How to Get in Shape for Your Wedding

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Step Aerobics

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The set: very simple, wood floor, looks like a window in back...

The students: she has 4 girls doing the video with her... two of which do not appear skinny... nothing wrong with that... rare for exercise vids (except R. Simmons of course!) so that is inspiring in a way... since they all follow her almost effortlessly it seems.

Appearance: Cathe and her students DO perspire and their outfits look wet later in the workout...

Chattiness factor: Not much of it during the step portion, probably 'cause she's tired... but during the weight section she mentions wedding stuff a lot... and even honeymoon.... My DH walked in just as she was talking about that... and he turned around, eyes wide open... "DID she say 'Horny'?????"

Whooping factor: She whoops for a total of about 5 times in the first section and about 10 to 12 times in the second section... It is not distracting and it is not annoying... (One other tape I have by someone else, must've been 40 to 50 times of whooping and booms, and bams etc.)

The attire: one piece body suits, with lycra shorts... OK, dated.... but no leg warmers!!!

The music: Good beat, and many songs I recognise with
good beat.

The warmup: 10 minutes
She prepares you with 10 minutes of grapevines, basic stepping side steps and V steps.... and that's all she does for those 10 min... (very simple!)

The first step section: again basics, V-steps, L steps, repeaters, some power jumps, and rock horse (one foot on box, lift, one foot off box behind, lift) a lot of basic repetition...

The second step section: Contains T-steps, A steps, repeaters, lunges off the box, squats one foot on and one foot off the box, Power Jumps !!!, hops from one long end of box to the other end,, 4 times in a row, on numerous occasions... and intruduces the ricochet.... (the ricochet is where with one foot on box she jumps the other foot to opposite side of box) fun move...( but hard to learn for me!)
The second section has a lot of power moves... and will get you tired !!!!! I was perspiring !!!

Cool down and good stretch : 5 min

The Weight Workout: She tells you she is using 5 lbs but that you can use less if you are not used to it... even suggests 1 or 2 lbs.

Warmup: 8 min

weight moves progression:
squats (no weights)
lunges (no weights)
full arm side delts
upright rows
lat rows (one arm then other)
posterior delts
triceps dips off box
triceps kickbacks
pec work
then laying on floor side leg lifts...
outer thigh
inner thigh
cool down - 5min

This workout is very good for beginners and for intro to Cathe... the majority of the step section has a lot of repeat movements, which are easier to follow - no intricate choreography here.


The amount of power moves keeps the intermediate and advanced motivated and you get a good workout...

Instructor Comments:
Cathe has a reputation that precedes her... In this tape she already has the same figure of her newer tapes... thin and shapely....(It is supposed to be one of her first... or am I wrong?) which made me ask myself... Is she naturally that way??



This review is only for the step portion of the wedding tape.

I got this tape on the exchange because I wanted to break myself in to Cathe's step workouts, after having previously only using her strength workouts, except for Cardio Kicks. I'd heard over-and-over (no pun intended) that this was a good place to start. I am not dissappointed. This is an excellent basic Cathe step routine, fairly simple, anyone could catch on if they're familiar with step. It's a pretty intermediate routine if you keep it on the low side. You *can* make it more challenging easily by upping your step height and/or adding air to many of the moves (you will have plenty of opportunity). I really enjoy this workout and have been using it for about six weeks now. I held off for awhile after i got it, because I was a skeeredycat, but after doing it, I thought "THIS is what I was afraid of:)?? I mean that as in: It's exceptionally cued, it's exceptionally fun, it's exceptionally doable if you are new to Cathe step, easy to modify - - - ALL compliments!!!

Funny things: throughout the tape there are actual video clips from Cathe's wedding, which I find totally endearing. Also she does make quips here and there about looking good on the beach (presumably on your H'Moon) etc. but I found the quips totally benign and even kinda funny- I don't ever think she'd say that stuff in a tape she puts out these days (although who knows, right?).

The breakdown is : a decent warm up (9-12 mins?? guessing) section 1 30 mins about) section 2 (step turned toward tv vertically-about 15 min) and a cool down (5 min?), and stretch.

For me, now, this is a 'fun to do easier day' tape, and it is in regular rotation in that capacity for me now that my cardio capacity has improved so much (thanks in part to Cathe). You can make it easier for the days when you just kind of want to move around, but it's also a good cardio on those days where you want to work hard, you just aren't in the mood for Circuit Max or IMax.

