Imax 2 is a cardio step/HIIT workout from Cathe. Imax stands for Interval Max and this is the second Imax workout Cathe created (there are 3 in all). Imax 2 is 54 minutes; 7 minute warm up, 41 minute training time and 6 minute cool down/stretch. Cathe uses a 6 inch step. Imax 2 is also part of a multi-workout DVD. The other workout on this DVD is Cardio & Weights.
I LOVE this workout! No surprise, because I loved Interval Max (or Imax 1). Let me get the basic structure of this workout (and all of the Imax workouts) out of the way. After the warm up, the workout consists of 10 intervals. Each interval is made up of a step routine which is repeated 6 times, an anaerobic blast (HIIT) and a recovery period. The step routines are short and their complexity varies. Some are pretty basic, others are moderately complex. I found most of them easy to catch onto, though a few of them it did take a few attempts. The intensity of the blasts varied as well. Some of them were much more intense than others. Some didn’t really qualify as HIITs—though they did increase the intensity of the workout. All of the blasts are intense; but they aren’t all anaerobic. However, the intensity of the blasts increases as the workout progresses. And the recovery was very simple in every recovery—stepping side to side or grapevines.
I won’t describe each step combo/routine, but here are the blasts in the order they appear. Keep in mind I am often describing one “set”–each blast has multiple sets of each move.
1. side lunges off side of step then back of step (she calls the ones to the side “swimming” due to arm motions; all of the lunges have a hop to them)
2. “push up” which is jumping on the step several times, then jumping on/around the step, then power 7s
3. power box jumps around the world then hopping on one foot with genie arms first then circle arms
4. “rocking” on a 3 count across step laterally then power 15s
5. 7 long hop turns followed by plyo jacks and air jacks
6. power 3 straddle with 16 alternating step taps (while straddling the step)
7. ski hops side to side, then ski hops alternating with jumping onto step, then ski hops alternating with tuck jump
8. sumo squats side to side alternated with jumping laterally over step
9. power straddle hops, 2 jacks and 8 plyo jacks
10. power Ls and alternating power squats off step.
Since by the end of this week I will have done all three of the Imaxes, I am going to start rating them here. So far, Imax 1 was more intense than Imax 2—Imax 1 had more anaerobic-level blasts. The choreography was more complex in Imax 2. I loved both workouts, but Imax 2 had more of a fun-factor than Imax 1. The step routines are more creative and the music is more motivating. Though, like I said, I love them both and plan to do them both frequently; Imax 1 when I want something more intense and HIIT-oriented, and Imax 2 when I still want an intense cardio workout, but I don’t want to feel like I’m going to keel over by the end of it. I will say that the answer to making Imax 2 more intense, if that was what I wanted, would be to increase the step height. Cathe and the other exercisers are all using a 6 inch step in Imax 2. I may raise it to 8 inches in the future and see if that makes it just as intense as Imax 1.
I’ve read (in reviews) that Imax 3 is the hardest all around of the three, in both intensity and the complexity of choreography. We shall see!
Premixes: Intervals 1-5 33 minutes, Intervals 6-10 33 minutes, Blasts only (no warm up/cool down) 28 minutes, Blast mania 41 minutes. All of the premixes include the warm up and cool down/stretch except for “Blasts only.”
**In some of Cathe’s series, she creates a DVD with compilation workouts on them. The Intensity Series is one them; and yes, Imax 2 is part of the Intensity Series. The compilation DVD is called Terminator and the review for it will be going up soon. It contains 3 separate workouts, and each workout is constructed from 4 other workouts in the series. In Terminator the workouts are: Cardio & Weights, Muscle Endurance, Bootcamp and, yes, Imax 2. I loved every one of the individual workouts and adore the Terminator workouts. If you love Imax 2, and any of the other Intensity workouts, you must get Terminator. Imax 2 and Cardio & Weights appear in all 3 of the workouts (whereas the other 2 workouts only show up in one workout each).