Low Impact Circuit

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

One of my favorite circuit workouts and my favorite Cathes. Cathe leads four backgrounders through a well-balanced, low impact step and weights circuit. The music is very upbeat and Cathe's energy is good in this workout.

You'll need a step, dumbbells, (optional) barbell and a resistance band, as well as a mat for abs and stretching.

After a step-based warmup, you'll do three step combinations. Each is followed by a lower body "blast" and then a strength segment. The step combinations are all low impact with no torque-y moves, and you'll move around the step: front to back, off the sides, and walking all the way around. Cathe teaches each combination slowly, and the moves are simple enough that even a choreo klutz like me can pick them up fairly easily (if you're familiar with older Cathe step, all the moves will be familiar, like over-face in-over, around the worlds, dynamic outer thighs). After you repeat the full step combination entirely several times, there is a 'blast' section to elevate the heart rate and challenge the lower body. The blasts have simple choreography, like front kicks or dynamic outer thighs around the world. After each blast comes your strength work. Most moves are isolation moves for upper body, such as lateral raises and biceps curls, but there are some compound moves as well like pushups, side lunges with overhead press, and dips/knee lifts with biceps curls. After three step, blast and strength segments, there's an 8-minute ab routine and a concluding stretch.

Cathe's site classifies this workout as 'intermediate' but it is good for all levels. Beginners can use a lower step height and lighter weights, while intermediates and advanced can increase both.

As always, the DVD includes premixes for shorter or more targeted workouts. the "Cardio Blast Timesaver" is a favorite of mine and includes a fourth step/blast section that can be tacked on to any of the other premixes or to the original workout. There is also a upper-body only circuit, lower-body only circuit, upper body strength and total body strength. Because the full workout is long - 75 minutes total - the shorter premixes (ranging from 30 minutes to just under an hour) work well for time-crunched days.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is very professional, cues well and demonstrates excellent form. She has a lot of positive, smile-y energy in this one.