Ripped with HIIT: Lift It Hit It Legs

legsFor more information on Cathe’s Ripped with HIIT program see the overview post.

Lift It Hit It Legs is part of the Ripped with HIIT series program that focuses on contrast training. I really feel like you can see the benefit of contrast training in this workout more than in any of the others. It is a tough workout, but I also really enjoyed it. It is similar to HIIT Lower Body Circuit, but not nearly as challenging or intense. And it also illustrates that HIIT Lower Body Circuit is not contrast training. They are both cardio + strength, with the cardio being the HIIT variety, but the focus is different.

Contrast training is where you perform a heavy loaded exercise, then follow it with an unloaded explosive equivalent of the same (or similar) movement pattern. So in Lift It Hit It Legs you do a lower body strength exercise (heavy loaded) and immediately follow that with a plyometric move that uses the same muscles/movement (unloaded explosive equivalent). So the lay out of Lift It Hit It Legs is strength, HIIT, strength, HIIT, and so on. Also, the HIITs mimic the strength exercise that came before it, so heavy squats are followed by squat jumps, lunges and followed by jump lunges, plie squats by plie jacks and so on. Cathe does get creative by mixing things up a bit. Overall, I loved this workout. It might be my favorite in the entire program.

The second time I did this workout I did premix 6 which is the regular workout but after you do your plyometric HIIT, you do an abdominal exercise; so one interval is strength, HIIT, abs. I really enjoyed this as well, but like all of the other premixes I have tried so far, there is no stretch. So premix 6 was 53 minutes just like is said, but if you want your lower body stretched out (as it should be after all that strength work and plyo) then you need to go to the chaptering and do the stretch, adding on an additional 4 minutes to your workout.

Lift It Hit It Legs is 41 minutes long with a 6 minute warm up, 30 minute training time and 4 minute stretch. The only equipment you need is a variety of dumbbells.

Strength: Squats

Cardio: Squat Digs

Strength: Plie Squats

Cardio: Plie Jacks

Strength: Static Lunge Right Side

Cardio: Split Jumps Right Side

Strength: Static Lunge Left Side

Cardio: Split Jumps Left Side

Strength: Squats

Cardio: Pop Squats

Strength: Plie Squats

Cardio: Narrow Plie Touch Down Jacks

Strength: Wood Chop Side Lunges

Cardio: Explosive Side Lunges

Strength: Cross Back Lunges

Cardio: Lateral Skates

Strength: Low Pulse Lunges

Cardio: Power Circle Scissors

Strength: Dead Lift

Cardio: Snow Angel Jacks

Strength: Dead Lift Wide Stance

Cardio: Frog Jumps with Quarter Turns

Strength: Walking Lunges

Cardio: Scissor Scissor Wide Tuck Jumps

All of the Ripped with HIIT workouts included two Bonus Ab workouts:

Bonus Abs #1 is 10 minutes. I really enjoyed this abs workout. Lots of fun–I love how it starts standing. You will need an 8 pound dumbbell and a mat for this bonus. The workout starts standing, holding one 8 pound dumbbell. 1. Standing Oblique Crunches, 2. Alternating Oblique Crunches with Knee Lift, 3. Lay on mat, still holding one 8 poun dumbbell. Seated Lean Back Crunches, 4. Pullover Sit Ups with a Twist, 5. Pullover Heel Tap Extended Crunches, 6. Set dumbbells aside for this move; High Low Planks with plank Jacks.

Bonus Abs 2 is 13 minutes long. Bonus Abs 2 is much more challenging than Bonus Abs 1 and not nearly as fun. But still, very effective–I really felt it! 1. Seated One Arm V-Ups, 2. Ankle Grabber Sit Ups, 3. Bent Leg/Straight Leg Bike Maneuver, 4. Banana Holds, 5. Alternating Leg Forward Crunches, 6. Hip Lifts into Balancing Snow Angels, 7. Supermans into Swimmers


Premix#1: All Strength (no cardio) 30 minutes
Premix #2: All Blast (no strength) 22 minutes
Premix #3: Scrambler #1 (same exercises, different order) 39 minutes
Premix #4: Scrambler #2 (same exercises, different order) 39 minutes
Premix #5: Strength & Blasts: You will do three rounds in this premix. Each round consists of four strength exercises followed by four blasts. 41 minutes
Premix #6: Strength + Blasts +Abs (Normal workout but after each blast you will do one abdominal exercise before moving on to the next interval) 53 minutes
Premix #7: Main workout + Abs #1 47 minutes
Premix #8: Main workout+ Abs #2 49 minutes

18 thoughts on “Ripped with HIIT: Lift It Hit It Legs

  1. Thanks. I saw on one of your posts that Crossfire is your favorite cardio workout. That was in 2012. Would you still consider it a top 10 for you? If so, I will order that one as well. Just ordered “Athletic Training.” I LOVE YOUR REVIEWS!!!


