps and fast kickboxing moves. If the intermediate section doesn't wear you out, this one surely will. By the end of this section, you will feel like you've been in a kickboxing match.

This workout does not include ab work but like Cathe says, you don't need traditional ab work with this workout. There is a section at the end of the workout where Cathe and the crew just do lots of upper body work. Upper cuts, hooks, and jabs are all done at 50-100% maximum pace. This does give your abs a nice workout. At this point, Cathe calls the two very nice looking male cast members to the front so we can see them clearly demonstrate the upper body moves with her. Good move Cathe! They definately helped to get my heart rate up!

Throughout this whole video I kept looking for something to critisize and I found nothing. I thought maybe the cooldown and stretch would be lacking like in some of her past videos (in my opinion) but this was not the case. Cathe included a nice cooldown and stretch at the end. I felt good and ready to face the day. All in all this workout is an A++! Like I said, I love Tae Bo but in my opinion, Cathe now ranks up there with Billy and her workouts (IMHO), are safer too. This will be a video that will stay in my rotation for a while. It is hard enough to give you a good workout but fun enough to keep you coming back. I hope Cathe makes more kickboxing videos. I will be the first one with my credit card out ready to buy it!

Tiffanee Saunders

I am so disappointed in this tape. I had been looking for a kickboxing workout that I would like, and was sure that Cathe would deliver, but this one's going on the Exchange. I felt there were too many jumping jacks, skipping in place, scoops, etc. and not enough kickboxing!! You do a little bit of kickboxing, then there's jumping jacks. You do another little bit, then more jumping jacks. Then there's a whole segment of scoops and double step touches that has absolutely no kickboxing at all! I liked the last segment of drills a little bit more, but it's not enough to salvage the whole tape. Cathe is excellent in this-enthusiastic and really working hard! I'm just so sorry that I don't like this tape more.

Tannis Topham

This tape is perfect. I want to do it every day. I like the warm up, I like the individual kickbox segments, I like the high impact reprise from MI-C. I literally get a thrilled at how the segments string together into one long coherent unit. I absolutely love the drills. The background people are excellent, even Rhonda is right on the money. Hope is fabulous -- I find myself watching her more than Cathe. The two boxers -- well, what can I say. They should come to the front of the room more often. I'm scared at how seriously I've started to punch! Even the music -- used exactly right. It's not too long, it's not too short, it is just right. If you liked MI-C, &/or Power Kicks, you will love this workout. In fact, if you remember that gleeful insane gleam in Cathe's eyes on MI-C, right before she cries Good Old High Impact Is Back, you will feel right at home.

And, if you have the time, instead of going with Cathe's stretch (not really her strong suit) you could cut over to Helen's stretch on RAW. Now, that is one nice evening.

beth lee simon

This cardio/kickboxing workout is really more of a high/low workout with kickboxing-style moves thrown in, and that suits me just fine. The intensity is up there, but not at killer-level. It is definitely high-intermediate to advanced, though. The workout is divided into roughly half cardio and half drills. The cardio is easy to follow without elaborate hard-to-remember routines a la Janis Saffell. She does do short combos and then puts them all together at the end, but theyíre not difficult choreographically. The drills are a lot of fun and give you an interval-like effect. Some of the drills are arms-only, and if you didnít think you could get your heart rate maxed out doing just arm work, think again! Toward the end, Cathe brings the two male class members to the front for "motivation," but she doesnít introduce them. Itís not a big deal at all, but I would have liked an introduction. All in all, this is a fun workout and one Iíll definitely be keeping on my shelf. For those who insist on "real" kickboxing, this may not be for you, but if youíre looking for cardio kickboxing, this is it. I think people who like Tae Bo will like this one as well. Grade A.

Annie S.

I've been doing Cathe's step and strength tapes since early autumn 2000, and I loved them so much that I've bought everything she offers, save the crosstrain express and Wedding Video. I'm working my way through her cardio "catalogue" chronologically, learning about a tape a month and mastering her challenging choreography.

To give myself a break from stepping, I went out of order popped in Cardio Kicks. The first couple of times I did it, I went only up to the exertion check--about 35 minutes into the tape--because I was training it with one of her strength tapes. At first, I wasn't too enamored of the workout, probably because the only kickboxing tape I ever tried was a Kathy Smith one that I did not enjoy. Because Cardio Kicks was a Cathe tape, I decided to stick with it and am I happy I persevered.

