ICE: Metabolic Total Body

ICEMTBMetabolic Total Body is an excellent metabolic strength training workout. It is part of Cathe‘s ICE fitness program (Intermediate Conditioning Extreme). Like Low Impact Sweat, I didn’t find this workout as easy as I expected. The “intermediate” is deceiving. However, I did automatically lift heavier than Cathe on every single exercise. That is one of the aspects of the ICE workouts that make them intermediate–Cathe’s weight choice. Even tho I always choose what weight works best for me, I know a lot of people just match a trainer’s weight. And I usually do that, too, the first run through a workout. However, since the “I” in ICE stands for Intermediate, I decided that from the beginning I would bump every weight up. This worked very well for this workout. If you are an advanced exerciser you must keep that in mind. No one is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to lift the exact same weight as Cathe is lifting. Lift what works for you and makes this workout challenging. That’s what I did and I will be honest–it kicked my butt!

Because this is part of a series that works together (ICE) you get a lot on one DVD. With this workout you get a Blizzard Blast; this is a bonus that is used in premixes to increase the intensity of this workout and bring it up to a more advanced level. Icy Core #1–also used in premixes to add some core work to your workout. And finally, Muscle Meltdown: Chest. This is a 15:30 minute bonus of chest work. There are actually a lot of ways you can use these bonuses. You can use them as part of a premix in which you add the muscle meltdowns to the end of the main workout, you can do it as a stand alone workout–also a premix–but it adds on the warm up, the stretch and rather than doing 3 rounds you do 4, and then, of course, it is added in to lots of timesaver and mishmosh premixes (see list below). Overall it is very cool.

On the Muscle Meltdowns (and the entire workout, actually) the key is to use the weights that challenge you. The weights Cathe uses are just a guideline for the intermediate exerciser. If you are advanced, you already have a pretty good idea what weight will challenge you the most. I know (from doing all of Cathe’s other strength workouts) that the 12 pound dumbbells Cathe used in the Muscle Meltdown didn’t really challenge her; nevertheless, for this Muscle Meltdown you get very little rest between sets so I was not able to lift as heavy as usual for a chest press and chest fly. Still–I went heavier than 12 pounds and got an excellent chest workout. Also, there are other things you can do to make it more challenging. Incline push ups are easier than regular push ups. Decline push ups are the hardest push ups of all. So in order to make that portion of the workout more challenging, take your hands off the step–or put your feet on the step!

The first time I did this workout I did premix 2 that added the Muscle Meltdown to the end and I found it an excellent and intense workout. The second time I did this workout I did premix 4 which adds the Blizzard Blast to the end. Holy cow! That was super tough! With the right weights I would call that an advanced workout! In 60 minutes my Fitbit said I burned 500 calories and my shoulders were burned out! For my doubles today I did premix 7 which is 4 rounds of the Muscle Meltdown–by the 4th round my chest muscles were quivering.

Metabolic Total Body is 48 minutes long; 6:30 minute warm up and 4:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed for the main workout is a variety of dumbbells; Cathe’s weights ranged from 5-12 pounds; I used 5-25 pound dumbbells. Blizzard Blast, Muscle Meltdown: Chest and Icy Core #1 will be broken down below the main workout breakdown.


