I think I have found my new favorite workout in Cathe’s Supercuts. Actually I think I have found a collection of new favorite workouts in Xtrain, as I love them all, but Supercuts is the pinnacle. She has outdone herself with this workout and I adore it.
Supercuts is a metabolic weight training workout in the tradition of Afterburn and Cardio Supersets (and parts of Crossfire and To the Max), but so so so so much better! Do not misunderstand—I LOVE all of the afore mentioned workouts but Supercuts outdoes them all (well, not really Crossfire and To the Max, but that’s because those two are a mixture of so many things—but Supercuts outdoes the metabolic weight training portion of those workouts in the fun/interest factor).
First, an explanation of what metabolic weight training is. It is compound exercises done with little rest in between. This means the exercises involve both the upper and the lower body—usually high intensity strength training. But because it is faster paced and you use all 4 limbs, you generally cannot lift as heavy as you could if you were isolating or lifting at a slower pace. But the weight needs to be heavy enough to get you into your anaerobic zone—so basically, it is a form of HIIT training. When done properly, it has an excellent afterburn effect. Some studies have shown an increase in metabolic rate for 48 to 72 hours after metabolic weight training!
I love Cathe’s other metabolic weight training workouts—they are tough and effective—and Supercuts outshines them all. There is something different about all of the Xtrain workouts, that, in my eyes at least, makes them superior to everything that has come before—from Cathe as well as other trainers. All of it is showcased in Supercuts. First, no single exercise in the main program is repeated (unless it has to be done on both sides of the body). So endless variety. In addition, it has a lot of fresh new moves. Yes, there are some of her older ones, but when you are putting together 30 different exercises, some duplication will happen. And I am just fine with that. This was a fast-paced, fun, awesome workout. I cannot wait to try the Extreme premix! There will obviously be repetition there, but again, I’m okay with that!
**Edit: Although I love this workout more than Afterburn–I have to be honest, it isn’t as intense as Afterburn. It still does the job and it is fun! I am hoping the extreme premix can give me more intensity. Afterburn and Cardio Supersets extreme premixes kick my butt! Plus I will probably use heavier weights on some of the exercises to up the intensity. Nevertheless, it is still an intense workout and my new favorite!
Ok, here is the breakdown for Supercuts: 46 minute cardio + strength workout; 4 minute warm up, 36 minute metabolic weight training and 5:30 cool down/stretch. Also included on this DVD is Bonus Core #1, Bonus Core #2 and 100 Rep Challenge Hip Thrusts. Equipment needed: dumbbells (Cathe uses 5 and 8 pounds), Slide N Glide discs, Dixie cups, firewalker loop, medium resistance tubing and yoga mat.
After a very active warm up you move into the main exercises:
Squat press with 8 pound dumbbells
Lateral sumo walk with 8 pound dumbbells
Squat press with alternate leg abduction with 8 pound dumbbells
Lateral curl and press squat with firewalker band and 8 pound dumbbells
Functional core rotation with medium resistance tubing
Squat kick squat lunge combo on right
Long lever lateral raise with 5 pound dumbbells
Squat kick squat lunge combo on left
Rear delts fly with 8 pound dumbbells
Burpee/two sliding pushup jack combos with Slide N Glide discs
Alternating forward leaning Dixie cup lunge
Standing chest fly with medium resistance tubing
Row and arrow with 5 pound dumbbell on right side
Alternating sit out
Row and arrow with 5 pound dumbbell on left side
Alternating sit out (different leg position)
Right side sprint shoot
Left side sprint shoot
Functional wood chop swing with 8 pound dumbbell
Standing windmill with 5 pound dumbbells—right side
Standing windmill with 5 pound dumbbells—left side
Cross back lunges with Slide N Glide discs
Single leg sliding disc lunge with bicep curl—right side (Slide N Glide disc and 8 pound dumbbell)
Single leg sliding disc lunge with bicep curl—left side (Slide N Glide disc and 8 pound dumbbell)
Single leg deadlift with 8 pound dumbbells on right
Single leg deadlift with 8 pound dumbbells on left
Tricep overhead extension with medium resistance tubing
Get your yoga mat out now
Rear back/delt/core combo with medium resistance tubing (this is a sit up/delt fly combo)
Prone total body complex with 5 pound dumbbell (on all 4s you will do a one arm delt fly while raising the opposite leg straight behind you)
Sit up/push up combo (5 sit ups and 5 push ups—repeat 8 times)
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 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!
Super Cuts + Core #1 56 minutes
Super Cuts + Core #2 58 minutes
Super Cuts (No Sit Up/Push Up Combo) + Core #1 52 minutes
Super Cuts (No Sit Up/Push Up Combo) + Core #2 54 minutes
Super Cuts Extreme 61 minutes
Super Cuts Extreme + Core #1 71 minutes
Super Cuts Extreme + Core #2 73 minutes
Timesaver First Part 28 minutes
Timesaver Second Part 28 minutes
Timesaver First Part + Core #1 39 minutes
Timesaver First Part + Core #2 41 minutes
Timesaver Second Part + Core #1 38 minutes
Timesaver Second Part + Core #2 40 minutes