Strong & Sweaty: Total Body Giant Sets

sstotalbodygiantsetsI was pretty excited about Cathe‘s latest workout releases since she did similar Cathe Live workouts. At least, judging from the titles. And I love those particular Live workouts. On 6/30/16 she did a Live workout titled Total Body Giant Sets. Yep–the exact same title as this DVD. I adore the live Total Body Giant Sets. It is a very challenging workout. Though based on a similar concept, these two workouts are very different. That is not a bad thing. Though I love the Live version, there is a lot of repetition–some circuits you repeat 3 times. In the DVD version–there is no repetition of circuits. There is some exercise repetition in the lower body circuits but I am totally okay with that because they are great basic exercises that I want to do more than one set of. A giant set is a circuit of 4 or more exercises that hit the same muscle group with little rest between exercises. It is a great way to stimulate muscle growth while also doing intense fat burning circuit training. Cathe does use the “giant set” label a little loosely but it still works. A true giant set would focus on a specific muscle group for 4 or more exercises; Cathe focuses on upper or lower body for the giant set. There are 6 “giant sets”; 3 lower body and 3 upper body.

Total Body Giant Sets is part of the Strong & Sweaty Series. There is a free digital handbook associated with the series that has all kinds of information–including several rotations. I created my own workout cards prior to doing all of the Strong & Sweaty workouts (but Cathe even includes workout cards in the handbook that you can print out and use), so all I will be listing below are the weights Cathe uses. I chose my weights prior to doing the workout for the first time and I chose them well! I had no up or down arrows and I got an excellent workout. I am already feeling DOMS in my back and triceps. In many ways I feel this is a better workout than the Live version. It does a better job of delivering a total body strength workout. However, the Live workout is more intense and metabolic–much more of a calorie burner. Not that this workout didn’t torch some calories. It did, but it also did a better job of thoroughly working each muscle group. Now, this one does not have the core circuits like the Live version does. But again, that is okay because every single Strong & Sweaty workout also includes an excellent and intense abdominal bonus. Do the premix that adds that on to the end and you have a true total body workout. (See below for Bonus Ab breakdown.)

Total Body Giant Sets is 51 minutes long; 5 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment needed: dumbbells, barbell, sliding disks, stability ball and fitness mat. Weights listed below are the weights Cathe used for the workout. **At the request of a commenter below, I am also adding the weights I used the last time I did this workout (3/01/17).**

Round 1:

  1. Squats (Cathe used 40# BB, I used 55# BB)
  2. Rear Sliding Lunges (Cathe used 12# DBs, I used 15# DB + sliding disk)
  3. Plie Squats (Cathe used 40# BB, I used 45# BB)
  4. Side Slide Lunges (Cathe used one 15# DB, I used one 20# DB + sliding disk)
  5. Deadlifts (Cathe uses 25# DBs, I used 75# BB)

Round 2:

  1. Shoulder Overhead Press (15# DBs)
  2. Upright Rows (15# DBs)
  3. Rear Delt Flies, 16 reps (12# DBs)
  4. Incline Front Raise (8# DBs + stability ball)
  5. Seated Lateral Raise (8# DBs + stability ball)

Round 3:

  1. Wide Stance Deadlifts (Cathe used 55# BB, I used 75# BB)
  2. Cross Back Slide Lunges (Cathe used one 15# DB, I used one 20# DB + sliding disk)
  3. Diagonal Lunges (Cathe used 12# DBs, I used 17.5# DBs)
  4. Static Lunges (one 20# DB)
  5. Warrior Lunges (sliding disk)

Round 4:

  1. One Arm Row (Cathe used one 25# DB, I used one 27.5# DB + stability ball)
  2. Pullovers (15# DBs + stability ball)
  3. Chest Flys (Cathe used 20# DBs, I used 22.5# DBs + stability ball)
  4. Incline Chest Press (Cathe used 20# DBs, I used 22.5# DBs + stability ball)
  5. Push Ups

Round 5:

  1. Squats (Cathe used 40# BB, I used 55# BB)
  2. Deadlifts (Cathe used 25# DBs, I used 75# BB)
  3. Plie Squats (Cathe used 40# BB, I used 45# BB)
  4. Sweeper Lunges (sliding disks)
  5. Side Slide Pick Ups (Cathe used one 15# DB, I used 20# DB + sliding disk)

Round 6:

  1. Seated Overhead Tricep Extensions (15# DBs + stability ball)
  2. Close Grip Bench Press (15# DBs + stability ball)
  3. Lying Tricep Extensions (12# DBs + stability ball)
  4. Seated W Curls (15# DBs + stability ball)
  5. Incline Hammer Curls (Cathe used 15# DB, I used 17.5# DBs + stability ball)
  6. Preacher Curls (12# DBs + stability ball)

Bonus Abs is 13 minutes long. This is a tough and unique little Ab bonus. Cathe used a lot of familiar core exercises but put a new spin on them, making this fresh and different from what she has done in the past. I haven’t even seen these moves in her live workouts! Equipment needed: 8 pound dumbbells and a fitness mat.

