Ripped w/ HIIT & Gym Style Rotation

BBSCTSlegsGSBSBGSlegsC&TThis is a rotation I have been planning for a while but it took longer than it should have to take shape. One of the things delaying it was/is Cathe Live. All I want to do anymore are Cathe Live workouts. So I decided to incorporate Cathe Live into this rotation. However, that also means I will be sampling a lot of new-to-me workouts. Some may work well in this rotation and some may not. Since I am starting this post at the beginning of the rotation (so at this point I don’t know if any of them will fit), I can only say that I will make note of what worked and what didn’t once I finish it, as well as ideas for future changes.

The main workouts that are the building blocks for this rotation are 3 of Cathe‘s Ripped with HIIT Lift It Hit It workouts and her Gym Style workouts. IMHO, they are the best of the best. I do love STS and have been through it 3 times but personally, I think the Rip It Hit It and Gym Style workouts are some of the best strength training workouts for the upper body that Cathe has created. Maybe that anyone has created and put on a DVD. So I am expecting a lot from this rotation. We’ll see how it plays out.

I know everyone doesn’t have access to Cathe Live and even if they do, as I mentioned above, the Cathe Live workouts I do may not turn out to be appropriate anyway. So, for the Cathe Live strength workouts listed below, I will also list a DVD Cathe workout you can substitute. For cardio–just use your best judgment. If it is a kickboxing Cathe Live, substitute any kickboxing DVD, if it is a HIIT level Cathe Live–Cathe has lots of HIIT level DVDs, substitute one of those, and so on. However, for the Saturday total body strength workouts, I did already have specific workouts I planned to use prior to subscribing to Cathe Live. So one day when I return to this rotation, I may do those workouts since they might give me even better results. Those two workouts are High Step Training and Muscle Max. High Step Training should be done the Ripped w/ HIIT week and Muscle Max the Gym Style week. I do include them as substitutes below in weeks 1 and 2, but I don’t continue to do it every week. So you can choose–either do HST and MM every week as a substitute or, if you have exercise ADHD like me, use the other substitutes I offer.

Actually, that is one of my biggest problems (sort of); I have something I like to call exercise ADHD. Which is one of the reasons for the creation of this blog. I don’t like monotony. I like to change things up–muscle confusion and all. But even tho “muscle confusion” is recommended, there comes a point when you really don’t know if you are making gains. Every workout is different and if I only return to a workout 1-2 times in a year, it gets hard to really track improvement–at least over the short term. For example–I own enough workouts that I could do a different strength workout 3 times a week for a year at least. And most of those workouts would contain overhead presses, deadlifts, bicep curls, chest presses, etc–basic strength training exercises. But every workout will approach it differently–high rep, low rep, different tempos–different levels of fatigue depending on its placement in the workout as a whole. For that reason, I am trying to take a different approach a few times a year by doing an actual program. Just like when I do STS or the times I did the Xtrain rotation and the Body Beast rotation–I actually returned to the same workouts frequently enough to be able to gauge gains in strength. I want to start approaching some of my favorite strength workouts in the same fashion and creating my own rotations to keep things from getting too boring. So the same strength DVDs will be used repeatedly in this rotation. I do think I am switching it up enough to keep things interesting but not so much that I won’t make gains. The point is, by the end of this rotation, I expect to be lifting heavier in every workout. If I like this, I have plans to do something similar with Cathe’s Pyramid workouts.

A note about doubles. I do a lot of doubles. I took a break from them for a while and part of that break seeps into the beginning of this rotation. However, I have returned to my doubles during week 3. I considered adding my doubles to the rotation below but changed my mind. The function of doubles for me is more movement in my day. I have a very sedentary desk job and an hour workout in the morning isn’t adequate. So after work I generally do a second workout that lasts 20-40 minutes. It is usually cardio. So I am not adding them below. Just know that, starting in week 3, I was doing a second cardio workout in the afternoons.

Summary: This was a tough rotation. Specifically the main workouts: Gym Style and Rip It Hit It workouts. I have experienced some serious DOMS–especially in the early weeks, but pretty much at some point every week. Gym Style gave it to me more consistently than Rip It Hit It. But every single week my chest was sore. Every week I increased my weight on at least a few (sometimes a lot!) of exercises. So definite strength gains were made.  At the beginning of this rotation I noticed one” regression.” At one point in time (several years ago) I could do all 72 push ups in Gym Styles on my toes; same with Rip It Hit It Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. I did the RwH rotation after I bought the series and by the end of the rotation I was doing all of the push ups on my toes. The chest exercises in both programs were the one muscle group in which the entire 8 weeks I had zero up arrows on weights, but I did increase the amount of push ups I did on my toes every week. Unfortunately, I am still unable to do all 72 push ups on my toes in Gym Styles and in RwH/Rip It Hit It I was on my toes for everything except the tricep push ups. Those I dropped to my knees halfway thru–even the 4th (and final) time I did it. Oh well! There was still across the board improvements in everything.

