Body Blast: Step Blast

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Step Aerobics

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I previously reviewed this back in 2004, but after reading my review, I thought a couple of comments were warranted this many years later.

This workout turned into one of my favorite step tapes. I HATED this workout at first, not because it was a bad workout but because I was not good at Cathe's choreography. I'm still not great at choreography, but now can pick up almost anything Cathe puts out with little trouble. So basically, I don't think I gave this workout enough of a chance when I originally reviewed it. Once you master it, it is an advanced level challenge that Cathe fans will love.



I really like the choreography in the workout but HATE the music! I can't bring myself to get rid of it, I still pull it out once in awhile but cannot get past that music these days. I forced myself to do it at first because I like the routine so much but after a few weeks the music drove me nuts. I wanted to kick the TV!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is great as usual, just wish her choices in music were better



I've done about 10 of Cathe's step routines and this was the "danciest" of all. Also, the most choreographically challenging. At the end she ties the whole thing together about three times and does blasts in between. I didn't find it much different than PowerMax or StepWorks. Maybe a bit more dancy. I give it a B+, but that my change as soon as I get the moves down and can add the arm movements and more power.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe's her usual self in this workout. Her cuing annoyed me a bit because she announces the move as she's doing them so if you're depending on it as we all must the first couple of times, it's useless. I.e., she's practically on the other side of the step as she says "richochet" which, by the way, is my very hardest move to learn. But other than her cueing, she's her usual, upbeat self.

Denise Berger


I thought I had written a review of this workout. With all the use it gets, I SHOULD have written a review of it. I am correcting my oversight now.
This workout is just about perfect. Great workout music and great choreography adds up to great fun. If you like pivots, shuffling around the step, around the worlds and high intensity this is the workout for you. Really, I am always surprised just how intense this workout is --it is one of the few non IMax workouts that I do on an 6" rather than 8" step. I guess I am surprised because it is one of her more complex workouts, and her higher intensity workouts tend to be less complex (by Cathe standards).
This is my favorite step workout by Cathe and, in my opinion, will be a hard one for her to top.



I was a little afraid of this video as it has a reputation of being one of Cathe's hardest in terms of complex choreography. To my surprise, I actually got through the whole thing without having to rewind once. While the moves are a bit dancey with a lot of mambos, cha chas and pivots, she breaks them down efficiently enough so that it was easy for me to do and to remember.

The Step Blast Challenge puts all four combos together with "blast" sequences -- high impact drills -- in between sequences. This was fun and really got up the intensity level. It wasn't up to IMAX intensity, but good enough where my legs really felt it at the end.

As with all of Cathe's recent DVDs, I love the music. There's some notable 80's songs like "Video Killed the Radio Star", "1999", etc.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is very cheerful and expert in her cueing.

Lady D


Fun, fun, fun! I am an intermediate exerciser working on learning more complex choreography. Before the last six months I wouldn’t have dared to even try this workout. I like the way Cathe teaches this so that you learn a first, second and then third combo and each combo increases in complexity. I enjoyed learning the new (to me) choreography and was able to get through it fairly well. The first time I had the most trouble with the segment that has the ricochets—I was always ending up on the wrong leg. It didn’t affect my workout really, but I was telling myself, ‘darn it, you’re on the wrong leg again!’ The second time it was the fast foot repeaters that tripped me up—I was always starting and ending on the wrong side of the step. I also liked that the first three combos were fairly steady state aerobics with no intervals or blasts and not a huge amount of high impact. By the time we got to the blasts in the last segment, I knew the choreography well enough to get through it and go all out on the blasts and high impact moves. I enjoyed the music, too, but don’t always notice it unless I really dislike it.

Karen (Rhae)


I'm a big Cathe fan and I have most of her videos. The choreography on this video is much more complex than I usually like, but I have a great time doing it. Even though I'm not very coordinated, I was able to get all the moves after only doing the video a few times because I am so used to Cathe and her cuing. Once you get all the steps, it's intense! The moves and the music are so much fun that it's easy to put some energy into doing the workout. I forget how hard I'm working until the end, when I can hardly feel my poor, tired legs anymore. This is my new favorite step workout.

Erin G.


I really love Cathe and was really disappointed in this workout. It seems over time that her emphasis is shifting from providing an intense workout, to dancy choreography. I *really* hate dancy stuff, so this wasn't for me. All the turning, pivoting, shuffling and mamboing is just too much for me personally.



First Impressions: I like this one, and I
didn't pick up all the choreo right away,
so I'll be able to grow a little with it. I
only did the main step section (no
challenge/blasts) the first time -- I was
feeling a bit tired so I decided to cut it
short. I did pause the DVD and repeat
combo 3 several times on my own at a
slightly slower pace so I could get it. I
could do the fast foot repeater when
she was teaching it, but once it was in
the combo I had trouble and needed
some practice.

