Review Cathe’s LITE: Cardio Party
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Review of LITE: Cardio Party by Cathe Friedrich – a low impact cardio routine that incorporates a number of different styles of cardio - boxing, blasts and Hi /Lo and aims to provide a fun workout that’s easy on your joints.
Cardio Party is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new Low Impact Training Extreme (LITE) workout series, which consists of 7 DVDs plus numerous bonus add-ons and 100’s of premixes. The series is aimed at intermediate exercisers. However, Cathe states that it will also provide a solid challenge for the advanced exerciser through ramped up bonus segments, higher weight options, and premixes. For more details on the full LITE program, click HERE or check out my blog post – Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New LITE Workout Series.
This workout is a mix of cardio styles and is similar in places to the Hi/Lo section of Cathe’s Maximum Intensity Cardio. The routine flows from one move to the next to keep you moving throughout. From the video preview for this workout, I was expecting this to be more of a recovery day workout, as it looked far less intense than Cathe’s usual low impact cardio. Having now done the workout, I think my initial assessment was pretty accurate. This routine is nowhere near the level of her previous low impact workouts – not even the ICE equivalent - Low Impact Sweat. The blasts are not really blasts at all and are certainly no way near hiit-level. Even the air squats, which are done in the last blast, are performed at a much slower pace than usual. The way they are performed in Cathe’s other low impact workouts - I usually really feel these. In addition, there are quite a few ‘walking’ type moves rather than her usual more ‘hopping’ type, which also makes the workout less intense overall. In places, it almost seems the sequences were deliberately organised to not let the heart rate get too high, as just when it’s starting to rise Cathe starts marching or doing side steps again. The cueing in some places is also a little late, which is unusual for Cathe so this was a little frustrating too. The choreography is fairly complex in places and make take a few times to get it down perfectly but generally it wasn't too difficult. However, I did find repeating some of the sequences over and over a little repetitive and so didn't find this quite a fun as I would have expected.
Of all of the workouts in this series, for me, this was the most disappointing. I was hoping to have an enjoyable low impact cardio workout, to use on lighter days, but this really felt like more of a beginner workout and therefore, I don’t think I would be returning to this workout. My heart rate was barely elevated at all, throughout the workout, and the whole workout, including the warm up, is only 39 minutes and was not enough to really feel the work. At the level it is, I just didn't feel like this was a good use of my time. I could see that those coming back after an injury or a break might like this but for those looking for a high energy more intense low impact workout I think you may be disappointed.
This DVD does include a Calorie Crush, which this time is an add-on cardio section that uses the step. This section is a mini IMAX (Interval Max – of which Cathe has 3 existing DVDs and 1 Live, plus a number of premixed routines). IMAX routines consist of a number of step combos (each are repeated six times) and are followed by an interval blast. There are 4 sets of these in this blast. This 15 minute section did increase the intensity of the overall workout but not enough to really make a difference to how I feel about this workout. The choreography is fairly complex and personally I didn't find it as fun as I would have liked. Cathe also gives you much longer recovery periods, in this add-on, so again it wasn't as intense as it could have been.
Overall, this workout is much lower intensity than Cathe’s usual workouts and although you could modify some of the moves to make them higher impact and hop more of the walking type moves, which is what I did, there are probably many better Cathe low impact workouts that you could do, as they are, and get a much better workout. However, if you are at the beginner level or coming back to exercise and looking for a lower intensity workout then this might suit perfectly.
Cardio Party is a low impact cardio workout that consists of three boxing segments, two Hi/Lo and three blast segments. The choreography for this workout is not too difficult – even the Hi/Lo is not too complex. The blasts are all fairly straight forward moves and you could easily modify them to higher impact if you wished to do so.
The DVD also includes Calorie Crush - Step Blast bonus, Pyramid Pump Chest, Extended Stretch #1 and 6 Pack Abs #1.
What You Need To Know
(The information below is based on the main workout not including any bonus add-ons).
(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).
Cardio Party is 39 minutes long and starts with a long 9 minute warm-up. The workout ends with a 3:30 minute stretch. This routine includes multiple moves with lots of different arm variations and the combinations are built up into a sequence so you have time to learn the moves. Some of the moves included are detailed below but be aware that these are the finished combinations. The sequences are usually repeated several times on both sides of the body. In addition, there are lots of recovery moves - marching, shuffling etc that are not mentioned here.
