ICE: Chiseled Upper Body

ICECUBChiseled Upper Body is part of Cathe’s ICE fitness program (Intermediate Conditioning Extreme). Like all of the other ICE workouts I’ve done so far, I have automatically lifted heavier weights than Cathe to get the most out of the workouts. This one seemed obvious. The weight of the dumbbells Cathe used seems to be the primary way that this workout is geared toward intermediate exercisers. If you increase your weight, you will actually get a very good upper body workout. It contains some unique exercises that I have not encountered before in Cathe’s workouts. In fact, some of the exercises are reminiscent of Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s unique strength exercises.

Overall it is a very good workout. I liked it a lot. She recommends having 3 to 10 pound dumbbells available. I had dumbbells all the way up to 25 pounds available but surprisingly the heaviest weight I used was 15 pounds. Now, in the future I may go up to 20 pounds, but the uniqueness of some of the exercises is also what makes it sometimes difficult to lift super heavy. There is also a modifier in this workout–Amanda. She doesn’t modify every exercise but she does modify some of them. This isn’t the hardest strength workout I’ve ever done and my muscles didn’t feel burned out at the end, but they did feel well-worked. Also, she incorporates a lot of core work into this workout.

Chiseled Upper Body is 42 minutes long; 6:30 minute warm up and 4 minute stretch. Unlike the other ICE workouts there are no Muscle Meltdown bonuses and no Blizzard Blast bonuses. However both Icy Core 1 & 2 are on this DVD and used in premixes. All you need for this workout is a variety of dumbbells and a mat. Halfway through the warm up Cathe uses 3 pound dumbbells. I used 5 pounds for the warm up exercises. The ICE User’s Guide also has workout cards you can print out so you can record the weights you lifted. The weights listed below are the ones I used the most recent time I did this workout (8/2016).


  1. Swinging Military Press: holding a DB in each hand, swing straight arms forward and overhead then do overhead press and swing back down; 12 reps (8# DBs)
  2. Triple Deadrow/Triple Upright Row/Shrug: 3 bent over rows + 4 upright rows–do this combo 4x; 3 bent over rows + 3 upright rows + 1 shrug–do this combo 2x (15# DBs)
  3. Windmills; 8 reps (8# DBs)
  4. Hammer Curl/Clutch Curl: alternate one arm hammer curls 1x then curl both DB up and together in front of your body–do this combo 8x; next, start curling like a hammer curl but turn pinkies so it ends in a traditional curl–do this 4x; hold DB isometrically halfway up; while still holding halfway up, slowly move DB further out to the sides then back in–do this 7x (12# DBs)
  5. Overhead Press/Overhead Extensions: start w/ DB at shoulders, do overhead press + 3 overhead tricep extensions; do this combo 7x (10# DBs)
  6. Forward Tilt Bent Arm Lateral Raise; 12 reps; repeat for 6 reps (8# DBs)
  7. Rotational Rows: bend over and start w/DB in front of you, palms facing you; do a back row, rotating palms so they face the side of your body; 2 sets of 16 reps (15# DBs)
  8. Discus Throw: holding one DB, start by bringing it down low until end of DB hits the palm of the opposite hand then arcing it diagonally overhead  and tapping the end w/ the palm of the hand (so hand w/out DB will be following DB hand through arc); 2 sets of 12 reps each side (7# DB)
  9. 3 Curls/1 Press: lay out mat because you will be on the floor; sit with torso leaned back slightly, holding a DB in each hand with palms/DB neat to thighs; you will hold in this position to work core and arms isometrically; next, while still in this position do 3 bicep curls  + 1 overhead press–do this combo 4x; do 1 bicep curl + 1 overhead press–do this combo 8x (12# DBs)
  10. Tricep Pushup w/ Leg Lift: you will do a tricep push up on your knees but you start on all 4s (rather than a straight bodied plank) and as you lower into the push up, raise one leg (alternate legs)–16 reps; next you will do regular tricep push ups on your knees to a 2/2 count, 8 reps, a brief rest then 4 more reps
  11. Rear Delt Raise w/ Leg Extension: get on all 4s w/ a light DB; hold DB in one hand and raise DB/straight arm out to side while simultaneously raising straight opposite leg; 2 sets of 12 reps each side (5# DBs)
  12. Chest Fly w/ Leg Extension: lay on back with legs raised and bent; do a chest fly and every rep, straighten one leg in a bicep maneuver; 1 set of 16 reps and 1 set of 12 reps (15# DBs)
  13. Pullover Extensions: lay on back holding DBs at chest; extend one arm overhead so DB almost touches floor while simultaneously extending opposite leg; 16 reps each side. (12# DBs)
  14. Double Arm Pullover Extension, 8 reps (same as #13 except both the arms and legs are moving at the same time to a 2/2 count) (12# DBs)
  15. Bear Crawl Plank Walks: stand at end ob mat, legs open about the width of the mat and squat so elbows are on knees; from this position walk out to straight arm plank, lower to elbows then back up to straight arm plank, walk hands back to starting position (in a low squat) and fall forward into bear crawl press (like a push up from this position, top of head comes near mat; works the shoulders); 8 reps
  16. High Plank Descents: start in straight arm plank; lower body slowly to count of 4 until laying on mat then go into child’s pose and back to straight arm plank; 6 reps
  17. Knee Push Ups, 8 reps then come down halfway and hold isometrically

