Before there was Zumba, Tae Bo, Spinning or even Step Aerobics, fitness video pioneer Cathe Friedrich recognized the need to provide a simple, flexible, affordable and motivating way for Americans to exercise and stay fit. Nearly thirty years and over 190 DVDs later, thousands of people have credited Cathe Friedrich for helping them transform their bodies and their lives with her videos and TV appearances. Her award-winning fitness workouts have been featured in the New York Times, Dallas News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. You’ve read about them in Shape, Oxygen, Self, Health, Fit, Consumer Digest, and Fitness.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Cathe Friedrich this past winter. One of my dearest friends Seasun Zieger, who is also in the fitness industry, was going to meet her and do a class and she asked me to join her. It was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had! I had NEVER done a step class in my life, and I was literally picked up off the floor twice, but I’m proud to say I made it through a 75 minute Cathe Friedrich class! (Never underestimate the power of some good ol’ step aerobics!) Cathe was incredibly gracious and gave us a tour of the gym, showing us where she films and where all the magic happens.
I can honestly say that Cathe Friedrich is one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. She has accomplished so much and balances both her career and her most important role as mother of her two boys, always keeping them as her number one priority. She is truly an inspiration and one fit mama!
It was such an honor to interview Cathe, definitely a high point in my life. Here is what she had to say about balancing career, motherhood, and a lot more
1. You’ve become such an amazing inspiration for so many mothers on “doing it all”. What advice do you have for busy moms in having a successful career while maintaining the role as wife and mother?
As a full time “career mom” with two active boys, 10 and 12, I can say that the key ingredient to making it all work is staying very organized with a daily (and reasonable) to-do list and allotting a certain amount of time to each item on the list. Tackle the highest priority items, and if you finish everything, great! And, if not, start writing the next day’s to-do list with those leftover items at the top. You have to let go of thinking you can do it all, or you’ll compromise your health. Once the kids come home from school, it’s time to switch gears and make the kids/family your total focus. You will never get those years back, and you don’t want to look back many years later and say “I wish I would have been there more for my family”. My motto: Family First: Period!
2. How do you find time to eat well and workout with your busy schedule?
It’s not always easy to eat exactly what I want to on a given day, especially if I’m filming or traveling. But during the times that I can make better choices for myself, I enjoy planning out my meals and bringing them to work with me if I won’t be able to buy or order them the way I like them. As far as my workouts, I teach advanced classes four days a week and then I weight train four nights a week on my own after I put the kids to bed. Not ideal hours on the weight lifting, but I make it work.
Yes, I have a very exciting new project coming up. It’s called XTRAIN. XTRAIN is a 90 day advanced total conditioning program that combines traditional and metabolic weight training along with high intensity interval cardio training to ignite your metabolism, crush calories, and burn fat! I’ve designed XTRAIN to fit almost anyone’s hectic schedule and to help them get in the best shape of their life!
4. What fitness, food, or health/beauty products are you loving right now?
I have my own line of fitness products “Fitness by Cathe” and I am always adding new exciting fitness items each year. My latest new fitness “toy” is my Slide and Glide disc. It takes my workouts, especially legs, to an incredibly new level. As for food, I love my sushi and will never tire of it…mmmmm! I also have a fascination with beauty & skin care products. My latest fun find is a beauty cleansing bar by Arcona, Toner Tea Bar. I love the clean, fresh feeling and the great dose of antioxidants for my skin/face.
5. Out of all your personal and professional achievements, what has been the most shocking or exciting endeavor you’ve experienced?
While I feel I have been blessed with many wonderful awards and accomplishments over my 30 year career, I would have to say one of the most exciting highlights was being inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2011 and being presented with an honorary award and picture with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
6. What keeps you motivated to maintain your fit lifestyle? What gets you through those bad days we all have?
I see every day as a new day, a new chance, a new opportunity to make a difference. We all have this choice and you can choose to seize the moment and make the day special or you can choose to wish you did. Sure, we all have days where life throws us challenges but I try to recognize this when I’m having that kind of day and redirect the challenge into a positive experience.
7. What is the craziest, fad diet you’ve ever tried in weight loss efforts?
I avoid crazy fad diets these days as I know the repercussions of them. But I did enter a body building competition back in my college years and remember the grueling low carb, low calorie, low fat, low sodium, high protein diet and nearly fell over on stage. I placed first but ironically I didn’t feel like a winner at all!!!
Well since I already told you that I LOVED sushi, can I share my favorite not so healthy snack instead, ha? I absolutely love ice cream and frozen yogurt. I’m in heaven with all these “make your own” frozen yogurt places popping up, but my favorite one of them all is Red Mango.
9. In one sentence, what advice do you have for women to push through all the roadblocks, excuses, and external factors and become their best self?
This is one that I stand by every day, and in fact, I have it hanging here right in my office: The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you!
Thank you, Cathe Friedrich!!
Visit Cathe’s Website to see all her fabulous products!!