Cathe’s Muscle Max

Muscle Max is a 68 minute strength workout by Cathe Friedrich. 4 minute warm up, 59 minute training time and 5 minute stretch. 10 minutes of the training time is abdominal work.

Although the initial workouts that got me hooked on Cathe were strength workouts, due to the fact I did 90 days of Body Revolution, I have only been able to do Cathe’s cardio… well for the past 90 days. But that has not stopped me from hoarding more workouts–I want them all! Now that the 90 days are over, I get to delve into the Cathe strength workouts that I bought as well. And just as I remember–she is tough. Muscle Max is a very intense workout in which she supersets every muscle group to complete fatigue. It was a great workout and I really enjoyed it, but my muscles are still a little trembly. I anticipate some serious DOMS tomorrow.

The equipment needed for this workout is a step, a variety of dumbbells, a barbell, a yoga mat and a 6 foot “dyna-band.” A dyna band came with my DVD, but it is a pretty weak one. I have a million workouts that came with dyna bands, so I just grabbed one of my thicker/heavier ones to use. Also, I still do not have a barbell (it is in the works! I have a lot of equipment I still need to accumulate so I can do Cathe’s STS program) so I substituted dumbbells.

The workout starts with a squat series followed by a lunge series. Both the squats and the lunges are done with both regular sets, pulses and low ends. Very tiring–she definitely burned out my lower body right away. Next she burns out your chest starting with push ups followed by chest flies–then back to push ups. But to make it interesting, the second push up series has slow counts. On to the back–bent over rows with palms facing forward, lat rows and pull overs.

Then we are back to legs! These were really unique and interesting. You used the step for these and loop the band under the step for resistance. You do a leg press/lunge off the step while holding the band to create resistance. Great move. You move right into pulsing plie squats to really burn your legs out again.

On to the shoulders. First is side lateral raises followed by upright rows. Next was a shoulder move I haven’t seen before but really liked–a front raise with a delt squeeze. Unique and I felt it! She ends with side lateral raises with the band.

All this back and shoulder work fatigued my arms a bit already–so when she moved to biceps, I felt like I’d already started the supersets for that! First was standard bicep curls, then bicep curls halfway up, then halfway down–and of course she kept repeating until my arms were completely burned out. On most of the exercises I used the same weight that Cathe did. When she lowered her weight for the second bicep series, I almost didn’t pyramid down, since I know I can lift heavier. But I decided she had a reason for grabbing a lower weight, so I went to a lower weight, too–and I am glad I did! I was at muscle failure by the end!

The strength section ends with triceps–and wow, does it hit the triceps hard. Overhead presses followed by tricep dips followed by more overhead presses followed by more tricep dips. Then she finished it off with pulsing kickbacks with the band.

The workout ends with a long and brutal core section. The supersets don’t end when you put the weights down–she hits the abs so hard.

Time for each muscle group:

Chest 5:30 minutes

Back 8 minutes

Shoulders 8:30 minutes

Biceps 6:30 minuts

Triceps 6:30 minutes

Core 10 minutes

Lower Body 14 minutes (if you do the Lower Body premix it includes the warm up & stretch–23 minute)

Overall, an excellent strength workout. In the future I will probably skip the 10 minutes of abdominal work at the end so that I can keep my workout at an hour. As always, there are premixes: Upper Body only (42 minutes), Upper Body Push/Pull (33 minutes), Lower Body only (23 minutes) and Time Saver (56 minutes). I probably won’t mess with the premixes on this DVD, since I like the full workout and I can just hit skip to bypass the abdominal section and go straight to the stretch anyway.

5 responses to “Cathe’s Muscle Max

  1. I loved this review. You had me laughing. I recently ordered this one, and received it today. I’m going to put it in my rotation for next week, and wanted to refresh my memory on why I bought this one again. Can’t wait to try it, well in a sick sort of way I suppose. Thank you!

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