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Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Hiit: Low Impact

Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Hiit: Low Impact

Perfect Hiit: Low Impact is a high energy and varied, low impact cardio workout. 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 is a great little workout that provides a quick cardio blast with lower impact. However, you could easily modify to higher impact, if you prefer. I have done it both ways and either way works well. As the workout is only 31 minutes long, it’s good as an add-on workout or a standalone, if you are short on time. It’s definitely not the toughest cardio routine but I did get nicely sweaty and felt like I got some good movement into my day.

The routine consists of 15 cardio Hiit drills. Each drill is repeated two or three times and are an interesting mix of different moves. Some are completely new moves, I haven’t seen before, and others are twists on Cathe’s more traditional low impact exercises. The intervals are either just one move, completed for a set number of reps, or a combination of a couple of moves. None of the intervals are done for too long but just enough to get that heart rate up. However, they are not necessarily the easiest moves to follow the first time around and I did find a few of the moves a little awkward. Also Cathe doesn’t always explain the moves fully before she starts so the first time you just have to go for it and hope for the best! It does get much better with practice though. The nature of the moves means that you also get a little extra lower body work too, as many of the moves incorporate rapid low reaches or squats, which also drives that heart rate a little higher too. In addition, you are using big ranges of motion, which also keeps the intensity up a bit more. I liked the variety and the time flew by so before you know it you are done.

One thing to mention though is that although it is lower impact, it is not NO impact so many of the moves incorporate hopping or even running (Heisman, fast feet etc). I thought this was a little bit of a shame, as I sometimes like options for cardio with no impact and Cathe is usually very good at providing that. However, Cathe responded to someone’s query about this on Facebook and said that her definition of low impact is that “one foot remains on the floor at all times, whereas no impact is where the activity is completely non weight bearing”. So just something to bear in mind if you are expecting it to be no impact, like I was. The routine finishes with suicide runs, which are usually part of Cathe’s high impact Hiit routines, so you will definitely be breathing harder by that point.

At only 30 minutes long, including warm and cool down, it did feel a bit too short on its own. However, the premixes available allow you to combine it with the Pyramid Cardio Bonus, the High Impact Hiit routine or both for a more intense and longer workouts. However, if you combine it with the other Hiit routine or the bonus workout, it is no longer all low impact so if you are just looking for that then you would need to use the premixes that doubles the low impact and gives you a 52 minute workout. Therefore, for me, if I am looking for a lower impact option, I would probably use this as an add-on, as it feels a little light on its own.

This DVD also includes a bonus extended stretch so if you are looking for a slightly lighter day, then this is a great option to add on to the end of the low impact routine, to lengthen out those muscles again and get a bit of self-care into your day. The stretch bonus is really enjoyable and is a nice routine to add on to any workout or just on its own whenever you need a little more stretching.

Overall, this is a good cardio workout that is great for when you want to get your body moving and provides a nice, quick cardio blast for days when you are short on time.

The Workout – Perfect Hiit: Low Impact

Perfect Hiit: Low Impact is a pure cardio Hiit workout that consists of fiteen cardio Hiit Drills.

This DVD also includes Perfect Hiit: High Impact (review HERE), a Cardio Blast Bonus (Bonus Pyramid Cardio Hiit) and a Stretch Bonus (Bonus Extended Stretch).

What You Need to Know

(The information below is based on the main workout (Perfect Hiit: Low Impact) not including any of the bonus add-ons).

(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).

The Moves

Perfect Hiit: Low Impact is 30:48 minutes long. The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm-up before moving into the first interval.

  • Scoop water out of the pool (line taps w/ scooping arms) – 2 sets of 32 reps

  • Rear lunge into forward hop squat – 12 reps each side

  • Heisman rock & run (Heisman to side x2 then lift each foot hopping side to side x4) – 8 sets each side

  • Agility drill - run front & back (fast feet forward & back) – 30 seconds each side

  • Double hop into fighter stance – 2 sets of 16 reps

  • Opposite hand to foot toe tap & explode (reach 1 hand to opposite foot then reach up & lift on toes) – 3 sets of 10 reps

  • Grounded air jacks (1 leg abductions; lifting on toes & circling arms) – 2 sets of 32 reps (swap side after every 8 reps)

  • Agility drill – run out-out/ in-in – 30 seconds each side

  • Grounded star jacks – 3 sets of 12 reps

  • Double pulse insole snap ups (2 squat pulses & lift insole to opposite hand) – 2 sets of 16 reps

  • Load & explode travelling shuffle squats – 16 reps each side

  • Halo slams – 3 sets of 10 reps

  • 4 Prisoner line taps & 4 long reach lunges – 4 sets each side

  • Puddle jumpers – 2 sets of 12 reps

  • Wind sprints (suicide runs) – 2 sets of 10 reps

The workout ends with a 4 minute cool down and stretch.

Bonus Add-Ons

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)

  • Upward dog

  • Downward dog

  • Forward fold (standing)

  • Side stretch (standing; reach arms up & clasp opposite wrist & bend over towards side)

  • Shoulder stretch

  • Tricep stretch

  • 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

Timesaver Premixes

  • 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

Take Action

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: Low Impact Cardio Hiit (#140) – HERE.

If you enjoyed this review, please share it using the links below.


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