Katami 4X4

Katami 4×4 is a fitness program from trainer Paul Katami. It consists of 12 workouts, a foam roller, a stretch rope and the usual literature that comes with workout programs (overview, workout calendar and nutrition guide). “4×4” refers to the structure of the 8 main workouts in the program. There are 4 circuits in each workout and each circuit contains 4 exercises. Each exercise is done for one minute. Each circuit contains 1 cardio exercise, 1 lower body exercise, 1 upper body exercise and 1 core exercise–in that order. You do each circuit twice so that each workout contains a total of 8 circuits and each workout is 47-48 minutes long. Between each 4 minute circuit you get 30 seconds of recovery. The only thing you need for these workouts is dumbbells and a fitness mat. Every workout has 3 levels you can do the workout at–beginner, intermediate and advanced. Now, every workout shows all 3 levels but Paul also gives you a menu: Low Intensity, Medium Intensity, and High Intensity. If you choose “Low Intensity” then the camera will focus primarily on the exerciser doing the beginner version of the exercise, if you choose Medium Intensity the camera focuses primarily on Paul and High Intensity, the camera focuses primarily on the exerciser doing advanced versions of the exercises–but they are not different workouts. They are the exact same workout just with different camera angles. Paul also refers to the levels in the workouts as “Power of 1,” Power of 2″ and “Power of 3.” The remaining 4 workouts are approx. 30 minutes in length. Two repair and recovery workouts that use the foam roller and stretch rope and two shorter 2×4 workouts led by Amy Dixon. The 2×4 workouts are based on the same concept as the 4×4 workouts except you only focus on 2 aspects in each workout. So rather than cardio, lower body, upper body and core, one 2×4 workout focuses on upper body and lower body and the other 2×4 workout focuses on core and cardio. And you also only do two circuits. Each circuit still contains 4 exercises and is repeated–so each 30 minute 2×4 workout has a total of 4 circuits.

Cost? If it ever had it’s own website to promote/sell it like many programs do, that is gone (and I suspect it did once have a website as you will learn if you continue reading this intro). Paul doesn’t even mention it, let alone sell it on his personal website. You can buy it on Amazon or like I did, at Total Fitness DVDs. It is about $90 right now but I got it on sale for $50 + free S&H. Since I’ve purchased it, I’ve seen it on sale for even cheaper. So keep your eye out if you want it. You can probably get it cheaper than $90 at some point.

This is a 16 week program. Each month you focus on two of the 4×4 workouts, alternating them by weeks. So week 1 you do I Am Change 1 4 times and week 2 you do I Am Change 2 4 times. Repeat that and you have completed your first 4 weeks. That is not all tho. The 4×4 workouts are all approx. 48 minutes long. He also expects you to do one of his 30 minute recovery workouts after completing a 4×4 workout–so he expects your workout session to be approx. 80 minutes long. This also explains why none of his 4×4 workouts include a stretch. That covers 4 days, right? In his literature he writes that he expects you to workout a minimum of 4 days a week–so doing the 4×4 workouts followed by the recovery workouts is the minimum you are expected to do. What about the other 3 days? One day is a rest day. The other two days you can do a 2×4 and/or one of the recovery workouts. These are apparently optional since you are only required to workout 4 days a week. Now, what I noticed right away is that he expects you to do his workouts back to back. Workouts that include strength training–so no recovery time for your muscles. Which makes me wonder, does he even consider them true strength training? How could he if he doesn’t give your muscles time to recover? You need 48-72 hours of recovery when working your muscles hard. So does he consider the strength training in his workouts to be submaximal? Does he expect you to use light dumbbells so you don’t tax your muscles enough for them to need repair (i.e. submaximal strength training)? He doesn’t say. All he does is give a rotation calendar that works the same muscle groups on back to back days. I will say that the deeper you get into the program the harder it is to lift heavy. These are all metabolic workouts but the last 4 are very intense and I found it very difficult to lift as heavy as I normally would for many exercises.

