This all-step tape is Cathe at her best. Step is where Cathe truly excels.
This tape harkens back to Step N Motion days except that now, Cathe is not
only a pro, but is a pro of pros. She even let out a "woo" without realizing
it, which I got a kick out of, because despite the fact that Cathe has become
so much more polished over the years, she still has the same enthusiasm. The
combinations are fresh and fun, with lots of variety. Rhythmic step is a
good title because the moves use the beats in all sorts of ways. I think
that the impact is pretty even throughout the workout, and it is possible to
modify many of the moves to keep the impact lower or to add power. There is
no instruction on this tape, so it is not a good tape for someone who is new
to step or to Cathe. The choreography is not super-complex, but it's
challenging enough for everyone from intermediate through advanced. The
best thing about this workout is that it is FUN! It combines athletics with
dance. I highly recommend this tape. My only negative criticism is the
music; it's generic, manufactured, disco-type music.
Cathe and the cast look like they are having a great time. They are all
very inspiring to watch. In my opinion, this tape is a wonderful addition
to any step-lover's collection.
When I first did this tape I wasn't too keen on doing it again. That
is rare for me considering Cathe's tapes usually call me again and
again. But after forcing myself to do it a couple of times, and when
I got the moves down, it became a challenging, fun tape. The only
section that is a problem for me is section 3 with that backward
shuffle and the move after that. It gave my knees a few twinges going
backward when my knees are used to doing the shuffle going straight
ahead on the step. The music is so-so, not great, a little repetitive.
When you put the whole workout together at the end, you really huff
and puff and it's a pretty long cardio workout. I think it's Cathe's
longest workout, even longer than Step Jam. I will definitely do it
again, maybe using the first two sections combined with some sections
of Power Max or Step Fit. I have to say that Power Max was an
addiction for many weeks, doing it almost daily, until I got it out of
my system. That is not the case with Rhythmic Step, and maybe that's
good - I won't get bored with it for a long time since I will only do
it occasionally. Just a note: if you get confused with that shuffle
step in section 2, you can substitute the "repeater shuffle" from Step
Jam until you catch on.
When I previewed this tape, I almost couldn't stand to watch it all the way through because I hated the music. It just sort of grated on my nerves like someone scratching their fingernails on a blackboard. So I put off actually doing it for the longest time. I was sure I was going to hate it, but since it was Cathe, and since new hour-long step and high/low tapes are hard to come by these days, I wanted to at least try it. Thankfully, I found the music didn't bother me too much at all when doing the workout (except later on, in section 3). The second time through, I sorta-kinda had fun. Now, after the third time, I think I will keep this at least for awhile. This will never be a favorite of mine, but I'm willing to do it every now and then.
Two things bother me about this workout. First, as already mentioned, is the music. It starts off okay with the music in the warmup (great, fun warmup, too, by the way!), and then it gradually descends into something I'm sure would make my brain explode if I listened to it too long. The brain explosions don't happen until section 3, though, so I can get in about 35-40 minutes before it starts grating at me. In the future, I may just turn it off at this point and go on to something else.
The other thing I don't like is that she cues new moves just as she's doing them. Sometimes she doesn't tell you at all. Obviously, you miss that part, and it's maddening. Her cueing on already-learned moves is pretty much perfect -- but there needs to be a better way to (1) tell you that something is changing and (2) lead you through the new parts.
Even though there are some strong negatives for me, the choreography keeps me coming back. Cathe has some great stuff here. It's more complex than previous tapes, and it's athletic (not dancy) as you would expect from Cathe. I also noticed that she works in a fair number of lower-impact moves for those who haven't liked all the impact in the past. Grade B+.
I waited until I did this tape twice so that I could give a fair assessment of it. I am probably in the minority but the first time through, I got all the moves but didn't find the tape to be particularly fun. The second time through, I pretty much had the same feeling.
The tape is a warm-up, three combos and a cool-down. One of the combos incorporates part of the warm-up into it, but gives it more intensity; I wasn't crazy about this section in the warm-up so wasn't happy to see it repeated. It contains a step up and kick facing front and I find that I always feel like my foot will hit the step on the way up, so I just subbed knee-ups instead. There is no TIFTing until the very end, when the three combos are spliced together right and left and you run through the whole thing twice.
If you are a seasoned stepper who loves complex choreography, you'll find that the choreography is here but without the flow necessary to make it feel like fluid movement, even dancing. This feels like a lot of complex moves (and some fun ones, like the step hop repeater) just strung together. I never could remember what was coming next because one move did not easily flow into another, as in other tapes. There is one move in particular -- a backward shuffle on the step -- that is tremendously awkward at the place it's in. I've since done this move in two other tapes and it's a fun one, but only when it's properly placed into the workout. Without naming names, I find that other instructors with dancier tapes choreograph so that you barely have to think; your feet just know where to go because each move logically follows from the last. With this tape, I felt like I had to memorize what came next.
I also feel like that some of the moves are too complex to be done at the speed with which they are done; you really have to watch your feet or you could fall right off your step. I actually did once.
Cathe's tapes have always felt more athletic to me than dancy, and I think this is where she really excels -- at tough, athletic workouts with some interesting choreography. This dancy thing just doesn't seem to be her style. I'll hang onto this one to do occasionally because it is, as usual, a good solid workout, but it won't be a favorite. Grade: B-
Instructor comments: Cathe's cueing seems to be off on this tape; many times, she's not cueing a move until you should already be doing it and then it's too late. Maybe her cueing has always been that way, but because this tape has so many moves packed in to each combo, you really need the cueing to be right on target.
