Xtrain: Cardio Leg Blast


Cardio Leg Blast is part of Cathe‘s Xtrain series. For more info on the series as a program see My Intro to Xtrain.

Cardio Leg Blast is a 56 minute cardio + strength workout; 7 minute warm up, 41 minute training period, 8 minute cool down/stretch. This DVD also includes Bonus Core #2, Bonus Burn Sets Bis, 100 Rep Challenge Hip Thrusts and 100 Rep Challenge Scarecrows. The bonuses will be reviewed at the end. Equipment needed for the main workout is dumbbells, a club step with 3 risers on each side (10 inches), 4 dixie cups and medium firewalker loop. Low Impact Series workouts also used dixie cups and in those reviews I stated that you could easily substitute other things–I used wash clothes. However, for this workout at least, I think the 4 dixie cups work best. You need 4 small items and they are just the right size.

I flipping ADORE this workout. I am a huge fan of cardio + strength workouts, especially when they are done right. And this one is done so very right! Excellent fast-paced strength work (metabolic strength training) + mostly anaerobic cardio (HIITs) equals my kind of workout. I’ve done 3 Xtrain workouts so far and this one does the same thing the other two do that I am unexpectedly loving tremendously. You never do the same exercise twice. There are 12 rounds, which means 12 different lower body exercises and 12 different cardio blasts. Technically 11 different cardio blasts–one is repeated but with a different lead leg. This an intense, effective and fun workout. And check out the premixes below! I can’t wait to try the “extreme” ones!

**I did not post these reviews in order due to the fact there are so many bonuses that are distributed differently throughout the workouts. I didn’t want to post a review until I had done all of the bonuses that are included on the DVD. Well, now I have done all of the workouts, so I want to comment on the difference between the two lower body workouts: Legs and Cardio Leg Blast. Cardio Leg Blast is a cardio + strength workout that uses medium weights and plyometrics to work your lower body. Legs has no cardio and is an endurance strength workout using light weights and other equipment (stability ball, chair, firewalker loop and Slide N Glide discs). So between the two workouts you are hitting all of the muscles in your lower body in several different ways. Just like everything in this amazing program it is very comprehensive.**

Round #1
Cardio: pop squats/jump ropes/plyo jacks
Strength: alternating back lunges

Round #2
Cardio: touch down jacks/split jumps
Strength: plie squats

Round #3
Cardio: side explosive lunges
Strength: elevated lunges (3 risers)

Round #4
Cardio: frog jumps forward/back/plie jacks (firewalker loop)
Strength: wide stance deadlifts

Round #5
Cardio: plyo jacks/air jacks
Strength: squats

Round #6
Cardio: (4) dixie cup lateral skates
Strength: step ups (3 risers)

Round #7
Cardio: power 7/up jack down jack (3 risers)
Strength: static lunge

Round #8
Cardio: fast feet shuffle/jump rope
Strength: plie squat

Round #9
Cardio: (right lead) jump on step & step off/straddle up & step down (3 risers)
Strength: deadlift using 5 pound dumbbells to elevate toes

Round #10
Cardio: (left lead) jump on step & step off/straddle up & step down (3 risers)
Strength: side lunges

Round #11
Cardio: step knee tap down/step freeze (3 risers)
Strength: single leg deadlifts

Round #12
Cardio: L-step into over top of step 6x and exit (3 risers)
Strength: alternating front lunges

Bonus Burn Set Biceps (14 minutes): This “bonus” is actually an individual muscle group segment from the Burn Set workout. So, just click on any of the Burn Set links and it will take you to the review of that workout where you can read about the concept of the Burn Set workouts and the individual muscle segments.