    1. Yes! Crossfire is still one of my all time favorite cardio workouts. I do have a lot more favorites now, but Crossfire is still one of the best. Definitely in my top 10. And with all those premixes it is so versatile.


  2. Forgot to add … I’m looking at doubles for the summer (I’m a teacher so I have time). On days I do Strong Legs, I need something else, bc it’s only 28 minutes. Maybe a 15 minutes Hiit.
    During the school year, it’s tough. I’m an assistant high school bball coach so those months are tough for me to get everything in, especially when I have 2-3 games per week. I’ve tried to will myself to be a morning person, but it just isn’t happening.


    1. I do doubles! I love them! But you have to be careful with them. That’s one of the worst ways I beat myself up. In the past I have done HIIT workouts every day for a doubles workout. Or a super intense bodyweight workout (Mark Lauren) as a double the same day I did an intense strength workout in the morning. So I am no expert and have sometimes done things I shouldn’t have. They never led to injury, but they have led to running myself into the ground. Your body does need recovery–so I am working harder to try to vary things more. But, to answer your question, Strong Legs followed by a HIIT sounds like a perfect plan and something I would do.


  3. I have been checking my email often, so excited to see if you would reply … AND YOU DID. I really appreciate your thoughts. Yes, I had read through your “Rotations” page. You had mentioned Total Body Strength 3 days a week and Hiit 2 days a week. After I read that, I really started to try and figure out a rotation based on that (need to lose about 7 pounds). I had tabs open from your page, the Cathe page, and Collage Video. It’s been my obsession the last two weeks … so much so that my 14-year old daughter will say, “You’re looking at workouts aren’t you?” I will add “Athletic Training” to my list of DVD’s to buy. I had considered subscribing to “Cathe Live” but didn’t know if I wanted to be locked into someone else’s schedule. (Does that make sense). I like being able to tell myself that I need 3 days of good ol’ cardio and 2 days of total body strength and then choosing from that. The hardest part for me has been determining, “Ok, that workout had my heart rate up and I used weights … was that a cardio day or a combo day?” I did Plyo #1 yesterday. My heart rate was up but not nearly what is was with Afterburn. So, the classification of workouts is probably my biggest struggle right now. If I do Drench once a week and run once a week, I need 4 more days. Two hiit type and two toning? For example, for cardio/hiit … Afterburn, Cardio Supersets, Supercuts, RWH Plyo, 30-day Shred, order Athletic Training? For toning, Flex Train, Butts and Guts, Strong Legs w/ weight vest (from Piyo), order Great Glutes? I also plan to order “Metabolic Total Body.” Thanks also for the guidance on some of the other instructors. I will check those out.


    1. Haha! My kids used to give me a hard time about my workout obsession, too. (They are both out of the house now–college and military). My husband still gives me a hard time when he sees me perusing workout DVDs online! If your goal is weight loss then metabolic is the way to go. Just FYI on Cathe Live–you can access the over 100 workouts any time you want. The only time you are locked into a schedule is if you want to do her newest workout in real time. She films a new one every Thursday morning. But once it is filmed it is available to you any time you want it. That’s why I review them–because they opened a whole new world of workouts and I cannot stop doing them! And I do understand your confusion about what rates strength and what rates as cardio when weights are involved. Here is the little test I do in my mind–does it seem like the dumbbells were used to increase my heart rate or to give me real strength work? If I feel like I can easily work the same muscle group the next day then I classify the workout as cardio. Sometimes, also, it is as simple as weight choice. You go a little lighter than you do for strength workouts. You will still get your heart pumping but you won’t be doing the same kind of muscle damage that your strength workouts do. Your plan for how to structure your rotation sounds like a sound one to me. Just listen to your body after you do it. The first week (if they are new-to-you workouts), you may be more sore than usual, but if after week one you are still hurting, not sleeping well, super tired–then you might need to give yourself more recovery–a lighter day here and there.


    1. BTW–I kind of went off on a tangent up there, but my point was, I have actually noticed a change in my endurance in the past few years. It kind of depresses me because I feel like 45 is still young enough that I shouldn’t be on the “decline” but I do seem to get sore and worn out and “overtained” more easily than I used to just a few years ago.


