Greatest Hits is the newest of Cathe‘s compilation collections. The ones she has created in the past are Terminator, Hardcore Extreme and Cardion Fusion. Timesaver is also a collection that contains compilation workouts done Cross Train Express style. The fact that Greatest Hits is labeled Volume 1 means there are more to come. I say Yay! to that.
All of the workouts that are included in this compilation are already reviewed on this blog, so I will provide links those reviews, give a brief overview of the individual workouts, then give the breakdown for the Greatest Hits workouts. This DVD contains a main workout, a bonus circuit workout and several premixes. But before I get to all of that I want to talk a little bit about this compilation and my thoughts on it.
First, I love it. It is very well done and combines some of my favorite step workouts in a fun new way. However, most of these workouts have already been used in compliations, so I thought it odd that she didn’t use mostly fresh workouts. Timesaver uses Step, Pump and Jump. Terminator uses Imax 2 and Cardio & Weights. Cardio Fusion uses Drill Max and Body Max 2. The only workouts she used that have never been in a compilation before are Athletic Step and Super Cuts. Let me stress that, for the most part, I love the way these workouts are pieced together, so I am not really complaining (well, maybe I am) but why not use other workouts–workouts that have never been included in a compilation before? Keep Athletic Step and Super Cuts since they have never been used before, but instead of Step, Pump and Jump–use one of the many, many other step workouts that have not yet been used in a compilation. Instead of Imax 2 and Body Max 2, why not use the original Imax and Body Max which have not been used in compilations? Instead of Cardio and Weights and Drill Max, why not use the Bootcamp cardio from 4 Day Split? Or the metabolic weight training sections from Intensity and/or To the Max and/or Atheltic Training and/or Crossfire?
One more nitpick before I get to the positive. In Cardio Fusion, Cathe uses the finished step combos of Body Max 2. Let me explain. In the Body Max 2 cardio portion you learn 3 step combos that have moderately complex choreography. But she teaches each combo in layers so that by the time you do the “finished” combo (which is all three combos strung together, one right after the other with no teaching since you already learned everything earlier), you are familiar. But in Cardio Fusion there is no teaching. She just throws a complex finished combo at you. I did not like that since, if I haven’t done Body Max 2 recently, how am I supposed to be familiar with the combo? Well, she does it again in Greatest Hits. This time it is the finished combo from Athletic Step and again it is moderately complex choreography. Just like in Body Max 2, in Athletic Step she teaches the combos before you do the finished combo at the end. And just like in Cardio Fusion, you get no teaching in Greatest Hits. Just the finished combo. I find it very irritating. I frequently find Cathe’s step choreography too complicated (see Step Blast and Low Impact Challenge) but when she teaches it well as she does in Body Max 2 and Athletic Step, her step choreography is both doable and fun. But the “finished” combos with no prior teaching are just as difficult for me as the complex choreography in Step Blast and Low Impact Challenge that I just cannot seem to grasp even when broken down.
Lets get to what I love about these workouts and there is a lot. In fact the good outweighs the bad IMHO. First, I love Step, Pump and Jump even tho I rarely do it. So it was great getting to do it again in this workout. I have yet to do Timesaver compilation and one of the things that makes me hesitate to try it is the fact that it uses Step Blast, too, which I think I have PTSD from. Second, the music! I love the music! I love all of the workouts used and I love how the main workout builds in intensity. It is pieced together very well–better than some of the other compilations. And even tho I complain about the finished step combo from Athletic Step, I still like it. I also like that in addition to the finished combo from Athletic Step, it also includes the blast/athletic drills that follow the finished step combo. I also like the premixes. Until Cardio Fusion, Cathe’s compilation DVDs did not have premixes and I did not like the Cardio Fusion premixes. There are two kinds–variations on the main workout and a variation on the Bonus Circuit workout. What I really love about the premixes is one of my problems with Cardio Fusion. Everything on Cardio Fusion was a minor variation of the main workout. Not so with Greatest Hits. The Bonus Circuit workout is completely different. This is what makes compilations fun!
The main workout is straight cardio that builds in intensity. Step, Pump and Jump is moderate/steady state cardio, then you move into the Body Max 2 combo which is still steady state, but a bit more intense than Step Pump and Jump. The intensity increases with the Drill Max combo until you reach the peak of intensity during the Imax 2 intervals. Then the workout drops back down to moderate/steady state cardio with Athletic Step–however, keep in mind, you are already revved from Imax 2! The cardio ends with some higher intensity blasts at the end of the Athletic Step finished combo (but not as high intensity as Imax 2). The workout ends with the Body Max 2 stretch. There are 4 premixes of the main workout labeled “Timesaver.” They just remove different sections to make the workout shorter and/or less intense.
