Low Impact Step plus Total Body Sculpting DVD

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Step Aerobics , Total Body Workouts

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Low Impact Step was probably created by Cathe in answer to pleas from many fans to create a low impact workout. It is not truly a beginner workout as is Basic Step. There is a little more choreography and it is a little more intense than that workout.
The workout begins with a short warm up and there is more choreography than I expected. She has you moving all around the step from the start. There are some brief stretches that are more dynamic in nature.
The actual workout is divided into two sections with two combinations being taught in each section. You do not combine both combinations at the end. Once you learn one and run through it a few times, it is done. The set up is very similar to Kari Anderson's Go, but there is definitely more choreography here. As in Go, the second section is more intense. Unlike Go, each segment has a short "intensity blast" following it. These are not nearly as intense as those you might be familiar with from other workouts and they are all low impact.
Cathe's combinations include triples around the steps, kicks on the corner, around the worlds, cha chas and mambos, and pendulums across the step among other moves. If you are familiar with Cathe's choreography, the workout will be a cinch for you to pick up. I did not feel that Cathe spent a large amount of time breaking down the moves. To me, the teaching seemed minimal. I felt she teaches more in some of her more advanced workouts. For a true beginner, the workout would probably be a little confusing, but doable with some practice. The short length also helps to make it more appropriate for a beginner.
The second intensity blast which is a series of leg abductions and torso twists with your leg on/ off the side of the step. It is more intense than the first. I would have preferred more choreography rather than these blasts, but they are not too long and do get the heart rate up a little more.
The workout clocks in at 37 minutes including cool down and stretch. The first aerobic segment is shorter than the second. In fact, it is only 7 minutes long. The second aerobic segment is about 12 minutes long. With intensity blasts, the aerobic body of the workout is appoximately 28 minutes long.
There is a short strength program too. I have not done it. It looks decent, but nothing about it really stands out. It uses the stability ball for all the exercises. One thing that is nice about it is that it is a total body workout that can be completed in 25 minutes (with warm up). I find most of Cathe's strength workouts are much longer than I care to do.
The music is instrumental. I think it gets better as the workout progresses. Some songs have a techno feel to them.
The set is god-awful. Lots of "classical antiquity" statuary and the obiquitous fake plants.
The workout is reminiscent of Rhythmic Step, but less complex and less intense.

Instructor Comments:



Low Impact Step is 37 minutes including a 5 minute warmup and a short cooldown/stretch. The set seemed brighter than it did in the Hardcores, the music was loud enough though not particularly memorable. Cathe's cuing is much better than it has been in other recent releases. I enjoy complex choreography; complexity was not very difficult but not beginner. She does a pendulum across the step and a drop squat into a pendulum; these might be a little tricky for beginners. This would be a good bridge to her more complex step workouts. There were a couple of intensity blasts thrown in between the step combos. My fitness level is intermediate and I felt like I got a decent workout. It is easier than Low Max in terms of both choreography and intensity.

Total Body Sculpting: Strength work is not my favorite and I felt like I got a pretty good total body strength workout in under 30 minutes. I enjoy using my stability ball and I'm glad that I have another strength workout that incorporates the ball. I recently traded for the Core Secrets 25 minute total body workout and I like it but I enjoyed Cathe's even more. It is very easy to modify up; e.g. next time I will use a medicine ball while doing squats, lunges and abs. I am really happy to have this in my lineup; it's hard to find good short total body workouts.

I am very happy with this purchase. The premixes on the step and strength dvd include a long circuit workout which I am anxious to try. I consider this one a great value and I think I will use it a lot more than my other Cathes because I'm just not in good enough shape and not motivated enough to do the killer Cathe workouts these days. I think if you are a lover of intense/advanced Cathe, you might be disappointed in these though.

Instructor Comments:



on the 'low impact step & total body sculpting' disc there are 2
workouts: low impact step which is 40 minutes long. and total body
sculpting which is 27 minutes long. there are also 3 premixes provided...
cardio and weight circuit for 70 mins, solid sculpting for 45 mins, and lower body cardio blast for 49 mins. this review pertains to the cardio & weights circuit premix in particular.

cathe looks and sounds great, her cueing while stepping is not for the absolute beginner though as she often cues right on a new move (without giving warning that it is coming up -- although at times she does cue just fine) and she doesn't break down every single move and give a bunch of practice before moving on. this will help to prevent getting bored with the workout and is just fine with me. if one really wants to start at the beginning with cathe then get her 'basic step & body fusion' dvd which is great for a beginner and beyond. then get this dvd after you have mastered that one.

cathe uses the small home-sized step for this workout...this dvd is meant to be sold in target stores along with this particular step so the workout is really a promotion for the step itself. i used my normal club-sized step and it was fine although i had to move faster on crossing over the step length-wise and on a few other instances. but there is no need to have the smaller step that they use in the workouts if you already have a bigger sized one.

the circuit workout starts out with a warmup on the step and then the first aerobic combo is done. the first sculpting segment was squats and lunges while holding a stability ball (i will use dumbells next time instead of just holding the ball). upper body sculpting circuits eventually followed -- biceps, triceps, shoulders, pushups off the ball for the chest and some back extensions also off of the ball.

the stepping combos were fun and interesting without being too basic or too difficult. solid intermediate stuff to which you could add some propulsion if you wished.
at the end of each stepping combo, cathe included a lower body blast (all low impact) which fried the quads. even though, overall, the workout seemed to be more stepping than sculpting, the lower body cardio blasts at the end of each stepping combo worked the legs alot.

the circuit workout finishes off with repeating the lower body blasts on the step all over again, then cathe did crunches while laying prone on the floor and the circuit premix repeats the abs exercises as well to ensure that you get enough reps in.

also, i want to mention that when the circuit premix switches from cardio to weights and back again, a screen comes up to instruct you to get your stability ball and hand weights ready or to get ready for stepping. that was nice to have so that the segments didnt start before you were ready to
do them. the premix did seem a bit choppy as the circuit segments were drawn from the 2 individual workouts on the disc but such is the nature of premixes i guess.

eventually an aerobic cooldown was done and a few stretches for the
legs. my heartrate was already down from doing the abs segment but i still did the aerobic cooldown since it was being presented.

i was quite happy with this premix and im looking forward to doing the cardio and sculpting workouts separately.

