Cathe Live: Total Body Giant Sets

totalBodyGiantSets-6-30-16I was very excited about this workout when Cathe announced it. And even more so after I watched the clip. I could not wait to do this workout! But I was in the middle of my Cathe Live rotation, so I had to wait. I finally got to do it this morning and boy–did this workout deliver! It is amazing! Excellent total body strength training that moves so fast you will get a cardio workout, too. Very metabolic. And the way it is set up, I was able to choose the appropriate weight from the very beginning! But since you repeat every giant set twice (some 3 times), you can adjust your weights the second time through if you were off.

As the title suggests, this workout is set up in giant sets. You do 4 exercises back to back with no rest between then you repeat them. And in the case of upper body, you repeat them again! The giant sets are set up by body part. You do an upper body giant set 3 times, a lower body giant set 2 times and a core giant set 2 times. Then you start over–but with completely different exercises. And even better–you get a full hour! I was so pleased when I saw that Cathe recently did two workouts that were nearly an hour long! That is exactly what I am looking for.

This workout is intense. I loved it! I almost have one nitpick, but I actually know exactly how to fix it. As usual, Cathe skimps on the back. You do get lots of deadlifts but the upper/mid back isn’t really worked. Except it is in the first core giant set. But Cathe states she doesn’t want you to go super heavy with the two back/core exercises because she wants the focus to be the core. Well, I get plenty of core work–both in this workout and in the other workouts I do each week. I want to focus on the back. So in the future, I plan to really heavy up on the renegade rows and pullovers. Then I am covered! Perfect workout! This one might be my new favorite!

***8/15/16 I returned to this workout this morning with heavier weights for some of the exercises and wow. This workout is seriously incredible. It works me so hard! I used heavier weights for some of the lower body work and in the first core giant set I used 25 pounds for the renegade rows and 15 pound dumbbells for the pullovers into sit ups. It definitely hit my back very nicely. I also turned #2 in the second core giant set into a back exercise by using a 15 pound dumbbell and adding a pullover to the move. I was worn out by the time this workout was over–in a good way! This is my current favorite workout.***

Total Body Giant Sets is 59 minutes long; 6 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. You need a set of 5 pound dumbbells for the warm up. Other equipment needed: various dumbbells, a barbell heavy enough for deadlifts, sliding disks (or paper plates) and a mat. It aired live on 6/30/16 and here is the video clip.

Upper Body #1 (3 giant sets total; 12 reps the first two sets and 8 reps the 3rd set) (Cathe used 10# DBs for everything the first circuit and 12# DBs for everything the last 2 circuits):

  1. Overhead Press (I used 15# DBs)
  2. Rear Delt Flys (I used 10# DBs)
  3. Upright Rows (I used 12# DBs)
  4. Overhead Tricep Extensions (I used 12# DBs)

Lower Body #1 (repeat giant set twice):

  1. Side Slide Lunges w/ sliding disk; 12 reps the first circuit and 24 reps the second circuit (Cathe used one 10# DB, I used one 15# DB)
  2. Squats (12 reps first circuit, 16 reps second circuit) (Cathe used 15# DBs, I used 25# DBs)
  3. 12 Deadlifts (Cathe used 45# BB, I used 70# BB)
  4. Reverse Sliding Lunges w/ sliding disk; 12 reps (Cathe used 10# DBs, I used 15# DBs)

Core #1 (repeat giant set twice):

  1. 12 renegade rows each arm (15# DBs; in the future I will use 25# DBs)
  2. Lay on back, legs straight and on floor, one elbow bent and pressed into floor, other arm raised to ceiling; lift torso and reach toward ceiling w/ raised arm keeping other elbow on floor; 10 reps each side
  3. Plank slide ins + plank jack w/ disks; 10 reps
  4. Pullovers into sit ups (at top of sit up raise one DB overhead; alternate DBs); 10 reps (Cathe used 8# DBs, I used 12# DBs, in the future I will use 15# DBs)

Upper Body #2 (3 giant sets total; 12 reps the first two sets and 8 reps the 3rd set–except for #3 Lateral Raises and those reps are noted below):

  1. Bicep Curls w/ BB (Cathe used 25# BB, I used 35# BB)
  2. Hammer Curls (Cathe used 12# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  3. Lateral Raises (16 reps the first two sets, 8 reps the 3rd set) (Cathe used 5# DBs the first circuit and 8# the last two circuits, I used 8# DBs for all 3 circuits)
  4. 12 push ups

Lower Body #2 (repeat giant set twice):

  1. Cross-back Slide (curtsy lunge w/ disk); 12 reps (Cathe used one 10# DB, I used one 15# DB)
  2. Wide Leg Deadlifts; 12 reps (Cathe used 45# BB, I used 70# BB)
  3. Alternating Forward Diagonal Lunges; 10 reps (Cathe used 10# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  4. Plie squats; 6 sets of 8 pulses (alternate DB hanging low) and 2 sets of 8 reps (one set on each side) (Cathe used 15# DBs, I used 20# DBs)

Core #2 (repeat giant set twice):

  1. Tricep Kickbacks in plank; 12 reps each arm (Cathe used 12# the first set and 8# the second set, I used 12# the first set and 10# the second set; in the future I will use 10# for both sets)
  2. Sit ups w/ alternating straight leg raise; 16 reps (one 10# DB held in both hands)
  3. Spiderman w/ disks (wide leg sliding mountain climbers); 12 reps
  4. Russian Twist; 16 reps (Cathe used one 12# DB, I used one 8# DB)



9 thoughts on “Cathe Live: Total Body Giant Sets

  1. I’m someone who loves and NEEDS cardio but I really wanted to do this one. After reading your review I thought “ok, Do it!”. WOW!! I think my butt hurt for 2 days! The cardio effect was decent too. I should know better….it’s Cathe! As always, Thank you so much for your reviews! Always excellent and informative.


    1. I’m a cardio junkie, too–but I also love lifting weights, so circuit workouts are my favorite (the cardio + strength ones like Ripped w/ HIIT)–but I love an intense metabolic workout that gives me the best of both worlds with zero impact. And this workout definitely achieves that end! It is now one of my favorites!


  2. I love this workout too! It first aired when I was on vacation and I did it as soon as I returned. I’ve done it several times since then. Absolutely my favorite Cathe Live to-date!


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