The literature states there is a bonus to this program that is online. There is a “celebrity expert team.” He provides a website and on the rotation calendar it tells you what expert you are to view/listen to each day. There is supposed to be an expert video segment for nearly every day of the 16 weeks. So, I go to this website. It no longer exists. I tried on more than one browser. I went to Paul’s website. Nada. So…. not sure what happened to that! No bonus!

The Fit Fuel Guide (nutrition guide) is full of tips and has 16 core recipes that you can mix and match. But there is more! The expert team that provides you with video tips, remember them? You get more tips and recipes for following the plan in your bonus video segments…. except you don’t because the site no longer exists. So… you have 16 recipes to shuffle around for 16 weeks. Or just follow the tips. Or do Weight Watchers. Or Hungry Girl’s diet plan. Or some other diet that works for you if you are trying to lose weight.

Because all of the main workouts are 47-48 minutes long and I workout for an hour every morning, I had to use add ons to round out my morning workout time. (Doing his recovery workouts as he recommends would put me at 80 minutes and I don’t have that much time Monday-Friday.) I used Barlates: 5 Best Exercises Series. This is a DVD by Linda Wooldridge that has 11 short workouts and each workout focuses on a specific muscle group. So I just tacked one of her mini workouts on to the end of every 4×4 workout to round out my hour.

Finally, the set. The workouts are set in a bright white room with a large plastic “4×4” behind the exercisers (taller than them). In the bottom left-hand corner you get a timer for each exercise, counting you down until your minute is done. In the right-hand corner you get another timer for the 30 second recovery between each quad. Like in all of Paul’s workouts, he is very encouraging and motivating.

Summary: I am starting this summary before finishing all the workouts in the program (and I will finish the summary once I do them all) but I have some thoughts. I have now done four of the eight 4×4 workouts. The 4×4 workouts are the core workouts of the program. First, all of the workouts I have done are solid metabolic workouts. They are all good for you, just like any workout is good for you. Doing something is always better than nothing, right? And these are better than many workouts out there. Particularly if your focus is weight loss. They are very metabolic and the intensity (and therefore calorie burn) increases as the program continues–so it is a progressive program, getting more challenging and intense as the weeks progress. However, I do have some nitpicks. First is the monotony. Yes, within each workout there is no boredom. They are all varied and interesting but if you are following this as a program you are expected to do the same workout FOUR TIMES in a week! EIGHT TIMES in a month! Holy cow! And the recovery workouts are the same thing that he expects you to do 4-6 times a week, every week, for 16 weeks. No way could I do that. I would get sick of even the most fun and entertaining workout. So, for me at least, this program as laid out on the rotation calendar is a no-go. I need more variety.

This leads me to the second “issue.” This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it is something you should consider when deciding to do a fitness program. Why are you doing the program? Are you doing it to lose weight? Get fit? Gain muscle? Because even though there is strength training in these workouts, Paul does not give you proper recovery time for true strength training. You do the same 4 workouts 4 times in one week–back to back. In order for muscles to properly repair (and therefore grow and strengthen), they need 48 hours of recovery after being worked to repair–if they are being trained for muscle building purposes. If you are doing this for the cardio/metabolic factor to lose weight and fat or just to improve your overall fitness level, then this program is perfect for those purposes. But if you also want to build muscle, give those muscles some repair time. I’ve already mentioned that I did not follow this as a program. I did each workout once. I started with I Am Change 1 and did them in order through to I Am Hero 2, finishing off with the 2×4 workouts. However, I gave myself a recovery day between each 4×4 workout in which I just did cardio–no weights. For instance, on Monday I did a 4×4 workout, on Tuesday I did Tabatacise, on Wednesday I did a 4×4 workout, on Thursday I did Cardio Slam and so on. My cardio day was the day my muscles recovered.

The third problem I had right off is with the I Am Change workouts (first 4 weeks) (BTW–this problem crops up in other 4×4 workouts, too–it just showed it’s face immediately). Neither of the I Am Change workouts work your back muscles. So for the first 4 weeks, Paul will hit every muscle group in your body except one of your largest and most important muscle groups–the back. Anyone who follows this blog knows I am partial to working my back, so that bothered me from the beginning. Yet another reason I would never follow this as a program. If you are going to skip muscle groups, skip the biceps and/or triceps. I am not saying they don’t need work, but they are ancillary muscles. They will be worked right along with any other exercise you do for your back, chest or shoulders. They are always being worked when you are working those muscle groups since they assist. Just like the lower body is worked in every single 4×4 workout, the back should be, too.