  1. Curtsy lunge/double arm overhead press; alternate sides on lunge (Cathe uses 8# DB, I used 12# DB)
  2. Squat press (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  3. Plie squat/upright row (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  4. Front lunge/back row/rear delt fly (Cathe used 5# DB, I used 10# DB)
  5. Front swing w/ alternating leg abduction (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 12# DB, I will use 15# DB in the future)
  6. Lunge curl press (holding one DB, do forward lunge bringing DB down near front foot, pivot into squat bringing DB to shoulder, then stand pivoting feet forward again and doing overhead press (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  7. Front swing w/ alternating leg abduction (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 15# DB)
  8. Deadlifts alternated w/ squats (Cathe uses 15# DB, I used 25# DB)
  9. Single leg deadlifts into alternating front raises (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  10. Deadrows/upright rows/shrugs (Cathe uses 12# DB, I used 15# DB)
  11. Reverse lunge w/ rows (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 15# DB)
  12. Side lunge abductions (no DBs)
  13. Front lunges w/ figure 8 arms alternated w/ elbow to knee
  14. Push ups
  15. Jump into plie squat bringing DBs close to ground, jump feet in curling DBs up and overhead, do two overhead tricep extensions (Cathe used 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  16. Squat curl (start holding DBs at top of bicep curl (DBs by shoulders); squat while holding DBs in this position and when you stand, do a bicep curl, returning arms to shoulders) (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 15# DB)
  17. Lunge kick, lunge stand (Cathe used 5# DB, I used 12# DB)
  18. Static lunge w/ overhead tricep extension (Cathe used 8# DB, I used 10# DB)
  19. Sumo squat w/ bicep curl (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  20. Dynamic front lunge raises (front lunge and when you come to standing, raise front leg into knee raise while doing side lat raises at the same time) (Cathe uses 5# DB, I used 7# DB)
  21. Rear lunge curl press (reverse lunge and while in lunge, curl DB and do overhead press, then return to standing; alternate legs) Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 12# DB)
  22. Front raise, rear delt pull (at top of front raise pull DBs back to shoulders), 2 lateral raises (Cathe uses 5# DB, I used 8# DB)
  23. Squat twists (holding DB at shoulders, squat and raise one knee, raising torso/elbows toward raised knee; alternate knees) (Cathe uses 5# DB, I used 8# DB)
  24. Squat jab (basically the same thing as #23 except you jab/punch w/ the DB rather than keeping DBs at shoulders) (5# DB)
  25. Controlled slow elbow to knee (this is basically a yoga move–alternate twisting chair pose)

Blizzard Blast (12:30 minutes): This Blast is an intense add on that kicks up an already intense workout another notch. You will be alternating cardio blast/HIITs w/ compound strength moves. She even brings back a blast from the past from the original Bootcamp–the Terminator (#7 below). This Blizzard Blast is burpee/squat thrust and air jack heavy, so you’ll be working hard!

  1. Squat thrust/one push up/3 air jacks
  2. 45 degree lunge w/ bicep curl (Cathe uses 10# DB, I used 15# DB)
  3. Surfer Burpees
  4. Front swing w/ lat pull down (Cathe uses 10#DB, I used 12# DB)
  5. Jack thrust push up complex (4 regular jacks, squat thrust, 2 plank jacks, 2 push ups, 3 air jacks)
  6. Knee lift shoulder arcs (alternate knee raises while arcing DBs from sides of body to overhead, keeping arms straight) (5# DB)
  7. Squat thrust climbers (squat thrust, 2 mountain climbers, jump back in and up)
  8. Alternating side lunge circles (you will be circling one DB overhead in the middle of the move) (Cathe uses 5#DB, I used 8# DB)
  9. Jack sequence (4 regular jacks, 4 quarter jacks, 4 circle arm jacks, 4 air jacks)
  10. Walking lunges (3 steps while pulsing 2x at each step, turn and pulse 2x in plie and do 3 walking lunges w/ pulses in the other direction) (Cathe uses 8#DB, I used 10# DB)

Muscle Meltdown/Chest: 15:30 minutes long. One round = 5 exercises listed; do the round 3 times total; do each exercise 12 reps. Equipment needed: step at 10 inches (3 risers each side) and a variety of dumbbells.

  1. Incline push ups (hands on step)
  2. Flat bench press
  3. Flat chest fly
  4. Incline bench press
  5. Incline chest fly

Icy Core #1 is 11 minutes long; you will need a mat and a set of dumbbells; Cathe uses 5 pound dumbbells and I used 8 pound dumbbells. This is an excellent core workout. Not the hardest I’ve ever done but I was challenged and felt it.