I really love this workout. It's a solid hour of heart elevating stepping.
I also like the fact that Cathe doesn't spend too much time breaking down the moves. Although this was frustrating the first couple of times, once I'd learn't the moves I didn't need to worry about my heart rate dropping.
This is an advanced step workout and a good challenge for those days when you want a good high energy routine.
As always Cathe is professional and enthusiastic.
23 March 2002
This workout has a very different feel from Cathe's previous workouts. As mentioned by others, the moves are dancier than usual. Her usual athletic moves are less prominent than on videos like Interval Max and Body Max. I don't mind dancier moves; in fact, learning complex choreography can be fun and can stave off boredom. And Rhythmic Step is fun to learn. There are lots of new moves or new combos which is a plus. Like a few other reviewers I didn't find the choreography impossible to pick up. After going through it twice I was able to have fun with it.
All that said, however, Rhythmic Step will never be one of my favorite Cathe videos. As mentioned before, the music in Rhythmic Step is so bad that it's hard to ignore. The song, specifically the vocal part, that accompanies the first combo that resurfaces again and again--much to my audio horror--is incredibly annoying. When I previewed the video the first time I thought maybe the music wouldn't get on my nerves as much if I weren't just sitting listening to it, but the first time I tried the video I had to stop midway because I couldn't tolerate that grating music any longer. It's that bad.
I like most of the music from Cathe's other videos like MIC, Body Max and Circuit Max, but this time the music ruined the video. If it weren't for the bad music I think Rhythmic Step would be a favorite of mine for those days when you want to have a really fun workout. In fact, if Cathe were to offer a new tape w/ the exact same moves but w/ better music I would seriously consider purchasing it.
As always, Cathe is professional and keeps the energy level up.
April 20, 2002
I wish to add my own impressions of Rhythmic Step to those already on the review page. This is my favorite workout. My impressions agree with Abbe G.'s, except that I did not notice any fault with the music.
This is perhaps because the only other step tape I had when I got this was Interval Max. Obviously I had not yet been "spoiled" by the great music on Cathe's other step tapes!
The "awkward" feeling moves, I feel, are in there on purpose to promote functional fitness and the ability to adapt to terrain on hikes and just maneuvering around on irregular surfaces! I have experienced an increased ability to walk on bumpy ground since doing this video. The moves become very comfortable with practice.
One important quality of this video is its steady, medium-high intensity. Many of Cathe's cardio videos are more intense than this one, but the intensity of this one enables it to be done as often as you want, not having to skip days in between.
It is complex and very satisfying to master. I feel like I'm with friends while I'm doing it. The background exercisers have natural facial expressions. It fits right into my one-hour slot in the morning.
I hope my review adds something to the info that is already out there. This is still my favorite tape out of the 35 or 40 that I have!
A consummate instructor.
I love this video. It is a blast for me to do. I have only done it twice so far, but I am getting the choreography down now and have a great time doing this video.
I personally don't see the problem witht the music that some poeple seem to find. I enjoy it, but then again, I don't pay that much attention to the music when I'm concentrating on all the cues to make sure I don't get too lost, yet.
I also Love the "dancy" choreography that Cathe has done. But then again, I also love Power Max, and that was a lot of dancy choreography as well.
I know that there are plenty of reviews on this tape, but I had to put my two cents in and say that I love it.
I love Cathe's videos, I have yet to be dissapointed.
Before I give my opinion of this video, I thought I would let you know I consider myself an advanced stepper who picks up choerography quickly.
I have had this video since it was released and I never grow tired of it. I will do the whole thing as is or, with the magic of DVD, combine bits of it with another workout.
What I like:
- I love the way Cathe teaches the choerography quickly. I tend to get bored easily, so this is a plus. Especially after doing the workout many times.
- I am thrilled she combines all three combos into one long combo (The Rhythmic Step Challenge). It is nine minutes of pure bliss for me. No breakdown, no teaching. Just going through it all in a zig-zag pattern.
- I like how this workout really gets my heartrate up there and it stays up the whole time. Cathe does less power moves in this tape then in others, but it is still a calorie burner to the fullest!
- I love the warmup and sections 1 and 2. Section 3 is my least favorite, but only because she does this half turn on the step that is a bit uncomfortable on my knee. To help with that move I add a bit of jump to the half turn (if that makes sense) and that seems to fix the problem. Cathe's choerography is athletic with a bit of dance thrown in. Very fun!!
- I like the music. It has a good beat and I find it catchy. I am one who doesn't care as much for Christie Taylor's music as I do for Cathe's- if that helps.
- The last thing I like is the visual presentation. I love the set and I love the outfits. Everything looks well thought out and sharp.
What I don't like:
- No real cool down at the end. Not a real big deal for me. I just pause it and walk around my house as I open all of the blinds. When I'm finished with that chore, I'm ready for the stretch. Which leads me to the other thing I don't like...
- The stretch is short. I suggest you do more stretching after Cathe is done.
In summary, this is a very fun step video. Cathe is so motivating. Her choerography is fun, yet she makes you work!
I give this tape an A-
She really does keep getting better! In my opinion, the best out there!
Just for background, I am an advanced stepper and I am an intensity lover, but not a fancy choreography lover. If that sounds like you, Rhythmic Step may not be the workout for you. I had trouble right from the first combination. Lots of turning, pivoting, shuffling, and mambo cha cha's. Normally Cathe's workouts are more on the athletic side, but that is not the case here. It's much more dancy than any of her other tapes I've done. But if you like complex choreography, this is probably right up your alley.