Strong & Sweaty: Ramped Up Upper Body

ssrampedupperI was very excited about Ramped Up Upper Body (actually, I am excited about all of the Strong & Sweaty workouts for various reasons). When I do splits I prefer full splits–as in upper body and lower body. Cathe rarely does that on DVD. She does lots and lots of lower body workouts, but her upper body workouts are split by muscle group–biceps & triceps; back & chest; etc. Now, for Cathe Live she does the type of splits I like (total upper body rather than split by muscle group) but I was hoping for something even more comprehensive and heavy. Though I love the Live workouts, Cathe and class are constrained by the fact there are so many people–so limited dumbbells. Cathe rarely uses anything heavier than 15 pound dumbbells in Live workouts with the very rare appearance of 20 pound dumbbells. Now, I am well aware that I can lift whatever dumbbells work best for me–I am not forced to use the same dumbbells Cathe is using. And I do lift heavier than what she is lifting, but Cathe also obviously creates her Live workouts to make best use of what is available to her class, so they are usually endurance level workouts–higher rep so you can’t lift super heavy.

And that’s fine, but I want to lift heavier than that sometimes. Did I get that with this workout? Sort of. It’s still no STS level workout but I did lift heavier. But what I really love about this workout is how Cathe works every upper body muscle group thoroughly and from all angles–and she did it in less than an hour. This is what I was looking for. So thank you Cathe!

Ramped Up Upper Body 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 am listing below are the weights Cathe uses. For this workout I matched Cathe’s weight the first time through and ended up with a few up arrows (or, if we did two sets of an exercise, I just increased my dumbbells for the second set). I got an excellent upper body workout. I especially like how well she works the back.

Just like all of the workouts in the Strong & Sweaty Series the Bonus Ab segment is included (breakdown below). There are lots or great premixes, too–so if you want to just work 2 muscle groups (rather than all 5), she does that, too–and doubles and triples the amount of work you do! She also gives you lots of extreme premixes.

Ramped Up Upper Body is 47 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 4 minute stretch. Equipment needed: dumbbells, medium resistance band w/ handles, step @ 10 inches and fitness mat.


  1. One Arm Row, 16 reps (Right) (one 30# DB)
  2. One Arm Back Fly, 10 reps (Right) (one 10# DB)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 on Left
  4. Repeat 1, 2 & 3
  5. Pullovers, 2 sets (one 35# DB)
  6. Rear Delt Flys, 4 sets of 10 reps (10# DBs)
  7. T Band Pulls


  1. Chest Flys (20# DBs)
  2. Push Ups (drop sets: 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps)
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Push ups (one to a 2/2 count then 2 singles)


  1. Close Grip Bench Presses, 2 sets (20# DBs)
  2. Dips
  3. Lying Extensions, 3 sets (10# DBs)
  4. Standing Overhead Extensions (12# DBs)
  5. Band Kickbacks


  1. Overhead Presses (15# DBs)
  2. Front Raises (one 15# DB)
  3. Lateral Raises (5# DBs)
  4. Repeat 1, 2 & 3
  5. Lateral Band Circles
  6. Band Kickbacks – Rear Delts (straight arm)


  1. Hammer Curls (15# DBs)
  2. Sweeping Curls (15# DBs)
  3. Isolation Curls (12# DBs)
  4. Standing Bicep Curls (15# DBs)
  5. Crazy 8s, 2 sets (band)

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)