  1. Roll Downs (as you roll down you pause at 3 different levels and hold to the count of 8 each time)
  2. Reverse Crunch & Pilate Press (lay flat on back, head down, knees bent and raised; do reverse crunch into straight legs twice; then hold straight legs a few inches off floor and raise head/shoulders, arms straight at sides (but off ground); pump arms 8 times; repeat these two exercises)
  3. Side Plank Elevated Toe Taps (straight arm side plank with feet staggered, bottom foot in front of top foot and back leg bent; raise and lower hips while lifting bottom leg and tapping toe with top hand)
  4. Rope Climb (in C sit with feet elevated, do rope climbs)
  5. L Position Leg Circles (lay on back with straight legs in “L” position; do small circles with leg that is raised to ceiling)
  6. Weighted Sit Ups (holding one DB in both hands, do a full butterfly sit up, doing a pullover with DB at bottom and raising DB overhead at top)
  7. Sit Up Twist (still holding one DB in both hands, do a full sit up and at the top, twist DB to side of body while same side leg raises and at bottom do a pullover; this changes to Russian Twists–these are done pulsing and slow singles)
  8. L Position Pull Overs (lay on back holding both DBs straight to ceiling with straight legs also raised to ceiling; slowly scissor straight legs while also doing DB pullovers)
  9. Plank Complex (start in straight arm plank; tap your lower back with same side arm (do both arms), then tap hand to opposite foot under the body (both sides), do a push up and raise into soldier plank (raising opposite hand and arm), do another push up and a soldier plank on other side of body)

Premixes:

Basic Premixes
#1 Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 2 + Round 3 + Round 4 + Round 5 + Round 6 + Bonus Abs + Stretch (63:54)
Timesaver Premixes
#1 Lower Body Only: Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 3 + Round 5 + Stretch (31:10)
#2 Upper Body Only: Warm Up + Round 2 + Round 4 + Round 6 + Stretch (27:58)
#3 No Round 5: Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 2 + Round 3 + Round 4 + Round 6 + Stretch (43:25)
#4 No Round 3: Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 2 + Round 4 + Round 5 + Round 6 + Stretch (42:04)
#5 No Rounds 3 or 5: Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 2 + Round 4 + Round 6 + Stretch (34:47)
Mish Mosh Premixes
Scrambled #1: Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 4 + Round 3 + Round 2 + Round 5 + Round 6 + Stretch (50:42)
Extreme #1: Includes Two Extra Bonus Ab Rounds (63:54)
Extreme #2: Ab Exercise Added to Each Round (63:54)
Extreme #3 Double Upper Body (2 Sets): Warm Up + Round 2 + Round 2 + Round 4 + Round 4 + Round 6 + Round 6 + Stretch (47:30)
Extreme #4 Triple Upper Body (3 Sets): Warm Up + Round 2 + Round 2 + Round 2 + Round 4 + Round 4 + Round 4 + Round 6 + Round 6 + Round 6 + Stretch (67:03)
Extreme #5 Double Lower Body (2 Sets): Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 1 + Round 3 + Round 3 + Round 5 + Round 5 + Stretch (53:54)
Extreme #6 Triple Lower Body (3 Sets): Warm Up + Round 1 + Round 1 + Round 1 + Round 3 + Round 3 + Round 3 + Round 5 + Round 5 + Round 5 + Stretch (76:38)
Extreme #7 Double It: Warm Up + Round 1-6 + Round 1-6 + Stretch (92:58)

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10 responses to “Strong & Sweaty: Total Body Giant Sets

  1. I did this one this morning, and only my second workout ever with a barbell! (I did the Boot Camp workout yesterday, which also incorporated a barbell.) I feel so excited to do these workouts with the intended equipment. I can see that some day in the future, I must subscribe to Cathe Live, because you enjoy it so much, but for now, I am sticking with the DVDs. Thanks for these reviews! I look forward to every single one!

    • I remember when I got my first barbell! Then I got the square step and I was so excited to finally do Cathe’s workout exactly as she presented them. The first I did was Push Pull with all of the proper equipment. I loved it! I’m so glad my reviews are helpful. Cathe Live reviews will be slowing down for a while anyway since I have so many new-to-me DVD workouts to do!

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    • I love that workout, too. Even tho they have the same title, they are completely different workouts. The Live version is much more metabolic–so more intense cardio whereas the DVD version is much more strength focused. I think they work really well together.

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  6. 2L,

    I’m such a pain, I know :), but would you mind listing the weights that you used? Most of the time, I lift what you do, so I’m always referencing your write ups before I do a workout for the first time. Knowing before the workout what weights to use both saves me time AND lets me get the most out of my workouts, and, since you’ve already got it written down somewhere. . . 🙂 Thank you!

    • Hi Liz! I updated it. If I don’t have a “Cathe used/I used” statement then I used the same weight she did. I have actually done parts of this workout recently since I used all of the exercises in different blender workouts I created, but I am using the same weights I used when I did the full workout in March.

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