Xtrain: Wrap Up

For more info on Xtrain see My Intro to Xtrain , Week 3 Update, Week 6 update and Week 7? Update

As I start writing this blog post (it will probably take me a day or two to complete), I am nearing the end of my 90 days of Xtrain. It did not play out exactly as I expected it to. My long vacation definitely put a crimp in things as well as the fact I worked over time almost the entire 90 days (which limits my workout time on M-F to no more than 60 minutes–and of course makes me tired, stressed, pressed for time and my diet wasn’t what it should have been). Nevertheless, I stuck with it. In fact, I am posting the remaining weeks of my rotation below. The first 6 weeks can be found in Xtrain: Week 6.

I love Xtrain. Cathe workouts are my favorite workouts that I have ever encountered and Xtrain workouts are, overall, my favorite of all Cathe workouts (so far). They are fun, they are advanced and they do the job beautifully. I definitely had an increase in strength and muscle definition. I will definitely come back to these workouts. The cardio workouts I will return to immediately during STS and the strength ones after. I will probably even do Supercuts during STS at times. I really cannot recommend these workouts highly enough. At the end of 90 days these workouts were still giving me DOMS. Keep in mind, I always increase my weights; meaning every time I do a strength workout I record the amount of weight I lifted for each exercise and whether I can lift heavier the next time. Then the next time I do that workout I increase my weights. However, this is not unique to Xtrain for me—I have always done this. But I will say that something about Xtrain made me challenge myself more than I usually do, therefore I lifted heavier than I have ever lifted before in this program.

Having now done all of the workouts multiple times, I am going to give some additional commentary on them. First, Tabatacise never got easier. I think it is the hardest cardio workout Cathe has created to date. Throughout the program I did premix 5 every time I did Tabatacise which is all 5 tabatas + Core #1. Every single time I did it I started getting mildly queasy by tabata 4 or 5. I never threw up or had to stop the workout; nevertheless it wrung me out every single time I did it. BTW–I work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. In addition, I have done Core #1 with many of the workouts, but when I end Tabatacise with it, I usually fail during the core exercises several times. Usually during the moves that require hip flexor strength. Cathe just beats the crap out of me during the workout and my hips cannot handle some of the core moves! When doing Core #1 after other workouts, it challenges me, but I don’t fail. Only after Tabatacise do I experience this!

Cardio Leg Blast is still one of my all time favorite workouts. I just love that workout. It always challenges me and gives me an awesome cardio and lower body workout, especially when I did the extreme premixes. I felt it for days afterward! This leads me to the 100 Rep Challenges. Those things never got any easier. I feel the hip thrusts are incredibly effective and worked my glutes like nothing else. All of them were pretty effective, to be honest. I see changes all over, and I really do believe the 100 Rep Challenges contributed to that greatly.

This especially goes for the strength workouts combined with those 100 Rep Challenges. I don’t think my biceps and triceps have ever been worked so hard. My arms are solid now. I still love the combination of the strength workouts. Chest, Back & Shoulders and Bi’s & Tri’s were tough, comprehensive and fast paced. Burn Sets BURNED! I never followed the rotation calendar exactly. I am weird. I loved all of the strength workouts and I didn’t like how the calendar neglected some of them. I wanted to use them equally. So I defeated the undulating purpose of it. Oh well. I still got great results.

Supercuts is another of my all time favorite workouts. My thoughts about it have evolved over the past 90 days. I initially compared it to Afterburn, and though there are some similarities, I feel Supercuts, at least the way I did it, was more strength than cardio. It is still a metabolic weight training workout and you get a very good cardio burn, but the two workouts differ in significant ways. They are both low-impact, fast-paced and use dumbbells to increase cardio intensity. However, there is more “down time” during Supercuts. I don’t mean you stop working out, I mean you isolate muscles for some of the strength work, which gives your heart rate a chance to lower. This does not happen in Afterburn. Though in Afterburn Cathe uses heavier dumbbells than she does in Supercuts, she doesn’t hit all muscle groups, so Afterburn cannot be considered a strength workout. Supercuts hits every major muscle group. And I use heavier dumbbells than Cathe on every single exercise, so I feel that I am getting pretty decent strength work. In addition, the heavier weights increase my cardiovascular burn. You’ll see how I situated Supercuts in my rotations below. I kept it separate from most of the upper body strength work because I felt I was getting strength work in Supercuts.

I continue to love All Out Low Impact HIIT and Hard Strikes all through the rotation. Once I discovered the Extreme All Out premix, that is the only way I did All Out—and I always used 8 pound dumbbells instead of 5 pounds to increase intensity. Hard Strikes I have some issues with. Sometimes doing it with the conditioning drills wasn’t appropriate when I was very sore. Which made the workout shorter than I like. I love the cardio boxing—it is super intense, but it is only 30 minutes! I want more! After I did the Heavy Bag tabatas I always tacked those onto the end. When I did the full workout with the Heavy Bag Tabatas, that got me an hour long workout. But when I had to exclude the conditioning drills that dropped it to under 50 minutes (47 I think). I will still use it because I love it and those tabatas work muscles in my back that nothing else seems to touch, but I wish the cardio aspect of it was longer.

Legs is still my least favorite of all of the Xtrain workouts. I still like it and I think it is an incredible workout, but it is HARD and kind of boring at times, in spite of the fact there is a ton variety. It is a high rep/endurance workout, so you can’t really escape doing an exercise a zillion times–which can get boring. I will probably not return to Legs as often as I should, though I will return to it. Like I said—excellent workout. I especially like the Rear Delts Bonus and I generally do Premix 3 which has it all—all of the leg segments + Rear Delts. Then I add on 100 Rep Hip Thrusts. So I completely burn my lower body out on Legs days.

