Cathe’s Low Impact Circuit

Low Impact Circuit is a low impact cardio + strength workout and it was just what I needed this morning after brutalizing myself with Maximum Intensity Cardio yesterday. I really, really liked this workout a lot. First, I have to say that it is not as hard as most Cathe workouts that I own, but neither is it an easy workout. I would categorize it as intermediate level. It works really well as a recovery workout, yet it is still a solid, excellent workout. It was not up to her usual intensity/difficulty, and well, my body needed something just a tad less brutal this morning. Low Impact Circuit delivered beautifully. This is actually the kind of recovery workout I am looking for. I have a problem utilizing recovery workouts as I should because I feel they are too low intensity for me (I discuss this in Athletic Step review), but Low Impact Circuit fits the bill for me perfectly.

Low Impact Circuit is a 70 minute cardio + strength workout; 8 minute warm up, 49 minute circuit training, 8 minute abdominal work and 5 minute stretch. There is also a bonus cardio circuit that is not included in the main program, but it is in the premixes. I have only done the main workout–so the bonus cardio won’t be included in this review. Though it is a pretty long workout, the time flew. It was an enjoyable workout–the music was great and the moves were fun.

As I mentioned earlier, this workout was just what my body ordered after Cathe’s grueling high impact Maximum Intensity Cardio. That is also an excellent workout, but it can be hard on a body. The cardio in Low Impact Circuit is not as intense, but it is still good cardio. It is all step work and the choreography for the most part is fairly basic and easy to learn. She does teach it in layers, though some of the layers are big ones. The third circuit, for me at least, had the most difficult choreography to learn, but I did eventually catch on.

After the warm up, the workout is set up in 3 circuits. Each circuit starts with step cardio, then has a “blast” which is also on the step and ends with strength work. I hesitate in this workout to state that the blasts are HIITs, which they usually are in Cathe’s other workouts. They really aren’t in this workout. They do take the intensity up a notch or two, but not to HIIT level. But that was okay for me. I don’t need to be HIITing it hard every day.

Equipment needed: step at 8 inches, barbell, dumbbells, a dynaband and a mat. Cathe went very light on weights–I went heavier than her on every exercise. I feel like I got a good (but not great) strength workout, but I don’t think I would have if I had used the same weights she did.

Circuit #1:
Step cardio
Step blast
Side lunges with overhead press/Statue of Liberty move (dumbbells)
Lateral raise (dumbbells)
Overhead press (barbell)
External rotations (dynaband)

Circuit #2:
Step cardio
Step blast
Combo move: Bicep curls combined with reverse lunges that alternate knees and kicks
Bicep curls with barbell and dynaband
Crazy 8’s with barbell
Straddle push ups on step (tricep work)
Headbangers with barbell (tricep work)
Tricep kickbacks (dumbbells)

Circuit #3
Step cardio
Step blast
One leg squat (dumbbell)
Staggered push up
Uneven push up using step platform only
Lat pull down using dynaband doubled up
Scapular retractions using dynaband doubled up
Standing row using dynaband doubled up

The workout ends with core work which I really liked. It was varied and effective. It had crunch variations, some pilates moves like bananas, planks and some excellent oblique work.

Premixes: Cardio Blast Timesaver (all the step cardios + blasts + bonus cardio/blast) 48, Lower Body Circuit 56, Upper Body Circuit 56, Upper Body Sculpt (no cardio) 31, Total Body Sculpt (no cardio) 47, All 4 Blasts 10.

4 thoughts on “Cathe’s Low Impact Circuit

  1. This looks like my speed about now, since I’ve bo boo’ed my knee! How is the step here? Could it be modified with bosu you think?


    1. It has a been a long time since I’ve done this workout but I keep meaning to revisit it. I’m not sure what you are asking about the step–complexity of choreography? Fairly basic with one combo that is only moderately complex. I’ve never used a bosu before (though I know what one is) so I am not sure if it can be substituted. It has been too long since I’ve done this workout to remember any specifics about the choreogrpahy, however she does use the long club step so I am only assuming the length of the step is also used in the step combos.


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