Low Impact Challenge is a step-cardio workout from Cathe’s Low Impact series. I’ll admit, I was disappointed in this workout. It was not what I had hoped for. It is true that the few workouts of Cathe’s that I don’t care for are step workouts, so it’s not a huge surprise, but these days I do like most of her step workouts (they have grown on me)—and I LOVE all of her Low Impact Series workouts. Until now, that is.
Low Impact Challenge is a steady state step cardio workout. It is 51 minutes; 8 minute warm up, 29 minutes step combo/routines, 11 minutes of “blasts,” 3 minute stretch. Cathe and crew use an 8 inch step.
Low Impact Challenge also includes a bonus step routine that is 21 minutes long. The bonus step routine is included in some of the premixes; however, it is also the exact same bonus step routine included on Cardio Supersets, so you can just go to the Cardio Supersets review and scroll to the end to see the review of the bonus step routine. I will add here that I really like the bonus step routine. Luckily it is also included in the Cardio Supersets premixes and Cardio Supersets is an excellent and fun workout. It will get much more use from me there.
So what is it about Low Impact Challenge that I didn’t care for? I held off on purchasing this workout for a long time because it was a step routine. Even when I started wading into Cathe’s step workouts I didn’t jump to buy this one because of the reviews. The majority of them mentioned complex choreography. So even though I am getting much better with Cathe choreography, I still have issues with the really complex ones (Imax 3, Step Blast, Athletic Step). But I like Imax 3 and Athletic Step anyway and am willing to put in the time to learn the choreography. Not so much on Step Blast, but it will get at least once more try. I like Low Impact Challenge even less than Step Blast and that is due to intensity. As I mentioned before, Low Impact Challenge is a steady-state cardio workout (at least Step Blast is an intense workout). I’m an intensity junkie and don’t do a lot of steady state cardio workouts. When I do, there are several I actually enjoy that would come before Low Impact Challenge (Low Max, Athletic Step). I just didn’t find Low Impact Challenge fun.
It is made up of 4 step combo routines. She does teach them in layers, building each combo, then putting all the moves together. But her cuing is off. She often cues as she is doing the move. And several of the moves are those fun Cathe moves where she has her back to you (and so your back is to the TV). After you learn the combos, you run through the completed combo/routine four times before moving onto the next combo. At the end of all 4, you run through all of the combos one more time, one after another. The choreography of the combos increases in complexity as you go. I was able to catch onto the first one pretty well, but as the workout progressed it became more difficult. By combo 4 I came to a standstill several times as I watched Cathe, trying to learn the complicated footwork. It was very dancy, too, until you get to the blasts.
The “blasts” are primarily lower body endurance drills. Moves like kicks and lunge backs on the step, repeating leg abductions, air squats—that type of thing. Nothing intense or “blast” like. The blasts had no complicated choreography.
Overall, this wasn’t a fun or intense workout and the choreography was complicated. Unimpressive. Though I will give it one more try, I’m not inspired to do it any time soon.
In the premix list below, the * means the premix includes the bonus step routine (which again, is great—check it out at the end of Cardio Supersets review).
Premixes: Step Express #1 (no blasts) 42, Step Express #2 (no blasts) 37, Step Express #3 41, *Step Express #4 (no blasts) 32, *Step Express #5 41, Double Lower Body Blast 56, *Low Impact Challenge Extreme 71