Bi’s & Tri’s is a split series strength workout that is 46 minutes; 5 minute warm up, 36 minute training time and 4 minute stretch. This workout also includes Bonus Core #1, Bonus Core #2, 100 Rep Challenge Bicep Curls and 100 Rep Challenge Tricep extensions. The bonuses will be reviewed below, after the workout. Equipment needed for the main workout: dumbbells, stability ball and medium resistance tubing.
Just like Chest, Back & Shoulders and Cardio Leg Blast (the only 3 Xtrain workouts I have done so far), Cathe does not repeat a single exercise. I love this concept. I didn’t initially think it would matter to me one way or the other, but not only does it decrease boredom, but I feel it works the muscle groups targeted in the workout more comprehensively. Cathe states that for this workout you should be lifting 70% of your 1 rep max (1RM). I’ll confess, I haven’t done the 1 rep max test. I have several excuses for this. The first being, when I started my rotation Xtrain still wasn’t up on Cathe’s workout manager (and as I am writing this review it still isn’t up, but I’ve only had Xtrain less than a week and am currently only on day 3 of the rotation). However, if I really wanted to do 1RM, I could use the instructions (and the nice chart) she included in the user’s manual. But I have been lifting weights for a long time. I always use the first time doing a workout as an “experimental” workout anyway–to get a feel for it and to know how heavy to lift the next time to challenge myself. So that is the way I am approaching Xtrain. In the User’s Guide (and on the workouts themselves–more on that in a moment), each workout tells you what weight Cathe uses for each exercise and how many reps you will be doing. This is a good enough guide for me to determine what weight I will start with the first time doing the workout. I will say that when I do STS (in April, I think), I plan to actually do the 1RM. Also, since I am doing the Xtrain 90 day rotation, I may decide after doing all of the workouts twice, to give the 1RM a try, just to see how accurate my own method works.
These workouts are beautifully put together. So far (remember, just 3 workouts in at this point), I feel like Cathe has really corrected for any big or small issue that ever came up in her previous workouts (except Crossfire and To The Max–they are already perfect). The workouts are put together very well. You have enough time between moves to swap weights and record what weight you lifted–but also she is not giving too much rest time between moves. The workout still moves at a nice clip. Before each exercise, you get information about the move at the bottom of the screen (similar to how it is done in Crossfire and To The Max), how many reps you’ll be doing and the weight Cathe is lifting. In addition, the premixes are pieced together very smoothly.
Bi’s & Tri’s is set up in 8 rounds. Each round has two exercises super-setting the biceps and the triceps.
Alternating Bicep Curls
Overhead Double Arm Tricep Extensions
Incline Bicep Curls on Stability Ball
Flat Bench Tricep Extensions
One Arm Tricep Kickbacks w/ tubing and dumbbells
Standing “w” Curls with dumbbells and tubing
Seesaw Pushups on Stability Ball
Hammer Curls on Stability Ball
One Arm Overhead Tricep Extensions
One Arm Preacher Curl on Stability Ball
Side Leaning One Arm Overhead Tricep Extensions on Stability Ball
Slow Mo Eccentric Bicep Curls with tubing
Cross Body Tricep Kickbacks
Incline Reverse Bicep Curls on Stability Ball
One Arm Plank Tricep Kickbacks
Hammer Curl Double Arm Crazy 8’s
Crazy Tricep Dips
Bonus Core #1 is 10:30. It is a great core workout. Bonus Core #2 is tougher, but this one is still pretty challenging. You start with full sit ups with speed bag arms. Then you do pulse crunches with hands to knees, then hands behind head. Sit up touching hands to knees, toes, knees and lay back down to mat. You alternate this move with pulse crunches touching hands to knees. Next is frog style crunches (knees to side and bottoms of feet touching). In banana position, twist to the side bringing in knees and touching opposite knee to elbow–alternate (this is a tough move!). In C-sit position with knees bent and feet off ground, do oblique twists. Next is something Cathe calls stacked crunches. What is stacked is your feet. Both legs are extended straight and one heel sits on the opposite toe. As you crunch up, you lift the top leg. Next is full sit ups. The workout ends with a plank series. First, while in straight arm plank, alternate bringing your foot to your hand. Then drop to elbows (low plank) and alternate bringing your knees to your arms. Next is a “jog” while still in low plank–alternating dropping your knees to the mat. The plank series ends by holding low plank. Then she briefly stretches out your core.
Bonus Core #2 is 12:30 and it is tough! WOW! This is a very high rep core workout. You start with some fast paced crunches with legs up and ankles crossed–60 of them! Then you do fast paced reverse crunches–another 60! Then you do crunches called “climb the rope”–64 of those! After that the high reps are mostly over and you do regular reps for the rest of the exercises. But she burns your abs out quick! After the 64 climb the rope crunches you climb the rope to a full sit up then slowly slide down. Next, you revisit one of my favorite unique core exercises from Turbo Barre: while lying on your back, plant one elbow on the ground with the fingers pointing straight up in the air. The other arm lifts up, raising your torso while your other elbow remains planted on the mat. Next you do sit ups where you alternately lift one leg and touch the foot with both hands. Next is another tough move–corkscrew crunches with legs straight up in the air. Then you bend your legs to the side and do oblique crunches. The last core move is side planks. This was tough–especially after working your biceps and triceps so hard in the workout. First you do a lot of basic hip raises in side plank position, but then immediately (no rest) you put the top arm behind your head and you bend forward with the elbow while still in side plank. What I really like about this core workout is that she includes a stretch at the end of it–it is brief but she has you stretch out your core before you the program moves on wherever it is going. (I say this because the “bonuses” are used in premixes–which means something else probably follows.)