  1. Side to Side Rowers holding one DB in both hands (this is similar to a Russian Twist except you do a rowing motion w/ arms/DB)
  2. Pullover Extensions: lay on back holding both DB and raise bent knees; extend both feet and arms/DBs to 2/2 count and bring back in
  3. Sit Up Leg Lift w/ Weight: holding one DB in both hands and do full sit up, at top of move lift one leg, reaching DB toward lifted leg; alternate legs
  4. Lying Up and Pullovers: put one DB on floor between feet, legs straight and hands behind head; lift one leg up and over DB tapping heel to other toe; while doing this move you will be crunching upper body
  5. Hands to Heels Crunches: lay on back with legs raised and bent, head/shoulders raised; pulse up while tapping fingertips to heels
  6. Leg Chasers: lay on back, hands behind head and bicycle bent legs while also lifting head/shoulders; similar to bicycle except you do not rotate torso, you just lift straight up (so it is not an oblique move)
  7. Slow Bike Maneuver: this time you actually do a bicycle maneuver except you do it slow and hold isometrically each side while pulsing the straightened leg 2x; after doing that for a while you go into regular bicycle maneuver
  8. Reverse Crunches
  9. Swimmer Stroke Planks: get into elbow plank and circle arms in a back stroke; alternate arms
  10. Elbow to Knee Planks: still in elbow plank bring knee to same side arm on outside of body; alternate legs
  11. Full Body Breast Stroke: lay on stomach, lift legs, arms, head and chest off ground and circle arms around like in a breast stroke while also opening and closing legs
Basic Premixes
  • #1 Warm Up + Main Routine + Icy Core 1 + Stretch – 58:53
  • #2 Warm Up + Main Routine + Muscle Meltdown – Chest + Stretch – 63:18
  • #3 Warm Up + Main Routine + Muscle Meltdown – Chest + Icy Core 1 + Stretch – 74:21
  • #4 Warm Up + Main Routine + Blizzard Blast + Stretch – 60:11
  • #5 Warm Up + Main Routine + Blizzard Blast + Icy Core 1 + Stretch – 71:12
  • #6 Warm Up + Main Routine + Blizzard Blast + Muscle Meltdown – Chest + Icy Core 1 + Stretch – 86:43
  • #7 Muscle Meltdown (4 rounds): Warm Up + Muscle Meltdown – Chest Rounds 1-3 + Round 3 Repeated + Stretch – 31:12
Timesaver Premixes
  • #1 Warm Up + Blizzard Blast + Stretch — 23:13
  • #2 Warm Up + Muscle Meltdown – Chest + Stretch 26:21
  • #3 Warm Up + Blizzard Blast + Muscle Meltdown – Chest + Stretch – 38:42
  • #4 Timesaver MishMosh – 31:38
MishMosh Premixes
  • Scrambled #1 Changes the order of some rounds and mixes in some Blizzard Blast intervals. – 53:07
  • Scrambled #2 Changes the order of some rounds and mixes in some Blizzard Blast intervals. – 53:22
  • Scrambled #3 Mixes all 3 Muscle Meltdown – Chest rounds throughout the workout. – 63:18
  • Scrambled #4 Mixes abs from Icy Core 1 throughout the main workout. – 58:51
  • Double It #1 Warm Up + Main Routine + Main Routine + Stretch – 84:47
  • Double It + BB #2 Warm Up + Main Routine + Main Routine + Blizzard Blast + Stretch – 97:10

14 thoughts on “ICE: Metabolic Total Body

  1. Hi, I recently discovered and have fallen in love with metabolic workouts. Since these are considered cardio do you think they can be done as the main form of cardio? I strength train three times a week as total body and wanted to do these as cardio in between. I also sometimes do doubles and want to do these in the afternoon. Can you tell how much in love I am with them? LOL. What do you think? Would they impede recovery? Thanks so much for your blog and being accessible to offer your insights and vast knowledge to us all. You have made a huge difference to my workout life! Regards, Cindy


    1. Hi Cindy! I am a big fan of metabolic workouts too. First–yes, a metabolic workout can work as your cardio workout. From my understanding, whether recovery is needed depends upon the weight used. For metabolic workouts, I tend to use lighter weights than I would use for my strength focused workouts. Cathe actually answered a similar question on her forum several years ago: Lifting and Afterburn-type workouts.