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 Hip Thrusts (6 minutes): Holy cow! This was intense. My legs were already burned out from doing the main Legs workout–but then I did this and WOW! So far of the three 100 Rep Challenges I’ve done so far, this was the hardest. In the User’s Manual, Cathe writes that research has shown that the hip thruster is the most effective glute exercise you can do. And man, did it feel effective! You need a club step with 3 risers and a barbell. I have no idea what weight the crew member (Amanda) was lifting, but I used 35 pounds. She also had a barbell pad around the barbell, which I will use next time. In addition, Cathe recommends putting a towel or folded mat behind your back against the step and I will do that in the future, too. It does get a little uncomfortable on the back. Like all the other 100 Rep Challenges, Cathe gives instructions while one crew member does the challenge. You sit on the ground with your back against the step and the barbell on your hips. You lift your hips so you are in a table position (no arching of the back) with your toes pointing a bit outward and you lift your hips up and down in a controlled manner. I felt this so thoroughly. Like I said, my lower body was already burned out from Legs, but this finished the job. The idea is to do as many reps as you can (to failure) then rest for 30 seconds and start again. You continue this until you’ve reached 100 reps. So far, with the challenges I’ve done so far, I’ve had no problem staying up with the crew member and in some instances I felt I could keep going for longer than the crew member (and not taking so many rests). Not in this case! I did keep up with Amanda, but I was praying for her to take rests at times and so relieved when she did. She does 38 reps. Rest for 30 seconds. 22 more reps. Rest for 30 seconds. 20 more reps. Rest for 30 seconds. 20 more reps–DONE! 100 reps!

100 Rep Scarecrows (6 minutes): This is a great challenge that works your rotator cuff. I’m not sure why this exercise wasn’t included on one of the shoulder strength workouts but that is where I tack on this challenge. You need light weights for this exercise. Jai is using 3 pound dumbbells. I used 3 pounds, too, the first time I did it but felt I could go heavier. The second time I did it I used 4 pounds and that was sufficient! You hold your arms in goal post position and bring the dumbbells forward until they are level with your shoulders. And of course you use slow and controlled movements. Just like in all of the other 100 Rep Challenges, Cathe gives instructions while a crew member does the challenge. In this challenge it was Jai. The idea is to do as many reps as you can (to failure) then rest for 30 seconds and start again. You continue this until you’ve reached 100 reps. In the other challenges I have done so far, even though there isn’t a verbal “count” going on when the crew member stops for a break, we are told where she is in the 100 reps. That did not happen consistently in this challenge. So I had to do my own count. Jai did 40 then rested for 30 seconds. She did another 20 and rested for 30 seconds. Another 20, another 30 second rest, then 20 more, which brought her to 100. The first time I did this challenge with 3 pound dumbbells, I felt as if I didn’t need as many rests as Jai took. However, the second time with 4 pound dumbbells, I was ready for this rests!

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.


Cardio Leg Blast + Core #2 – 68 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast + Burn Set Bis – 70 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 1-6 – 34 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 1-6 + Core #2 – 46 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 1-6 + Burn Set Bis – 48 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 1-6 + Burn Set Bis + Core #2 – 61 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 7-12 – 36 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 7-12 + Core #2 – 48 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 7-12 + Burn Set Bis – 50 minutes

Timesaver Rounds 7-12 + Burn Set Bis + Core #2 – 63 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 1-6) – 75 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 1-6) + Burn Set Bis – 89 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 1-6) +core #2 – 88 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 1-6) +Burn Set Bis + Core #2 – 102 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 7-12) – 77 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 7-12) + Burn Set Bis – 91 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 7-12) + Core #2 – 90 minutes

Cardio Leg Blast Extreme (Rounds 1-12 + 7-12) + Burn Set Bis + Core #2 -104 minutes

All Cardio Blast Routines – 33 minutes

All Strength Exercises – 36 minutes


18 thoughts on “Xtrain: Cardio Leg Blast

  1. Hi, can I use dumbell weights instead of barbell? I really can not afford to purchase this item due to fact that I buy tons of cathe’s workouts!

    Thanks in advance


    1. You can substitute dumbbells for most barbell exercises. I did until I purchased my first barbell. The beauty of a barbell though is that it allows you to lift heavier for some exercises (not all, but things like chest press, deadlift, hip thrusts, and a few others I am sure I am forgetting, you are able to lift heavier with a barbell than you can with dumbbells). But if you aren’t to that level where you feel like you can lift heavier than what your dumbbells provide, then there is no point in wasting money on a barbell.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s