Instructor Comments:
Love her.

Kathy Weller


This video is a bargain! It delivers nearly an hour of fun advanced-intermediate step aerobics, and one hour of intermediate strength training. The aerobic portion is moderate in choreography and contains lots of high impact moves, which can be modified, and she encourages you to do so if you choose to. The strength portion includes typical upper and lower body moves, as well as abs but it is Cathe herself which makes this tape so great--she is very encouraging and and really demonstrates impecable form. Don't be put off by the title of this tape. There are only a few short clips of Cathe's wedding--they are used as a segueway into different segments. She does chat about the wedding dress and the bathing suit on the honeymoon in an attept to motivate the viewer, and whether you're no where near getting married, or have already been married, it does motivate you to get in better shape. The music is also fun--disco type wedding music. I really can't say enough about this video or about Cathe as an instructor. I would rate this an A+!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is a master exercise video instructor--she cues flawlessly, demonstrates perfect form, and is very motivating. She is certainly one of the best video instructors out there, if not the best.



This video is a bargain! It delivers nearly an hour of fun advanced-intermediate step aerobics, and one hour of intermediate strength training. The aerobic portion is moderate in choreography and contains lots of high impact moves, which can be modified, and she encourages you to do so if you choose to. The strength portion includes typical upper and lower body moves, as well as abs but it is Cathe herself which makes this tape so great--she is very encouraging and and really demonstrates impecable form. Don't be put off by the title of this tape. There are only a few short clips of Cathe's wedding--they are used as a segueway into different segments. She does chat about the wedding dress and the bathing suit on the honeymoon in an attept to motivate the viewer, and whether you're no where near getting married, or have already been married, it does motivate you to get in better shape. The music is also fun--disco type wedding music. I really can't say enough about this video or about Cathe as an instructor. I would rate this an A+!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is a master exercise video instructor--she cues flawlessly, demonstrates perfect form, and is very motivating. She is certainly one of the best video instructors out there, if not the best.



There isn't anything wrong with this video, it just doesn't do much for me. While I found the toning section to be a little challenging, it was just the usual sort of moves I've been doing for years. Firm Standing Legs is tougher, and I think, better. Her form is great though and she does instruct on form. Aerobically, though, she really shines. The moves were challenging and full of energy. The turn-off was all the blather about dresses, and honeymoons and so on. I could've handled a clip or two of the wedding itself a lot easier if she had just stopped the crapola about the sleeves and waistlines. Now, I was getting ready for my wedding when I got this (a formal evening wedding) and I still didn't discuss the poopoos about it as much as she did. It really got frustrating and annoying. I did this video a few times and realized I just didn't enjoy it. Its difficult enough to fit exercise in to a busy schedule, I figure if I'm giving up something else I really enjoy (or really need to do) I'd better have a good time in my workout.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe seems nice, likable, and competent. She cues well and leads her gang with enthusiasm. She also has some crackers on hand to go with the slice of cheese she has with all those "nice nice" comments and the yack about wedding dresses, beach apparel and wedding vid clips. Also, I just couldn't get used to the way she called the step a "board." This is my first and only of her tapes. I did dig some of the moves so I will probably try one of her other tapes and see if I like it better.



This is actually two workouts in one: an intermediate/advanced level step workout, and an intermediate level body sculpting workout. Each is about an hour long, including warm up and cool down. The choreography for the step section is moderate, but still better than your average, run of the mill step video. Cathe breaks down the combos more than usual. She uses light weights for the sculpting, and makes a point to tell you that you can work your way up to heavier weights if you want since the reps are slow and controlled.

I liked this workout, but not enough to keep it. I have step workouts that are more fun (I have most of Cathe's other videos), and I have strength workouts that I enjoy more. But it's a great tape for those who consider themselves choreography-challenged, or for someone who wants to try a Cathe video for the first time. The wedding and banter and the video clips from Cathe's wedding were my favorite parts of the video--they were fun to watch (although after a while they might get tiresome).

Instructor Comments:
Cathe, as usual, cues well and demonstrates excellent form. She is a bit lighthearted in this video, due to the intent of the video. She also breaks the choreography down more than usual, since the target audience for this video is a bit different than for her other, more advanced videos.

