Cross Train Express

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2000

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Step Aerobics , Total Body Workouts

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This is a spirited defense of Cathe's Cross Train Express. I've heard some criticisms of the series and find them largely unfair.

Cathe has put together a challenging, perfectly integrated advanced, week long total body cardio and muscle training workout that can be done in under an hour a day. I don't know anyone else who's done anything this ambitious. I think it took a fair amount of guts.

Please note that I'm not a classic Cathe fan. I like very dancey, complicated choreography, have no background or interest in sports-type athletics, and I don't like high impact, plyos etc. Nonetheless, the positives of this series far outweigh the inconvenience of having to modify some of the moves, or the lack of a choreography high that Christi Taylor or Franny Benedetto might provide.

The cardio portions of CTX are professional, interesting and entertaining enough to allow me to raise my target heart rate for 35 minutes without staring at the clock. While this may not be Nirvana, it's alot more than many tapes can boast. The programs always start with a good warm up. They are well cued and safe. Because they're diverse, I don't get bored. They are followed by a tough strength training segment that completely cooks a specific body part, and, when done in series, CTX provides a highly effective total body workout. I don't know of any other tapes that give as thorough a weight training segment, and the fact that they can be done as part of an hour long program is nothing short of remarkable.

Cathe does an abs segment every day, and always does a nice stretch.

(please note: the All Step program and Leaner Legs vary from this routine but fit into the overall six day under an hour philosophy)

That lady packs one heck of a workout into an hour. No time wasted *at all*. Her cueing is impeccable. Her thoughtfulness about what needs to be done to get a good, enjoyable workout is evident throughout. She is pleasant, thorough and highly respectful of her audience (so many tapes are condescending in tone, Cory Get Hard for instance). Cathe's respectfulness, alone, is worth the price of the series.

I've read comments criticizing the fact that she sold the set as a series. Well, frankly, it *is* a series, and doesn't especially make sense on the level of individual tapes. It took some guts to produce a product that would cost more than video exercisers are used to paying. I think the decision stemmed from the nature of the product (i.e., an advanced total body/cardio workout that could be done in under of an hour) than any desire to get people to buy more tapes then they wanted to buy. The price for the series, while certainly a chunk out of one's monthly disposable spending budget, is really quite fair.

(Generally, I object to grousing about the cost of videos. It takes money to produce a quality workout program that is geared to a smaller niche market. I feel I'm blessed that quality videos continue to be produced and I don't mind instructors making some money from them. I don't think anybody's financing a villa from selling exercise tapes!)

I've also heard criticism regarding the choreography. I wonder whether these people have actually done the tapes. The time moves pretty quickly and they are, I think, more fun to do then they are to watch.

The only fault I would find is the use of high impact moves. I'd note that, again, the programs are not as high impact to *do* as they look like when observed, and are easy to modify for a seasoned exerciser. But I'd join in the ranks of people who wish Cathe would consider some low impact programs.

I like the music, I'm ok with the set, and I like the basic black and blue outfits and overall "cool blue" atmosphere.

Mostly, I like how I feel after I've completed a program - I've managed to fit in a serious, effective workout into sixty minutes or less. Thanks Cathe!

Jane C.