Cathe’s Supersets

Supersets is a unique strength workout by Cathe. It is the other half of a two workout DVD. The other workout on this DVD is Push Pull which will be reviewed soon. Supersets is 52 minutes; 4 minute warm up, 43 minute training period and 5 minute stretch.

I really, really enjoyed this workout. It is not the most challenging Cathe workout I’ve done but it is a unique and solid one (and can easily be made much more challenging—see note at end of review). I also felt as if Supersets hit muscles that are often neglected and also hits many of the traditional muscles in new ways. The title “Supersets” led me to expect the workout to be formatted differently. I generally view supersets as exercises repeated sequentially to the same muscle group with little or no rest between them, completely fatiguing the muscle. Cathe frequently uses traditional supersets in most of her strength workouts. I am aware that there are other forms of  supersets, I just don’t generally think of the other forms as “supersets.” The main superset variety she uses is to superset opposing muscle groups. There are 4 circuits in the workout that Cathe calls “rounds.” Each round starts with a lower body exercise and ends with core work. Cathe’s premixes are always an amazing bonus to her workouts, but they are especially valuable for this workout. More on this later. Let’s get to the workout!

Equipment needed: barbell, dumbbells, stability ball and a step. It looks like Cathe’s step is set at 10 inches, but I used my 8 inch step and it worked just fine.

Round 1, Group A:

Squats with barbell

Deadlifts with barbell

Chest press with barbell while lying on step

Shoulders: side and forward delt raise with dumbbells while on stability ball

Wood chops with dumbbell while on stability ball

Round 1, Group B:

Plie squats with barbell

Pullovers with dumbbell while on stability ball

Chest flies with dumbbells while on stability ball

Shoulder/rotator cuff external rotations with dumbbell while on stability ball

Rollouts on stability ball

Round 2, Group A:

Single leg lunge (she calls it a squat but it is a lunge) with dumbbell, non-working leg/foot on step

Dumbbell military press seated on step

Bicep preacher curl with barbell on stability ball

Tricep extensions with dumbbells (skull crushers) while on stability ball

Bicycle crunches

Round 2, Group B:

Pendulum lunges with explosive/jump lunges

Rear dumbbell delt flys while on stability ball

Bicep dumbbell concentration curls while on stability ball

Tricep seesaw pushups while on stability ball

Oblique crunches while on stability ball

I did this workout for the first time this morning using the same weights that Cathe uses and found it an intermediate level workout. Some of my muscles did get burned out (biceps and lower body in particular), but others I felt I needed heavier weights than what she uses. So even though I got a great workout, I know I can make it an excellent workout by increasing the amount of weight I use in the future. To make it advanced, I need only go to the amazing premixes. There are 11 for Supersets that take supersetting to the max. They range anywhere from as long as 109 minutes (ouch!) to as short as 28 minutes. They all include various combinations of Rounds and Groups. For example, the 109 minute monster is 3 sets of each round with no core work. Or do 2 sets of each round with no core work—78 minutes. You can just do Groups: Group A only is 28 minutes and Group B is 33 minutes. You can do two sets of each Group: Group A 48 minutes and Group B 52 minutes. There is a lower body only at 33 minutes and then 4 more premixes that mix up the rounds/groups and do multiple sets of some and only one set of others. Those clock in at 60-72 minutes.

As you can see, there is no reason this workout should remain an intermediate workout. You can do some serious strength work with this workout if you go heavy and use the astounding premixes. Could I have found a new favorite “pure” strength workout? Possibly, once I start playing with those premixes. I’m pretty excited.

One more note: Cathe generally hits the abs hard in her workouts. Hard. However, the ab work in this workout is rather tame. There is some good and unique ab work—I particularly liked Rollouts, which worked upper body as well as core. She also hits you pretty hard with the bicycles. But the other two—wood chops and oblique crunches were not up to her usual core intensity (especially those oblique crunches). That’s fine with me because now that I do so much Cathe, I feel like I get more than enough core work in her other workouts—but it’s worth noting that it’s not her typical “rip up your abs” core work.


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