High Step Training

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Step Aerobics

Other reviewers have already provided a break-down of this workout. I just wanted to add comments for those advanced Cathe-ites who want to know the differences between this workout and Cathe's previous workouts. Do you need to add this one to your collection if you already have Cathe's other workouts? Probably not.

I think the strength-training sections of this workout closely resemble Cathe's Supersets & Push/Pull workouts. The cardio is high-impact simple choreography and it reminded me of many of the cardio segments in Boot Camp or MIC done in a condensed manner.

I have to admit I didn't do the lower body exercises in this routine (sorry, it was upper body day for me!). But it consisted of 5 sets of leg presses on a 14" step (!) and variations of the squat. Cathe does do static lunges in compound exercises with some overhead tricep presses and hammer curls.

Things I liked about HSTA:
I liked some of the exercises such as the side-lying side lateral shoulder raises (more comfortable done on a stability ball), the decline push-ups, and the tricep push-ups on the High Step.

Things I didn't like:
The sequence of strength exercises was backwards, progressing from small to larger muscle groups: triceps -> shoulders -> biceps -> back -> chest. There's no ab/core work.

I didn't care much for the high-impact plyo jumps. I thought an 8" step was too high for the tempo and I used a 6" step. The one-armed tricep dips were hard to do properly. I think I could have used more form pointers on that exercise.

I didn't like the cross-over push-ups done on the step as it strained my shoulders, so I did them on the floor. This is partially because the shoulders are so fatigued by the time you get to chest.

There's not enough back work to make it a balanced workout: only two exercises for back.

The music (PowerMixes) was unimaginative, a step backwards from Power Hour or the Body Blast and Intensity Series. It was more like MIS meets Dynamix.

Overall HSTA is a circuit workout that resembles Cardio + Weights or Bootcamp, with tons of leg presses and high-impact step. In my opinion the minuses in this workout outweighed the pluses and it's not a necessary addition to your collection if you already own Cathe's other circuit workouts (Cardio + Weights, Bootcamp) or her Supersets/Push-Pull workouts.

It's probably a nice progression for those new to Cathe who have purchased the High Step and are ready to move up from the other High Step beginner workouts.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is her usual professional perky self in this workout. Her form pointers are very good.

I did find that some of her cueing in the cardio segments was late - cued right when you started the move or after. Since the step choreography is so simple this is not likely to be a huge problem.

Dawn P