Lean Legs and Abs could not have come at a better time. It is one of Cathe‘s new workouts but it also arrived right in the middle of one of Cathe’s rotations that I am currently doing: Rock Bottoms. I am not following her rotation to the letter, though I am sticking with the core of it; however I am using all of her lower body workouts, not just the ones she uses for the rotation. And since she just came out with two new lower body workouts, I of course plugged them into my rotation right away! IMHO, Lean Legs and Abs should be used in combination with her other new lower body workout, Great Glutes. The reason for this is that Lean Legs and Abs focuses on your quads and outer thighs, whereas Great Glutes focuses on glutes and hamstrings. So using both of them should completely work your lower body.
I have very mixed feelings about this workout. One of the postiive feelings is that I liked it a lot. It is fun, creative and I really enjoyed doing it. On the other hand, it is not up to Cathe’s typical advanced level. I feel like I am currently a pretty reliable source of the level of Cathe’s lower body workouts due to Rock Bottoms. I have been doing 3 of her lower body workouts a week for the past 3 weeks and for the last 3 weeks of this rotation I will be doing 4 lower body workouts a week. Her lower body workouts are very advanced and very challenging. Lean Legs and Abs did not challenge me. It felt like a recovery workout and I was disappointed. But, like I said, it was mixed disappointment because I really, really enjoyed this workout. Let me clarify something–it did get more difficult in some parts. The first part of the workout (the bulk of it) is what is intermediate. Then, when you get to the chair/mat segment it kicks it up a notch and really starts burning. The bonus barre gives a good burn, too, so to get the most out of this DVD I suggest doing the 61 minute premix that includes everything–the main workout + the bonus barre. I really liked the ab section, btw. Not advanced either, but effective and fun.
I have some ideas for how to make this a better workout for my needs. First, as usual, since it was the first time I did the workout I used the same weights as Cathe. She used only 8 pound dumbbells for this workout. So the next time I do it I will use heavier weights; however, this isn’t a perfect solution. This workout moves at such a fast clip, it will be difficult to go much heavier and preserve good form. I will have to try increments. 10 pounds then 12 pounds, but I can’t see going much heavier than that. So in addition to heavier weights, I can use a weighted vest. I have been contemplating purchasing one for a while, so if I do, I will also use a weighted vest. When I do the workout again with these changes I will post an update and share if it helped or not. ***UPDATED 10/21/13: I did this workout again using heavier weights and it did make a difference. However, I also did Flex Train first, then Lean Legs & Abs with heavier weights, so that might have had something to do with it, but I definitely felt it more in my legs this time! And I still enjoyed it immensely.***
Lean Legs and Abs is 49 minutes long; 6 minute warm up, 37 minute training time and 6 minute stretch. To break it down further, the time spent on the lower body is 27 minutes and the ab section is 10 minutes. This DVD also contains a bonus barre workout that is 12 minutes and will be reviewed below. Equipment needed: dumbbells, firewalker, chair, mat and a large barbell plate. A note on the firewalker; a package of firewalkers contains 3 firewalkers of different strengths. Pink is the lightest, green is moderate and blue is heavy. Cathe uses pink in this workout. I used green. I found green adequate for the mat work, but in the future I will use blue for the standing portion.
Standing Legs (15:30 minutes)
Lean Legs and Abs + Bonus Barre: (Warm Up, Compound Legs, Chair/Firewalkers, Bonus Barre, Core, Stretch) 61 minutes
Lean Legs and Abs + Bonus Barre (No Core): (Warm Up, Compound Legs, Chair/Firewalkers, Bonus Barre, Stretch) 55 minutes
Lean Legs and Abs + Bonus Barre (No Chair/Firewalkers): (Warm Up, Compound Legs, Bonus Barre, Core, Stretch) 50 minutes
Timesaver #1 (No Chair/Firewalkers): Warm Up, Compound Legs, Core, Stretch) 37 minutes
Timesaver #2 (No Core): Warm Up, Compound Legs, Chair/Firewalker,Stretch) 38 minutes
Timesaver #3 (Chair/Firewalkers & Barre): Warm Up, Chair/Firewalkers, Barre, Stretch) 36 minutes