Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Hiit: High Impact
Updated: Nov 9
Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Hiit: High Impact
Perfect Hiit: High Impact is a tough and time efficient cardio blast that packs a lot into a short period of time. This workout is part of the Perfect Hiit DVD, which consists of two 30 minute cardio Hiit routines – one high impact and one low impact.
Perfect Hiit is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new PERFECT30 series that consists of six workouts on three DVDs plus a number of bonus add-ons and premixes. The series is aimed at advanced exercisers and is perfect for when you are tight on time but still want a solid, intense workout. Each DVD contains two 30 minute workouts, which focus on the main elements necessary for a well-balanced fitness routine: strength conditioning, cardio endurance and balance / flexibility. For more details on the PERFECT30 program, click HERE or check out my blog post – Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New PERFECT30 Series.
This workout is based on the concept of Hiit – high intensity interval training where you focus on going all out for a shorter period of time. These are great time efficient workouts, as you trade workout time for intensity. This was a pretty intense workout, consisting of lots of high impact plyometric moves. It reminded me a little bit of Cathe’s Ripped with Hiit: Plyo Hiit workout, in terms of intensity, and I was definitely working hard during this one and was pretty drenched by the end. It’s not quite as bad as the RwH version but there are still a lot of burpees, tuck jumps and air jacks. (The RwH version is one of the rare Cathe workouts that I really don’t like, as it has such a massive dread factor for me).
This routine consists of fourteen cardio drill combos that are generally done two times, for a number of sets, before moving onto the next (a couple are done three or four times before moving on). The intervals vary in length and some are repeated for more sets and some less. As there is not a lot of rest, between the different moves, your heart rate stays elevated throughout. The whole workout is pretty much just go, go, go once you get started. The first exercise is a little deceptive though, as it was jacks, jump ropes and galloping jacks but after that it really builds in intensity. I was definitely struggling a little by the time we got to the squat thrust / heel clicks but if you hang in there, the moves after that one aren’t quite so bad.
I really liked the format of this routine, in that the cardio drills are a combination of a few different moves rather than just one move repeated over and over. This makes it feel more varied and then you are also not just doing burpees constantly, one after the other! There were also some new twists on some of the moves, like combining burpees with surfer jumps. My only complaint is that there are several of the drills that include the same moves, so for example, six of them include squat thrusts or burpees and four include air jacks or star jumps. This seems a little disappointing, as there are so many other moves that could have been included and for me, it gives this routine a big dread factor. This is amplified by the fact that you then have to repeat every interval, rather than just doing it once and moving on. However, it certainly keeps the heart rate up and makes it a challenging workout. For me, it’s just a case of taking each interval, one at a time, and just trying to get through it, before moving onto the next. Also you don’t need any equipment for this workout, just a little bit of space, so it’s great for travel too.
On its own this is a nice and quick cardio blast but as there is also a Low Impact Hiit routine on the same DVD, the premixes allow you to combine both of the workouts together for a nearly hour long cardio challenge. However, unfortunately the premixes do not alternate the high and low impact drills, as I would have liked, and is instead just one routine after the other. This seems a bit of shame, as this would be the obvious way of combining them. However, I suspect Cathe is hoping you will use her streaming service and the online Workout Blender to create this premix yourself. Alternatively, you can be really crazy and use the premix that doubles the high impact routine for 52 minutes of torture!
There is also a Pyramid Cardio Hiit bonus on this DVD, to increase the intensity and give you that extra cardio challenge, to really push yourself a little further. The cardio bonus was fairly challenging on its own, as you are jumping on and off the step quite a lot and this really gets the heart rate up, as well as working the legs a little more. It is done interval style with increasing and decreasing periods of work / rest.
The premixes also enable you to combine all three routines, plus the extended stretch, for the ultimate 70 minute cardio workout. It was a really nice option to have the extended stretch on the end, as it was definitely welcome after all of that jumping! It’s a great way to really recover and relax a little before going on with your day. In addition, there are also two Mish Mosh premixes that combine half of each of the high and low impact routines plus the Bonus Pyramid Cardio Hiit, if you are looking for a slightly shorter version.