100 Rep Challenge Bicep Curls w/ Barbell (7 minutes): I love these 100 rep challenges. My method of using them is to tack them on to the end of a workout that works the same muscle group. I think that is probably how it was intended, too, since the 100 rep challenges for Biceps and Triceps are included on the Bi & Tri workout. All of the 100 Rep Challenges are basically set up the same. Cathe is giving instructions while one other person actually does the 100 reps. There is no warm up or cool down and none of the challenges are included in premixes–so they are yours to play with however you wish. For the bicep challenge, the crew member with Cathe (Marlo) uses a barbell with 25 pounds on it. I used the same. The reps are not done fast–but not super slow either. At a controlled pace. First she does 40 reps and takes a 30 second break. Then 22 more reps, takes another 30 second break. 18 more reps and takes another 30 second break then finishes with the last 20 reps. The first time I did this, I did it at the same pace as Marlo, but in the future I won’t take as many breaks. I think 25 pounds on my barbell was a good place for me to start doing the 100 rep challenge, but I could have powered on longer after the first break (and I will in the future). In the future I will probably only take two 30 second breaks rather than 3. The first time I did this challenge, I did Premix 2 before hand–which is the main Bi’s & Tri’s workout + Bonus Core #2. Then I tacked on the bicep challenge. My arms screaming afterward! I felt as if I had worked them harder than ever! I LOVE IT! The odd thing, however, is that I had no DOMS! I thought that was odd. **The second time I did this challenge was after Burn Sets Bi’s and Tri’s and my biceps were burned out. I used the 25 pound barbell, but Marlo’s breaks worked just fine for me that time! So it apparently depends on how burned out the muscle group is–and Burn Sets really burns those muscles.
100 Rep Challenge Flat Bench Tricep Extensions (7 minutes): As of today, I have now done all of the 100 Rep Challenges. They are awesome and I think they will add a lot to my workout rotations. Coolest idea ever! Tricep extensions are another tough one. Cedi is the crew member who did the exercise, while Cathe gave instructions. You need a bench with 5 risers on each side (14 inches tall) and light dumbbells. It looked like Cedi was using 5 pounds, so that was what I used and 5 pounds worked just fine for this exercise. The object is to do 100 reps; however not straight through w/out breaks. The crew members take various 30 second breaks. Cathe states however you should be able to get to at least 35 reps when you first start or your weight is too heavy. In all of the challenges, the crew members get to 35 reps in the beginning but after 35, their breaks vary drastically. Some only take 2 more breaks (which is about my pace) and others take more. The first time I do the 100 rep challenge I do it the same as the crew member–I use the same weight and take the same breaks. The second time, I do it the way that works best for me. In some, it’s just using a heavier weight and in others it is less breaks (and in some it is both). This one will be less breaks. But that is fine and that is exactly what Cathe instructs. To take breaks as you need them. Here is Cedi’s count: 35 reps. 30 second rest. 10 more reps. 30 second rest. 10 more reps. 30 second rest. 20 more reps. 30 second rest. 12 more reps. 30 second rest. 13 more reps. This equals 100 reps. I definitely don’t need that many breaks. However, my triceps were burning by the time I was in the 90s, so even with the excessive breaks this challenge did the job! That could be partially because I did Burn Sets Bi’s and Tri’s and had just finished 100 Rep Challenge Bicep curls maybe one minute before I did this challenge. So my arms and triceps were already aching.
Edit: It was pointed out by a reader that the crew members have been filming workouts all day and their muscles are probably already fatigued. This is, of course, true. Cathe mentions in most (if not all) of the 100 Rep Challenges to go at your own pace, which is what the crew members are doing. I noticed myself that when doing the 100 Rep Bicep Challenge that I needed more rests when I did the challenge after Burn Sets Bi’s & Tri’s than after I did the regular Bi’s and Tri’s workout. So Burn Sets burned my biceps out more, which made the challenge more difficult. This is obviously what is going on with some of the crew members—their muscles are burned out.
Bis/Tris + Core #1 56 minutes
Bis/Tris + Core #2 58 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-5) 27 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-5) + Core #1 37 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-5) + Core #2 39 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-6) 32 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-6) + Core #1 43 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-6) + Core #2 45 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-7) 37 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-7) + Core #1 48 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 1-7) + Core #2 50 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 4-9) 35 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 4-9) + Core #1 46 minutes
Timesaver (Rounds 4-9) + Core #2 48 minutes