Visually, I didn’t notice anything. I didn’t eat “clean” and, in order to see muscle definition, that is a necessity. I didn’t lose weight or gain weight. Visually and the way my clothes fit there was no change. I mention that only for those who care about that aspect. I’ve been working out this way for many years and I almost never eat properly/clean, so I rarely get any major visual changes. But that isn’t why I work out anyway. But if that’s why you workout (for aesthetic reasons) then it’s important to know that I don’t believe it is the specific workouts or rotations fault that I didn’t become ripped like Cathe. If I had done the work in the kitchen then I’m sure I would have seen some great visual results. But alas, I love food. I do always plan, when I start these special rotations, to clean up my diet and I usually do for a week or so, but it never lasts.

I also think it’s important here to revisit my workout ADHD problem. Despite my attempts to vary things, I did get bored. Most especially w/ Mobility RX. I had big plans to alternate workout 1 and 2 for the entire 8 weeks, but I got sick of it. Then one day (week 6) my husband and I planned an early morning bike ride on Sunday (Mobility RX day). I had planned to come home and do Mobility RX #2 and yoga afterwards. But I just didn’t want to. So I scrapped it and made substitutes for the rest of the rotation. I also got sick of Gym Styles Chest & Triceps. That workout is hard and I won’t lie–it started having a dread factor. But I stuck with that one till the end since it is an integral part of the rotation.

So here it is. Looking back, I’m not really sure that this post is necessary for me. I will probably never return to this rotation–at least not for 8 solid weeks. I will probably return to it for a 4 week period–with some tweaks of course. But I decided to post it anyway since I’ve been working on the post for 8 weeks and someone else might find it useful. In fact, if I do create another rotation that uses the same workouts repeatedly, I will make the rotation shorter.

Week #1:

Monday: RwH Back, Biceps & Shoulders

Tuesday: RwH Legs + Tracy Anderson Bootcamp Hips & Thighs

Wednesday: RwH Chest, Triceps & Shoulders + TurboFire HIIT 15

Thursday: Kickbox Burn

Friday: Cathe Live: Cardio Circuit Challenge Express (or Circuit Blast) + STS Extended Stretch

Saturday: Cathe Live: Stability Ball Total Body Weights (or High Step Training)

Sunday: Mobility RX #1 + Element Yoga: Stress Relief & Flexibility (Flexibility only)

Week #2:

Monday: Gym Style: Back, Shoulders & Biceps + 10 Minute Solution: HIIT/Upper Body HIIT

Tuesday: Gym Style: Legs

Wednesday: Gym Style: Chest & Triceps + 10 Minute Solution: HIIT/Rock Bottom HIIT

Thursday: Cathe Live: Cardio Mish Mosh + Total Body Stretching #1

Friday: Cathe Live: HIIT Fit Circuit (or To The Max or Cross Fire)

Saturday: Cathe Live: Total Body Sculpting (or Muscle Max)

Sunday: Mobility Rx #2 + Element: Yoga for Strength & Flexibility (Flexibility only)

Week #3:

Monday: RwH Back, Biceps & Shoulders

Tuesday: RwH Legs + Tracy Anderson Bootcamp Glutes

Wednesday: RwH Chest, Triceps & Shoulders + TurboFire HIIT 25 and Stretch 10

Thursday: ICE: Low Impact Sweat premix 5

Friday: Cathe Live: Lower Body Burn (or Great Glutes) + STS Extended Stretch

Saturday: Cathe Live: Step HIIT + Upper Body Weights or (RwH HIIT Upper Body Circuit)

Sunday: Mobility RX #1 + Element: Yoga for Stress Relief and Flexibility (Stress Relief only)

Week #4:

Monday: Gym Style Back, Shoulders & Biceps + 10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift: HIIT

Tuesday: Gym Style Legs

Wednesday: Gym Style Chest & Triceps + 10 Minute Solution: HIIT/HIIT 101

Thursday: Kick, Punch & Crunch

Friday: Cathe Live: PHA #1 (or Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s Strength & Stamina combined workout premix–with or without the kettlebell drills)

Saturday: Cathe Live: Blast, Barre & Bands (or X10–premix X52, X53 or X54)

Sunday: Mobility RX #2 + Element: Yoga for Stress & Flexibility (Flexibility only)

Week #5: (as mentioned above, during this rotation I am sampling new-to-me Cathe Live workouts and they don’t always turn out to be appropriate. This week was one of those cases. For Friday and Saturday you should choose–do either Flex Train or High Step Challenge, not both back to back (and if you are doing the Cathe Live option–do one or the other; I personally like You Can Do Anything For a Minute better than Fit & Firm). And on the other day, do a metabolic weight training workout that is geared more towards being cardio than strength training such as Crossfire, To the Max and Afterburn.)

