Cardio & Weights is another intermediate level cardio + strength workout from Cathe. It works well as a recovery workout. It’s not intense, but neither is it easy. It is a solid workout and it is a lot of fun. It also has a challenging abdominal section. This workout, in fact, seems rather reminiscent of The Firm’s older workouts—the ones that I used to love with the Fanny Lifter, the Transfirmer—and that weird, incline step that appeared in the period between the Fanny Lifter and the Transfirmer. Anyway, those are my favorite older Firm workouts and Cardio & Weights reminded me of them.
Cardio & Weights is on one of Cathe’s multi-workout DVDs. The other workout on this DVD is Imax 2, which will be reviewed separately. Unlike some of Cathe’s other multi-workout DVDs there are no bonuses that combine Imax 2 and Cardio & Weights. However, don’t despair—it does exist in a separate multi-workout compilation DVD called Terminator. More on that at the end of this review.
Cardio & Weights is a circuit workout with 4 circuits. Each circuit starts with a step cardio segment that is approximately 6 minutes long, then moves into a compound/4 limb strength move, and finishes with several heavier strength moves that isolate a muscle group. The cardio is not high intensity, the choreography is only moderately complex and has some dancy steps. The step moves are fun and the music is great–very motivating. I really enjoyed this workout. I went a lot heavier than Cathe on most of the strength work and feel like I got a decent upper body strength workout. One drawback to this workout, even using it as a recovery workout, is that she didn’t hit the legs very hard. The upper body gets a pretty good workout, but you only hit the lower body in the compound moves. In fact, it might be more appropriate to categorize this as a cardio + upper body strength workout. I definitely wouldn’t count this as lower body strength work.
Cardio & Weights is a 60 minute cardio + strength workout; 5 minute warm up, 43 minute cardio/strength circuits, 8 minute core work, 4 minute stretch. Equipment needed: step at 6 inches, various dumbbells and a mat for core and stretch. You can raise your step to 8 inches for additional intensity.
Plie squat with upright row
Side lateral raise
Lunge with one arm overhead tricep extension
Close grip bench press on step
Lying tricep extensions
Lunge with hammer curls
Traditional bicep curls
Push up to pyramid/push up to side plank
Bench press on step
Chest flys on step
The workout ends with core work and a stretch. I really liked the core work a lot. It was pretty challenging in comparison to the rest of the workout, plus it was varied and interesting. She does some unique crunch variations before putting you on your side and hitting the obliques hard.
Premixes: Timesaver Compound & Heavy Weights 36, Time Saver Upper Body Heavy Weights 18, Cardio and Compound Weights 48, Time Saver Step only 35.
**Even though I really like Cardio & Weights and will use it from time-to-time as a recovery workout, it probably will not get as much use as most of my other Cathe workouts. At least not in this form. To follow up on that enigmatic “form” statement, Cardio & Weights is used in Cathe’s Terminator workouts. The Terminator workouts are 3 long premixes that combine 4 workouts in different ways: Cardio & Weights, Imax 2, Muscle Endurance and Bootcamp. The review of these workouts will be going up in the next few weeks, but thus far, I have only done one of them: Imax Extreme. In this workout, the way Cardio & Weights is used is absolutely perfect. I won’t go into detail here, since as soon as the review for Terminator is up, I will link to it here and you can check it out for yourself.