  4. Thank you. I found your site last week and have been pouring over it. I have at least 6 tabs open at once. I’m struggling with coming up with a rotation. I really am not interested in doing just one program. I got Afterburn a few weeks ago … love it. Did Cathe’s Plyo today … loved it. Flex train is ok … need to up my weights. Ordered X-train SuperCuts and Cardio Supersets last night. Don’t particularly care for Turbo Barre. LOVE Butts and Guts. I enjoy a 3.5 run once a week followed by firewalkers. 30-day shred is a good one. I am committed to doing Piyo “Drench” once a week. It is one of my top 3 workouts. I’m smaller on top and in the waist. Quads are defined, but the area right below my butt is big. Seriously, my thighs are bigger than they need to be So, I’m thinking I focus on cardio and lower body toning. Strong Legs (sometimes I do with a weight vest) is good … there are still some tough parts in there for me. For the past 6 months, I’ve been doing Drench and STrong Legs once a week and then supplementing 3-4 days with other DVDs or running. I think I had been doing too much lower body stuff b/c my legs were really stiff; almost to the point they were hurting. I did ice baths and they would help for a while. The last couple of weeks, I’ve increased my cardio. In fact, I did Afterburn 3 times in 7 days. I can’t believe how good I feel … it’s like my joints and muscles are “free.” Very hard to explain. Anyways, you seem to really have a great grasp on workouts and rotations. I would love any input regarding a workout schedule you might have for me.


    1. Hi Marcie! I have the same problem with set rotations. I get so bored. I actually created one that will post on Monday probably, but even tho I varied many things in it, I still got bored with the main workouts. Sounds like you got some great workouts. I actually love Flex Train now that I am lifting the appropriate weight. It took a few run throughs tho to get the weight right. And PiYo Drench is a great workout. I have actually been planning to get that back into my rotation but to alternate it with Michelle Dozois BodyFit 360.

      As for the stiffness, it sounds like you did the right thing. I will share what I have found. I am 45 btw. In the past 1-2 years, I have been working out and creating rotations like I always do and sometimes I am running myself into the ground. Maybe about 7 months ago I realized I had stopped looking forward to working out and I knew there was a problem. I was sore every single day. I have been working out every single day for probably close to 15 years. It is such an important part of my life that I don’t really even think about it. I never dread it and I always feel better after doing it. Until last year. At that point I made a conscious decision to start varying intensity more. And coincidentally, I signed up for Cathe Live which worked perfectly into transitioning to more metabolic workouts. The first month I did Cathe Live and ICE I started loving workout again. I don’t know if this helps, but I have no goals of every competing in anything–bodybuilding, sports. I just workout because it makes me feel good and I like challenging myself. So why I am running myself into the ground? So now I am trying to vary the intensity of my workouts, incorporating more metabolic strength training and I make it a point to do yoga once a week.

      I don’t know if you have checked out my Rotations page. That gives some basic info on my personal rotation philosophy. There will also be a few more rotations added to it soon–one next week, another in about 6 weeks. As far as more metabolic workouts, I have to say Cathe Live. But if you’re not into streaming, and are looking for metabolic strength training workouts I can recommend a lot. First, my all time favorite Cathe cardio + total body strength training workouts are High Step Challenge and High Step Training. There is also her new ICE: Metabolic Total Body. And a great workout for lower body that gives you an excellent workout but also takes things down a notch is ICE: Chiseled Lower Body Blast. And if you loved her Afterburn you should give Athletic Training a try. Other trainers: Another great/fun high-intermediate one is R.I.P.P.E.D. Then there is Meta Shred 21. Patrick Goudeau has several excellent and tough ones: Body Weight Blast is my favorite, but I also love Lean, Hot Body and Extreme Calorie Burn. Toby Massenburg has two excellent ones: AfterBurn and Chiseled. Bob Harper has lots of excellent metabolic strength workouts. So does Jari Love. And finally–all Atletica workouts. I know that’s a lot. But I am always inserting these workouts into rotations. In fact, I plan to create an all metabolic strength training rotation one day using these workouts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just ordered this video. What type of workout would you follow this with the next day? Would “Drench” from Piyo work? Or, running? A toning DVD? Thanks so much.


    1. Everything you mentioned would work. What I would stay away from is any intense lower body work or HIIT/plyometric work. Upper body strength training is a good choice, too.


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