Video Fitness

Cathe Friedrich's Cardio Step Challenge (1992)

(Intermediate/Advanced-Step Aerobics)

As promised, this is a long, challenging step workout, and Cathe is a capable and likable instructor. But two things irk me about this video:the crappy EP recording (and accompanying rotten sound) and the nonstopwhooping and yelling in the background. I'm told that Cathe's current videosare much better, but they're only available by mail. This, and other oldertapes of hers, are showing up in bargain bins, where they belong.
Grade: C-

Sue Bryant

This was my first Friedrich video. The workout is structured much like the others described here, so I won't repeat that. This one in my opinion is more intermediate level.

A few things I really didn't like: Each combo is done in the "learning mode" way too many times. One or two times thru would have been sufficient. Then speed it up. The class whoops and hollers constantly. It's very irritating to me. As mentioned in other reviews, the recording quality is not great.

This video put me off from buying other Cathe videos until I read the reviews here which *correctly* said that the new videos are SO much better.

Angela Pahlow

Warm up: 10 min.
Step: 44 min.
Cooldown: 7 min.
Stretch: 3 min.
This video was my introduction to Cathe Friedrich. I consider myself an "advanced-beginner" stepper, but I did not find this workout much of a challenge, despite Cathe's claims that it was definitely going to be one. By the third time I did this tape, I could include the arm movements. (Gives me encouragement to try her newer productions.) I agree that this 1995 tape is more intermediate than advanced because, if this is advanced, I'm emboldened to try her other videos. The inferior EP recording is unfortunate, but it didn't interfere with the workout for me.

What I did not like:
I did NOT like the constant whooping and hollering in (mostly) the first half of this tape!! It seems to lessen as you get to the second routine, however. I don't know how long I can endure the extraneous whooping/shouting before I either learn to tune it out or put this on the exchange.
During the warmup, I felt there was way too much "unnecessary" arm movements before getting the body moving. I cue this tape up to bypass most of the beginning arm movements, so I can get to the *real* warmup quicker. (I also find arm movements like clapping and "one potata, two potata" silly -- I want to get my *body* warmed up.)
I did not care for the cool down. After getting all worked up, standing there to tap my toe on the step is BORING. After the second step segment, I hit rewind and do my own cool down and stretches.

What I liked:
I liked the two stepping segments. I found there was just enough instruction before moving on.
I liked the fact that there's 44" of aerobic activity on this tape.
Despite the above-mentioned dislikes, the 44" of actual workout are effective. I get a good sweat going with this tape and feel I've completed a beneficial cardiovascular workout. If you can tune out the enthusiastic whooping, this may be a good Cathe Friedrich video to cut your teeth on -- it gets you moving around the step without being too advanced, in my opinion.


This is one of Cathe's earlier videos (from 1993). It's high intensity, but the choreography is more intermediate. The stepping portion is a full 40 minutes, and then there are warmups and cooldowns, bringing the total workout to about 1 hour and 5 minutes. On the back of the box, it says 1 hour, but it's actually a little longer.

I think this would be good for someone who wants good intensity without too much fancy footwork. There are a couple of things that might annoy you as they did me, though. One is, the warmup is too long and repetitive. Actually, it wouldn't be too long if it wasn't so repetitive! (It's 10 minutes.)

The another annoyance is that the class hoots and hollers for no apparent reason. Now, I've been known to hoot and holler myself now and then, when there's great music, high intensity, and I'm really getting into it. But this class constantly whoops when there's hardly even anything going on. Things like marching in place elicit cries of "Yeah!" Come on. But after the first 15 minutes or so, I was able to tune it out.

Annie S.

I did this early Cathe tape years ago, and recently pulled it out again and dusted it off. Well, the production values are ok. And the cast HOLLERS way too much. But the choreography is fun, and the workout is nice and long. If you've been afraid to try Cathe because of her deserved reputation as intense, this could be a good way to check her out (provided you can mentally delete the whooping).

mel VF

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