Low Impact Series: Afterburn

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Gliding Disks

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I am reviewing this workout after doing it for the first time without pre-viewing.

I won't break it down because other reviewers have already done a great job at that.

I am an intermediate/low advanced exerciser. I love intensity but can't do a lot of jumping and plyos.

I enjoyed this workout. It reminded me a bit of the Bootcamp workout from Cathe's Intensity Series.

It is high intensity without the high impact. However, there are lots of squats and lunges. If someone has problems with these moves or iffy knees, they would be best to modify and not bend as deep.

The discs are used for jumping jacks and burpees and pushup variations. I found the discs did not work too well on the carpet so I just subbed in a lower impact jack.

Also, if someone doesn't want to use the discs for the spider pushups and mountain climbers, there would be no loss of intensity to do the moves without the discs.

I found this workout kept my heart rate up the entire time and I felt completely worked out after.

The time flew by. The music isn't as good as in previous series but it goes well with the workout and after awhile, I didn't even hear it.

I would rate this a solid 8 out of 10. I only take a couple of points off because I felt the music could have been better and I wish she would have added in a couple of different moves instead of just different lunge variations.

Over all, if you are a Cathe fan already, you will love it. If this is your first introduction to Cathe, I would suggest pre-viewing the workout once so you can determine if there are any exercises you may have to modify.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe was upbeat and fun. I liked the fact that she seemed winded in the same parts of the workout I was.



This is an awesome 54 minute dvd that offers plenty of premixes & is chaptered very well. Cathe works out with 4 exercisers in a nice open set. You will need dumbbells and gliding discs for this workout. Cathe takes you through a cardio & a strength exercise which you repeat & move on to a new combo.

After a w/u exercises include: cardio squats, squats w/ clean & press, glider climbers, lunge floor touch, low impact skaters, swings, disc burpees w/a pushup, runner sprints, dip & bi curl, plank w/ a leg thread, disc jacks (neat!), spiderman climbers, side lunge & over head press, plank drags, dip & lat raise, etc. & concludes with a c/d & stretch.

I rate this is a low advanced workout- it is simple choreo but nonstop heartpumping cardio and strength work. LOVE the unique exercises & the addition of the discs. Love the functional feel, low impact, and that my core was really worked! I really love the low impact but high intensity & simple but not boring choreo- this is definitely a unique, fun but tough w/o. I look forward to more from this series! I received this video to review.



I've never been a huge fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, aside from her older weight training, Boot Camp, and High Step Training workouts. Her high impact and step workouts turned me off, though I faithfully tried one after another over the years. All those DVDs ended up on the exchange pile. I decided Cathe and I were never going to be a match, so I began ignoring her workouts altogether.

The Low Impact Series changed all that! "Afterburn" is my favorite workout from that series, though many others are right behind it("Athletic Training," "Cardio Supersets," "Trisets"). I hope Cathe continues to provide high intensity low impact workouts like this in the future. :)

You WILL need a towel and lots of water after doing "Afterburn." You will also need some 8 - 15 lb. weights, sliding discs, and Dixie Cups for this workout. (I substitute socks for the cups.) The actual workout is 44 minutes of low impact intensity (54 minutes total). Here's a breakdown of it. Note that each interval is actually done twice -- first on one side, then repeated on the other side:


Squat digs
Squats with bicep curls

Disc mountain climbers
Dixie Cup front lunges

Lateral skates
Plie front swings

Air squats
Disc squat thrusts

Runners' squats
Rear lunge hammer curls

Cross under kicks
Plie squats - one-arm upright rows

Disc jacks
One-arm clean & presses

Spider man mountain climbers
Lateral lunges

Lunge kicks
Dragging planks with push-ups

Dixie Cup line taps
Rear lunges with lateral raises

Cooldown and stretch.

Instructor Comments:
Nearly everyone on VF knows Cathe. What more can I add? She's a wonderful instructor.

Michelle Easton


I found Afterburn incredibly challenging and I was dripping with sweat. This is my first experience of a workout that uses weights and discs to raise the heart rate without the focus being on strength building. (I consider myself to be an advanced exerciser and run, teach spinning and do Cathe workouts pretty much exclusively).

I enjoyed the mixture of exercises and the use of the discs. The workout also flew by. I woke up super tired this morning and was able to jump (non impact of course) right in without previewing and I picked up the choreography easily.

I rate this workout a 9/10. I deduct 1/2 point for the cardio being under an hour and 1/2 point for no vocals in the music. I actually felt the music was quite well suited to the choreography, however I would have prefered some of the tracks to have vocals.

Instructor Comments:
To me Cathe excels at this style of "Athletic drills" workout and she was nicely perky during the workout.



Afterburn is 10 intervals, each interval has a cardio portion and a functional strength portion -- which is repeated. The pace is quick -- Cathe "stalls" here and there (and jokes about it), but for the most part she keeps it going at a nice (but not killer) clip.

The cardio includes such moves as air squats, skaters, touch kicks, glider jacks, twist kicks in plank, and mountain climbers on gliders. The strength portion includes such moves as shoulder presses with a squat, upright rows in a plie position, clean and press with a squat turn, bicep curls with a lunge, lateral raises with a lunge, disk squat thrusts, and wood chops. There is also a drag plank with push-up on the gliders that is really challenging (your drag yourself forward in plank position, then do a staggard push up, and drag yourself back).

The main workout is 54 min ( warm-up 4:45, HiiT 44:11, Cool Down Stretch 4:55). There are 6 premixes, of which Bonus Burn is the longest.
Premixes for AfterBurn:

1. Express (Single Intervals 1 - 10) - 32:10
2. Express ( Intervals 1 - 5) - 31:43
3. Express ( Intervals 6 - 10) - 33:26
4. Random Burn - 60:27
5. Double Trouble - 51:17
6. Bonus Burn - 74:33

I decided to do the Bonus workout (about 75 mins), and this is the main workout plus every interval done again only once. There is a little glitch in this premix in that interval #9 alternates sides on both the cardio (lunge kicks) and the strength (dragging plank with push-up), and the premix didn't add it twice in the second part to even the sides. So, I chaptered back and repeated on the other side.

I used lighter weight than Cathe; she used mostly 10s and 15s--I used 5s, 7s and 8's. For such moves as upright rows and lateral raises, light seems a better choice.

This was not for me a puke in the bucket workout, but I was decently fatigued by the end; I predict some glute DOMS in my future! I think if you used the poundage that Cathe does, it would be quite challenging.

For those choosing this as a joint friendly workout, there are two caveats. There a quite a few lunges and squats. There are also a few twisty moves--the side kick in plank and the clean and press. These would be easy to modify to simple mountain climber and simple squat clean and press.

The jacks on the gliders felt a little odd, but not nearly as awkward as I thought they would. Cathe uses two arm patterns -- large arm circles and then a diagonal pattern. I found the diagonal pattern to be confusing since she keeps the feet point forward -- I found my body wanted to lunge. I think the diagonal arms actually take some practice to keep one's knees lined forward.

I honestly don't remember the music, pretty bland I think -- sort of elevator tinkle. But, it seemed to fit and it never got in the way for me.

The workout went fast, and I think I'll get a lot of use out of it. I enjoy the moves, some quite a lot, and it has no dread factor for me.