Of all of Cathe’s new workouts in the Strong & Sweaty Series I was most excited about this one (with Total Body Giant Sets a close second). First let me explain what PHA Training is. It stands for Peripheral Heart Action Training. Cathe defines it as: “You’ll alternate from lower body to upper body with very short rest periods between exercises. The goal is to maximize blood flow between the upper and lower body while the shortened rest periods keep your heart rate up for cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits.” This workout consists of 2 circuits. Each circuit contains 6 exercises and is repeated 3 times. Every exercise is done for 12 reps.
I was first introduced to Cathe’s PHAT workouts via Cathe Live. In fact, PHAT #1 was the very first Cathe Live workout I did after subscribing and it remains my all time favorite Cathe Live workout. She later did a Live PHAT #2 workout which I also like a lot, but PHAT #1 remains my favorite. So I was very excited to hear she created a PHAT workout for DVD. Having done it this morning I am mildly disappointed. Do not misunderstand–it is a very good workout and I not only like it but I plan to return to it. But it was no PHAT #1 (the Live workout). Nothing compares to that workout. This one is actually similar to the Live PHAT #2–which I liked but didn’t love. Oh well, right? I’ll deal with it. However, now that I’ve done it, I’m already feeling resistant to doing this PHAT workout instead of the Live PHAT #1 workout. I have my workout rotation for January already mapped out using Strong & Sweaty workouts as the foundation and I now want to go in and swap out all of the S&S PHAT workouts with Cathe Live PHAT #1.
**1/11/17 Note: I have to share. For my birthday I got a 12 pound weighted vest (the same vest Cathe wears in STS Squat Rack Legs) and I love it! I have now worn it for a lower body workout (Cathe Live Triset Legs) and this workout this morning. It makes an enormous difference in the intensity of a workout. That vest brought this workout up to the intensity of Cathe Live PHAT #1. So much more challenging and I liked it so much more than I did the first time I did this workout. Those release push ups were brutal with that vest on! I think soon I will do a post on the vest alone–it is changing my workouts–for the better! **
PHA Training 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 (however, Cathe does include workout cards in the handbook that you can print out and use), so the weights listed below are the weights Cathe uses. I chose my weights prior to doing the workout for the first time. I did a decent job pre-choosing my weights, but I did find that several of the exercises that I used the same weight as Cathe did, I ended up giving up arrows to. Since this is a fast paced workout (not as fast paced as PHAT #1 Live btw), I stuck with the same weights through all 3 rounds of each circuit, in case I became fatigued. I figured that even if I felt in the beginning I could increase my weight, by the 3rd circuit I may have changed my mind. But that wasn’t the case, so when I repeat the workout I will use heavier dumbbells for some of the exercises.
Finally, just like all of the workouts in the Strong & Sweaty Series, the Bonus Ab segment is included (breakdown below).
PHA Training is 43 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed: dumbbells, a step @ 10 inches and a fitness mat. **I am adding the weights I used at request of commenter below.**
Round #1 (perform this circuit 3x):
- Squat Off the End (of step), 12 reps (Cathe used one 15# DB, I used one 20# DB)
- Overhead Presses, 12 reps (15# DBs)
- Side Lunges, 12 reps (Cathe used 12# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
- Upright Rows, 12 reps (15# DBs)
- Step Ups, 12 reps (Cathe used 12# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
- Release Push Ups, 12 reps
Round #2 (perform this circuit 3x):
- Cross Back Lunges, 12 reps (Cathe used one 15# DB, I used one 20# DB)
- Bicep Curls, 12 reps (Cathe used 15# DBs, I used 17.5# DBs)
- Deadlifts, 12 reps (Cathe used 25# DBs, I used 30# DBs)
- Pullovers, 12 reps (Cathe used 15# DBs, I used one 35# DB)
- Standing Squats, 12 reps (Cathe used 20# DBs, I used 25# DBs)
- Lying Extensions, 12 reps (12# DBs)
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.
- Roll Downs (as you roll down you pause at 3 different levels and hold to the count of 8 each time)
- 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)
- 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)
- Rope Climb (in C sit with feet elevated, do rope climbs)
- L Position Leg Circles (lay on back with straight legs in “L” position; do small circles with leg that is raised to ceiling)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
Mish Mosh Premixes