The more I do it, the more I love this workout. Once I got the moves down, I began to enjoy it. It's a tough one in terms of intensity, but really easy to learn. The best surprise of all was going past the exertion check into the drills. Whew, fun stuff and really tough. The first time I did the whole tape, my lats and shoulders were sore for a couple days! Keep in mind that I've been working out to her Pure Strength and Maximum Intensity Strength tapes, so I had a good base of muscle already.

There's no tricky choreography (although Cathe makes it easy for even a klutz like me to master her complex moves/combinations on the step). The only parts of the tape I don't like are: 1) a scoop forward series that goes back into slides--I just don't have the floor space to really make it work; 2) the scoop laterally, three knees, four punches in a circle. Again, lack of adequate space is a factor here, but the combo just isn't fun to me. Everything else is excellent--especially the power hop/jacks/kick sequence.

The guys in the video are ... inspiring. The ladies are good, too, but I look foward when Cathe gets the men into the front row. Watching them do the punch combinations is indeed something special, as well as motivating.

Even if you aren't a kickboxing fan, I think this video will grow on you as it did me. It's unique, fun, and tough-tough-tough!

I can't say enough about Cathe. She's right on target with the cues and she gives you just the right amount of encouragement without being cutesy or fake. Is it just my imagination or does she seem to really want all of us to succeed and improve our fitness/strength levels? She seems very genuine. Plus, you know she's working hard right along with you--she is in fabulous shape. Cathe is fit, strong, and healthy--quite a nice change from that horrible anorexic look that our society seems to think is so attractive. The woman knows her stuff and isn't just some "camera talent" demonstrating a routine that someone else developed. Brava, Bella Cathe, keep up the good work. Buying her videos is the best investment I ever made in my health and well being. 2/1/01

Great video. Cathe is thorough, knowledgeable, and breaks down each move well. The workout is challenging and intense. Some moves are very high-impact (like the forward power-hop with 4 jumping jacks to return), but I modify the moves to lessen the impact. There is a very athletic feel about the moves, and the power drills at the end are awesome. She brings two guys up front to demonstrate. Both guys are in great shape, but the African-American guy looks unbelieveable doing the upper-cuts and hooks. Yummy!!!!

What I like best about this video is that it is well-balanced, challenging, and intense. You know how you can get used to moves really quickly with some videos, and just go through the motions? Not likely here.

Cathe's skill and professional excellence really make the difference. She is a superb instructor, friendly, and motivating. I highly recommend this video!!! One tip- don't be afraid to try this if you primarily like mid-impact workouts. You can easily substitute lower impact moves during the jumping segments.


I did not expect to enjoy this tape so much. I bought it as part of the pre-order deal and fully expected to trade it. I was very surprised to find it to be one of the most fun cardio videos that I own. I think the emphasis is more on the word "cardio" than on "kicks" - the kicks are there, of course, but there is also a fair amount of athletic hi-lo and punching. I really enjoy the energy of the video, and I think having the guys in the cast was a smart move. I love when Cathe invites them up to the front - for some reason, that is a very fun moment. The last section of power drills is absolutely the best: challenging, energetic and fun. All videos should be like this.

My only complaint is that Cathe does not always respect the space constraints of many home exercisers, and so I must modify the moves a fair bit. (Kicking a hole in the wall is just NOT an option.) I hope that her future videos are more sensitive to space issues.


When Cathe offered her last bunch of videos I passed on CTX, but snapped up Circuit Max and Cardio Kicks (along with three others for the volume discount of course!). No kickbox fan, I purchased CK with the intention that I would be trading it. Surprise! This one has seen much more use than Circuit Max.

The only Kickboxing video I owned prior to CK was Kathy Smith's. It was o.k., but I did not find myself pulling it out that much. Actually, after doing Cardio Kicks, I find myself pulling out the Kathy Smith one more often. I have also bought a few more KB tapes (Janis Saffell).

