Cathe’s Butts and Guts

Butts and Guts is a 78 minute strength workout that, as the title states, works your lower body and your abdominals. The breakdown for this long workout is: warm up 6 minutes, standing glute work 31 minutes, floor work 19.5 minutes, core work 14 minutes, and stretch 8 minutes. It also contains bonuses: Bonus Stability Ball Abs 15 minutes and Bonus Lower Body (Glute Squeezes 2:30 minutes, Sit and Stands 2 minutes, and Leg Presses 3 minutes). More on the bonus below.

What can I say about Butts and Guts except WOW. And Ouch. Cathe brutalizes you in this workout. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The length scared me, but I also knew ahead of time that although she uses a barbell, the only dumbbells used (and they are used a lot) are 5 pound dumbbells. However, trust me, she makes up for those light hand weights in so many ways. I will say though, that on the majority of the standing exercises, I will go heavier than 5 pounds in the future–but not a lot! I’ll probably start with 8 pound dumbbells, but I doubt very seriously I will go heavier than 10 pounds. Let me just break the workout down and maybe then you will understand why (though actually doing the workout illuminates everything).

***8/20/16 It has been a while since I did this workout but I have been revisiting a lot of Cathe’s workouts in preparation for doing her Live versions. Since I have the Live Butts & Guts slated for Monday, I did this workout this morning. Holy crap. I had forgotten how brutal this workout is. Amazingly painful. I revisited this review beforehand as well as pulling out my old workout card and I was a little surprised by how light the weights I used were–even back in 2012. I do a lot of Cathe’s high rep lower body workouts now (her Live lower body workouts are high rep more often than not) and I use much heavier weights than this. Cathe–who uses fairly light weights in her live workouts uses heavier weights than this! So I increased my weights on everything, putting it more in line with the weights I use for her Live high rep lower body workouts. I am adding the weights I used to the break down below because I really think you will get an even better (more brutal but effective) lower body workout if you use heavier than what Cathe is using. Just for FYI, the only weights Cathe uses in this workout are a set of 5 pound dumbbells and a barbell with 35 pounds on it. I used much heavier than that today and this workout was brutal. Brutal! But doable. I really want to come back to this workout more often now because it has been a long time since my legs and glutes have been this thoroughly fried. Oh–since I did core work yesterday and have core work planned for tomorrow I just did the “Butts” part of this workout. But I didn’t use a premix. I did the entire workout but then when you go to the mat, I went to chaptering and did all of the lower body bonuses–Sit N Stands (I used 50# BB), followed by Leg Presses  (I used one 15# DB) followed by Glute Squeezes on the ball. Then I went back to where I left off in the regular workout (outer thigh raises on stability ball) and did all of the floor work until the core section. Then I skipped ahead to the stretch. It was brutal.***

Equipment needed for this workout: stability ball, step at 4 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches, a resistance band used as a firewalker band (this is before she started using actual “firewalker” bands and created her own with a resistance band–so if you have firewalkers, just use those), barbell, dumbbells, ankle weights and a mat. As mentioned above, all Cathe uses is a set of 5 pound dumbbells and a barbell with 35 pounds on it. The weights listed below are what I used when I did this workout on 8/20/16.

The workout starts with a warm up using the stability ball.

Standing Legs:
Walking lunges/plie squat/plie plyo hops with dumbbells (12# DBs)
Deadlifts with barbell (70# BB)
One legged squat/lunge on 12 inch step with dumbbells (one 15# DB)
Forward thrusting hammer punch (a kickbox move)
Barbell squats (50# BB)
Walking lunges/plie squat/plie plyo hops with dumbbells (12# DBs)
Deadlifts with toes elevated on 5 pound weights (barbell) (70# BB)
One legged squat/lunge on 10 inch step with dumbbells (one 15# DB)
Side to side thrusting hammer punch
Pulsing lunge/squat combo with no weights
Barbell squats (50# BB)
Low pulse lunges with dumbbell (one 10# DB)

Floor Legs:
Outer thigh raises on stability ball
Hamstring roll in and leg raise on stability ball
Glute squeeze on 4 inch step with ankle weights
Inner thigh raises with ankle weights
Hamstring/glute/outer thigh raises on hands and knees with ankle weights

For the first half of the abdominal work you will continue to wear your ankle weights and use the 5 pound dumbbells. For the abdominal exercises, the 5 pound weights are appropriate. The abdominal work ends with a plank series and spinal erector work.

Brutal workout. I am in pain. I did enjoy it, in spite of my whining. I will say I am not a fan of floor leg work, even though I know it works. Which is why I do it anyway, but it does hurt. I can power my way through all of the standing stuff, but when we get to the floor, the muscle failure starts.

Bonus work:
Early on when doing Cathe workouts, I didn’t fully comprehend the value of her “bonuses.” I initially assumed a bonus was a little “bonus” workout. Then I would do them and no… they would be exercise segments with no warm up and cool downs. Then I understood they were exercise segments that weren’t featured in the main workout, but were featured in the premixes, but at that point I didn’t understand the value of Cathe premixes. Well, those days are over and I not only love all Cathe workouts, but I adore her premixes and use them liberally! So the bonuses are awesome ways to mix up an already familiar workout and make it different. She does that in other ways, too, but adding all new moves just makes it even better.