Kristin Aziz


Don't let the hokey title turn you off -- this is really a good tape. You get two full workouts on one 2-hour (approx) tape, and as always, Cathe keeps you sweating and working.

Both sections have their own warmup and cooldown, so it's easy to do each one on different days if you want. If I have time, I just do it all at once.

The first part is step. I have to say I didn't really care for the warmup in this section. It seemed rather repetitive, and I didn't think the moves flowed all that well. But once that was out of the way, I really enjoyed the rest of it. The actual stepping is about 40 minutes. It starts off with basic moves, but then Cathe adds some power and starts putting the moves into routines, and then you start sweating. She then starts adding progressively more complex moves. I wouldn't really call any of the moves advanced -- except for the ricochet step -- but it is intense. The final routine will have you dripping.

The next section is strength training. It's not as complete as Cathe's Maximum Intensity Strength, but then again, what is?!? She does more reps than in MIS at a slightly faster tempo, so I use lighter weights for this. I used 8 lbs for most of it, and 10 lbs for a couple of things, and really worked my muscles. I don't get the "pump" I get from MIS, but I think that's just because you don't work any single muscle group to the extent that you do in MIS. That is not a negative comment -- sometimes MIS makes me feel like I'm going to die, and I need something like this on in-between days.

I didn't notice any whooping to speak of, at least not inappropriate whooping. In some of her earlier tapes, that got annoying. The music ranges from average to very good for my tastes. There is one country-sounding tune (in the warmup for the strength part) that I didn't care for. The wedding clips and comments don't bother me in the least. In fact, I like them -- I always like to hear and/or read about instructors and get a glimpse into what they're really like as a person, and this just shows more of Cathe's personality. With my embarassingly huge video collection, I'm sure I won't be doing this so often that I get bored with the clips/comments.

There is one part that makes me laugh, because I misinterpreted her at first, and every time I get to that section, I'm reminded of it. When she's doing the floor legwork, she talks about putting out your beach towels and suntan lotion around you to motivate you (thinking of how good you'll look at the beach). She says that her husband gets motivated when she puts on suntan lotion (I think she means she puts it on him). Then she says, "Now I'm getting corny." Well, the first time, I thought she said she was getting horny! So I have to chuckle now when I get to that part.

All in all, this video deserves an A. It's an excellent workout as well as an excellent bargain. The title would have to be a C- or D, though. Maybe Cathe could reissue this under a new name!

Annie S.


I received this video on the exchange (Thanks, Joyce!) and will begin with some lighthearted comments about the format.

I have been divorced for four years, so each time Cathe would make a comment about "Your wedding day" or "your gown", I couldn't help but remark to the tv: "Been there, done that!" I found the clips of her own wedding entertaining, but the comments about dress styles, mother-in-laws, honeymoons, bathing suits, etc., sent my dinner rising to my chest. I think I'll wait for the sequel video: "How to Get in Shape for Your Divorce", after you've gained all the weight you lost for your wedding day and then some!! (Actually, this really happened to me and I could have used a workout video with this name!) This is all in fun of course, and I do hope Cathe *never* has to make a tape with such a title!

This video contains two step segments, first with the step in horizontal approach, second in vertical approach. Both segments contain easy to follow moves which are used in previous tapes so anyone who follows Cathe regularly will have no problem getting a great workout on the first attempt. Despite being easy to follow, it's another killer Cathe production if you put everything into it. I liked it because I didn't have to think about learning the moves; I could just do them and really work hard.

The strength section is very different from MIS, targeting the muscles with high reps, low weights but there is definitely room for growth. There is also legs floorwork (isolation exercises), something that you don't get in MIS. I think Cathe did a great job designing this segment.

This video uses the same music as Step Jam and PowerMax but the songs are sequenced in a different order. I like the tape, and although I won't use it as much as her others it will certainly find a place in my rotation, but only on days when I'm feeling good about the male species and don't mind being subjected to gushy wedding video clips. :^)



I bought this video 4 months before I got married; it was actually the first Cathe F. video I bought and I've been hooked ever since. And I did get in pretty darned good shape for my wedding!

