Cardio Fusion

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Step Aerobics

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Cardio Fusion is a compilation DVD of the cardio portions of Cathe’s “Sash Series” workouts. It was provided as a free “surprise gift” to people who pre-ordered this series, because Cathe injured her knee and the workouts took an unusually long time to film. Now it’s sold separately, like any of Cathe’s other DVDs.

The main workout runs about 73 minutes. I fell in love with it the first time I did it, and it’s stood the test of time for me. These days, I usually do the “All Step Cardio” premix because, at 48 minutes, it’s just the right length.

The Workout

The workout consists of the warm up from Body Max 2 (BM2) (9.5 min), the BM2 finished product step combos (6 min), the “bonus step” combo from Low Impact Challenge (LIC) (11 min), the 4 “power circuits” from BM2 (15.5 min), and all of the cardio drills from Drill Max (DM) (25.5 min). The workout ends with a card telling you to cool down on your own, followed by a 6 minute stretch from BM2. Each of these sections is separately chaptered so that you can easily skip the portions you don’t want to do.

The DVD also contains 3 premixes. These are:

All Step Cardio (48 min) - no DM
Mixed Cardio (41.5 min) - BM2 warm up, DM drills, BM2 stretch
Mix and Match (80 min) - main workout reordered, with the BM2 step combos performed twice

What I Liked / Didn’t Like

This is one of my favorite Cathe cardio workouts. The energy level is high, and the choreography is interesting. The steady state step portion is fairly dance-y; there are mambos, cha chas, V steps over step, a Charleston kick, etc. I also liked most of the music, which includes Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cindy Lauper) and I’m a Man (Spencer Davis Group), among others. Cathe and crew are having a good time, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

There are only three things I’d change about this DVD if I had the chance:

1. I’m not a big fan of cooling down on my own. It would have been easy for Cathe to add a minute or two of light cardio, but she didn’t.

2. There is a LOT of DM in this. I’d have preferred another combo or two from LIC instead of all of the DM drills.

3. It would have been nice to have had a 60 minute premix.

On balance, though, these are minor quibbles. This DVD has several wonderful cardio workouts, and I’ll continue to do them for years to come.

Things to Consider

A previous reviewer was disappointed in Cardio Fusion because it contained footage from only the Sash Series. While I agree that it would have been great to have a “Greatest Hits” DVD using the workouts she suggested, I don’t think that was Cathe’s intention. Instead, I think Cathe simply wanted to create an all-cardio DVD from the Sash Series workouts, so you should know that's what to expect going in.

I’d rate the level of this DVD at the high intermediate to advanced level, partly because of the length and intensity, and partly because of the complexity of the step choreography. Because Cathe doesn’t break down the BM2 step portion, you’ll either need to have some familiarity with Cathe’s cueing style (and/or be good at picking up cues in general) or have BM2, which teaches the combos.

Also, while I think Cathe’s cueing in general is good, she doesn’t cue every move. For example, she tells you to do a reverse V in the BM2 finished product section but doesn’t tell you to step off the back of the step; I haven't done this workout in awhile and that tripped me up. There are several areas like this, where an extra word or two could have made all the difference.

There is quite a bit of impact in the BM2 blasts (plyos, air jacks, jump ups), as well as one move with a lot of torque (power turns using the step). These moves can be modified, but you’ll have to modify a lot!

Finally, if you like this DVD, it’s a good intro to the other DVDs in the Sash Series. The step portion of LIC is one of my favorite step workouts of all time, and Cardio Fusion only gives 11 minutes of it. Therefore, I wouldn’t say that this DVD replaces the other Sash Series workouts; rather, it just supplements them in a nice way.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is at her energetic best in this one. She is having fun, and she wants you to have fun too.



I am an advanced exerciser and the harder a workout is, the more I like it. That being said, I was very disappointed with Cardio Fusion but NOT because it wasn't hard. It was hard, but I really expected, and thought it should be bits and pieces of all her best cardio. Instead, there were a few seg's from Body Max 2, One Combo from Low Impact Circuit and the entire rest of the workout was 6 drills from Drill Max. I have Drill Max and I felt like there was just way too much of it in this video. If I wanted to do that much of Drill Max, I"d just do the video. She starts out doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that so I was loving the variety and thought I was in for a big treat but the entire second half of the workout was straight Drill Max drills and although they were hard - like I said before, I might as well have just done DrillMax. This would have been sooo much better if she would've taken the best (or maybe hardest)cardio portions of her latest videos, i.e, Imax 2 & 3, BodyMax 2, L.I.C., Cardio & Weights, Kickmax AND Drillmax. Then I feel this would have been REAL Cardio Fusion! That would've been so much better. I did however, get a good workout and was pooped at the end!

Instructor Comments:
This was bits and pieces of all different workouts so there's really no way to describe how she was in this workout, but we all know Cathe is wonderful so suffice it to say she was wonderful in this one too.

Denise Berger