Cathe Live: Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing

hardStrikesLowImpactBoxing-6-19-14Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing is a very cool workout. After signing up with Cathe Live and perusing the offerings, some things jumped out at me that went to the top of my list to try. One of those things was the low impact workouts Cathe Live offered. I generally really like Cathe‘s low impact workouts for two reasons. The first reason is that I actually do a lot of high impact workouts–lots of plyometrics, so sometimes, I just do not want to jump. I just don’t. I still want to get an intense workout, but without all the impact. Cathe always has workouts that fit that bill perfectly. And her Live low impact workouts are no exception. And second, sometimes a low impact workout is a necessity for me because I have metal screws and plates in my heels. 95% of the time, that metal doesn’t affect my workouts. But that other 5% of the time, it makes my feet completely uncooperative. So uncooperative that some of Cathe’s low impact workouts are even too fast-paced for my feet. So I am always looking for something that will still challenge me, even when my feet are being super cranky. I found it in Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing. This is a awesome workout. I will add the note that it is not as all-out intense as Cathe’s high impact workouts. And I would even say that, early on, it’s not even as intense as her other low impact HIIT workouts. But this workout builds in intensity as you go so that by the time I got to the metabolic conditioning my heart was pumping! I loved this workout and I will definitely be returning to it any time I want an excellent workout w/out the impact. And especially when my feet are being very uncooperative. This workout is perfect for those times.

The workout starts immediately with boxing. The warm up is short then you get into boxing drills and combos alternated with familiar low impact intensity blasts like squat digs, air squats, rope climbs, squat lunge squat kicks, etc to keep your heart-rate high. Next you move to heavy bag “tabatas,” which technically aren’t really tabatas. Though Cathe calls them that, she also clarifies that she is stretching the tabata term. It is basically boxing intensity drills of approx. 20 seconds of intense punching and 20 seconds of recovery punching. I do not own a heavy bag, but like most of the heavy bag bonuses I have done, it really isn’t necessary since I always wear 2 pound weighted gloves. IMHO, that makes any boxing workout more intense, especially when you start punching double time as you do in her heavy bag tabatas. After the heavy bag tabatas, you remove your gloves, grab your mat and two 10 pound dumbbells for metabolic conditioning. This consists of a variety of exercises (all listed below)–bodyweight work, some actual high rep strength work, and metabolic work that you are basically using the dumbbells to increase the intensity of a low impact move. The workout ends with core work.

There are a few things about this workout I want to note here. The first is, during the conditioning drills, when doing overhead tricep extensions, the camera man focuses for a long time on the exercisers rather than on Cathe. Well, this becomes a problem because the two exercisers he is focusing on decide they are done with the exercise BEFORE CATHE IS DONE! So they set their dumbbells down. I lowered mine too, thinking the exercise was over! Then I hear Cathe still counting! WTC? That really irritated me. I, of course, got right back to the tricep extensions, but I personally think the camera should be spending the majority of the time on Cathe. For the reason just given, and also because these are not DVDs. The exercisers in the live class are not her hand picked trainers with perfect form. Frequently the exercisers’ form is poor, they don’t use full range of movement and they clearly aren’t putting a lot of effort into the workout. This does not apply to everyone of her class members–but there are definitely some present who aren’t getting the full effect of the workout on many levels. Now, I know that everyone’s fitness level is different and everyone modifies a workout in their own way to make it fit their fitness level; but nevertheless, I don’t think the camera man should focus on those folks because the viewer needs to see good form, full range of movement and the type of effort that needs to be put into a workout to get the most out of it–which is a lot if you want to get a lot out of it. I put my back and hips and even my lower body into punches–my back is frequently sore (the good DOMS sore) after a boxing/kickboxing workout, because I put everything into my punches. The viewer needs to see primarily that kind of effort. But that’s just my opinion.