It's two 1-hour workouts in one, which makes it a great buy :-) . The step workout is less choreographed that her usual videos, but it's still pretty intense. The muscle conditioning is great, too--lots of room for options for slower reps/lighter weights for beginners, or heavier weights for advanced exercisers. People who aren't actually getting married might be irritated by the wedding gown and honeymoon talk, but if you can get past it, you'll get a good workout.

Instructor Comments:
Awesome, as usual.

Christine S.


This is an excellent tape, and under-appreciated. The tape has two parts: a step workout and a weight workout. Both are excellent.

The step section has good music, and relies on rather basic step moves. I enjoy this tape for days when I don't want to think about complex moves, but still want to work hard. I am able to increase the intensity to an advanced level by really lifting my knees, swinging my arms, etc. - i.e., making sure I use full range of motion on the steps. In addition, I do a lot of power moves with this tape, more than Cathe asks for. One unique thing about this step workout is how Cathe organizes everything. First section you learn a number of moves. Second section you put all of these moves together in a pattern. The third section is a "bun blaster" series similar to that in Mega Step Blast - very effective for getting your heart rate up. The cool down is probably my favorite of Cathe's cool downs (I am not big on the whole funky cool down idea. I just want to bring my heart rate down and stretch, period.)

The second workout is the weights workout. Being a user of the Firm for over six years, I didn't expect much from Cathe's workout. Surprize! Despite the fact that on its surface it looks easy, it is a terrific weights workout. Cathe pre-exhausts the muscles with a series of quick pumps or pulses, and then moves to the regular weight reps. I am not sure of the science behind that, but I do know that my muscles are always worked to fatigue with this tape! I use 5 lbs for much of it, 8 lbs for bigger muscle groups, and 5 lb ankle weights. The one thing I am not crazy about with this tape is the warm-up for the weight workout, so sometimes I will go for a short run (20 minutes or so), then skip the warmup and just do the weight workout. There is a final section of the tape for discussion of Met-rix. I wish Cathe hadn't included this, but at least it is not her leading the segment.

I did not expect to enjoy this tape as much as I do - it is definately one of my favorites, and I get a great advanced workout from it. At the same time, it is appropriate for intermediate exercisers and to people new to Cathe's tapes. One thing that does take getting used to is the wedding talk. I am already married, so it didn't apply. But I just substitute my own words over hers - getting ready for a particular summer dress, rather than a wedding dress. During the video clips from her wedding I get water. Some of the comments continue to amuse me, including her comments on mother in laws, pets, and this one great line "We've got work to do, girls!" There is one point in the weights workout where she overdoes the corny lines - even she acknowledges that. Overall, I would suggest that people try this tape (both workouts) at least three times before making an opinions. Once you realize how great a workout it is, it is easy to ignore all the wedding stuff.

Instructor Comments:
I always enjoy Cathe's tapes - she is a great instructor. Because her workouts are among the only I have found that challenge the advanced exerciser, I am more than willing to ignore the "whoops" and chatter. One of Cathe's strengths is that she recognizes that advanced workouts need to be FUN as well as challenging.



Though this isn't one of Cathe's most celebrated opuses, I expected better, but now I see why even her fans are trading this away. The concept doesn't bother me; hearing Cathe gush about weddings reminds me of how excited I was as a bride seven years ago. But when the chitchat is about the only thing I enjoy about a video, that's bad news indeed. First you do step ups, over and over. Then V steps over and over. Then L steps ("It's tricky, but you'll get it" she reassures us). Everything is so 1991. I don't mind basic steps if they're put together in creative combos with interesting music (examples: Step & Slide, CIA 6004, Fitness Formula). This tape had me watching the clock. I actually liked the sculpting workout better, minus the floor leg lifts, because Cathe goes slower than usual, and she tones down - somewhat - on the screaming and whooping. Cathe needs to learn that intermediate doesn't have to be boring. I give the sculpting a B, the step a B-.

Sue B


This is the seventh Cathe Friedrich video I've gotten and, until now, I've loved them all with the exception of Step Max which I liked (just didn't LOVE). However, this tape left me kind of cold. Partially, because I'm used to her complex choreography and this one is more basic. Therefore, it may be a good introduction to Cathe for those who have never tried her tapes. However, I also found Cathe herself to be somewhat irritating which really surprised me! All the cutesy wedding talk and her constant "Nice, Nice" comments really grated on me. (I'm really sorry, Cathe, usually I think you're super!).