So what is it about this tape that turned me into a cardio-kickboxing convert? Well, simply put, this tape is fun! It starts with a fast paced warm up which has you moving all over the room. It then moves into some kickbox/hi-lo combos that are a lot of fun. Like Cathe said, it's hi/lo with a definite kickbox flavor. This is not the tape to pull out to practice self defense (of course, if you want to do that you would be much better off taking a class). After this section is done, you move on to about fifteen minutes of drills. I liked the sequential power kicks the best. Kathy Smith has these in her tape, and I was never able to get them down. One run through with Cathe, however, and I had them nailed. During one drill sequence, my heart rate does drop quite a bit, but it is near the end, and I just think of it as a bit of a cool down.

You will need a lot of space for this tape. Actually, I think this tape is my biggest space hog. Cathe says if you do not have the space, get some height. I have never done this, but I imagine the tape would still be fun. The music and the set are excellent. I could do without the fake plants, though(message to Greg: can the fake plants! They add nothing.) The first time I did this tape, I would have rated it intermediate in intensity. Now I would call it advanced. It definitely is a tape you can grow with and get more out of every time you do it. As for complexity, I picked it all up the first time through. It is more basic than the standard Cathe fare. So, if you are afraid of choreography, this is a good tape to try.

Roz Chase

This is a great video. I like it even more than Taebo. I find it to be tougher and more fun. This video is really kickboxing with hi/lo and plyometrics. The first time I did this video I was shocked to see how much I was sweating. Cathe ends the workout with about 5 minutes of punching. I love this tape and would suggest it to any advanced exerciser who like kickboxing.


I got Cardio Kicks on VHS eons ago with the first release of the 12 pack. It wasn't a fun workout for me at the time and I ended up trading it last summer.

Since then, my cardio capacity and strength has increased significantly, as well as my kickboxing technique and form. (I have been doing Kathy Smith's Kickboxing workout on a regular basis, and found her slow, methodical method of learning was just what I needed to get my form down.)

So, I broke down and bought the Cardio Kicks (along with Cicuit Max) again - but on DVD. I just did Cardio Kicks this morning for the first time in over a year and I have to say, this workout is a KEEPER! As described by other reviewers, this is not a straight-forward kickboxing video - which is alright by me. There are quite a few hi/lo moves thrown in the mix of punches and kicks. It's choreographed in a block-like fashion that appeals to my need for order.

The 10 minute warm up is fantastic and moves smoothly into what Cathe calls the "intermediate" portion (lasting about 25 minutes or so), which challenging and fun. In this segment, you learn some basic kicks and punches (punches start out at 50% then go up to 100% letting you ease into the moves) then put them together in a pattern which is layered with hi/lo moves like grapevines and jumping jacks as well as jumproping.

But the real fun begins during the intensity drills (approximately 15 minutes) where Cathe introduces plyo moves along with upper body punches (jabs, upper cuts, and hooks) and ice breakers. The most intense moves are the three hops and the speed bag arms with a knee. This section is challenging but she changes it up often enough so that nothing last too long to get boring. My heart rate was definitely soaring during the drills. This section was similar to interval training. Overall, I stayed in my target heart rate zone almost the entire 40 minutes of the workout.

Cathe ends with a 6.5 minute stretch (not 10 minutes, like the workout says) that starts out with a wonderfully relaxing Yoga/Tai Chi-like breathing which is very soothing. From there she goes on to shoulder/neck stretches then lower body stretching.

Instructor comments: In my opinion, one of the most effective and professional instructors out there. I credit her (along with a few others) with getting and keeping me in the best shape of my life!

Tami Skelton


Workout type: High Intensity Kickbox-style, it has a lot of high impact moves shown but can be modified for low-impact.

Kickbox Experience: "Although prior kickbox experience is recommended, it is not critical." - Cathe

Purpose of tape: The purpose of this tape is overall fitness and
cardiovascular conditioning. This tape does not teach you
self-defense, and should not be considered a substitute for it.

Fitness Level: Although the tape says it is geared for Advanced;
Beginners and Intermediate can do it since it is easy to learn, but will have to work up to the stamina, and will have to pay close attention to form to avoid injury.

Equipment: none (just your feet and sneakers with good padding!)

Workout Length: warm up - 12min.; cardio 30 min.; cooldown - 8 min. ; TTL. - 58 min.

Effectiveness: If you like to sweat ! and you're ready for a challenge, then this tape delivers!