***As of this writing, I have now done all of the 4×4 workouts. My thoughts have changed slightly. I am not discounting any of what I wrote above, but this program is very progressive. Meaning, because the earlier workouts were easier, it was easier for me to pick them apart. Starting with I Am Warrior 1, this program moves into the advanced area with the last two workouts (I Am Hero 1 & 2) being very advanced. They were very challenging and pushed me to the limit. Also, when you get to the Warrior and Hero workouts you are doing intense compound exercises that are working many muscle groups in one exercise. For example, you will do a cardio exercise that burns out your legs then go immediately into the lower body exercise which is also working your upper body and/or also giving you cardio then immediately into upper body which could also be working lower body and/or core and end with the core move which could also involve cardio and/or upper and/or lower body–one right after the other for 4 solid minutes. Then you get 30 seconds to regroup and start all over again. Very intense–and exhausting. You are basically working every muscle in your body in some fashion. I still feel the back is the most neglected muscle group in the entire series–but it does get worked in some of the workouts. Of note, I was following Paul (intermediate) or the advanced person in every workout. So remember that there is a still a beginner doing modifications, even in the advanced workouts. The Hero workouts kicked my butt and humbled me.

Overall, this is a metabolic fitness program. It is for getting in shape and losing fat. That’s not to say you won’t build muscle–you will build some muscle. That just isn’t the purpose of a program like this. If you want to build muscle there are other programs out there for those goals. But do not look at this as only a fat loss program. Yes, that will happen–but this program will kick your butt into shape. You will burn fat, improve cardiovascular fitness, condition every muscle in your body (at some point) and improve endurance. In the end I was impressed with this program as a whole–especially the last four 4×4 workouts. Paul frequently refers to the “Quad Effect” during the workouts–which is the cumulative effect of doing 4 minutes of intense circuit training with no rest. His Quad Effect is just a fancy way of saying this is intense metabolic strength training. I am no stranger to metabolic strength training. It is my favorite kind of workout–circuit training that combines cardio + strength. And I do a lot of it. However, as I have already mentioned several times, the last 4 workouts in this program kicked my a$$. Big time. So Paul took it to the next level (for me) with last 4 workouts in his program.

Workouts: For all of the workouts Paul and crew have two sets of dumbbells–one heavier and one lighter (the actual weights are never revealed). I used a much larger selection which I note in the breakdowns below. None of the workouts have cool downs. Most have 4 deep breaths at the end and the rest have nothing. As I mentioned above, that is because Paul expects you to immediately follow the 4×4 workouts with one of his recovery workouts. The warm ups usually preview moves that you will be doing in the workout, to help prepare you for them.

I Am Change 1 is 48 minutes long; 40 second intro; 4:30 minute warm up and 30 seconds of deep breathing. Each exercise is done for one minute w/ 30 second recovery between each quad. This is a solid workout. I really enjoyed it. It is full of basic exercises but if you follow the intermediate or advanced person and use heavy enough dumbbells, you will get an excellent workout. My only complaint about this workout is there is no back work. Well, that’s not entirely correct. There are deadlifts which do work the lower back as well as glutes and hamstrings (Paul uses them for the lower body exercise). I remedied that pretty easily by using an add on: Barlates: 5 Best Exercises Series. Linda Wooldridge has 11 short workouts that each focus on a muscle group. This morning I followed this workout with Back Fat–which is 5 exercises that focus on the back and since it is 7 minutes long, it rounded this workout out very nicely–not just bringing the workout time closer to an hour but also actually giving me a total body workout. I have no idea what dumbbell weights Paul and his crew used. They had two sets of dumbbells, one heavy, one lighter. Below I list the dumbbells I used for each exercise.