That segues into the bonuses on Butts and Guts. I knew they were there, but I also knew how long the main Butts and Guts workout is: 78 minutes! There was no way that on the day I did Butts and Guts that I would also tack on 21 more minutes of Butts and Guts. I hadn’t done the workout yet, but I’ve done enough Cathe to know that by the time the main workout was over, neither my butt nor my gut would be ready for more work! So the first thing I did was the two bonus sections. And I liked them so much–the butt bonus in particular–that I immediately sought out break downs of the premixes so I could make sure I did the ones that incorporated these exercises. First let me break down the bonus moves. The bonus ab section is called Stability Ball Abs and it is 15 minutes. I really like this abdominal section. It is long, so I am not going to break down every move in it, but I’ll list my favorites: prone lifts (obviously on the ball) where your upper body is lifting in superman-fashion, roll outs, hip rotations (she calls them torso twists, but it is your hip that is twisting, very unique–I loved it!), oblique work with the band, ball exchanges and V-sits where you balance the ball on your shins. There were more exercises–all using the stability ball, but those were my favorites and, IMHO, the most unique and effective. There are only three lower body bonus exercises, but I loved every one of them. The first is Sit n’ Stands. For these you need a barbell and a 14 inch step. With the barbell on your shoulders you sit down and immediately raise partway up so that you are in a hover squat over the step and you hold it there for the count of three, then stand. Continue to repeat. The second exercise is just a fast paced leg press on the 14 inch step. Two sets of 16 reps on each side holding a dumbbell. And the third exercise is Glute Squeezes on the stability ball and wow! Did I ever feel these. You are lying with your belly on the stability ball, hands on the ground. Your legs are open wide in a V with toes touching the ground. You raise them and bring them together so that you’re heels touch, squeezing your glutes. You do a bunch of those, the you hold your heels together, legs raised in the air and pulse. Wow, wow, wow! Amazing glute exercise! I adore these exercises. However, to do them in the course of a workout, you will need to go to the premixes.

The premix Overall Legs is 64 minutes and contains all of the bonus leg exercises (with no abdominal work). Standing Glutes and Abs Timesaver is 50 minutes and contains the bonus Stability Ball Abs. Finally, Leg Blast premix is 48 minutes long and does the bonus legs press exercises twice. There is one more premix called Floorwork and Abs that is 49 minutes long and it contains none of the bonuses.

This is an amazing workout. However, in the future, due to the length I will stick with the premixes–Specifically, Overall Legs, Leg Blast and Standing Glutes and Abs (I like the bonus abs better than the ab work that is featured in the main workout).




18 thoughts on “Cathe’s Butts and Guts

  1. Wow! What a wonderful review!!!(as always). My question to you is can I do butts and guts daily or do I need a day off in between like when we do upper body?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s up to you. I personally do not work my lower body two days in a row if I am doing using dumbbells/barbells. But if the workout isn’t taxing the muscles you are working then it doesn’t hurt to do the workout every day. If you are using heavy enough weight to really fatigue your muscles then you need a day of rest so your muscles can repair themselves.


  2. I forgot about the vest! It’s on my Amazon wish list and I’m going to buy it today. I had the vest Cathe sold years ago but my cat peed on it and I had to throw it away. I don’t know why I didn’t replace it because I loved using it for barbell squats. I noticed an adjustable vest on Amazon that goes up to 45 pounds. I might take a look at that one, too.


    1. I love my vests! I have 3. I have the same one Cathe uses in STS but I didn’t buy it from her site. I got it off of Amazon ( It is my 12# vest. I have an 8# vest ( I use for things the 12# is too heavy for (more metabolic workouts). And I have a 40# vest I bought specifically for STS Squat Rack Legs. ( It has removable weights so it can be 40# or less. It is not practical for regular workouts in which you need free range of motion but it works for Squat Rack Legs.


      1. Thank you! I used 2.5 lbs like Cathe did and that was pretty challenging. I will increase my barbell weight next time since I like heavier for deadlifts and squats. But I’ll stick to 5-lb dumbbells because I think Cathe’s intent was to really go deep and feel those moves with perfect form rather than struggle with heavy weight. Also, I think some of the dumbbell exercises were for pre-exhaust purposes. But that’s just my take. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your reviews! They make my workouts SO much more efficient. You are doing a great service to us home exercise fanatics. 🙂


      2. I don’t know–I just did Butts & Guts again this morning and this time also added a 12# vest and I did not feel as if my form suffered at all. I was able to go deep and with control. But man are my glutes and hammies fried! Such an amazing workout!


      3. PS- I had that adjustable vest weight totally wrong! It goes from 12 lbs to 140 lbs! Have you seen such a thing?


      4. Holy cow! That is insane! I haven’t heard of anything like that. When I was researching my vests I was surprised to read some of the reviews–people going running in these 40 pound vests! They are way stronger than me. That would kill me! I wouldn’t even know what to do with a 140 pound vest!


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