Overall, a high energy, challenging cardio blast that will definitely have you sweating up a storm! This is also a good travel workout, as you don’t need any equipment for this routine.
The Workout – Perfect Hiit: High Impact
Perfect Hiit: High Impact is a pure cardio Hiit workout that consists of fourteen cardio drill combinations.
This DVD also includes Perfect Hiit: Low Impact (review HERE), a Cardio Blast Bonus (Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus) and a Stretch Bonus (Bonus Extended Stretch).
What You Need to Know
(The information below is based on the main workout (Perfect Hiit: High Impact) not including any of the bonus add-ons).
(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).
Perfect Hiit: High Impact is 30:48 minutes long. The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up before moving into the first cardio interval.
8 Jacks (arms up & out), 8 jump ropes & 4 galloping jacks – 3 sets & 3 sets
Squat thrust, plank jack, jack, touch down jack x2 / line taps – 4 sets & 16x line taps. 5 sets & 16x line taps
2 Lateral taps (2x tap outs to side each side), plyo jack, air jack, tuck jump – 4 sets & 4 sets
Squat thrust surfer jumps – 8 sets & 8 sets
Explosive X jacks w/ twist – 8 sets & 8 sets
Pencil shoots (straight jump up; reaching arms overhead) – 16 reps & 16 reps
4 Wide stance football runs, competition burpee (chest to floor) – 4 sets & 4 sets
Power scissors w/ lateral arms (arms out to side; palms facing forward) – 4 sets of 16 reps
Squat thrust, forward jump x2, jack, air jack, jump rope back x4 – 4 sets & 4 sets
Lateral hops in a box w/ tuck jumps (lateral hops in a box pattern; turning direction each time; then facing front do lateral hop w/ tuck jump x4) – 2 sets & 2 sets
Wide stance squat thrust into 2 heel clicks – 3 sets of 4 reps
Sport conditioning complex – 4 long jumps, 8 battle rope slams, 8 plie jacks – 1 set & 1 set
4 Seal jacks w/ 8 high knees – 6 sets & 6 sets
Slow mogul plank thrust, air jack & 4 lateral shuffles (do squat thrust then jump both feet into 1 shoulder then other side; jump feet back in; air jack then 4 lateral shuffles to side w/ arms out to side) – 4 sets & 4 sets
The workout ends with a 3 minute cool down and stretch.
Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus
Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus is also included on this DVD. This bonus cardio section is 11:59 minutes long and does not include a warm-up (as Cathe is assuming you are adding it on to another workout) but does include a cool down at the end. For this routine, you will need a full size step with two risers on each side (you can obviously use a lower step height, if you would prefer). If you don’t have a step, you could do the moves on the floor instead.
This cardio bonus can be added to your Perfect Hiit workouts (or any other workout) to increase the intensity, duration and challenge or even done on its own, if you need a quick cardio blast during the day. Cathe calls this “Step Pyramid Hiit”, as the format is thirteen step cardio intervals, consisting of seven different moves, in a hiit pyramid progression. Therefore, the exercise intervals increase in both work and rest periods up to a peak and then back down the other side, using different moves. So you start with 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds rest then repeat that, 25 seconds work and rest, repeat, graduating up to 35 seconds (only done once) and then working your way back down again. This structure reminds me a little of Cathe’s original Hiit DVD – Pyramid Hiit - as you do a similar progression but do the whole pyramid again rather than repeating the intervals as you go. The benefit with this type of workout is that you can go at your own pace, as it is a timed interval rather than a set number of reps. Therefore, if you want to slow down the moves, you can, and alternatively, if you want to really go for it, you can challenge yourself with how many reps you can do in that period of time. The moves are all very familiar and are just one exercise repeated so there is no choreography or difficult footwork. This routine is all high impact though, as the intervals are often jumping on and off the step. I quite enjoyed it and the time flew by, however, I wouldn’t have minded less jumping onto and off the step.