Jabs walking forward & back
Jab, cross, jab, retreat
Double jabs & speedbag (hopping)
2 High punches & 2 low punches, changes to singles
Jab, cross then all jabs
Knee lifts (with little hops) & circle arms then jump rope
4 Shuffles to the side & jab, cross, jab, cross
4 Shuffles to the side & jab, cross, upper, body shot
Hi / Lo 1
Walk forward 4 counts & tap
Walk forward 4 counts & knee lift
3 V-steps & 1 step knee
V-step to front, V-step to back & shuffle
Mambo front & back
3x 1 arm speedbag (coming forward), punch & 2 steps back
'Ground & pound' in high lunge position – punch down 1 arm two times and then do back blocks – punching elbow to the back
Punching to the side & front with little stepping out hops
Shuffle feet & do high low punches to one side then back fists
Shuffle twists (with arms up & down) then shuffle feet and corner to corner with the arms then circle arms
2 side steps in squat position & punch down (inside arm to outside leg)
Hi / Lo 2
Grapevines to side & then angle them forward on diagonals
Step touch forward (4x) & chasse to one side & other, step touch back & chasse
Hamstring curls & ‘up & back’ to one side then the other
Low loaded side steps
Punch down and up whilst lunging down / up
Tap & jab forward
Rolling uppercuts & ‘flurry’ uppercuts (fast)
2 Jabs forward & 1 punch down
‘Attacks’ – low impact – lifting up on the toes (in sumo stance lift up & down while raising / lowering arms)
Calorie Crush - Step Blast – is 15 minutes long and aims to take the workout up to a slightly higher intensity. This blast is like a mini IMAX (Interval Max) – so a step combo that is repeated six times and followed by an interval blast. There are 4 sets of these in this blast. The choreography is fairly complicated, for the step combos, and will definitely take a few times through to get it down perfectly. I found the 3rd combo the most complicated but did manage it after a few tries. The blasts all use the step and are often a few moves repeated for a set number of repetitions.
I was really excited about this Calorie Crush, as I like the existing IMAX workouts (Cathe has 3 on DVD and 1 Live class). However, for me personally, I was a little disappointed. I didn't find this routine very fun, the blasts were a bit repetitive. The choreography was more difficult than the other IMAX workouts. It does definitely get the heart rate up but Cathe also gives you much longer breaks, with marching & knee lifts on the step, than she usually does so this is probably the least intense of all of the Calorie Crush add-ons. (Obviously, you could raise the step height and jog rather than march etc, if required, to increase the intensity a bit further). I probably wouldn't return to this routine, in future, but that is just a personal preference as I am sure others may love it. However, I found all of the other Calorie Crush workouts so much more fun that I would be far more likely to pick one of those instead.
You will need a full size step with one riser on each side (6") for this add-on.
(There is no breakdown of the step moves, you just go straight into the finished combinations (shown below), however, as it is repeated six times you have time to learn it before you move onto something else).
2 scoops on step, scoop turn, up & over, step hop turn, pony on step & straddle, pony on step, basic & hop turn
Wide box jump on step, plyo jack, power 3
Hamstring front & back, 6 count mambo on step & down on floor, walk around step then step wide onto step & slap clap
3 jumping knees around the step, straddle, 3 jumping knees around the step then 4 straddle jumps (onto the step)
2 knee repeater on step, then double hop on floor, triples on step, straddle, triples on step then triples around the corner, figure 8’s, step knee, tap out / ball change
Knee off side, up & over turning to back, up & over turning to front then up & over 3x (1 clap, 2 claps, 1 clap)
Diagonal basic & back, step sweep one side & other, jump shot & back with knee lift, knee off the side & hip hop repeater
4 wide box jumps then jumping knee-ups around the world (i.e. around the step)
Pyramid Pump Chest Bonus is 6 minutes long. Pyramid training is a stepped approach to sets and repetitions. In this case you start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight, whilst decreasing the reps, for 3 sets of each exercise (pyramid up) then you reverse that starting heavy and going lighter, whilst increasing the reps, for 2 sets of each exercise (pyramid down). The rep pattern is as follows - 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps. This bonus is focused on one body part – Chest and goes both up and down the Pyramid for two different exercises listed below (5 sets per exercise). The exercises for upper body are supersets so, for the chest you do both chest flys and incline chest presses. You start with your light weights and do set one of chest flys and one set of incline chest presses before you move up to your moderate weight for set two.
You will need dumbbells and a stability ball for this segment (you could substitute a full size step, if you don’t have a ball, and just use it as a flat bench for the first exercise and incline it for the second). With the right weights you will feel these exercises and this makes a nice little add-on for any workout.
