4 Day Split: Lower Intensity Step

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Step Aerobics , Total Body Workouts

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LIS is one of my favorite Cathe workouts. It starts out with 34 minutes of step cardio, continues with 27 minutes of shoulder/calf/core work, and finishes with a 4 minute stretch for a total of about 66 minutes. The step portion is one of my go-to “no dread” cardio workouts. It consists of a warm up, three rounds of step combos and low-intensity blasts, a section where Cathe puts the step combos together as a finished product, and a cool down. The choreography is interesting but not super complicated, and the pace is moderate. There aren’t any plyos or torque-y moves, and it’s mostly low impact. I usually do the premix which adds a stretch at the end for a 37 minute routine.

The conditioning work is standard Cathe. There are 5 rounds of shoulder work; the first 4 use dumbbells and the last (which Cathe calls a “bonus” round) uses a band. Cathe does overhead presses, seated isolation presses, upright rows, lateral raises (with straight and then bent arms), front raises, rear delt flys, and external rotation pulls. Then it’s on to 5 minutes or so of calf raise variations, and a final 11 minutes of core work (reverse bicycles, rocket shoots, reverse crunches, full sit ups with a weight, oblique crunches, and planks). Add a 4 minute stretch and you’re done.

This DVD was put out in the heyday of creative Cathe premixes. She has incorporated footage from the other 4DS workouts to include premixes that are step only, weights only, weights before cardio, and circuits. There’s something here for everyone!

What I Like

The step portion has great choreography (mambos, cha chas, lots of “reachy” arm movements, etc). I think this is the DVD where Cathe introduces the “hip hop repeater.” The blasts aren’t killer, making this more of a steady state workout than an interval one (in my opinion), and there is a real cool down (instead of a card instructing you to walk around for 2-3 minutes, like in some of her other workouts). Plus, this DVD is really versatile. I usually do cardio and weights on different days, and I love how easy it is to split this “split” into cardio and weight portions.

What I Don’t Like

The music is mostly instrumental, with a few vocal tracks too. Some of it was good — sound-alikes of Earth Wind & Fire and Madonna, perhaps?— but some of it was sort of “meh” (for me).

Things to Be Aware Of

Cathe’s cueing in the step section is a little late. She either cues on the move or just after, making this a hard one to learn. The cueing is better in LIS than in HIS, but that’s not saying much. Persistence WILL pay off, but it’s a bit of a chore getting there (or at least it was for me). Also, the weights only premixes don’t have warmups or stretches, so you’ll have to add these on if that’s important to you.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is great in this one. She is happy and encouraging, which makes the workout fun.