Quad 1:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Weighted Squat (25# DBs)
  3. Bicep Curls (15# DBs)
  4. Squat rotation: one arm overhead, hold DB in other hand, squat while lowering DB to ground and turning torso/head/shoulders toward arm overhead (one 15# DB)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Skater lunges
  2. Alternating front lunges (15# DBs)
  3. Push ups
  4. 3 bicycles w/ a hold on the 3rd

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Rope jump (jump roping side to side)
  2. Squat jumps
  3. I & Y Tris (overhead tricep extensions; first you do one traditional overhead tricep extension then you turn elbows out and raise DBs into the letter Y; alternate these two extensions) (10# DBs)
  4. Hold elbow plank

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. High knee runs (pace increases every 15 seconds)
  2. Suitcase deadlifts (30# DBs)
  3. Overhead press (15# DBs)
  4. Hourglass (similar to a Russian Twist–only difference is how you move the DB) (one 8# DB)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Change 2 is 47:30 minutes long; 30 second intro, 4 minute warm up and 30 seconds deep breaths. Each exercise is done for one minute w/ 30 second recovery between each quad. This was another solid workout but I didn’t like it as much as I Am Change 1. I also don’t like the fact that this is the second workout in the program and still no back work–you don’t even get deadlifts in this workout. So there is literally zero back work. This means that 4 weeks into the program and your back muscles are barely touched. That makes no sense to me. He worked every other muscle group in your body but completely ignores the back. It is still a good workout, but I like I Am Change 1 better. I think the exercises in I Am Change 1 do a better job hitting the other muscle groups.

Quad 1:

  1. Lateral shuffle (scissors moving laterally the length of the mat and back)
  2. 4×4 lateral limbo walk (while remaining in squat, walk 4 steps to the side the length of your mat and back) (20# DBs)
  3. 90+90 curls (front/wide half curls–curl one arm to front and one arm wide, and only curl halfway; alternate sides w/ each curl) (15# DBs)
  4. Seated push (in C sit w/ hands on floor behind you, thrust legs in and out)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Hot dog run (but kick runs, tapping heel w/ opposite hand)
  2. Weighted calf raises (toes forward, then open out to side, then open even wider) (20# DBs)
  3. Skull Crushers w/ legs/feet raised (10# DBs)
  4. Wag the tail (on back, hands behind head, knees bent/feet raised; twist hips side to side bringing elbow toward same side thigh)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Punch runs (high knee runs w/ punches)
  2. Curtsy lunge w/ knee raise (15# DBs)
  3. 90+90 Shoulder (do a front raise w/ one arm while doing a side raise w/ the other; alternate sides ) (8# DBs)
  4. Torch & Slow Recover (holding one DB in both hands, sit up pushing one DB overhead then slowly lower) (one 12# DB)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Squat thrust (burpee)
  2. Progressive front lunge (3 lunges forward on one leg, stepping out further each time; alternate sides) (15# DBs)
  3. Open & Close push ups (one tricep push up, one regular push up; alternate)
  4. Weighted side plank (hold a DB against midsection while holding side plank)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Athlete 1 is 48 minutes long; 40 second intro; 4 minute warm up and 4 deep breaths (about 20 seconds). Each exercise is done for one minute w/ 30 second recovery between each quad. Finally! We get some back work in this workout with renegade rows. Another great metabolic total body strength workout. This time the muscle group left out is triceps. I added a little bit of additional equipment to this workout to make it more intense. On Quad 3 you do one leg bridges for your lower body exercise. I placed my foot on a square step @ 8 inches so I could get deeper into my glutes. I also used 3 pound hand weights for the cardio exercise in Quad 4 which is punches–that increased the intensity a bit.