      This is actually something I do. I use metabolic workouts frequently as my cardio and doubles workouts (Cathe Live has a lot of metabolic workouts that double as cardio). One thing to watch for tho is overdoing it. I did that around the time I was doing Meta Shred. I LOVE Meta Shred–very metabolic workouts, and I did them as my doubles workout. But I was really challenging myself with the weights and pushing the workouts into strength workouts–and doing them every day with no recovery, as well as doing my regular strength workouts in the morning! After about a month of this, I started to notice constant soreness and a lack of energy and I had to cut back. So now I try for more balance–not lifting too heavy with my metabolic workouts if I am also doing heavier strength workouts that week.

      I hope this helps and makes sense!


  2. I love your blog!! (found it via forums). I’m an advanced exerciser so when ICE arrived, I was like, hmmm, but since I have Cathe on Demand/Cathe Live, I could try without investing in the DVDs. I love kickboxing, so my first ICE was Rock’M Sock’M but I wasn’t feeling it, even with weighted gloves. But still – it’s Cathe! So having read your blog, & other Cathletes’ comments, I figured I’d try more ICE using heavier weights. Today, I tried Metabolic Total Body and while it was not easy with heavier weights, I found that some of the moves (not the ones that I’ve seen before in so many Cathe workouts) were just so awkward to do. (2 in particular: Lunge Curl Press, and the Static Lunge/Tricep with pulses. There wasn’t a flow as I usually feel with Cathe’s workouts – you know sometimes the first few reps feel weird but then the lightbulb goes on. On some, it seemed like she was going way too fast, or the pace just felt “off” to me – I couldn’t get the rhythm the ladies had. Am I nutso?!!


    1. Thanks! It’s been a while since I’ve done this workout. After ICE I did Hammer & Chisel and now I’m doing primarily Meta Shred and Cathe Live workouts. But I do have this workout scheduled into my rotation at the end of this month. However, I do know one of the moves you are talking about. Lunge Curl Press is actually one she uses not just in this workout but in others. I just did Afterburn last week and it shows up there. I do remember the first time I did this move–in Afterburn I believe–I found it awkward, but I have done Afterburn so many times, plus I know it shows up in a one or two of her other workouts, too, and I have no problem w/ it anymore. When I did Afterburn last week it was very familiar and doable. I honestly don’t recall the static lunge/tricep pulses. But I don’t remember finding anything in this workout awkward. But everyone is individual. I do a lot of Cathe Live and she does rear delt flys really fast. It seems like in all of her Cathe Live workouts she does 3 sets of 10 reps and does them so fast it’s like she is trying to take flight! I don’t know what the point of doing them that fast is either. My point is–no, you’re not nutso. Every one is individual. Which is why some people love some trainers and workouts I hate.


  3. Thanks for this review too! The only question I have remaining is on the fluffy side: was it fun and enjoyable as well as effective and challenging? I find that even though I plow through “good for you” workouts like X Train Legs and pretty much the whole RWH series because I should, I really look forward to fun workouts like Flex Train, KPC, and pretty much any step routine because I love the happy feeling that lingers when I am done.


    1. That is a great question! Yes, I enjoyed it. I put in the same category as Super Cuts and Flex Train–I find both of those challenging and fun. I will add, that is w/out the Blizzard Blast which was not “fun” but was tough! If you are looking for fun workout–Cathe Live workouts are the most effective and fun workouts I’ve done in a very long time. I had to tear myself away from them to try ICE!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s