Shock Cardio Core Circuit

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This 50.5-min. Cardio Core Circuit, part of the STS Shock Cardio system, focuses on high intensity cardio segments interspersed with core exercises.

The warm-up (5 min.) runs through lunges w/ arm reaches across the body, lunges back, outer thigh lift w/ arms back, wide knee lifts w/ press down, elbow to knee, repeater knee, double touch back lunge, double side lunge w/ punch down, single side lunge w/ punch on the corner (also called jab), single side lunge w/ hook, tap & reach, side leg lift & travel - lift & go, step touch w/ block arm, calf pump w/ double time block arm, calf pump w/ arms up, boxerís shuffle, jab in boxerís shuffle moving back & jacks, jacks, tap side w/ arm reach overhead, lunge out to the side (otherwise known as a squat), and single reverse lunge.

The main body of the workout (39 min.) consists of 5 circuits, each of which are further subdivided into 3 sets of cardio drill moves, run through twice, followed by 1 core exercise. Cathe seems to do many of the cardio drills in 4 sets of 8. After each drill you march in place for a few seconds before moving onto the next; Cathe includes some longer breaks, usually before the core segment or while explaining variations on upcoming moves. The rounds break down as follows:
Round 1 (6 min.): squat digs (w/ heels lifted Ė the motion resembles hopping while skiing), mountain climbers w/ toes toward opposite hand, lateral jumps side to side (yes, she said that) w/ arm pull down; knee ins (v sit into hovering w/ head and legs just off of the floor).
Round 2 (7.5 min.): 2 jumps forward into squat thrust push-up w/ turning jacks, sumo squats side to side, lateral slides; triangle chokeholds
Round 3 (6.5 min.): air jacks, 3 scoots into knee - leg side - knee, split jumps (3 & then switch); butterfly sit-ups
Round 4 (9.5 min.): 3 double leg lateral jumps over mat & low tuck - jog around the mat, grounded switches (180 degree squat jumps w/ reach down), squat drop & roll (or 4 jacks & 2 plyo jacks); cross-body push-ups
Round 5 (9.5 min.): standing T jumps (alternating sides), double hops around the mat - high jogs, straight high kicks; roll back into push-up

The cool-down/stretch (6.5 min.) begins with a few marches in place as Cathe tells you to go cool down on your own and come back for the stretch when your heartrate is down. (Why she didnít spend even just 2 minutes with a proper cool-down, chaptering it so those who didnít need it could skip it, is beyond me.)
The stretch begins standing, with althetic stretches for the calf, hip flexor, hamstring, and low back before moving to the mat for more low back & abs (cat & cow), more calf & hamstring (down dog), even more low back (childís pose), abs / front of the torso (upward dog), spine (seated twist), even more low back & glutes (seated forward bend over crossed legs), inner thighs (seated wide angle / straddle w/ forward bend), chest, upper back, and ending with some Tai Chi-like arm movements before giving yourself a hug. Cathe doesnít hold stretches for a very long time, but itís just enough to feel the stretch and start undoing some of the tension.

Level: Iíd recommend this to advanced exercisers who feel comfortable with high impact (or at least modifying such moves). Cathe demonstrates a few modifications and mentions a few others, but most of them are more for people who prefer to avoid the rolling on the back rather than for those who want to lower the amount of high impact move or who are significantly less advanced.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced exerciser, although Iím more of an intermediate plus when it comes to this type of workout, which I just donít normally do (mainly because I just have other things I prefer to do for cardio). Iím a dabbler in Catheís workouts and donít have many of her cardio videos; Iíve never tried Drill Max or the IMaxes. I found this workout beyond my current level of fitness, even heavily modified down (which involved taking out some hops / jumps, going at my own speed, etc.). My average heart rate for the entire workout, including warm-up and cool-down/stretch, was 80% of my max, and I hit and exceeded 90% of my max several times; thatís an intensity Iím just not used to working with. In fact, I donít remember ever attempting a cardio-based workout so difficult for me. Iím fine with modifying and substituting - I donít often do workouts 100% as presented - but the fact that I had to modify or substitute almost every single move is a good sign this one isnít for me. (Know that out of the Shock Cardio selection Iíve found MMA Kickbox, MMA Boxing, and Step Moves more my speed; those are the workouts constantly singled out by long-time Catheletes and advanced exercisers as being too easy, so that should give you a good indication of how these shake out relative to my fitness level and perhaps your own.)

Class: Cedie, Brenda, Deazie, and Lorraine join Cathe.

Music: courtesy of DJ Brian Howe, itís upbeat, mostly instrumental stuff with a strong beat; there was at least one recognizable 80s song in there. Itís all right; it could be better, but it could be a lot worse.

Set: bright interior studio with ďwindowsĒ featuring views of NYC rooftops and Cathe-labeled racks of dumbbells neatly placed around the outside walls.

Production: clear picture and sound, with Catheís voice clearly audible over the music. Greg Twombly is the producer, so the camera angles are what youíve come to expect from his work and are helpful rather than distracting.

Equipment: a mat (depending upon your workout space floor). Oh, and good sneakers, a supportive jog bra, and flooring that supports high impact are musts.

Space Requirements: I put down 6 puzzle mats to form a 4í x 6í space, which was adequate for almost all of the moves, as long as I shortened them up, except for the jogging around. You can certainly take up more space if you have it.

DVD Notes: The main menu options are Introduction, Play, Chapters (Warm-up; for each Round: Cardio Drill 1, Cardio Drill 2, Cardio Drill 3, Repeat Cardio Drills 1, 2, and 3, and Functional Core Strength; and Cool-Down/Stretch), Premixes (Cardio Drills only, 43 min.; Express Circuit, 34 min.; and Functional Core Only, 7 min.), and Credits.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe focuses on motivating here. The only part where her cuing really comes into play is the warm-up, really, where she cues on the move change; during the drills she announces the move beforehand and then might do some countdowns. She mentions the core several times in an obvious nod to the workoutís title. She seems a little quiet and down to business here in relation to some of her other videos, but considering how hard she and the crew are working thatís understandable!