Quad 1:

  1. Running lunge (alternating plyo jump lunges)
  2. Prisoner squat (holding both DBs behind head as if at the bottom of an overhead tricep extension) (15# DBs)
  3. Renegade row (4 rows on each arm, keep transferring from arm to arm) (one 20# DB)
  4. Backstroke & boat (lay on back, head/neck raised, knees bent and feet raised off floor and straight arms next to thighs; in this position you backstroke arms 4x then extend both arms overhead and straighten legs into boat and hold for 4 counts)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. 4×4 Shuffle turns (fast feet and when Paul tells you, you do a butt kick jump while turning 90 degrees to side; jump back when he tells you, jump to other side when he tells you and so on)
  2. Directional lunges (front lunge, diagonal lunge, side squat, reverse lunge; alternate legs) (15# DBs)
  3. 4 push ups + 4 running knees (mountain climbers)
  4. X Drive bow tie (these are a wood chop variation; start at right hip and bring DB over left shoulder then lower to left hip and bring DB over right shoulder) (one 12# DB)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Pop kicks (side squat to side kick)
  2. One leg glute bridge (switch legs after 30 seconds) (I also placed my foot on square step @ 8 inches to hit my glutes deeper)
  3. Switch curl (starts as a traditional bicep curl (so raise DBs palms facing ceiling) but when you lower then, turn hands so palms face the floor) (15# DBs)
  4. Inchworm cross knee (start standing w/ arms overhead, lower hands to floor, walk hands out to plank and do 4 mountain climbers angling knees to opposite elbows, walk hands back to feet and stand, raising arms overhead)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Quad punch (facing the right, punch 4x then jack feet 2x as you turn to face the left to punch 4x; keep alternating sides) (I also held 3# DBs to increase the intensity)
  2. Double double (squats w/ no DBs; lower into narrow squat, pulse 2x then jump feet out to wider squat and pulse 2x; keep alternating between narrow and wide pulse squats, never coming out of squat)
  3. 4×4 Shot put (hold DBs at shoulders, do a reverse lunge and do one arm overhead press each arm at a brisk pace, stand and repeat on other leg; keep alternating legs for reverse lunges, each time doing the overhead presses) (12# DBs)
  4. Boxing drill (lay on back w/ knees bent, feet on floor; rope climb to count of 4 until you are sitting in C sit then cross punch 4x while still in C sit, while still in C sit do speed bag arms as you lower back down to count of 4)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Athlete 2 is 47:30 minutes long; 20 second intro, 4 minute warm up and 4 breaths. Each exercise is done for one minute w/ 30 second recovery between each quad. Another solid metabolic weight training workout. This one hits every muscle group in some form. I preview all of these workouts in advance and create workout cards, pre-choosing my weights. I usually do a good job with my choices, but on this one, I had to lower my weight on a few exercises. They were more challenging to actually perform than they seemed to be when just watching!

Quad 1:

  1. Lateral shuffle + squat (tap fingers or DB to floor when you squat) (one 10# DB)
  2. 4×4 Touchdown vertical (squat and, while remaining in squat, tap finger tips to opposite toe 4x then jump)
  3. Crunch w/ one arm chest fly (while holding other arm/DB toward ceiling) (20# DBs)
  4. Origami Taps (straight arm plank; bend knees, pushing hips back and to one side while releasing one hand and bringing that elbow to knees; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Catch & shoot (pivot to side as if catching a ball, pivot to front and jump as if throwing the ball; alternate sides)
  2. Back lunge thread (jump into reverse lunge while passing one DB under front leg; alternate legs) (one 12# DB)
  3. Seated bicep curls (bicep curls while in C-sit) (15# DBs)
  4. Swing practice (swinging one DB to side as if swinging a bat) (one 8# DB)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. 4×4 Slalom hops (using your mat as a marker, jump forward, jump over mat, jump backward, jump back over mat)
  2. Sumo drop (sumo squat to side w/ front raise at bottom; alternate sides) (7# DBs)
  3. Floor dips (tricep dips)
  4. Genie side plank (in elbow plank, turn to side (but not going into side plank) and raise one arm; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Starter block lunge (get down as if getting ready to run and bring back leg in and out 3x while staying low then come up on the 4th while raising knee)
  2. Overhead squats (squat while holding one DB overhead) (one 8# DB)
  3. Deep lunge 90 degree rows (come into deep lunge, leaning torso over front leg, and do a double arm wide row) (12# DBs)
  4. Seated racquet (in C sit with one arm on ground beside you, raise other arm to ceiling on same side then bring down to touch other palm on floor) (4# DBs)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Warrior 1 is 47:30 minutes long; 4:30 minute warm up. The exercises in this workout are difficult to describe but they were intense! This was the most intense workout in the 4×4 program I have done yet. Very metabolic–I burned a ton of calories and I worked hard. Excellent and intense metabolic strength workout. As usual, a muscle group is neglected (back again), but still an intense and excellent workout. Use Linda’s 5 Best Back Fat Exercises (7 minutes) and you will round out this workout nicely while hitting every muscle group. Let me modify that statement–you do a form of superman in the final Quad, but it’s not even a full minute of supermans, so in my opinion, that doesn’t count as real back work. I don’t count it at least.