The only thing that frustrated me a little was the timer for this routine. Rather than showing the time counting down for the whole interval or rest period, it only shows the last 10 seconds… I am not sure why Cathe decided to do that but I find it a bit of shame, as I like to know exactly where I am in an interval and if I have time to grab a quick drink in the rest periods etc.
Overall, this is a quick and different cardio add-on that will really get your heart rate up and you breathing a harder. In addition, the premixes offer a number of different ways to use the bonus routine, including adding it onto the main routines, adding it to half of the high and half of the low impact routines or doubling just the bonus workout.
The intervals are listed below:
Box jumps – 20 seconds work / 20 seconds rest – 2 sets
Lateral jump across to of step – 25 seconds work / 25 seconds rest – 2 sets
Straddle jumps – 30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest – 2 sets
Fast feet (tapping step) – 35 seconds work / 35 seconds rest – 1 set
Swim lunges - 30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest – 2 sets
Long hop turns (across the step) - 25 seconds work / 25 seconds rest – 2 sets
Power turning squats - 20 seconds work / 20 seconds rest – 2 sets
The workout ends with a 30 second cool down.
Bonus Extended Stretch
Bonus Extended Stretch is also included on this DVD. This bonus stretch section is 8:16 minutes long and only requires a mat. This is another really relaxing stretch routine that I enjoyed very much. The routine starts lying on the mat with some lower body stretches, including knee circles, hamstring and figure 4 stretches. You then move into a mix of upper and lower body stretches, including cross legged stretches, straight leg stretches, cat / cow and upward dog. Finally you work towards a standing position through downward dog, forward fold and then finish with upper body stretches for the side of the body, shoulders, triceps and chest.
Overall, a really nice routine to stretch out those tired muscles and definitely one I will return to often.
The main moves include:
Knees to chest / knee circles
1 Leg hamstring stretches (lying on back; bring 1 leg towards the head)
Figure 4 stretch (cross 1 leg over other knee)
Torso stretch (bringing knees to one side & arms to other side)
Quad stretch (lying on side; bring foot in towards backside)
Cross legged stretch (cross legs & lean forward)
Torso twist (sitting up w/ 1 leg straight out; bring other foot across top leg w/ opposite arm reaching across & twist torso in other direction)
Straight leg forward fold (sitting)
Cat / cow (in tabletop position)
Forward fold (standing)
Side stretch (standing; reach arms up & clasp opposite wrist & bend over towards side)
Chest stretch (bring arms behind back)
Perfect Hiit has 17 premixes on the dvd.
(Premixes are extra bonus workouts included on the dvds that use the main workout as the backbone and then add, remove or change the order of elements to create a new routine. The premixes are also available on Cathe's On Demand streaming service). Basic Premixes
Low Impact HiiT + Extended Stretch - 36:06 mins
High Impact HiiT + Extended Stretch - 36:51 mins
Low Impact HiiT + High Impact HiiT - 52:55 mins
High Impact HiiT + Low Impact HiiT - 53:27 mins
Low Impact HiiT + High Impact HiiT + Extended Stretch - 58:56 mins
High Impact HiiT + Low Impact HiiT + Extended Stretch - 58:42 mins
High Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus + Extended Stretch - 48:11 mins
Low Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus + Extended Stretch - 47:08 mins
Low Impact HiiT + High Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus + Extended Stretch - 70:16 mins
Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 19:03 mins
Double Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 31:44 mins
First Half of High Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 30:30 mins
Second Half of High Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 30:43 mins
Mish Mosh Premixes
Double Low Impact HiiT - 52:15 mins
Double High Impact HiiT - 53:52 mins
First Half of Low Impact HiiT + Last Half of High Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 45:50 mins
First Half of High Impact HiiT + Last Half of Low Impact HiiT + Pyramid Cardio HiiT Bonus - 49:29 mins
These workouts are available as a bundle or individually on DVD, download or through Cathe’s On Demand streaming service ($19.99 per month, which also includes access to all of the Cathe Live archived classes).
Check out my reviews of each of the other workouts in this series by visiting my Cathe DVD Reviews page HERE.
If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Cardio Challenge Express (#265) – HERE.
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