Monday RwH: Back, Shoulders & Biceps

Tuesday: RwH: Legs + Tracy Anderson Precision Toning: Legs

Wednesday: RwH Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Cathe Live: High Intensity Cardio Step (or HIIT workout of your choice)

Thursday: Cathe Live: Hard Strikes Low Impact Boxing 

Friday: Cathe Live: Fit & Firm (or Flex Train)

Saturday: Cathe Live: You Can Do Anything For a Minute (or High Step Challenge)

Sunday: Mobility RX #1 + Element: Yoga for Strength & Flexibility (Flexibility only)

Week #6:

Monday: Gym Style: Back, Shoulders & Biceps + 10 Minute Solution: HIIT/HIIT Explosion

Tuesday: Gym Style Legs

Wednesday: Gym Style: Chest & Triceps + The Firm: Get Chisel’d/15 Minute Cardio

Thursday: Cathe Live: Lift it Hiit It Legs (or RwH: Lower Body Circuit)+ Great Glutes floor work + stretch only

Friday: Cathe Live: Bootcamp Blast Off  + Flex Train abs + stretch only (or Bootcamp)

Saturday: Cathe Live: Totally Toned Legs (or Xtrain: Legs premix 2)

Sunday: Rest day or yoga (I went on a long early morning bike ride)

Week #7:

Monday: RwH Back, Shoulders & Biceps + Cathe Live: High/Low HIIT

Tuesday: RwH Legs + Tracy Anderson Precision Toning: Butt

Wednesday: RwH Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Turbo Fire HIIT 15

Thursday: Cathe Live: Quick Fix Kickboxing, Step & Weight Drills (or Xtrain: Hard Strikes)

Friday: Cathe Live: High-Low Cardio & Core (or Cardio Kicks)

Saturday: Cathe Live: Total Body Barbell & Bands (or Power Hour)

Sunday: The Firm: Advanced Cardio Blast + Slim Sculpting Yoga

Week #8:

Monday: Gym Style Back, Shoulders & Biceps + X10 Cardio Blast + Hi/Lo (X37 premix)

Tuesday: Gym Style Legs

Wednesday: Gym Style Chest & Triceps + 10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift/Cardio Booty Camp

Thursday: Cathe Live: Legs with Weights & Stability Ball (or Total Body Trisets: Lower Body + ICE: To the Mat premix #5 (all stability ball work))

Friday: Cathe Live: For the Love of Cardio + Popsugar: Ultimate Inner Thigh Workout (or cardio workout of your choice)

Saturday: Cathe Live: Bootcamp with Step (or High Step Challenge) + Popsugar: Skinny Jeans Workout

Sunday: Rest day or yoga (I went on a long early morning bike ride)



11 thoughts on “Ripped w/ HIIT & Gym Style Rotation

  1. Hello,
    I wanted to give you an update.
    I ended up buying the complete STS 36 with the extra abs and extra STS total body work out off of E-bay for $75.00.
    I purchased STS 37-40 from another E-bay seller for $20.00
    I feel better that I can try out the complete program without spending a lot of money just in case I do no like it. (Reading your reviews it sounds like this is one of your favorite work outs! You have been right on with your other reviews that I have tried, so I am sure I will really like this program)
    I appreciate your help,


    1. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! I think it is an excellent program. Tho time consuming, make sure you do the 1RM testing to get the best results. Enjoy!


  2. Hello,
    I really enjoy your detail in your reviews!
    After many years of doing hardcore 1 hour group exercise classes at my local gym, new ownership cancelled most of the class or cut them to a half hour. At the beginning of 2016 I transition to using work out DVD’s at home and purchase the necessary equipment and impact mat.
    Thankfully I found your site while researching which DVD’s to buy. Following your recommendation I purchased RIPT90 and Ruthless and doubled up the workouts to make them 1 hour long and really enjoyed both of them.
    I have since purchased P90X and P90X2 and am about 2/3 (two months) thru P90X
    When I finish P90X I would like to try another program before I jump into P90X2 I value your recommendation and would like to try Cathe work out.
    My question for you is what work out program or work out of hers do you suggest that is hardcore and runs about a hour long?
    I do not know the differences between Hardcore and Gymstyle and the Hiit series
    Thank you,