The toning half of the video wasn't bad, but it doesn't compare to the FIRM or even Body Art for really making me feel like I got a great workout. Overall, this tape won't remain in my main rotation like all my other Cathe tapes.

Wow, usually I love Cathe and don't have any trouble tuning out the "whooping," but I really got tired of the constant talk of wedding dress styles, bathing suits for the honeymoon, mothers-in-law, hubbies, etc. I'm sure it's not bad if you really are planning your wedding, but it's not something I want to listen to regularly.

Amy Brier


This is my sixth Cathe video, even though it's older than most of my others. This is the video Cathe recommends for those new to her workouts, but it's very intense nonetheless. The combinations aren't as complicated as her newer videos, but I can't believe how intense the workout still is! It really kicked my butt! I don't know how she does it, but she always gives a great workout no matter if the moves are complex or simple. And when I get tired and want to rest, the music calls me back every time. I hear it and my body just has to move! The toning section really surprised me. I did it yesterday morning, and my entire upper body is killing me tonight! Maybe it's magic. It's not tough, just tremendously effective! Squats, lunges, dips, inner/outer thighs (I used a Dynaband for these)and upper body. This tape is going to wear out long before I get tired of it!

Joni O


Cathe's other new video, "How to Prepare for Your Wedding"is equally awesome. It has two sections - step and sculpt. The choreographyis a little more basic in the step section than the rest of her tapes,but no less intense. The last section has a blast of propulsion that willchallenge you and push you to your limit. The sculpting section is alsogood. I don't think Cathe has made a video that I didn't like.

Kathy Lapinski


I love Cathe Friederich, but the title of this video turned me off. I couldn't believe she would come out with this kind of title, but being a true fan, I purchased it and boy was I pleased. This tape is her longest yet. The first section is a 40 minutes step workout - very easy steps in the first section but very intense. Then, as in all her step tapes, her patterns progress and she does propulsion moves. She even has my favorite the "Ricochet" step in this tape. It is very challenging and intense. The second part of the tape is a toning workout. She does lots of squats, lunges with weights, good upper body workout with weights, lowerbody on the floor (you can add ankle weights), and an ab section - shortbut it works. This is a bargain - two workouts in one. I was so happy Igot this tape. All Cathe fans - HAVE FUN!!

maryann parker


Don't be put off by the title. I have been married 11 years, so I am not trying to get in shape for my wedding. However, you don't need to be preparing your wedding to enjoy this video. It was interesting to see the videos from Cathe's wedding interspersed throughout the video. After a warm-up there is about 35 minutes of step. I get the impression that this is less choreographed than her other videos, but you still get a great workout and it's fun too. The toning section, however, I admit to being a tad disappointed; there was nothing innovative, just the usual stuff such as squats, rows, leg lifts, stuff I have on a dozen other videos. But a good workout nonetheless. She recommends that the workout be done over 2 days with step one day, and toning the next. I did the whole tape without a break and that's the way I'll be doing it in the future; I have a tendancy to do two tapes at a time (when time permits) anyway, so this is like doing two tapes. Thats one of the big reasons I bought this tape. I'd rate the level as intermediate/advanced; probably not as hard as her others because it is meant to appeal to a larger audience. I'm glad I bought it.

Barbara Paola


I really enjoyed this video. I've had it for a while, but didn't end up trying it out until surgery reduced me to intermediate level (again). Naturally, it is nowhere near as intense as PowerMax onwards, but I still think this is a great workout! The choreography may be simple, but working out with Cathe is never boring. I also don't think that the wedding clips were a problem - there were nowhere near as many of them as some of the reviews led me to believe, and they are placed between segments so that they don't disrupt the workout. The toning section was surprisingly tough, and I am used to working out with heavy weights! Cathe pre-exhausts the muscle with pulsing reps, and then does full reps (up to 24 reps!), so this make it an endurance workout. There are only one or two exercises per muscle group, but that makes it manageable to exercise the whole body in one session (MIS this is not!). I think that I will be using the step portion quite a bit to get myself back to advanced level, and the toning portion is good for variety in my weight training routine.

Instructor Comments:
She's fun and motivating!

Serena Schlueter