Yay! Another Cathe winner! After BodyMax I was afraid my streak of discovering amazing Cathe workouts that I adore was at an end. Enter Cathe’s HIIT workouts. HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training, one of the very best ways to burn fat and create an afterburn affect–all in less time than regular cardio. Cathe’s HIIT DVD contains three 30 minute HIIT workouts. And I love them. The three HIITs are not all the same intensity. When I finished HIIT #1, I felt as if I could have done more. It was intense, but it didn’t wipe me out like a HIIT workout should (by the end of the workout, that is). HIIT #2 was much more intense, in my opinion. I was wiped out at the end of HIIT #2, which is how you should feel at the end of a HIIT workout–completely spent. HIIT #3 fell somewhere it the middle.
**11/26/12 edit–when I originally reviewed these workout, I did not have a club step with risers. Well, I have one now. I did HIIT #1 today using the club step at all of the appropriate heights and I take it all back–it is harder with the 12 inch step. Much harder! Step height really makes all the difference.
HIIT #1 is a 29 minute 40/20 cardio HIIT workout; 6 minute warm up, 18 minute training period and 5 minute cool down. 40/20 means that you do a high intensity interval for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest. You do 4 of these intervals then get a 60 second recovery–this is one 40/20 interval circuit. There are four 40/20 interval circuits total. Equipment required for this workout is an adjustable step. Cathe uses it in the 4 inch position, the 8 inch position and 12 inch position. The workout begins with it in the 8 inch position. The warm up is excellent–more intense, I think than most of her warm ups, but that makes sense, since she is gearing you up for some HIITs. The warm up is done on the step and the choreography is pretty basic. I had no problems following it.
Circuit #1: plunge lunge off step; jump forward, side, turn and tuck jump; jump forward, side, turn and tuck jump (other side); split jumps. 60 second recovery.
Circuit #2: split jumps (other side); squat thrust with push up on step; fast feet shuffle on step; wide lateral tap downs on step. 60 second recovery.
Circuit #3: straddle jacks on step; (step is raised to 12 inches here) butt kicks on step; uneven squats on step; explosive running man on step. 60 second recovery.
Circuit #4: explosive running man on step (other side); sprawl and jab; double leg lateral jumps across step (step is lowered to 4 inches for this move only); jacks/wide jumps on step (the step is back at 12 inches for this). Cool down/stretch.
HIIT #2 is a 28 minute 30/30 cardio HIIT workout; 7 minute warm up, 16 minute training period and 5 minute cool down/stretch. In this HIIT workout the 30/30 means 30 seconds of high intensity interval and 30 seconds of recovery. Unlike 40/20 there is no one minute recovery–you just do straight 30/30 for 16 minutes. During part of the workout (during a 30 second recovery) Cathe states that 30/30 is the easiest of the three HIIT workouts. As I am writing this, I have not yet done HIIT #3–but I already do not agree! I felt 30/30 was more difficult than the 40/20 HIIT workout. Primarily because in the 40/20 we not only got our 20 second recoveries, but after 4 HIITs, we get a 60 second recovery! At the end of HIIT#1, I was not completely spent as I feel you should be at the end of a HIIT workout. I was close to spent at the end of HIIT #2! But that’s just my opinion! For HIIT #2 you will be using the 8 inch step only. HIIT #2 starts with another intense little warm up on the step. Again the warm up step choreography was basic–even more so than HIIT #1. The intervals are not broken into circuits; they are just done one right after the other: ice breakers, lunges touching corners of step, power turn squat lunges, power turn squat lunges (other side), lateral jump on step, high wide run, fast feet shuffle, plyo jacks, sequential power kicks, sequential power kicks (other side), air jacks, tuck jumps, side kick/hammer punch, side kick/hammer punch (other side), squat thrust jump, line taps. Cool down/stretch.
HIIT #3 is a 30 minute pyramid cardio HIIT workout; 6 minute warm up, 17 minute training period and 7 minute cool down/stretch. No equipment is needed for this workout. This HIIT workout mixes it all up. “Pyramid” refers to the structure of the HIIT sequence. The HIITs (and corresponding recoveries) get progressively longer until they reach the apex (40 seconds), then they go back down to the shortest amount of time (20 seconds). There is one pyramid sequence that is repeated. You get a 60 second recovery period between pyramid sequences. Another fast paced warm up with basic choreogrpahy to get you ready to start HIITing it! Training period pyramid sequence: plie jacks (20 seconds w/ 20 second recovery), tuck jumps (25 seconds w/ 25 second recovery), power scissors (30 seconds w/ 30 second recovery), 1/4 turn jumps to the right (35 seconds w/ 35 second recovery), 3 jumps forward with turn jump–keep repeating (40 seconds w/ 40 second recovery), 1/4 turn jumps to the left (35 seconds w/ 35 second recovery), squat jumps (30 seconds w/ 30 second recovery), mountain climbers (25 seconds w/ 25 second recovery), air jacks (20 seconds). You get a 60 second break, then do the pyramid all over again from the beginning. Cool down/stretch.
HIITs are not new to Cathe workouts. There are HIIT circuits in the many Cathe workouts I been accumulating over the past few months; so surely there are many more in the scores of Cathe workouts I have yet to get my hands on. However, as far as I know, this is her only pure HIIT workout. Her Cardio Core Circuit is practically a pure HIIT workout–HIIT circuits that end with a core move; however, it includes a 43 minute premix that takes out the core moves and makes it a pure HIIT workout. In addition, Crossfire and To the Max are littered with HIITs and tabatas, and have numerous premixes that will provide you many pure HIIT and/or tabata workouts. So if you want more of Cathe’s crazy-intense cardio you are not limited to this HIIT workout.