What can I say except WOW. I am stunned by this workout. It was originally released on VHS in 1998. I didn’t know they had workouts like this back in 1998. Heck, I was doing Buns of Steel and riding a stationary bike for exercise. This workout is HARD. Much harder than I expected.
Maximum Intensity Cardio is on one of Cathe’s multi-workout DVDs. Also featured on this DVD is Interval Max and Rhythmic Step, both of which will be reviewed separately. Maximum Intensity Cardio features a little bit of everything: super-intense cardio using nothing but your body–which she calls “high/low,” step cardio and “blasts” (HIITs). It is long and grueling and I will not lie, by the end I was watching the clock. My legs were starting to give out during the blasts.
Maximum Intensity Cardio is 71 minute long high intensity cardio workout; 7 minute warm up, high/low cardio 26 minutes, step cardio 33 minutes, 5 minute stretch. You will need an 8 inch step for the second half of this workout.
The workout starts out deceptively easy. First, the choreography through the entire workout is fairly basic. It gets more complex during the step portion, but not “complex”–it is still relatively basic step choreography. The warm up is very easy and barely warmed me up. Then you move into the high/low cardio. How high/low is set up, is she starts with low impact cardio, which is very easy and seems like just an extension of the warm up. You do grapevines, side steps, “scoops.” It is a little more strenuous than the warm up, but not much. Then she moves into “medium” impact. Your heart rate is starting to climb now. You do a kind of shuffle twist, some circle jacks and heel toes. Finally, she launches you into the main portion of the high/low cardio–the high impact part. WOW! It is long and it is tough. Jacks, kicks, air jumps (lots of them!), scissors, plyo heel digs, high knees and more. It is the longest section of the high/low cardio and it is kinda grueling. You will be in your anaerobic zone–so a large portion of the “high” part of high/low are HIITs.
Then you bring out an 8 inch step. The actual step portion is lower intensity than the high/low cardio (until you get to the blasts, that is), but it isn’t low intensity. The choreography is pretty basic, but it is still a very good workout. Just not as intense as the high/low cardio. And trust me, that is not a bad thing. I was ready to slow it down a little. It is still intense though. She puts together 4 combos. After you learn them all and do them several times, you run through them all from the top. The first combo had some sashay move that I did not like at all–it was awkward. The third combo was the most difficult. It contained a bunch of uneven squats off the step–by the time that combo was done my legs were burned out! Which makes the blasts at the very end even harder. You do a lot of box jumps onto the step then power 7s then power 3s. You repeat this 3 times with a short recovery break between each blast in which you march in place and do grapevines. I was actually having some problems with the box jumps! There were so many and my legs were so tired!
There is no down time in this workout–once she hits the medium impact part of the high/low cardio, you are going, going going until the end.
Honestly, this workout was so tough and such a surprise to me! I don’t know why I am ever surprised when Cathe’s workouts drag me through the mud like that, but sometimes they do. I just don’t expect a workout that was created in 1998 to be that intense. Which is silly. Cathe is a slave driver no matter what the year!
The set for Maximum Intensity Cardio is definitely cheesy and dated. The outfits–wow. DATED. But, with that said, Cathe’s outfit was still cute even though it was not terribly fashionable–at least by 2012 standards. But this workout will never go out of date. Amazing.
Oh, and I have to add this. A lot of her workouts from around this time period are serious space-hogs. Not this one. There are a few moves in the warm up that use a lot of space–but it’s not excessive like in some of her other older workouts. However, the rest of the workout doesn’t take up a ton of space at all. Pretty compact, which I like.
Since this is an older workout, there are no premixes. However, the workout is chaptered so you can just do sections of it if you choose to make it shorter.