Instructor Comments:

Carolyn Visser


The Low Impact Step workout is a nice intro to Cathe's choreography. I'd classify it as an intermediate level cardio workout both in terms of intensity and complexity. Cathe cued well and I had no trouble at all learning the combinations. From beginning to end it clocked in just under 40 minutes.

The Total Body Sculpting workout is a half hour long and works every muscle group, using the stability ball for all exercises and dumbbells. Here?s a breakdown of the exercises:

Stability ball squats
Stability ball lunges
Stability ball back extensions & wide rows
Stability ball front raises/rear delt squeezes/lateral raises
Stability ball triceps extensions/prone double arm kick backs
Stability ball preacher curls/seated hammer curls
Stability ball out thigh raises
Stability ball frog rolls for inner thighs
Stability ball ab work

I've been using Total Body Sculpting for the past two weeks and I love it. It's thorough, concise and has absolutely no dread factor. I think it's perfect for someone like me, who is restarting after a brief hiatus from strength work. Beginners and intermediates alike will enjoy this one.

Instructor Comments:

Helen K


This is the beginner/intermediate sculpting workout that comes with the target set with 2-20 minute upper & lower addons and a stability ball workout on 1 DVD,andn Total Body Sretching on the other.It is also on Cathe's website with Low Impact Step and has premixes (the Target set has no premixes - but is well chaptered and has Mix & match, and a chapter menu.)
The workout is about 30 minutes and hits every body part. Cathe uses the stability ball for all of the exercises. For squats and lunges, she doesn't use weights (although the stability ball is about 2 pounds) and upper body is worked with dumbbells - except for chest, which she does as pushups with your legs on the ball (I liked doing them this way.) The workout is structured well -- she does on long sets of each exercise (often varying the counts) and she does 2 exercises for each body part. You start standing and end up with floor work for legs and then abs on/with the ball.
The workout is thorough and goes by fast.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is relaxed, gives good pointers and looks great!



Total Muscle Sculpting is the strength workout that comes with Low Impact Step. I believe there are copies that have only this title too. They're probably part of a home step package, however.
This is a nice little strength workout that can be completed in less than 30 minutes.
It starts with a short low impact warm up.
After the warm up, Cathe has you do a few short sets for your lower body. The exercises are squats with an overhead press (she uses the stability ball. I use dumbbells.) She then does some lunges witht he ball. Again, I sub dumbbells.
Back is worked with lying extensions and bent over row, seated on the ball.
The chest only gets one type of exercise-- decline push ups on the ball. She has you change position on the ball to increase intensity. I guess chest could have used more exercises, but I don't really love working my chest, so I don't mind.
Cathe then moves on to shoulders, biceps, and triceps.
I like the preacher curls done on the stability ball, but the halfway up ones were tough! As for triceps, I like the lying extensions on the ball, but find the kickbacks lying on the ball pretty awkward.
Cathe then moves on to some leg work on the ball-- side leg lifts and glute/hamstring work that is upposed to engage the hams and inner thighs by drawing the legs in (kind of "froggy style"). I don't know. Usually with glute raises on the ball, I really feel it in my glutes and hamstrings. With the drawing in motion I feel it more in my calves. I think I will modify this in the future.
The abs are kind of beginnerish-- nothing special and pretty short.
All in all, this is a great workout for such a short length. I feel like I get a good workout (as long as I use much heavier weight than the 3 pounders Cathe uses!)
I always love a Cathe strength workout that is light on lunges!



This review applies to the premix: Lower Body Cardio Blast.
This premix is a nice change of pace from doing the two seperate workouts individually.
The premix includes:
warmup from LIS
first step segment from LIS
both blasts from LIS
squats and lunges from TBS
second step segment from LIS
both blasts from LIS
squates and lunches from TBS
lieing floorwork from TBS
I felt this premix should have included a stretch at the end. Other than that; I loved it. It flew by and had a good rounded cardio lower body emphasis.

Instructor Comments:



This was my first Cathe step dvd, and I think it serves as a good introduction to her step. I agree that it is not a beginner dvd - I place it in the solid intermediate category. The pendulum move would be hard for a beginner, and she doesn't break down every move. She does introduce a few terms that she uses in other workouts, so someone new to Cathe can get used to her language, as she doesn't break these down in other workouts. There are 2 blasts in the workout. I like blasts, because they break up the workout, and these aren't too tough.

The music was pretty off putting at first - it starts up with this strange carnival hoedown tune, which nearly made me turn it off! The rest of the music is ok, but not memorable - it serves its purpose, but it's not as good as many of Cathe's workouts. The set, I agree, is pretty strange - a castle straight out of my high school's production of Camelot, but hey - it isn't boring, so I sort of like it!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is my favorite step instructor. In this video she's not as peppy as her early tapes, and not as serious as the most recent. I find her encouraging, and her background exercisers always look like they are having a good time.