And finally, Ride, which I said I wouldn’t purchase or review and I caved. I had initially intended to review it on the blog but I changed my mind and will just discuss it here. Ride is a spinning workout and I do not have a spin bike, so I don’t feel I can give an accurate/authentic review of it. I have a recumbent bike. Nevertheless, Ride was still very HARD! I was sweating buckets and breathing hard, even though I could not stand up while riding like Cathe and crew did. Incredible workout! My legs were burning during and afterward. It has a lot of 30 minute premixes that will make it a perfect add-on workout or doubles workout. And I’ll start getting some use out of my bike again!

Here is my rotation for my final 5 weeks of Xtrain. The first week was after I returned from vacation and  I mention in my Xtrain: Week 7? post, my feet were suffering so I did more of a recovery week, which included no Xtrain—because Xtrain has zero recovery level workouts. Technically it starts at week 9, because that is where I was in the 90 rotation. However, workout-wise it is actually week 7 since I didn’t work out for 2 weeks while on vacation. I wasn’t initially going to post my little recovery week, but then decided it might give someone an idea of good recovery week workouts when you need to take it easy for whatever reason.

Week 7 (recovery)

Day 1: Slide N Glide

Day 2: Supersets

Day 3: MMA Kickboxing

Day 4: Cardio & Weights

Day 5: Low Max

Day 6: Push Pull

Day 7: MMA Boxing

Week 8 (back to Xtrain!)

Day 1: Chest, Back & Shoulders

Day 2: Cardio Leg Blast

Day 3: Bi’s & Tri’s premix 1 (with Core #1)

Day 4: Hard Strikes premix 12 (with heavy bag tabatas)

Day 5: Supercuts premix 2 (with Core #2)

Day 6: All Out Low Impact HIIT premix 16 (extreme premix)

Day 7: rest day

Week 9

Day 1: Burn Sets: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep Scarecrows

Day 2: Tabatacise premix 5 (with Core #1)

Day 3: Burn Sets: Bi’s & Tri’s + 100 Rep Bi’s & Tri’s

Day 4: Kick Max (minus leg drills)

Day 5: Afterburn

Day 6: Legs premix 3 (all legs + rear delts) + 100 Rep hip thrusts

Day 7: rest day

Week 10

Day 1: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep lateral raises

Day 2: Crossfire

Day 3: Bi’s and Tri’s premix 1 (with Core #1)

Day 4: All Out Low Impact HIIT premix 16 (extreme premix)

Day 5: Supercuts premix 2 (with Core #2)

Day 6: Cardio Leg Blast

Day 7: rest day

Week 11:

Day 1: Burn Sets: Chest, Back & Shoulders + 100 Rep Scarecrows

Day 2: Hard Strikes premix 12 (with heavy bag tabatas)

Day 3: Burn Sets: Bi’s & Tri’s + 100 Rep Bi’s & Tri’s

Day 4: Tabatacise premix 5 (with Core #1)

Day 5: To The Max Extreme premix

Day 6: Legs premix 3 (all legs + rear delts) + 100 Rep hip thrusts + Ride

Day 7: rest day

STS starts on April 1!


9 thoughts on “Xtrain: Wrap Up

  1. Hey there! I’m ready to purchase another Cathe dvd!!! Yeah! I’m extremely interested in strength so which would you recommend as a program XTRAIN or STS? I was kind of leaning towards Xtrain, but would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks Jackie


    1. It depends on what your goals are. STS is much more structured and will definitely take you further than Xtrain but Xtrain is still a very good program. I actually did Xtrain before doing STS and it prepared me for it. STS (in my opinion) is the best strength training program available on video. But again, Xtrain is excellent, too, just not nearly as comprehensive and it cannot take you as far.


  2. Are the recommended premixes in the schedule, or are you just supposed to choose which one you want to do? Thatseems confusing to me. I see cathe use major heavy weight for upper body.. Like 35 pounds in each hand?! What is the heaviest you used? I dont think i would lke using thst heavy of weight… I think i would bulk


    1. I’m not sure what you mean exactly, however on Cathe’s rotation calendars, if she wants you to do a specific premix then she lists that on the calendar. In the end, it is your rotation so you should do what you want. If you would rather do a specific premix, then do that. As for weights, it depends on which workout are referring to, but I generally lift as heavy or heavier than Cathe does in her workouts. Some, like her newest Ripped with HIIT/Rip it Hit it workouts–I was lifting the same as her for the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps and Back, Shoulders & Biceps. She lifted really heavy and I was working hard to keep up! However, you should lift what challenges you. If what Cathe is lifting is too heavy for you, then do not attempt it.

      The majority of women do not bulk–that is a myth. We do not have enough testosterone to bulk. Here are some articles Cathe posted on her blog about that very topic that will give the importance of lifting heavy and how women bulking is a myth: Weightlifting Myths Debunked, Why Lifting Light Weights Isn’t Best for Building Muscle, Benefits of Lifting Heavy Weights for Women, and 5 Reasons Women Should Lift Heavy Weights. Hope this is helpful!


  3. Hey there!
    Did you have a goal with XTrain or were you just focusing on health – wasn’t sure if you had a goal to lose a certain amount of weight?? Just curious. 🙂 P.S. Supercuts is one of my favs of all time and the Extreme pre-mix with heavier weight is a great cardio burn too. 🙂


    1. No specific goal–other than my usual–to stay fit and challenge myself. Also, increase muscle/strength. I did not lose any weight, but I also did not eat for weight loss. I didn’t even eat to feed my muscles properly, actually. That is the difference between what I am doing for STS (the program I am currently doing). I am purposely eating to feed muscle. So, if I can keep it up, We’ll see what kind of difference that makes.

      I do love Supercuts, too! One of my favorites. Though I am loving STS, I am missing some of my favorite Xtrain workouts.


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