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

Icy Core #2 (14 minutes) For this you need a dumbbell (Cathe uses a 5# DB) and a flat resistance band. This was more challenging than Icy Core #1. Another excellent core bonus and harder than I was expecting it to be for an “intermediate” workout!

  1. Weighted V-sits (lay on back, legs straight and raised to ceiling; reach DB toward toes) (Cathe uses 5# DB, I used 8# DB)
  2. Pullover heel tap/extensions (bring the dumbbell overhead in a pullover while tapping heels to mat then extended arms overhead and legs straight (a few inches from the ground); alternate these two moves) (Cathe uses a 5# DB, I used an 8# DB)
  3. 45 degree toe to heel taps (still on back, raise straight legs to ceiling; lower one leg to 45 degrees then raise it to tap the straight leg heel)
  4. Side oblique reaches (still on back, hands behind head; raise shoulders/head and reach one arm toward same side heel; alternate sides)
  5. C curve crunches (wrap flat resistance band around base of feet, cross band and hold end in each hand; C curve down until back is on floor, then roll up, opening hands/arms)
  6. Saw (pilates move; use flat band held in both hands, about a foot between hands, sitting up, lets in a V; reach hand toward opposite foot)
  7. Side to side oblique twist (fold band in half and hold an end in each hand; sit up with legs extended in front of you, extend arms in front of you, raise one leg and twist band/torso toward raised leg)
  8. Side plank clam extension
  9. Rotating side to side plank (in elbow plank)
  10. Prone plank/marching plank
Basic Premixes
  • #1 Warm Up + Main Routine + Icy Core 1 + Stretch – 52:46
  • #2 Warm Up + Main Routine + Icy Core 2 + Stretch – 55:28
Timesaver Premixes
  • #1 5 Gone: 5 segments are removed to shorten the workout. – 33:37
  • #2 On The Mat: After the Warm Up you will only do the floor exercises. – 26:59
  • #3 Standing Only: You will only do the standing exercises. – 24:50
MishMosh Premixes
  • Scrambled #1 Floor exercises first followed by all of the standing exercises. – 41:44
  • Scrambled #2 Mixes abs from Icy Core 1 throughout the main workout. – 52:46
  • Scrambled #3 Mixes abs from Icy Core 2 throughout the main workout. – 55:28
  • Scrambled #4 Mixes the main workout in a different way. – 41:44
  • Double It Warm Up + Main Routine + Main Routine + Stretch – 73:23
  • One and a Half #1 Entire main workout once then repeat the standing exercises. – 56:29
  • One and a Half #2 Entire main workout once then repeat the floor exercises. – 58:38



6 thoughts on “ICE: Chiseled Upper Body

  1. It’s me. Again. With the same request. 😀 I’m sorry! Can you pull your workout card and list the weights you used for this workout/each move? I’ve been using the same weights that you’ve listed for all the rest of the Cathe ICE workouts, and they’ve been pretty spot on (for me). I wouldn’t know where to begin with this workout, especially if you didn’t use anything above your 15s! 😮


    1. I updated it! And the weights are very recent–I just did this workout last week. This workout reminds me (sort of) of Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s workouts. The way she puts together these unique but very effective complexes that make using heavy weights impossible. But it doesn’t matter because the moves are working your muscles just as well as those traditional heavy lifts.


      1. Thanks, 2L! I like these types of workouts, not only to do something different than the standard but to work my muscles in different ways and, hopefully, get more of my stabilizers and smaller, supporting muscles in on the action! (I was planning on doing this routine as my next upper body workout, but I did KCM’s Muscle Up last night. !! Arms FRIED for HOURS after that! I could barely make dinner; my arms just felt DEAD! And, I was STARVING after that workout! I was close to chewing my own HAND off! LOL)

        Do you have a favorite, comprehensive Cathe upper body workout?


      2. That’s actually hard! Cathe has a lot of great upper body workouts. My favorite for a log time was Pyramid Upper Body but it has been a while since I’ve done it. Some of my current favorites are her live upper body workouts. Strong Upper Body w/ Core is a comprehensive one, Strong Upper Body Express is surprisingly comprehensive for such a short workout. However, the split series are always the best. Pretty much all of Cathe’s split series workouts are excellent and comprehensive. One of her very best is 4 Day Split tho–it is so versatile and the upper body premix is very comprehensive. In fact, just talking about it, I need to do this workout again!


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