The other note about this workout is just an amusing one. For the very last core exercise, Cathe wants her exercisers to count out the last 10 reps with her. Well, they don’t do it loud enough, so she makes them do 10 more reps. She is still not happy with their volume so she makes them do another 10 reps! They were yelling then! Ha! It was funny. It hurt tho! Also, for the last conditioning drill (before core), she asked her exercisers what exercise they would like to do. One of her regulars who I think has been present for every live workout I’ve done so far (a hard worker who has generally good form and always puts a lot of effort behind her moves–the camera needs to watch her more!) voted for reverse flys. So Cathe did drop set reverse flys–with very little rest between sets! It definitely burned my rear delts out!

Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing is 58 minutes; warm up is 5 minutes, low impact boxing is 25 minutes, heavy bag tabata boxing is 7 minutes, metabolic conditioning drills are 13 minutes, core work is 4 minutes and stretch is 2 minutes. Recommended Equipment: boxing gloves (I used 2 pound weighted gloves), 10 pound dumbbells and a mat. This workout aired live on 6/19/14. Here is the video clip Cathe posted for this workout.

Metabolic Conditioning Drills:

  1. Stand at end of mat, straddling it; squat and walk hands out to plank, 2 push ups, walk hands back in and do one bear crawl press, walk hands out to plank, 4 push ups, walk hands back and do 2 bear crawl presses, walk hands out to plank and do 6 push ups, walk hands back in and do one bear crawl press; now reverse it: walk hands out to plank and do 6 push ups, walk hands back in and do one bear crawl press, walk hands back out to plank and do 4 push ups, walk hands back in and do 2 bear crawl presses, walk hands back out to plank and do 2 push ups, walk hands back in and do one bear crawl press.
  2. Grab one 10# DB; do side lunge, bringing DB down to foot, raise overhead in the middle, and side lunge to other side bringing DB to foot; keep alternating sides.
  3. Grab other 10# DB and do alternating hammer curls.
  4. Lunge to side (not a side lunge, but a forward lunge to the side) bringing DBs down to feet, stand and pivot to other side, doing an overhead press as you pivot, and lunge to other side, bringing DBs down to feet; alternate sides w/ overhead press in between.
  5. Get into plank and bringing foot to outside of same side hand; alternate sides.
  6. Inch worms: stand at end of mat, walk hands out to plank, do one push up, walk hands back to feet and stand.
  7. Grab both DBs; sumo squats with upright rows.
  8. Set one DB down and hold the other in one hand; squat to the same side that is holding the DB, bringing DB to shoulder level then pivot and stand facing front and push DB overhead; 10 reps on first side and 16 reps on second side.
  9. Walking sumos holding 10# DB under chin; you will pulse 3 times each time you step and sumo; this will change to partials.
  10. Get into plank with hips slightly raised; twist bent knee underneath you, coming onto one arm and tap knee with opposite elbow; alternate sides.
  11. Overhead tricep extensions w/ 10# DB to various tempos.
  12. Dropset reverse flys, 16 reps, then 12 reps, then 10 reps all w/ 10# DB


  1. Get into elbow plank; alternate marching feet in place w/ stepping feet out and in.
  2. Stay in elbow plank; jog knees, tapping knees to floor, first slow then fast.
  3. Still in elbow plank, rotate hips side to side.
  4. Sit in bent knee boat pose but w/ hands on floor behind hips; push feet in and out; first in front, then lean onto one hip and push feet in and out; back to center pushing feet in and out; then lean on other hip and push feet in and out; then back to center pushing feet in and out.

9 thoughts on “Cathe Live: Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing

  1. I just wanted to say I love your blog. Your reviews are spot on. I check your page daily to see your Cathe live reviews. I haven’t come across any workout that you’ve deemed either too easy or very intense that I didn’t agree with. That helps me so much in deciding which workouts to choose.

    Btw, totally agree with you that the cameraman should focus mostly on Cathe. It can get distracting to look at the screen and see sloppy form at times. Some have good form and others not so much.


    1. thank you! I am glad my blog is helpful. I haven’t blogging recently because I was on vacation but when I got back, I had a list of new-to-me workouts I planned to do (and blog about) but for some reason, when their day rolls around, I don’t want to. I end up swapping them out with workouts I’ve already done by Cathe or Kelly Coffey-Meyer! I’m sure I’ll get my motivation to do new things back–but right now, I am finding comfort in familiar Cathe (and Cathe Live) and KCM workouts!


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