Basic Premixes
#1 Warm Up + Back + Chest + Triceps + Shoulders + Biceps + Bonus Abs + Stretch (59:52)
Timesaver Premixes
#1 Double Back: Warm Up + Back + Back + Stretch (29:02)
#2 Triple Back: Warm Up + Back + Back + Back + Stretch (39:35)
#3 Double Chest: Warm Up + Chest + Chest + Stretch (16:24)
#4 Triple Chest: Warm Up + Chest + Chest + Chest + Stretch (20:53)
#5 Double Triceps: Warm Up + Triceps + Triceps + Stretch (23:13)
#6 Triple Triceps: Warm Up + Triceps + Triceps + Triceps + Stretch (30:40)
#7 Double Shoulders: Warm Up + Shoulders + Shoulders + Stretch (23:25)
#8 Triple Shoulders: Warm Up + Shoulders + Shoulders + Shoulders + Stretch (31:11)
#9 Double Biceps: Warm Up + Biceps + Biceps + Stretch (21:05)
#10 Triple Biceps: Warm Up + Biceps + Biceps + Biceps + Stretch (27:38)
#11 Back & Chest: Warm Up + Back + Back + Chest + Chest + Stretch (38:00)
#12 Tri’s and Bi’s: Warm Up + Triceps + Triceps + Biceps + Biceps + Stretch (36:53)
Mish Mosh Premixes
Scrambled (Push Pull): Warm Up + Chest + Back + Triceps + Biceps + Shoulders + Stretch (44:48)
Extreme #1 (Double It): Warm Up + Back + Chest + Triceps + Shoulders + Biceps + Back + Chest + Triceps + Shoulders + Biceps + Stretch (83:28)
Extreme #2 (Double Each Round): Warm Up + Back + Back + Chest + Chest + Triceps + Triceps + Shoulders + Shoulders + Biceps + Biceps + Stretch (83:28)
Extreme #3 (Includes 2 Rounds of Bonus Abs): Warm Up + Back + Chest + Bonus Abs (Roll Downs through Rope Climb) + Triceps + Biceps + Bonus Abs (L Position Leg Circles through Plank Complex) + Shoulders + Stretch (59:17)



5 thoughts on “Strong & Sweaty: Ramped Up Upper Body

  1. I am looking for a rotation with Cathe, that would do each upper and lower twice a week like u mentioned in the comment to someone else. Do you have a rotation that has this you said upper once lower once and total body once, then would you do cardio the days in between? I am wanting to add cardio three days. Do you have a rotation that would do that?
    And do you have one That utilizes ICE, and LITE and XTrain, or ripped with hit weight work into it. I think ripped with hit cardios are a bit much dm for me if I were to use the weights. I tried that rotation and ended up getting tired by the fourth day I felt sick.
    So I want to come up with a rotation with step cardio and Heavy weights and add some jogging for cardio. And so ripped with hit and strong and sweaty weight work, and Lite and Ice to make it not to hard. A progressive rotation where I am starting at high intermediate then four weeks or three start getting into harder workouts or heavy weight and a bit more cardio endurance. I really want to get stronger and more endurance for cardio instead of getting older and slacking off. But o want to not fail at first.
    I love and can do LITE perfectly and ICE yet some days I can add on the blast and love it but if I do blast every day in addition it will ware me out and I have to stop a couple days. I don’t want to do that. I feel like consistency should be the key. Can you think of any rotations that u have done that would incorporate all that I mentioned?
    Thanks in advance for your help !


    1. No, I haven’t created any rotations that specific. I also haven’t created any recent enough to incorporate ICE and LITE. I do have plans to create some more rotations in the near future but they will be based on the Top 10 lists I have recently created and I will also be doing another Cathe Live rotation. But I am not sure of the structure yet. I am guessing they are most likely to be based on the way I typically structure things–I do a combination of muscle splits the first half of the week and at the end of the week do a total body workout so that in the course of a week each muscle group is hit 2x. Sorry I’m not more helpful.


    1. Personally, I like to hit each muscle group at least twice a week. If I am doing split series workouts like these, I would do it twice a week. If I am doing total body workouts like Giant Sets, I would do it 3 times a week. But if you are mixing them up, I would do this once a week, a lower body workout once a week and a total body workout once a week–that way I am still hitting each muscle group twice a week. But that’s just the way I do it. A lot of people only work each muscle group once a week. Especially if they are doing very focused split series workouts.


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