Chest flys on the ball - two 8, 10, 12# dbs
Incline chest press on the ball - two 8, 10, 12# dbs
6 Pack Abs #1 is also included on this DVD. This bonus core section is 10 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 quick stretch at the end. You will just need a mat for this core bonus.
This is a good little bonus that works the core pretty well and finishes off any workout nicely. The routine is boxing inspired and includes some new moves and some more familiar moves with a new twist. The moves flow from one to the next with little rest. This is a nice, fun routine that isn't too tough. I found this one easier than 6 Pack Abs # 2.
Alternating sit outs (starting in beast position, pull the leg through and tap to the ground whilst tapping hand to opposite shoulder. These are done at a nice slow pace)
Triangle choke reverse lift (lying on back with one leg hooked behind the other lift up the hips)
Guard block crunches (lying on back with hands in guard position, crunch up & slip to one side then down & repeat to other side)
Body shot sit ups (lying on back then sit up & body shot one side, lie back down & repeat on other side)
Boxer sit ups (starting in seated position leaning back, lie back down, come up & alternate punches at the top – 2 high & 2 middle)
Hip thrusts with upstrike (start lying on your back with knees bent then raise hips & punch over the body to one side then the other)
V planks (in straight arm plank, tap foot to outside of hand – one side then other)
W planks (in straight arm plank, tap one foot to outside of hand & back, then same foot taps straight in & out, then other foot taps straight in & out then taps to outside of other hand)
Supermans (lying on your stomach with hands out in ‘W’ position, raise & lower arms / legs at same time)
Extended Stretch #1 – is 13 minutes long and only requires a mat. The routine starts with Cathe and crew sitting cross-legged on their mats. The moves are all familiar stretches (child's pose, down dogs, pidgeon pose etc) and flow from one move to the next. None of the moves are held too long but are just enough to stretch out the body nicely. I really enjoyed this add-on and will definitely be incorporating it into my weekly routine. It provides a nice relaxing way to end any workout or even as a standalone segment, when you want a little more stretching. The moves do tend to focus a little more on the lower body though, I would have liked a few more targeted upper body stretches to really round out the routine but overall I really liked it.
Cardio Party features 30 premixes.
(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).
1. Main Workout + Extended Stretch #1: 48:16
2. Main Workout + 6 Pack Abs #1: 49:00
3. Main Workout + 6 Pack Abs #1 + Extended Stretch #1: 58:13
4. Main Workout + Calorie Crush: 54:11
5. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + Extended Stretch #1: 63:23
6. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + 6 Pack Abs #1: 64:07
7. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + 6 Pack Abs #1 Extended Stretch #1 : 73:20
8. Main Workout + Pyramid Pump Chest: 45:52
9. Main Workout + Pyramid Pump Chest + 6 Pack Abs #1: 55:49
10. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + Pyramid Pump Chest + 6 Pack Abs #1 + Extended Stretch #1: 80:00
1. Timesaver #1 (Calorie Crush): 27:52
2. Timesaver #2 (Blast + Calorie Crush): 31:16
3. Timesaver #3 (Only Hi/Lo): 23:46
4. Timesaver #4(Only Boxing): 25:24
5. Timesaver #5 (Hi/Lo & Blasts): 27:10
6. Timesaver #6 (Boxing & Blasts): 28:47
7. Timesaver #7 (1st Round Only): 25:18
8. Timesaver #8 (2nd Round Only): 23:54
9. Timesaver #9 (3rd Round Only): 16:51
10. Timesaver #10 (1st & 2nd Rounds): 35:43
11. Timesaver #11 (1st & 3rd Rounds): 28:39
12. Timesaver #12 (2nd & 3rd Rounds): 27:15
13. Timesaver #6 ( Pyramid Pump Chest): 19:35
Mish Mosh Premixes
1. Scrambled #1 (Calorie Crush MishMosh): 53:27
2. Scrambled #2 (Calorie Crush MishMosh): 51:23
3. Scrambled #3 (Boxing & Blasts MishMosh): 37:31
4. Scrambled #4 (Hi/Lo & Blasts MishMosh): 40:49
5. Scrambled #5 (Boxing & Abs Mixed In): 34:36
6. Scrambled #6 (Boxing & Abs At the End): 35:20
7. Double It: 64:37
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 Recent Posts Page HERE.
If you enjoyed this review, please share it using the links below.