Quad 1:

  1. Squat to overhead tricep extension (12# DBs)
  2. Warrior Squat to front lunge (squat goes directly front lunge) (15# DBs)
  3. Warrior drive (start w/ both DBs next to one hip, windmill one arm overhead keeping other arm at hip then lower arm to other hip while raising lowered arm overhead then bring that arm down to opposite hip so both DBs are at opposite hip from here you started–confusing? It’s easier than it sounds) (8# DBs)
  4. Kneeling warrior twists (start kneeling and bring one foot forward into low lunge while swinging DB to same side as front leg; alternate sides) (one 10# DB)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Warrior body slam (start in lunge to side holding one DB in both hands, pivot to other side arcing DB overhead and when facing other direction do 2 plyo jump lunges; alternate sides) (one 8# DB)
  2. Swings (kettlebell swing w/ a DB) (25# KB)
  3. 4×4 curl squat and stand (squat and while remaining in squat do 4 hammer curls then stand up w/ DBs at shoulders and do 4 wide bicep curls) (12# DBs)
  4. Pound the ground (get into straight arm plank and drive one arm/fist down like you are pounding the ground)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Double run & squat (2 plyo jump lunges then jump into squat, touching ground w/ one hand)
  2. Goblet squat (one 30# DB)
  3. Prone jack and push up (plank jack + push up)
  4. Warrior oblique twists (Russian twists, raising the same side leg as you are twisting toward) (one 8# DB)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Broad jump the length of your mat then fast feet shuffle back to start
  2. Iso lunge 4×4 (get into lunge holding one DB in both hands in front of chest, lower deeper in lunge to count of 3 then do a front kick w/ back leg) (one 15# DB)
  3. Warrior overhead press (Arnold press) (15# DBs)
  4. Prone back extension (superman then push up into straight arm plank then drop hips into updog, return to straight arm plank then drop back to stomach)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Warrior 2 is 48 minutes long; 4:30 minute warm up and 4 deep breaths at end. Another excellent and tough workout. This one seemed very core focused–lots of plank work. Plus it managed to really burn my legs out without any dumbbells more than once.

Quad 1:

  1. 4×4 burpee (burpee w/ 4 mountain climbers)
  2. Single leg deadlifts (20# DBs)
  3. Bent over row: 3 ways (in bent position the entire interval: front raise, rear delt fly, straight arm tricep raise) (8# DBs)
  4. Warrior chops (front lunges w/ woodchop) (one 12# DB)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. 180 jump squats
  2. 3 lateral hops + 1 side lunge (no DBs)
  3. Coil push up (one push up then push back, bending knees and twisting hips to side; alternate sides)
  4. Beggar plank back stroke (back stroke arms while in elbow plank)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Warrior crawl (while in straight arm plank, bringing one knee forward tapping same side elbow while also stepping opposite hand forward; alternate sides)
  2. Warrior whip (like a kettlebell snatch but w/ a DB/squat to one arm overhead press) (one 15# DB)
  3. Tricep kickbacks while in plank (4 kickbacks the set DB on ground and do 4 kickbacks on other arm) (one 10# DB)
  4. Warrior hold (bent knee boat pose)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. 4×4 crazy jacks (4 regular jacks + 4 air jacks)
  2. Squat pop out (squat thrust–but never coming out of squat unless you are thrusting)
  3. 4 Pt Warrior Curl (4 curls lifting halfway up, 4 reverse curls lowering halfway, 4 full curls)
  4. Target core running (20 seconds regular mountain climbers, 20 seconds mountain climbers aiming knees to opposite elbows, 20 seconds mountain climbers bringing knee to same side elbow outside of body)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Hero 1 is 47 minutes; 4:30 minute warm up; ends w/ 4 breaths. This was a very tough workout. In fact, part of me wonders if I was having an off day or if it was all this workout–but it wore me out, big time! I was struggling! Definitely the hardest 4×4 workout I’ve done so far. I’m a little afraid of Hero 2 now! This is an excellent workout that hits the shoulders hard and gives you lots of intense cardio. Almost every exercise is a compound move that will work many muscle groups at the same time.

