Athletic Training is a very eclectic cardio + strength workout and though I loved it, I can how see it will not appeal to everyone. More than other instructor’s workouts that I’ve done, Cathe’s workouts tend to require a lot more equipment. I’m okay with that. I make substitutions where I have to, but I also like to try new things, so I end up accumulating most of the equipment anyway. This workout requires quite a bit. To begin with, you need a step adjustable to two heights: 8 inches and 10 inches. Cathe uses a club step with removable risers, which I don’t have. I have a Transfirmer, which can be used at 6 inches, 8 inches and 14 inches. So that was my modification in this workout. I just used an 8 inch step for the whole thing. Next you will need 5 pound and 8 pound weights. I knew this was a strength workout, so those low weights gave me pause, but trust me, Cathe made up for it in other ways. For the most part, those weights were sufficient. A few of the exercises, I will go heavier in the future, but for most of them, it was the right weight for me. You also need sliding disks, a Firewalker band and finally, a heavy resistance tube.
Athletic Training is a 56 minute cardio + strength workout; 6 minute warm up, 46 minute training period and 3:30 minute stretch. After the warm up, the workout starts with a very athletic step routine on the 8 inch step that lasts about 8 minutes. The choreography was basic, but it was tough! This was the only straight cardio part. Next you raise the step to 10 inches, grab the 8 pound weights to move into very fast paced circuit training—and most of it keeps your heart rate elevated. There are a lot of moves, mostly compound moves, but some where you are isolating (and burning out) a muscle group.
In the first part of the circuit training, most of the compound moves are done off the step. Moves include uneven low lunges/squats, overhead squat presses, double arm lateral raises with step up, plie squats with front swings, push ups off the step with shoulder taps, rear delt raises, more push ups.
Bicep burn out: sliding lunge with an 8 pound bicep curl (this is one I will use heavier weights for in the future), bicep curls with 5 pound weights and the resistance tube (you’d expect that I’d need heavier weights for this one, but the combination of the heavy resistance tube and the type of reps (as well as the amount of reps!) burns the biceps out just fine with a 5 pound weight).
Tricep burn out: tricep dips with one leg slides (disk)—4 sets, two each leg, pulsing tricep extensions while lying on step (again, we are only using 5 pound weights, but man! The combination of the pulses and having just done a million tricep dips makes 5 pounds plenty!), pulsing tricep extensions while standing and using the resistance tube.
Leg work with the Firewalker band: lunge (obviously not a full lunge with the band around your ankles), then side to side steps (working abductors), ending with hamstring curls. A pretty cool one-armed deadlift variation—holding both 8 pound weights in one hand (this is another one I will probably go heavier on in the future–plus using a single (heavier) dumbbell would make it easier to hold onto). Sitting down, you do back work with the resistance tube—one arm rows. The strength work ended with one arm delt flies using the resistance tube, still seated. These last two moves—the rows and the delt work were surprisingly effective. I really felt them!
Last is core work: torso twists holding Firewalker in hands, one minute of pulse crunches, one minute of reverse pluse crunches, planks with knee drops.
I really enjoyed this workout. It was varied, it was tough, it had unique moves and I felt it! I have DOMS in some unexpected places! It also worked my glutes harder than it seemed while doing the workout–but I feel it now! I think it is very important to use a heavy tube in this workout to get the full effect. If you used a light resistance tube then many of these exercises will not seem as intense–specifically bicep and back work. I have a collection of tubes that go up to 50 pounds of resistance; I used 35 pounds for my biceps and 50 for my back.
Finally, there are, of course, premixes: Express (22 minutes), Leg Cardio Express (35 minutes), Upper Body Express (46 minutes) and Athletic Step Extreme (43 minutes).