    1. Hi Ken, Gym Styles are just 3 split series workouts that are part of her Hardcore series. Here is the Hardcore Series in Cathe’s Store but I have reviewed all of the workouts in the Hardcore Series on this blog. They’re all great workouts but the Gym Styles are straight hypertrophy strength training. And IMHO, they are very tough. Muscle Max is also part of the Hardcore Series and a nice, challenging total body strength workout to pair w/ Gym Styles. Ripped with HIIT is one of her more recent series. Here it is Ripped w/ HIIT in Cathe’s Store and here is my review of Ripped w/ HIIT. Ripped with HIIT overall is different in that it is based on contrast training and there are a lot of high intensity plyometrics in the program as a whole. However, the two upper body workouts that are used in this rotation have no plyometrics. They do use contrast training. They are also hypertrophy strength training–and they are very tough, too (which is why I paired them w/ Gym Styles). All hypertrophy means is that these specific types of workouts are geared to building muscle. Now, any strength training you do will build muscle, but hypertrophy training means lifting approx. 85% of your 1 rep max (1RM) for no more than 12 reps–if you can lift it more than 12 reps then you are moving into endurance territory. If you cannot even eek out 8 reps then you are in strength territory.

      Now, I learned these terms by doing STS, which in my opinion, is the best strength training program out there. That is also by Cathe btw. But STS is pretty expensive. Now, if you want to try just one Cathe strength training DVD to get a feel for her training methods (rather than having to buy multiple ones like you would to sample Gym Styles or Ripped w/ HIIT), the very best one out there is Burn Sets. It’s only upper body, but it is hypertrophy and you can really start lifting pretty heavy. Burn Sets (and the Xtrain program) really prepped me for STS.

      Btw–I am just a Cathe fan. She changed the way I work out. I get no kickbacks for sending people to her store–so get it from Amazon or Ebay! Hope this helps–let me know if I can clarify things more.


      1. Hello,
        I really appreciate the fast response to my question!
        I really like your idea to buy just one DVD of Cathe’s to give it a try and make sure I like her style before spending more $$ on her program’s.
        I read a review you wrote on a single dvd, STS Total body…would you still recommend Burn set over STS Total body?
        Thank you,


      2. They are both excellent workouts. STS Total Body is my favorite total body workout. It is fast paced and very challenging if you are using the right weights (lifting as heavy as you can with good form). Very metabolic. Lots of lower body work. Burn Sets is a bit different. Only upper body but, due to the amount of reps, the tempo, and the recovery between sets, you can lift much heavier than you can in STS Total Body. So it depends on what you are looking for. STS Total Body combines aspects of Meso 1 & 2 of the STS program into one workout. It has bonus strength work and premixes that use the bonuses so that you have multiple variations on the workout. All you get with Burn Sets is the two upper body workouts, a bonus core workout and lots of premixes that mix it up–but no additional/bonus strength work like in STS Total Body. So it really depends on what you are looking for. They are different. But in my opinion, both are excellent. I hope my answer is helpful. I feel like I am just making it more confusing!


  3. Thank you for posting this! These are my two favorite Cathe programs along with STS but I don’t know if I feel like doing STS right now. I may give this a try. I too do not eat clean so may not see results. Thank you for continuing to share – you have helped me so much!


    1. You’re welcome! And I frequently feel like that, too. Like I need more, but I just don’t feel like committing to 3 months of STS. What I really need to do is do another (shorter) round of Xtrain–particularly utilizing Burnsets and a Pyramid rotation. I may do something with those in the near future.


  4. Great post…I doubt I am the only one that really appreciates your attention to detail! I love the way you approach your fitness planning and this post really gives me great insight into your process. I am nowhere near your level of fitness, but I too have wondered if the way I plan my day-to-day exercise is the most beneficial for me. I think sticking to something for a period of time might be better than constantly changing, but then there is the boredom factor like you say. Anyways, funny how your post summarizes exactly what I have been thinking about lately, and confirms for me that a solid weight training regime needs to anchor my overall program if I plan on making any gains. Just doing various DVD’s that use light weights/metabolic training without any serious strength component is probably not going to be very effective. Thanks again.


    1. Thanks! And it is tough to know the best way to plan these things. My plan (for now) is to rotate between lighter and heavier lifting. I did the Gym Styles/RwH rotation, now I am doing Cathe Live only, which is metabolic/endurance lifting and when I finish that, I’ll do another heavier lifting rotation that uses the same workouts repeatedly. At least that is the plan for now!


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