IMax 2

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Step Aerobics

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Here it is, 9 years after this workout was released and about 5 or 6 since the first time I did it and I'm just getting around to reviewing it now. At least we'll have a "today" perspective on it :)

This workout, from beginning to end, screams fun. This is Cathe at her absolute best, IMO, creating fun and challenging step routines. The workout has 10 intervals which get progressively harder as the workout goes on. The pattern is a step routine repeated 3 times on each side, followed by an interval blast, then a quick recovery before moving onto the next one. The music in this workout is fun and recognizable, I can say I never thought Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head" or the pina colada song would make great workout music, but IMO, they are perfect! The music has a nice mix of recognizable hits in it. Even the stretch is fantastic, it has a slight yoga-ish feel to it, is relaxing and well-deserved after you've completed this challenge. I LOVE this workout and can't recommend it highly enough. It's a cardio challenge for sure, but you will feel great when you're done!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is fun, genuine and happy go lucky-ish in this one, and even does a little "happy dance" at the end.



I finally have started doing the legendary Cathe IMAX videos. I really enjoy doing this one, even with all of the strenuous work. I love how Cathe works the music so well into her workouts. Definitely one I'll be doing often!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe has very clean cuing and is very enthusiastic in this video.

Lady D


Iíve had IMAX2 for about a year now, and I have used it many times. I had never tried any of Catheís workouts before this year and I have to say that I am in love. In the past I exclusively used The Firm workouts from the originals up to BSS2 and the original FitPrimes. I just really believed that they would give me the best possible workout I could get at home. I always got pretty good muscle gains from these workouts, but I never truly lost much weight unless I supplemented with extra cardio like bike riding outdoors, spinning, or running. Then one day I stumbled on Cathe and this website...

This workout is just great. I feel stronger and more peppy after I complete it. I like that it is split up into ten segments that include a simple step routine and a little power blast to kick up that heart rate. The music is also good. I always thought the Firm music was a bit stupid so I learned to zone it out. How different it is to actually do a workout where you enjoy what tunes are playing! And because of my workout video past, I had never experienced whooping exercisers, but Cedieís whoops donít bother me at all. In fact, I think I like it! I feel like they are working as hard as I am and enjoying the workout as much as I am! Why not yelp out a happy cheer after a particularly tough segment? Yep. This workout is fantastic. I always feel outstanding after I finish it, and if my little bambino were not fast asleep in the next room I would probably shout out some happy sounds too.

Instructor Comments:
The reason I like the Cathe workouts that I currently own is because Iíve found some home exercises that really challenge me. They are just what I need right now. And Cathe is so different from the Firm and FitPrime instructors. She just seems more real to me, and she seems that sheís really pushing herself as much as I am. I was growing tired of the plastic look of the people in the original Firm workouts. Sure, Iíll go back to them from time to time for nostalgic reasons, but Iíll turn to Cathe when Iím looking to kick my routine up several notches.

Tracy (Lulu Belle)


Interval Max II is somewhat of a miracle - a super intense, TOUGH interval tape is thoroughly enjoyable and moves quickly! Interval Max (the original) is the toughest interval workout I've ever done. I like it, but a lot of people have commented that it isn't fun - the intervals are too repetative and the music is too faint. Well, Cathe tailored IMax II just for you! The music is wonderful. Right from the warm-up, you're ready to go and motivated. Cathe throws some familiar moves into the warm up like the Flying Angels from Step Fit! Next come the intervals! 10 of them. As opposed to the first Imax, which tended to alternate tough intervals with 'easier' ones right from the get go, Imax II is somewhat easier at first, but after the 4th interval, look out! There are just as many tough intervals in this one as there are in the 1st one, and the step is incorporated a lot more, so you can up your step height (while still staying safe, of course) and really challenge yourself! Interval 9 is probably the toughest - straddle hops (just like power hops from Cardio Kicks), jump twice, 2 jacks, then 8 plie jacks and start the whole thing over doing it a total of 6x's. It is hard, but so empowering when you're done. And the song playing during this interval is "Pina Colada"! Cathe has paid so much attention to detail this time around, music, brevity, fun choreography, it is all here. A+ yet again!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is the best; personable, in tip top shape and someone who won't get on your nerves as she's telling you what to do at 5:00 a.m. (the time I workout).



Right now, I am forcing myself not to do this video every other day. It is that fun.
For those of you who didn't think interval workouts could be fun, this is the video for you.
Now, I know some love the first IMax. I have never been one of those people. Mostly, I like IMax when I am done. On the other hand, I love Imax 2 during and after the workout.
What is so great about it?:
The warm up- it gets you warmed up, but it is not too long.
The music- Cathe has chosen songs that fit the choreography perfectly. The familiar songs are new versions that work well for aerobics and make the song fresh.
The choreography- all the step combos are fun. Some are simple, some more complex. There are lots of around the worlds, backwards skips, long hope steps, and other fun moves.
The actual intervals- I like the fact that Cathe varies the length of these. They also vary more in difficulty than did those on the original IMax. I find the Sumo squats, power hops, and ski jumps the most difficult. I feel this workout in my butt and hamstrings the next day!

Okay, now for one little quibble. I do not think the genie hops (on one foot) are the best choice for an interval, especially the longest one. It just does not seem to be a good idea to hop on one foot over and over again. I think anyone doing this workout should modify this interval or skip it.

If that interval was not there (and perhaps if "The Pina Colada Song" had not been used) I would say this is the perfect workout. As is, it still comes pretty darn close.



This is one of my favorite videos. It was just plain fun. After a warmup/stretch, you go through 10's set up like IMAX, but I must say I find this to be more fun. Maybe beacuse it's new or the music is better or the moves are different.

Each cycle involves 6 repetitions of a fairly simple mini-routine. If you're familiar with Cathe, you shouldn't have any trouble. Then you do the interval (tough!) then a short cooldown. I found by cycle 8 or 9, I was messing up because I was so tired!

This is a great, intense workout!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is great! She's motivating + great at cuing.



This review refers to the DVD version of Imax2, an interval workout very similar to Interval Max. The workout includes 10 cycles of short step combos (each repeated 6 times), anaerobic intervals and recovery moves.

I've only done this video once but already ike it much more than Interval Max. I found IM to be very challenging (which I like) but hard to tolerate--it always seemed much longer than 40 minutes.

In Imax2, the step combos contain simple moves (most from her old videos) and cycle 6 times before heading into the anaerobic intervals. These are just as intense as in IM but much more bearable--instead of repeating the same plyo-jack or -lunge a bazillion times, Cathe has added more variety so you're not doing the same thing for the length of the interval. As in IM, the anaerobic moves include ploy-jacks, air jacks, squat jumps, power hops and other jello-leg moves. In one interval she does slow one-legged hops that started off easy and then became decidedly painful. I ended up on the other side of the room (but didn't fall over, unbelievably). My cats, however, left the room at that point and hid under the bed.

The first half of the workout is easier than the second half--the 9th anaerobic interval being a killer with power hops (which I've always hated). The final stretch is too short for me, but it usually is in most videos.

Overall, an A+. The workout was challenging but fun and her new music adds an excitement that I haven't felt in her previous videos. The DVD also has a pre-mixed version of the workout (with the intervals changed around) or you can mix & match your own workout if your DVD player has that capability. I could easily spend all day programming workouts with the entire Intensity series and I sincerely hope I don't neglect other important areas of my life (such as actually DOING the workouts).

Instructor Comments:
Cathe seems more lighthearted than usual in this series. Her cueing is excellent, as always, and her enthusiasm makes the workout just a little bit easier.