I haven’t been blogging as frequently for several reasons. First because there are no new workouts to review! I bought Cathe’s Xtrain workouts and I am doing the 90 day rotation (loosely followed–more on that in a bit), all of which I have already reviewed. Second, I am more busy than usual, so I really haven’t had time to blog. Longer hours at work, so I go to bed earlier and get out of bed earlier. But I still work out every day and I am still following the rotation. A girl has her priorities! I am still adoring the Xtrain workouts, too. They are some of the best, most varied and most fun workouts I’ve ever done. I look forward to them every day. And I am getting great results. I will admit, I don’t eat the best, though I do journal everything I eat and watch my calories. Still, as always, the best results come with training and diet. Nevertheless, I am seeing more definition all over—shoulders, back, arms, legs and abs. So I am pleased.
For this post, I’ll give an update on how the rotation is going, plus a little info on what I am planning for the next few months on this blog. After this post, there will be a dry period. I am going on a 2 week vacation and when I return I will be jumping right back into the Xtrain rotation. I do have plans for how I will (attempt to) exercise on vacation and when I return I will post about how that worked out for me. So, we’ll start with that. Our family vacations are usually very active—we do not lounge by the pool. We are on our feet all day going, going, going. Generally, by the end of the day all of us are suffering from some serious foot pain. So I have no exercise requirements for vacations. I fit in what I can if I feel like I need it. For this vacation I am taking Cathe’s Travel Fit, Slide N Glide and Turbo Barre. Minimal equipment is needed for all 3 workouts: a dynaband, a firewalker and slide and glide disks, all of which will easily fit in my luggage. For Turbo Barre I will need a chair—which every hotel room has. Though Turbo Barre does use light dumbbells, I will do the premixes that do not use the dumbbells. They are all low impact workouts so they can be done on the upper floors of a hotel. In addition, all of the hotels we are staying in have gyms if I want something more. But like I said, if I don’t pull out the DVDs once, not a big deal. I’ve been working out pretty hard for the past 6+ weeks and taking few rest/recovery days. So I look at this vacation as a recovery period.
As I mentioned, I am loosely following the Xtrain 90 day undulating rotation. I am currently in week 6. At the bottom of this post I will give my rotation calendar for the first 6 weeks. When I return from vacation, I will continue following the rotation loosely, adding in other workouts. As you can see below I have been using Cathe’s Low Impact Series workouts as well as my two favorites: Crossfire and To The Max. Things will continue like that in the second half of the 90 day rotation, but they will get a little bit looser. Here is how/why. First, I do have a few more Cathe workouts I haven’t reviewed. Rhythmic Step, which I’m not real motivated to do because I’ve read it has very complex step choreography, but I do need to try it at least once. Second, I love Xtrain’s Hard Strikes so much that I finally caved and bought Cathe’s MMA Boxing workout. Third, I’ve had her Body Blast Timesaver DVD for a while and still haven’t tried it. It will probably still be a while before Body Blast Timesaver goes up, but MMA Boxing will go up pretty soon after I return from vacation and I’ll probably force myself to try Rhythmic Step shortly after that. And 4th, a I mentioned in my week 3 update, I will be substituting one of Cathe’s many lower body workouts each week for Legs or Cardio Leg Blast.
In addition, some good news! If you have read my Current and Upcoming page, you will know that I have (and love) Michelle Dozois PeakFit program, but that she stopped selling it for some reason. You couldn’t even find this awesome program used. Well, the great news is that she is selling it again! Though I’ve done the full 8 week program and continued to do the workouts (individually, not as a program), I never got around to completing a review of the program. Once I got heavily into doing Cathe workouts, I neglected everything else. However, I did start reviewing the program. So my goal is to finish that program review and post it. So I will be working PeakFit program workouts into my Xtrain rotation.
And finally, after I finish the Xtrain rotation, I plan to do Cathe’s STS strength program starting in April. There are a lot of workouts in that program (36 in the version I bought–but I plan to purchase the additional 4 lower body workouts since I now own a squat rack), but I’m not sure how I will post the reviews of the workouts. But they will be going up.
So there you, go. That’s what’s going on with this blog. Now–on to my progress with the Xtrain rotation.
At the time of this writing I am 5+ weeks into the 90 day undulating rotation and I am still loving it. Xtrain has several rotation calendars. The 90 day undulating rotation that uses only Xtrain workouts and then a 90 day combo rotation that uses Xtrain and Low Impact Series. I started doing the straight undulating rotation, then around week 4, I added in Low Impact Series workouts. In addition, I added in my two favorite Cathe workouts: Crossfire and To the Max. What is ironic, is that on her website forum she posts a monthly rotation for her followers. Well, February rotation is Xtrain + Crossfire and To the Max. So I guess I had the right idea!
