Step Jam

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Step Aerobics

I've started doing older step tapes for steady-state cardio as a change of pace from all the current cardio offerings of no choreography, lots of drills. Once you get past the dated clothes (and I'm past them as soon as the warmup's done and I have to start paying attention to cues), Step Jam is a LOT of fun. Cathe and her four backgrounders - including Cedie as a strawberry blonde, and Rhonda in a scrunchie with hair down almost to her waist - do a dynamic warmup, three step segments, and a cooldown/stretch. The workout is an hour long, with the three step sections totaling 47 minutes. Cathe does a perceived-exertion test between sections 1 and 2, and a heart-rate check between sections 2 and 3, but your heart should be pumping hard enough that marching in place while you do the tests will still keep you well into your fat-burning zone, or higher.

The music on this workout is a mix of instrumentals and vocals. All step sections are well-paced to the music, and Cathe teaches in blocks: you'll do four reps of a move, four of another, then she'll "reduce" to two of each. By stringing together enough mini-step combinations, eventually you'll end up with a longer finished pattern that you'll repeat 4-6 times before moving on. Cathe cues extremely well in this workout, and if you're familiar with her basic package of moves (horseshoe, knee repeater, over/face-in/over, diagonal over the step, insole up) you'll be ready to string the moves together into some fun patterns. There is a decent amount of impact in this workout, with jumps onto the step, hop turns and some "power" horseshoes among other moves, but you could do everything low impact. There are two moves during which I'm careful about my knees: "power" knees around the corner of the step, and one move when you're on the side of the short end of your step and need to do a power knee with quarter turn to get back into starting position behind the step.

I really like this workout for its choreography, fun (sometimes silly) music, good step combinations and excellent energy.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe cues very well in this workout. Her energy is infectious.