Cathe Live: Blast, Barre & Bands

blastBarreAndBands-11-19-15Blast, Barre & Bands is another unique live workout that you will not find anything quite like it on DVD. I didn’t know what to expect when coming to it, but ended up loving it. First, the warm up seemed shorter than most Cathe Live workouts (and it is a bit shorter, but not by much but for some reason this morning it felt a lot shorter than usual–maybe because we launch right into an intense plyometric move). One thing I’ve noticed about her live workouts is that she always warms you up thoroughly (she does that in her DVDs, too) but skimps on stretches (she does not do that in her DVDs–DVD workouts almost always give you a thorough stretch). In this workout she kind of skimps you on both warm up and stretch. But the workout itself is excellent. And she does stretch you frequently during the workout.

It is made up of 5 circuits. Each circuit starts with several cardio exercises–high impact followed by low impact. Then you do lower body barre work and the circuit ends with upper body strength work using a band. You use dumbbells for some of the cardio and for some of the strength work (usually used in addition to the band). Cathe only uses 5 pound dumbbells and I found that adequate for all of the strength work but for some of the low impact cardio 8 pound dumbbells were more appropriate. I am a big fan of cardio + strength workouts and this one was an awesome variation. It is a total body workout that hits your muscles in a different way than the traditional total body circuit workouts do: barre for the lower body and almost exclusively bands for the upper body. It is a major winner and a nice way to change things up. Another thing I really enjoyed about this workout is that almost none of the exercises are repeated. A few are and those are in the second half of the workout but the vast majority of the exercises are done once before you move on to a new exercise. And btw–this workout moves at a fast clip, so your heart rate stays elevated through most of it. Lots of variety, a great burn and lots of fun! One more note; for the barre work in this workout, Cathe uses a chair, which I like a lot better than her bringing out the barre like she does in her other live workouts. That is a big time waste for the home exerciser, so using chairs keeps the workout moving at a fast clip.

Blast, Barre & Bands is 56 minutes long; 4:30 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. It aired live on 11/19/15 and here is the video clip. Equipment needed: a chair, a mat, a resistance tube w/ handles and a set of 5 pound dumbbells. I also used a set of 8 pound dumbbells. Below, know that each circuit starts w/ cardio. If I preface the move w/ “Barre” that means you will be using a chair. That is the only thing you use the chair for so you will set it out of the way immediately after the barre work. And the upper body strength work that follows barre uses the resistance tube.

Circuit #1:

  1. Snowboards
  2. Grapevines into scissor jumps (plyo alternating jump lunges)
  3. Pivoting apple picker jumps
  4. Squats w/ knee lifts w/ opposite arm jabs; 5# DBs
  5. Barre: high hip lifts (working leg bent in hydrant and pulse–tons of reps)
  6. Bicep curls using band and 5# DBs (band looped under one foot)
  7. One arm bicep curls holding both handles in one hand (band still looped under one foot)

Circuit #2:

  1. Plyo jacks
  2. High/Low jabs w/ jumps
  3. Jump forward, jump back, two hops, squat jack, two hops; keep repeating
  4. Pivoting sumo squats w/ two 5# DBs (I used 8# DBs)
  5. Barre: feet together, raise onto toes, bend knees while keeping spine straight and pulse doing different arm variations; changes to full singles with full arm movements
  6. Overhead tricep extensions w/ band (band looped under one foot)
  7. Bent over tricep kickbacks, holding handles w/ palms facing ceiling (band still looped under one foot)
  8. Same as #7 but change the hand placement: grab band right under handles and palms will face your thighs

Circuit #3 (for this circuit lay fitness mat on the floor):

  1. High reaching pop squats while straddling the mat
  2. Power shot w/ 6 knee repeater (using mat like it’s a step)
  3. Shuffle, shuffle, drop the length of the mat
  4. Air squats
  5. Barre: Outer thigh leg lifts (side leg lifts)
  6. Push ups alternated w/ wide band pull (pulling band as if doing chest fly and holding band with about 12-18 inches between hands); 3 sets of this superset–for the first set you do 16 push ups, second set is 12 push ups and last set is 10 push ups

Circuit #4:

  1. Snow angel jacks
  2. 3 rope climbs + one attack (attack is hopping into side lunge and hammering elbow) 6 reps on each side
  3. Squat kick squat lunge w/ two 5# DBs (I used 8# DBs); 8 reps each side
  4. Barre: heels together, toes out, raise onto toes and bend knees, spine straight; first you will pulse midway, then pulse low; 3 sets
  5. Upright rows w/ band and two 5# DBs (band looped under one foot)
  6. Fast band pulls (hold band in center w/ about 12 inches between hands, palms facing the ceiling); you do a zillion reps
  7. Shoulder circles w/ 5# DBs; 4 circles low, 4 circles medium, and 4 circles high; repeat starting high, medium, low
  8. Alternating front raises w/ 5# DBs and palms facing each other
  9. Front raise w/ palms facing floor and raising both arms at same time; 5# DBs

Circuit #5:

  1. Power quarter turn jumps holding one 5# DB (I used 8# DB)
  2. Explosive side lunges w/ two 5# DBs; when lunging you will reach hand (holding DB) toward opposite foot and in between each lunge raise both DBs overhead
  3. Lateral bunny hops holding one #5 DB in both hands (2 sets)
  4. 3 side lunges to one side then change sides and keep alternating; use two 5# DBs; when lunging you will reach hand (holding DB) toward opposite foot and after each lunge raise both DBs overhead
  5. Barre: calf raises
  6. Loop band under one foot, hold handles w/palms facing ceiling and bend at the waist; press straight arms to ceiling
  7. Seated T-band pulls; sit on floor, band looped around one foot, band criss-crossed; pull handles out straight to side




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