As I have mentioned before, I am following her rotations loosely because I love her premixes and I want to try out all of the extreme premixes. So I have been doing that as well as increasing the amount of weight I use in the Xtrain metabolic weight training workouts to get a better cardio burn. It has been a big success all the way around. Here are my discoveries: Let’s start with Hard Strikes. I love this workout and hated that it had 3 tabatas that I couldn’t do because I don’t own a heavy bag. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought—shadow boxing, especially with weight gloves, can be pretty intense. So maybe these tabatas will, too, if I use my 2 pound weighted gloves. So I did premix 12 which has the main Hard Strikes workout w/ the conditioning + all 3 heavy bag tabata drills. HUGE success! I LOVED it! It gave me an intense hour-long workout. In fact, I have updated Hard Strikes review to include a review of the Heavy Bag Tabata bonus. Were the tabatas at the same level as Tabatacise? Hell no. It wasn’t even really HIIT level, but it was intense cardio. It may very well be HIIT level with a heavy bag, btw—but I was just shadow boxing with weight gloves. It was still awesome. So awesome I had some seriously severe DOMS all through my back for days afterward! Impressive!
Let’s talk Cardio Leg Blast next. This is one of my favorite workouts in the Xtrain series. I have been doing one of the extreme premixes and it is brutal! I love it! However, I wasn’t looking carefully. I was only doing premixes 11 and 13—I didn’t realize there are more/different extreme premixes on the DVD! Premixes 11 and 13 do the full 12 rounds, then add on rounds 1-6 for 18 rounds total. For some reason I didn’t look beyond those premixes until recently. But premixes 15 and 17 do the full 12 rounds, then add on rounds 7-12—for 18 rounds as well, but obviously different. So I can even mix up the extreme premixes! I am pretty excited. Those will be plugged into the rotation when I return from vacation.
Next is Super Cuts, which I love, but it was hard to bring it to the same level of intensity of Afterburn. I love both workouts, but Supercuts is just so much more fun than Afterburn! I wanted it to be as intense as Afterburn. So first I did the extreme premix. That did make it more intense, but it still wasn’t at the Afterburn level. (Afterburn is a killer workout.) So I did the extreme premix again, this time increasing the weight of the dumbbells. That did the trick! Supercuts Extreme premix with heavier dumbbells made it just as intense as Afterburn. And still an hour long workout. So that is my new go-to Supercuts premix.
And finally All Out Low Impact HIIT. Another workout I adore, but needed to be more intense. You just don’t put “HIIT” in a workout title unless you plan to kick the exerciser’s butt. Well, All Out just doesn’t do that for me. Again, don’t misunderstand, it is an intense workout and I do love it just as it is, but I also want more. So I did the extreme premix and that did increase the intensity—particularly in the second half when you’re already sucking wind. But the next time I did the extreme premix, I used 8 pound dumbbells instead of the 5 pounders Cathe and crew used and that did the trick. It kicked my butt! Which is just what I want from a workout with HIIT in the title.
Here is my rotation so far. It is from the beginning of the 90 days and ends on the day I leave for my 2 week vacation. Yes, I am doing something completely different on the last day, but before I head out for 2 weeks of potentially zero working out, I wanted to get in a final total body strength workout that was intense enough to get my heart rate up, too.
My Xtrain Rotation Calendar:
Day 1: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep Scarecrows
Day 2: Cardio Leg Blast
Day 3: Bi’s & Tri’s premix 2 (includes Core #2) + 100 Rep Bi’s
Day 4: All Out Low Impact HIIT premix 1 (includes Core #1)
Day 5: Hard Strikes
Day 6: Legs + 100 Rep Hip Thrusts
Day 8: Yoga Max
Day 9: Burn Sets: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep Lat raises
Day 10: Cardio Leg Blast
Day 11: Burn Set: Bi’s & Tri’s + 100 Rep Challenge Bi’s & Tri’s
Day 12: Tabatacise premix 5 (includes Core #1)
Day 13: Supercuts premix 2 ( includes Core #2)
Day 14: Legs premix 3 (includes bonus barre and rear delts)+ 100 Rep Hip thrusts
Day 15: Yoga Relax
Day 16: Hard Strikes premix 2 (includes Core #1)
Day 17: Legs + 100 Rep Hip Thrusts
Day 18: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 rep Scarecrows
Day 19: All Out Low Impact HIIT Extreme premix 16
Day 20: Bi’s & Tri’s+ 100 Rep Bi’s and Tri’s
Day 21: Cardio Leg Blast Extreme premix 13 (includes Core #2)
Day 22: Super Cuts Extreme premix 5
Day 24: Legs premix 2 (all leg sections including bonus barre)
Day 26: Tabatacise premix 5 (includes Core #1)
Day 27: Afterburn
Day 28: Cardio Leg Blast premix 11 (extreme premix) + 100 Rep Hip Thrusts
Day 29: Super Cuts Extreme premix 7 (includes core #2)
Day 30: Total Body Trisets Upper
Day 31: Hard Strikes premix 12 (includes heavy bag tabatas)
Day 32: Cardio Leg Blast
Day 33: All Out Low Impact HIIT premix 16 (extreme premix)
Day 34: Crossfire
Day 35: Burn Sets: Upper Body premix 8 (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Bi’s & Tri’s)
Day 37: Tabatacise premix 5 ( includes Core #1)
Day 38: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep Scarecrows
Day 39: Cardio Leg Blast
Day 40: Bi’s & Tri’s + 100 Rep Bi’s and Tri’s
Day 41: To the Max Extreme premix
Day 42: Legs premix 3 (all legs including bonus barre + rear delts) + 100 Rep Hip Thrusts
Day 43: Athletic Training
Day 44: Tabatacise premix 5 (includes Core #1)
Day 45: STS Total Body