Cathe Basic Step (2004)

Posted: February 22, 2011 in DVD Reviews

Before I forget, it’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. For all those who are battling an ED (I know many people), you can triumph over it. For those of you who don’t know much about EDs, it’s time to become aware.

Now, I know this DVD review is a little limiting since it requires a step, but I’m trying not to disregard DVDs that use certain equipment. I bought my step because I figured that I’ll need to get used to stepping since I’m being certified in March to teach it! Not to mention the step I found on included the Cathe Basic Step video, so I knew it was legit.

I don’t believe I’ve introduced you all to Cathe Friedrich yet. Well welcome. Like Billy Blanks, she has been around for a while. Not to mention she has a crazy cool website and over 140 DVDs out there. Yeah, for real. She’s ripped and her workouts are no joke. I’m not saying you can’t do them if you’re a beginner, but she’s definitely targeted toward more of the intermediate/advanced group. She hurts me. In fact, my sister and I often text each other after a Cathe workout with simply, “Cathe kicked my butt today.” Stay tuned for more reviews of Cathe DVDs.

Cathe Basic Step (2004)

Sorry, it's not the greatest picture!

Where I Got This DVD: It came with my step, which I bought on (Here’s the Amazon link)
Length: Approx. 40 mins. total
Workouts: Basic Step; Stability Ball Abs
Instructor: Cathe Friedrich
Team: Ceedee, Jay, Loraine, and I’m sadly blanking on the last lady’s name – sorry! 

Warm Up (Approx. 7 mins.):

  • Lots of steps to get your blood pumping and get you sweating early!
  • Cathe drops the names of the moves right in the beginning
  • It’s a little confusing to follow along at first because Cathe transitions quickly – I had to rewind a few times
  • No dilly-dally, stretchy warm up

Combo #1 (Approx. 9 mins.):

  • Lots of single steps, knee-ups, and repeaters – Cathe starts with the simpler moves
  • It’s important to watch your feet from time to time to make sure your foot is fully on the step and you’re not twisting wrong
  • You do four small combos, which you learn in two different pairs, then you combine all four at the end
  • Moves include: basic step, single knee, three-knee repeater, L-step, V-step, and outer thighs

Combo #2 (Approx. 11):

  • LOTS of confusing moves here – I’m good with all of them now, but it took me doing the DVD three or so times before I got them down
  • The around the world move is terribly confusing, especially because Cathe continues doing it over and over without slowing down to break it down for you – I had to rewind the DVD numerous times to get it right – now it’s easy to do!
  • This combo gets you sweaty!
  • Similar format to Combo #1 – starts with two or three moves, then adds another, then adds two more before combining them all together
  • Moves include: Charleston kick, side step, horse shoe step, around the world, rocking horse, and cha cha

Stretch (Approx. 3 mins.) 

Stability Ball Abs (Approx. 10 mins.):

  • Start sitting on the ball and leaning back, work into sit-ups while sitting on ball
  • Move to ground – sit-ups with feet on ball, reverse crunches, roll-ups with ball in hand, ends with Russian twists

Instructor: Cathe is pretty good. She doesn’t ever get super annoying, but she has her fair share of corny lines – “Having a good ‘ole time with you.” *Snigger* The thing I dislike most about this DVD is the lack of instruction and transition into the next move. You basically learn as you go, and if you’re like me, you get frustrated not knowing what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Cathe doesn’t instruct very well. But now that I can do the moves fine, she doesn’t bother me.
Moves: Good stuff. The names are confusing, but they get my whole body on fire.
Best Workout: Combo #1 – it’s a good mix of basic moves without getting too complicated.
Worst: I’m hesitant to call any one of them out. Combo #2 was definitely the most frustrating to learn, but now that I know it, I like it.
Intensity Level: Beginner to Advanced – the nice thing is you can use no risers or both sets of two!
Buy It?: If you have good knees, like higher-impact exercise, and are game to learn on the go, then buy this. If you want to learn how to step, I wouldn’t call this a bad DVD, you just have to be patient with it. I hadn’t stepped in over four years, but picked it up pretty quickly with some rewinds and a few uses. It’s a good length because it does make my knees sore after, but it still gets me breathing heavy and sweaty in 30 minutes. However, buying a step is an investment. You can use it for multiple things besides the step workout – I create my own workouts with it while watching NCIS on Tuesday nights! – but it’s definitely not cheap. If you don’t plan on stepping once every 7-10 days, then I would say it’s not for you.


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