Music: Excellent High Energy techno music, (bells, whistles etc.) Really makes you want to move!!!

The Set: The same set Cathe has in her CTX tapes. the sky blue background, some brick bridges design and some large potted plants. The left side has stones designed.

Attire: Cathe is wearing a blue tank top and blue lycra shorts.
The cast includes 4 women and 2 men, all dressed in pants, 2blue 4 black, the men wear t-shirts, the women crop tops.

Abreviations used in this Review:
forward - fwd
smash - the movement is: you lift one knee up and from raised position bring both hands down to knee to meet it.

The Warmup: 12 minutes !
walks forward and back 4x
calf pumps, low kicks, 8 fwd 8 side to side 8 back, repeat,then 4x each.
then 8 fwd and back in angles
several grapevines, then add elbow strikes
at 2.30 min - begins bob & weave
begin punching, then hooks, continues bob & weave until
at 4.50 min. grapevines with knee lifts, continue until
at 6.20 min. knee smashes

Music is outstanding!

8 kicks fwd. then other leg
Alternating Fwd kicks , then kicks side then other side
then alternating side to side
Lunge & kick combo 8x then into stretches other leg
4 walk fwd and back, then
trunk twists 16x , then add jab cross, reach and pull 8x repeat on other side.

at 12min The workout begins:
Intermediate combo: shuffle side to side
at 12.50 min. snap recoil then other side ; 4 jacks
4punches front, 4 jabs side 4 front then 4 jacks
mambo with a punch fwd.
at 16.30 min. grapevines
combo: then grapevine into a side kick. 12x per side
then front puch into grapevine kick, then jump ropes.
at 1920 music is faster! and so are movements.
still doing previous combo
combo 2: Bob and weave then bobs slide in box pattern
combo 3: scoop ups then slide back (like skipping)
combo 4: jab cross up smash
combo 2
combo 3: slide back several times , scoots from side to side, punch to all
4 sides, jacks, jump rope
at 26.30 min. 4 power jacks 8x
then jacks or heels (choice)
combo 5: 4 power hops then jack back 4x
combo 6: front, front, kick to side, plio jack 4x
combo 5 then combo 6
at 29.20 min. jog in place
combo 7: 4 knee lifts then other leg 4x ... alternate knees
combo 8: 4 kicks other leg 4x
back to combo 7
combo 8
combo 2
combo 3
combo 4
combo 2
combo 3
combo 4
combo 5 a few times
combo 6
combo 7
Heart Rate Check
at 35.30 min
combo sequential powerkicks 16x then 8x
right leg up and kick left 8x again while moving fwd. then repeat
everything on other side.
icebreakers: hands come fwd. as if to crack a block of ice, 26x per hand while hopping slightly up.
punching drill
3 alternate punches and toe lifts while hopping up, 8x each side then 4x each side
8 tap and roundhouse kick which becomes
16 squat and roundhouse , then do other side.
jabs 100 times eash arm
Cathe gets the two guys to move to the front of the group.
alternating hooks - 100x
Alternating upper cuts 100x (my HR was at 148 here)
Alternating punch up then fwd then down 100x
bending knees down then adding hops
double down
at 50 min.March and Cooldown
grapevines and side steps
at 51.40 stretches
58 min. end

Total Rating: This tape is full of energy, the cueing was great, and I didn't see anything negative in it. I rate it 10 out of a possible 10!


Instructor comments: If you don't know Cathe, she is a very motivating instructor,not perky or chatty, just down to earth motivating. She says a lot of things throughout this tape to motivate you. Her physique is also a motivator.


3 July 2003

This is a combination of kickboxing and hi/low. It's not extremely intense, but not extremely easy. It's just right for a day when I want to work, but very comfortably. The music was great and the moves were interesting and exciting. Again, not a hardcore kickboxing workout and not a hardcore kickbutt workout but just enough to satisfy my appetite for cardio and kickboxing.

Instructor comments: Cathe was fun in this one! I've done about 15 of her workouts and in this one, I think she's the most fun I've ever seen her. She yells and grunts and really gets into it to the point where you get into it just watching and listening to her! I also noticed that this is only the second video I've seen of hers where there are men and at one point she actually made them come up front to do the arm drills which I thought was very cute! I really liked her in this.

Denise Berger
February 6, 2007

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