Step Sync is a cardio step workout from Cathe‘s Step Boss Series. The other two DVDs in this series are PHA 3 and Imax 4. Cathe also created a Quick Start Users Guide to accompany this series. My husband pre-ordered the entire series for me as a gift–I mention this in case readers are wondering why I bothered even purchasing this workout. 1. it was a gift and 2. I always pre-order everything Cathe creates, regardless of what it is.
Step Sync is a cardio step workout made up of complex choreography (Cathe actually calls it “intricate” and advanced). In addition to the main 56 minute workout, it also contains a 21 minute cardio step workout with intermediate level choreography and a 9:30 minute Ab Stacker Bonus (the same core workout that is on PHA 3). Both of those bonuses are reviewed below the main workout review. There are also some premixes and they are listed at the very bottom of this review.
Hmmm…. what to say about this workout? I did not expect to like this workout. I am not a fan of Cathe’s step workouts that contain complex step choreography so I came to this workout expecting to hate it. I didn’t hate it. I do not believe the choreography in this workout is her most complex to date. She has a few other step workouts that have even more intricate step choreography than this. Nevertheless, this was still pretty complex. But I was able to catch onto nearly every single step combo and that’s saying a lot. I have 2 left feet. There were a few I stumbled through every single time it was presented but I was able to catch on to 90% of the steps. I did pretty well during the combos where they are built and then you run through the complete combo few times before moving on to learn the next combo. But at the very end of the workout you do all 3 of the finish combos (no more teaching) one right after the other and by that time I had them all jumbled together in my head and messed up a lot of the steps.
People who love complex step workouts will immediately reply that you have to “practice” these workouts. And that is great for them because that is what they love to do. But I am not training to be a competitive stepper so I do not want to return to this or any other step workout enough times to learn the choreography perfectly. That’s not why I exercise and its also not why I own hundreds of workouts. I want variety. A lot of it. So I don’t return to any of my workouts frequently enough to memorize the steps (hence, the reason for this blog–to reacquaint myself with a workout before I return to it). So, it is doubtful I will ever return to this workout. I also didn’t really enjoy it. I want to do workouts that are fun for me (IMAX 4 and PHA 3 were fun for me). This was not fun. I actually kept glancing at my DVD player counter. I knew this workout was 56 minutes and I was ready for it to be over by the halfway point.
Finally, this is not high intensity and it is not high impact. It is a low impact, steady state cardio workout. I was perspiring by the end but nothing major. Bottom line–if you love complex step choreography then you will love this. If you hate complex step choreography then you will hate this. I also didn’t really enjoy the Bonus Intermediate Step. I do love the Ab Stacker Bonus but that is also on PHA 3, which is where I will use it. This DVD will just get shelved with the rest of my Cathe step cardio workouts that I never do (I am referring to the complex step ones–she has plenty of step cardio workouts that do not contain complex choreography that I love and do frequently).
Step Sync is 56 minutes; 7:30 minute warm up and 3 minute cool down/stretch. Equipment: step with 1 riser on each side (6 inches). This workout is made up of 3 step combos that are taught in layers. After you learn all 3 combos, Cathe puts them together–you do the first finished combo followed by the second, immediately followed by the third, then you repeat all 3 combos a second time. During the finished combo segment at the end of the workout, each combo is separated by knee around the worlds.
Bonus Intermediate Step is 21 minutes; no warm up and 20 second cool down. Equipment: step with 1 riser on each side (6 inches). This workout is made up of 2 combos that are built in layers. After the combo is built you run through the completed combo several times. I used this mini cardio step workout as a cardio finisher after another workout. I agree that the step choreography is intermediate level complexity. I was able to catch onto everything pretty quickly but on at least half of the steps I had to watch Cathe do it once then I was able to copy it pretty easily. The cardio intensity was pretty low. Definitely not an intense cardio workout. According to Cathe this will prepare you for Step Sync. Since I did this workout before Step Sync–we shall see if that’s true! I didn’t find this so wonderful or fun that I am motivated to return to it.
Bonus Ab Stacker is 9:30 minutes; 40 second stretch. Equipment: a mat and 4 risers.This was an excellent and fun core workout. I loved using the step risers as props. #4 was super tough for me.
- Stacking Crunches (sit on mat with all 4 risers stacked at the end of the mat, your legs are straddling the risers, take the top riser and as you lower your torso, flip the riser around while raising riser overhead, when you are laying on ground, set riser on ground above head, sit back up, repeat until you have stacked all 4 risers behind you, then reverse this until all 4 risers are stacked between legs again)
- Side to Side Oblique Stacking (all 4 risers are still stacked at end of mat, but now sit beside them, lean torso back and raise feet off ground, knees are bent, take top riser and bring it to other side of body and set it on the opposite end of the mat, continue this until all 4 risers are stacked on the other side of you then reverse this, bringing all of the risers back to the start)
- Modified Boat Pose (move risers beside mat and hold just one riser in both hands, lay on mat with legs straight and arms/riser extended overhead, sit up into bent knee boat pose with riser resting against shins and hold for 2 seconds)
- Side Oblique Sit Ups with Boat Pose (place all 3 risers at end of mat again with legs straddling the risers and holding one riser in both hands, lay back with arms/riser extended overhead, sit up while raising one leg and rotate riser to side of raised leg, repeat on other side of body then rise into boat pose holding riser at shins for 2 seconds)
- Stacking Prone Position (all 4 risers are stacked at the end of the mat, come into straight arm plank with risers in front of you, with one hand, take top riser and set it on floor beside the stack, repeat with next riser, do the same with the last 2 risers but with other hand to other side, reverse this, bringing risers back to end of mat in a stack of 4)
- Superman (move risers out of the way beside mat, take one riser and hold it in both hands, lay on your stomach with arms/riser extended in front of you, raise arms/riser/chest and legs and hold for 3 seconds)
Main Workout + Bonus Ab Stacker 65:37 minutes
Bonus Intermediate Step + Bonus Ab Stacker 40:43 minutes
Timesaver #1 Combos 1 & 2: 33:04 minutes
Timesaver #2 Combos 2 & 3: 38:26 minutes
Timesaver #3 Combos 1 & 3: 33:23 minutes
Timesaver #4 Only the finished product, done twice: 28:31 minutes
Timesaver #5 Only the finished product, done 3 times: 37:27 minutes
Bonus Intermediate Step + Step Sync Mix (all of Bonus Intermediate Step + Step Sync combos 1 & 2) 53:42 minutes
All Step Sync Combos + Double the finished product 65:04 minutes