Cathe Live: Strong Upper Body w/ Core

strongUpperBodyWithCore-10-23-14Strong Upper Body w/ Core is an amazing upper body workout! My new favorite. I will definitely be utilizing this workout a lot. This is also one of the many, many things I love about Cathe Live–the muscle split workouts. Cathe has always created amazing muscle split workouts on DVD, but I personally would prefer to do all upper body one day and all lower body another; still muscle splits, but it makes it easier for me to not only hit all muscle groups at least twice a week, but makes it easier to get more variety in my weekly rotations. I can then incorporate total body workouts and total body + cardio workouts. Cathe Live has all of these types of workouts–and lots of them! I know I mention this in every other Live review, but I could live on Cathe Live and do no other workouts. In just the small sampling I’ve done so far (15 workouts of her 80+ Live workouts), I am finding everything I need. The workouts that will definitely be sampled in the next year–all Cathe Live upper body workouts, lower body workouts, and all cardio + strength workouts. And of course, others as well. But those are the ones I have marked as definites.

This workout is tough and challenging. I really feel like it hit every muscle in the upper body and worked them thoroughly. Of course, it always comes down to choosing the appropriate weight to really challenge yourself, but the way this workout is set up, it is pretty easy to do that the first time through. So I got an excellent workout the first time. All of the upper body work is set up primarily in tri-sets, but also one giant set (shoulders) and one superset (back). For each tri/super/giant set you do 12 reps of every exercise (except one exercise in triceps and one in biceps, and it is noted in the breakdown); you repeat each super/giant set 3 times. This workout really burns the muscles out. Even Cathe sometimes had to drop to a lighter weight to continue with good form! Also, I loved the core work. It is all weighted except for the plank work at the very end. I love weighted core work for some reason. She starts you with standing core work then takes you to floor and ends with plank work. This is an all around excellent workout. I loved everything about it.

Strong Upper Body w/ Core is 56:30 minutes long; the warm up is a little less than 5 minutes and you use 5 pound dumbbells during the warm up, so have them handy on top of the step. Upper body is 38 minutes, core work is 10 minutes and the stretch is 2:30 minutes. Recommended equipment: a step @ 10 inches (3 risers under each side), a mat and dumbbells ranging from 5-15 pounds. I also needed 20, 25 and 30 pound dumbbells. Strong Upper Body w/ Core aired live on 10/23/14. Here is the video clip of this workout.

Exercises (remember, unless otherwise indicated, every exercise is done for 12 reps):

Back: One arm rows (Cathe uses 12 + 15# DBs combined, I used 25# DB) and pull overs (Cathe used two 15# DB, I used one 30# DB); superset done 3x.

Shoulders: Overhead press (15# DB), rear flys (Cathe uses 12# DB, I used 10# DB), front raise (Cathe used one 12# DB, I used one 15# DB), side lateral raises (8# DB); giant set done 3x.

Chest: Chest flys (Cathe uses 15# DB, I used 20# DB), narrow grip chest press (Cathe uses 15# DB, I used 20# DB), push ups; tri-set done 3x.

Triceps: Overhead tricep extensions (Cathe uses 12# DB, I used 12# DB first two sets and dropped to 10# last set), lying tricep extensions (Cathe used 10# DB first two sets and dropped to 8# DB last set, I used 12# DB first two sets and dropped to 10# last set), 32 tricep dips; tri-set done 3x.

Biceps: Traditional bicep curls (Cathe used 15# DB for first two sets then dropped to 12# for last set, I used 15# DB), W bicep curls (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB), Crazy 8s–8 reps halfway up, 8 reps halfway down, 8 full reps (Cathe used 10# DB for first 2 sets and dropped to 8# DB for final set, I used 12# DB); tri-set done 3x.

Standing Core: 1. holding one DB in both hands, twist, twist, knee raise (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB); 2. diagonal woodchops (raising one DB overhead/to side) (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB); 3. side lean wood chops (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB).

Core on mat: 1. seated lean back crunches w/ one 8# DB (sit in C-sit w/ DB in one hand, lean back, pulling DB to side so elbow almost touches mat, come up and pass DB to other hand; alternate sides); 2. holding one DB in both hands, do sit ups w/ overhead raise at top of sit up, at bottom, bring DB overhead to floor (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB); 3. holding one DB in both hands, do sit ups but at top, twist DB to side, alternate sides (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB); 4. Russian twists (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB); 5. start in elbow plank and hold plank; raise one leg and hold; raise the other leg and hold; march feet; march feet out and in; come up to straight arm plank and raise one arm and opposite leg and hold; switch arm/leg and hold; two tricep push ups to count of 4; open arms wider and slowly lower all the way to floor. You’re done!



5 thoughts on “Cathe Live: Strong Upper Body w/ Core

  1. What exactly is the difference between a giant set, a super set, and a triset?

    (This workout is KILLER! ☺ Super setting is one of my absolute favorite way to do pure strength workouts because it REALLY burns my muscles out, and I was HURTIN’ in this one! After the workout, my arms were SO fried, I could barely get my shirt off/over my head! LOL 😀 )

    PS I’m really looking forward to your Rippedism review!


    1. Hi Liz! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this. I have been out of town for the past week. A super set is two exercises done back to back with little or no rest between them, a triset is 3 exercises done the same way and a giant set is 4 or more exercises, also done the same way. They are generally done on the same muscle group and the idea is to completely burn the muscle group out through different exercises that hit the muscle group in different ways. But sometimes people superset or giant set opposing muscle groups (such as chest and back).


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