Cathe Live: Upper Body Sculpting

upperbodyscuptingBefore I start this review, I have a disclaimer to make. I am pretty sick. I’ve been fighting something for the past few days (successfully I thought) then it hit me hard last night. I barely slept and I feel like crap. I felt like crap when I did this workout. And it really challenged me. Now, I mention this because there are obviously extenuating circumstances that affected my workout. So this one will definitely be revisited. One, because I liked it and found it very hard and two, because I really want to know exactly how hard it is by doing it when I am not so sick.

I used the same dumbbells as Cathe for almost everything and found it plenty heavy. Again, I could tell while I was doing the workout that I was running out of gas much quicker than usual, so in the future I can probably lift heavier. However, some of the fatiguing of my muscles was due to the nature of the exercises. We did slow tempo lifts and lots of partial reps. So I do believe this workout would challenge anyone if they used the right weight for their fitness level.

Upper Body Sculpting originally aired 7/03/14 (Here is the video clip Cathe posted of this workout on her forum). As the title suggests, it is an upper body strength workout. It is 51 minutes long; 6 minute warm up (halfway through the warm up, you will pick up 5 pound weights to warm up all of the muscle groups you will be working), 5:30 minutes core and a 1 minute stretch. Recommended equipment: 5-25 pound dumbbells, resistance tube w/ handles (medium tension), and a step w/ 3 risers under each side.

Now that I am a Cathe Live member I like a lot of what I see and am looking forward to constructing some rotations using her live workouts. Cathe does have a lot of DVDs, however there seems to be a lot more upper body/lower body split workouts in her Live library than what she offers via DVD. Cathe does do a lot of splits via DVD, but she tends to do her DVD upper body splits by muscle group. Also, the Live library also seems to have a good amount of total body strength and cardio + strength total body workouts–another type of workout that I really enjoy. So the Cathe Live collection appears very useful to me.

This workout hits your entire upper body. Cathe burns out each muscle group before moving on to the next and ends the workout with spinal erector and core work. The live aspect of this type of workout takes some getting used to. In her DVDs, Cathe’s rep counts are perfect. In this workout they are kind of all over the place. The reps I list in the breakdown below are sometimes approx. Cathe’s Live workouts play very smoothly on my Apple TV, but when I do these reviews I replay them on my computer and they are kind of choppy. I do know while doing the workout the amount of reps she has you do is definitely not uniform like in her DVDs, but she does work both sides of your body evenly. For the most part the reps I listed are correct, but occasionally I might be 1 or 2 reps off.



  1. 12 alternating overhead presses (15#); 8 overhead press both arms, hold for 3 counts at bottom of move; 8 alternating overhead presses
  2. 10 rear flies (10# DB), 3 sets
  3. holding 8# DB in front of thighs, palms facing forward, arc DB up to shoulder height, 12 reps; alternate front raises 16 reps
  4. holding 8# DB in front of thighs, palms facing forward, arc DB up to shoulder height, 8 reps; alternate front raises 12 reps; repeat
  5. grab band and hold with hands about a foot apart, palms facing ceiling and elbows in to sides; pull band out to sides; you do this for about 20 reps, then you do it fast for 100 reps
  6. grab 5# DB and do shoulder circles; 4 low, 4 middle, 4 high; reverse circle direction, 4 high, 4 middle, 4 low; repeat


  1. 16 one arm rows (25# DB)
  2. sit on ground with band around feet and holding handles to sides (legs only slightly bent); 16 T pulls, pulse 3x; 8 reps
  3. 16 one arm rows (25# DB)
  4. grab band and hold band, palms facing ground with 12-18 inches between hands and pull out (chest fly w/ straight arms) to count of 2 and bring back in to count of 2 (6 reps), pull out to the count of 4 (4 reps), the pull out and hold for 4 counts (4 reps), pull out and hold, then come in 1 inch and hold, then another inch and hold, one more inch and hold, then open arms back out wide and hold again, come in one inch, then another inch, then one more inch.
  5. lay on step w/ 2 DB (15#) pull overs, 12 reps


  1. chest flys (15# DB) 8 reps, then fly to slow 4 count down then 5 partials, 2 count down/5 partials, 4 count down/5 partials
  2. 16 push ups
  3. lay on step w/ 2 DB (15#) pull overs, 8 reps
  4. chest flys (15# DB) 6 reps, then fly to slow 4 count down/3 partials, 2 count down/3 partials, 4 count down/3 partials
  5. 16 push ups


  1. lay on step w/ two 10# DB for lying tricep extensions to a 2/2 count, 12 reps
  2. lying tricep extensions again w/ two 10# DB except this time you do 2 count down, 2 partials, 2 count up; 4 reps
  3. 22 tricep dips off step; brief rest then 32 more
  4. 8 standing overhead tricep extensions to 2/2 count w/ 10# DB; repeat but this time partials down to a count of 2, 2 partials, up to a count of 2, but only for 3 reps
  5. 10 tricep kickbacks with tubing then pulse 24x at top of kickback
  6. tricep push ups, hands on end of step; one w/ 2/2 count + 2 singles–6 total of these combos


  1. band + two 5# DB; stand on band, holding handles and DBs; 6 bicep curls to 2/2 count and 13 single bicep curls
  2. same set up but curl w/ hands/arms to sides of room (“Ws”), 16 reps
  3. hammer curls w/ 10# DB; 5 to 2/2 count, 4 to 4/4 count, 4 2/2 count
  4. hammer curls w/ 10# DB but twist hand at top so palms face biceps, 12 reps @ 2/2 count
  5. band + two 8# DB; stand on band, holding handles and DBs; 7 bicep curls to 2/2 count
  6. same set up but curl w/ hands/arms to sides of room (“Ws”), 12 reps
  7. concentration curls on step, 40 seconds each arm (15# DB)


  1. supermans 16 reps lifting head with arms and legs + 16 reps keeping head stationary while only lifting arms and legs; brief rest and repeat but only do 8 reps in each position
  2. 15 full sit ups
  3. 15 sit ups with legs bent and bottoms of feet touching
  4. in elbow plank, rotate hips, bringing outside of thigh close to floor; alternate sides for 20 reps
  5. side elbow plank, hold for count of 8
  6. side elbow plank with top leg raised, hold for count of 16

6 thoughts on “Cathe Live: Upper Body Sculpting

  1. The back and chest work in this one looks excellent. Thanks kindly for your thorough review. Get better real soon, take it easy and drink some tea! : )


    1. Thanks! I am much better now, though the cough seems to linger forever. And I do remember that workout seriously burning my muscles out. I am a big fan of pull overs, so I always like it when trainers include those. This workout relied a lot of tempo to really burn the muscles out. Definitely effective!


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