There are two Bonus Circuit workouts. The main Bonus Circuit and a longer, more intense version called Cardio and Intervals. I did the Cardio and Intervals premix. It contains the Bonus Circuit workout plus the intervals from Imax 2. Just like the main workout, the circuit workout starts with the warm up from Step, Pump and Jump but then it jumps right into the Imax 2 intervals. Next is Cardio & Weights circuits. I love these circuits but it is odd, as I mentioned above, that these were her choices. These two workouts are already combined in Terminator–Imax Xtreme. Now because of the way they are combined, Imax Xtreme is longer and more intense, but still–same two workouts have already been combined in a compilation in the past (so why not chose new workouts?). Also, in the breakdown Cathe lists the Cardio & weights circuits as “Bonus Circuit Cardio #1 + Shoulders (CW)”–listing a body part (shoulders here). Now Cardio & Weights is a circuit workout that has 4 circuits–each circuit has cardio followed by 4 limb weight work and ending with heavier weight work. The way she has it listed I was expecting the heavy weight work to also be included, but all you are actually getting is the step cardio and the 4 limb work before it moves to the next circuit–no heavier weight training. So it is metabolic weight training. The training period ends with Super Cuts sit up/push up combo: 8 rounds consisting of 5 sit ups and 5 push ups done in rapid succession. The workout ends with Body Max 2 stretch. I really loved this workout.
Step, Pump & Jump (SPJ): is a cardio + circuit training workout that is done on a 6 inch step. It starts with 22 minutes of step cardio (6 minute warm up + 16 minute step combos) then goes into 39 minutes of cardio + strength circuit workout.
Imax 2 (IM2): is a cardio/interval/HIIT workout that is done on a 6 inch step. It contains 10 intervals and each interval contains a short step cardio routine that is repeated 6 times, a blast/HIIT and a recovery.
Drill Max (DM): is a cardio + strength circuit workout bootcamp style that uses a 6 inch step. It contains 6 circuits and each circuit consists of athletic cardio drills followed by strength work.
Body Max 2 (BM2): is a very long workout consisting of 35 minutes of step cardio (10 minute warm up + 25 minute step combos) using an 8 inch step, 27 minutes of lower body strength + cardio interval circuits and ending with upper body strength workout and ab work.
Athletic Step (AS): is a cardio step workout using a 6 inch step consisting of 3 step circuits and athletic blast/drills at the end.
Supercuts (SC): is a metabolic weight training workout consisting of endurance strength work and compound weight training. No step is used.
Cardio & Weights (CW): is a cardio + strength workout set up circuit fashion. All of the cardio is done on a 6 inch step. You also need dumbbells. There are 4 circuits. Each circuit starts with step cardio, then does a compound/4 limb strength move and ends with heavier weight work.
Main workout 66 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Combo #1 (SJP), Combo #2 (SJP), Combo #3 (SJP), Combo #4 (SJP), Step Combo #2 (BM2), Cardio #4 (DM), Interval 7 (IM2), Interval 8 (IM2), Interval 9 (IM2), Interval 10 (IM2), ), Finished Combos (AS), Stretch (BM2)
Bonus Circuit Workout 45 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Bonus Circuit Cardio #1 + Shoulders (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #2 + Triceps (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #3 + Biceps (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #4 + Back (CW), Bonus Sit Up/Push Up Combo (SC), Stretch (BM2)
Timesaver 1 (No Athletic Step) 55 Minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Combo #1 (SJP), Combo #2 (SJP), Combo #3 (SJP), Combo #4 (SJP), Step Combo #2 (BM2), Cardio #4 (DM), Interval 7 (IM2), Interval 8 (IM2), Interval 9 (IM2), Interval 10 (IM2), Stretch (BM2)
Timesaver 2 (No Imax 2) 50 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Combo #1 (SJP), Combo #2 (SJP), Combo #3 (SJP), Combo #4 (SJP), Step Combo #2 (BM2), Cardio #4 (DM), Finished Combos (AS), Stretch (BM2)
Timesaver 3 (No Step Combo Body Max 2) 59 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Combo #1 (SJP), Combo #2 (SJP), Combo #3 (SJP), Combo #4 (SJP), Cardio #4 (DM), Interval 7 (IM2), Interval 8 (IM2), Interval 9 (IM2), Interval 10 (IM2), Finished Combos (AS), Stretch (BM2)
Timesaver 4 (No Cardio #4 Drill Max) 61 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Combo #1 (SJP), Combo #2 (SJP), Combo #3 (SJP), Combo #4 (SJP), Step Combo #2 (BM2), Interval 7 (IM2), Interval 8 (IM2), Interval 9 (IM2), Interval 10 (IM2), Finished Combos (AS), Stretch (BM2)
Circuit and Intervals 60 minutes: Warm Up (SJP), Interval 7 (IM2), Interval 8 (IM2), Interval 9 (IM2), Interval 10 (IM2), Bonus Circuit Cardio #1 + Shoulders (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #2 + Triceps (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #3 + Biceps (CW), Bonus Circuit Cardio #4 + Back (CW), Bonus Sit Up/Push Up Combo (SC), Stretch (BM2)