I think the intensity level is pretty good
-- high if you include the power moves
and give it your all, but modifiable to a
lower intensity by leaving out some of
the power stuff and skipping the blasts.
Once I know the choreo well, I intend
to sometimes do a timesaver version of
this one using the warmup, challenge,
blasts and cooldown/stretch only.

Overall, I liked the music in this one
(and "1999" didn't bother me during
the workout as much as I thought it
would). Remakes of recognizable 80s
& 90s (and maybe a couple 70s)
songs. I think Cathe actually may have
a list of the songs on her web site.

There are things I really have to "think"
about with the choreo until they begin
to come naturally: 1) remembering
which foot to use to step out of the
"slam on the corners" move; 2)
remembering which foot leads in the
double ricochet; and 3) remembering
to only do two toe taps during the fast
foot repeater (I want to keep going like
in Imax 2!).

Final Verdict: This is still one of my
step favorites. I never did master that
"slam the corner" move in the first
combo, so I always modify to a side-up
type of move instead. I really wish the
choreo in that spot would flow a little
better, but I can work around it. Other
than that, the choreography is
interesting and complex, but still very

I do enjoy the challenge/blasts section,
although I haven't used it quite as
much as I thought I would. I absolutely
love having that option on DVD to do
the finished combos and skip the
learning phase.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe's cueing in this one is pretty
consistent with what we've come to
expect from her -- right on the ball. If
you're used to Christi Taylor's cueing,
though, Cathe's may seem a little late
by comparison. But the timing is just
right for me.

Lynne Lounsbury


This is my current favorite cardio step workout. The choreography is complex enough to be fun, yet it's not sooo complicated you can't get your head around it. I did have to preview it and take extra time to learn it, I would expect this from Cathe. The music is fantastic, it makes the time fly by. She runs through the routine building bit by bit, until at the end, where you do the whole thing sandwiched between some really intense "blasts" of plyo jacks, air jacks, etc. Really, really tough, and worth every minute of it. I highly recommend this one. The dvd is coupled with Step Jump & Pump, I mix them up choosing pieces from each from time to time. It's worth the extra $. FYI: I am 30 years old, an Int/adv exerciser, I have between 30 and 40 videos.

Instructor Comments:
I like Cathe. She is cheerful, but not to the point of getting on your nerves. She is extremely fit and therefore an inspiration to workout with.

Heather Maples


I'm not sure what I expected from this workout, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the warmup song and the fact that it actually gave me a chance to warmup. I find this very important in the morning when I am barely awake, so I prefer warmups that start out slow.

I used the music louder option, which was really nice, although there was a lot of filler music, not quite the Top Ten blast she promised. Fast Car didn't bother me; it's still a rock song.

I loved combo one and actually harbored a small hope at that time that there actually might not be any lunges in this workout (a hope dashed in combo 2, but they were short and she didn't make me do them endlessly). I actually think Cathe breaks down the workout much less in this video than any other -- the total time is only 54 minutes, and the warmup and blast eat up more than 20 of that, which means she's taking about 11 minutes per combo, as opposed to 12-14-12 in Rhythmic Step and longer in earlier workouts. I think it shows. She may repeat each move a couple of times, but I found she put them together much more quickly than in the past.

When the step blasts came, I was ready for them and I think they helped break up the workout very nicely; I think the time flew by and I never say that for Cathe cardio (granted, this was the first time through). I liked the blasts and was happy they weren't identical to some IMax2 intervals. I think any combo plus the blast would make great short cardio.

Finally, I think that Cathe has really hit her stride with choreography in this workout. Even though there was nothing really new, it was a nice mix of fun and athletic and the moves really flow well together. The first time I did Rhythmic Step, I could never remember what move came next, because they didn't flow. I had no trouble with this at all; the choreo seemed to follow logically. I also think this is her most complicated choreo to date. Let me clarify: I don't consider a move like step-hop-repeater complicated. I think choreo gets complex when you add moves in quick succession, along with turns etc. That's when you really need to be coordinated.

Bottom line: This is my favorite Cathe step tape. Keep in mind that's probably pretty mid-range on a continuum of all step tapes, but I think it's a good workout with a higher fun factor than any of her other step tapes.

Donna Kahwaty


I had to write a review because I finished this workout and love it. Time just flew by with great choreography and music. And the end is similiar to the 2nd step section of Step Works where she puts it all together at the end but instead of repeating the entire workout 3 times back to back like in her Rhythmic Step workout, she puts 3 blasts in between. Blasts similiar to her Imax 1 and 2 workouts. You can always always modify. The end stretch is the BEST! The music is so great. The only song I can remember right now is "1999" song by Prince. This is my favorite Cathe step workout. Well, until she comes out with a new one. She just keeps better and better! Your cardio level is really challenged with this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe introduces some fun new choreography. Some old moves she changes with a new twist. She does a good job with cueing although sometimes its a little quick, I was able to get the workout on the first try.