Quad 1:

  1. Slalom Jacks (squat jacks–when feet are together, squat bringing hands to feet)
  2. Squat curl to overhead press (15# DBs)
  3. Flip curl (hold DBs together at stomach, do a reverse lunge twisting both DBs toward front leg; alternate legs) (10# DBs)
  4. Scorpion 3 ways (in straight arm plank, bring knee to elbow outside of body then lift bent leg up and over to other side of body then bring knee underneath you to opposite elbow; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Single leg triple hop (one leg long jump then do 3 backward jumping jacks until you are back where you started)
  2. Kneeling hero drive (start on your knees; kick one leg out behind you, step that same leg forward, come to standing and raise other knee)
  3. V push ups (start in straight arm plank, do one push up, walk hands back until you are in down dog and do a push up (pike push up), walk hands back to plank; alternate these two exercises)
  4. Quad reach (start in beast and raise one leg pushing foot to ceiling while also raising the other arm; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Race day high knees (increase speed after 15 seconds and again final 15 seconds)
  2. You jerk (reverse lunge w/ overhead press) (8# DBs)
  3. 4×4 Ripcord row (hinge at waist holding a DB in one hand; row both arms (alternating them) 4x, set DB on ground and repeat holding DB in other hand) (one 15# DB)
  4. Kneeling side bends (start in a modified plank (one hand on floor, arm straight, bottom knee on ground, top leg straight) top arm holds DB; raise DB from floor to overhead (arm straight) then bend top straight leg and bend arm, bringing elbow to knee) (one 8# DB)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Pivot tuck jump (quarter turn jump to side and back to front then tuck jump; alternate sides)
  2. Single leg box jump (hopping on one leg)
  3. 4×4 shoulder raise (4 front raises + 4 side raises–on 4th side raise hold at top of raise for count of 4) (8# DBs)
  4. Star kicks (straight arm plank, rotate into side plank w/ staggered feet, kick out straight top leg and touch toe with top arm; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 4

I Am Hero 2 is 47:30 minutes long; 4:30 minute warm up and 4 breaths at end. Wow. Another thoroughly exhausting workout. The Hero workouts are the hardest in the bunch. And the most advanced. They wore me out! There is a lot of shoulder and bicep work in this workout–but mostly shoulder. Only halfway into this workout and my shoulders were protesting. Both of the Hero workouts really challenged me.

Quad 1:

  1. Burpee push up (+jack or air jack)
  2. Hero hold lunge (hold lunge isometrically to count of 4 and do a jump lunge to switch legs) (12# DBs)
  3. Hero power planking (in straight arm plank, kick one leg up in air)
  4. Ball sweep to plank (start in beast, sweep one leg underneath you and bring other leg to join it so you are in side plank, return to beast; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Swim & surf (lay on stomach and swim to count of 4 then jump up into surfer pose)
  2. Hero sumo squat (sumo squat then pivot into side lunge; alternate sides) (15# DBs)
  3. Kneeling curl to overhead press (12# DBs)
  4. Planking fly and tri (while in straight arm plank, do a rear delt fly and a tricep kickback; alternate arms) (8# DB)

Repeat Quad 2

Quad 3:

  1. Bounding run (plyometric move–jump up, separating legs like running)
  2. Pendulum lunges (bicep curl when lunging forward, bent arm lateral raise on reverse lunge) (8# DBs)
  3. Push up walk away (do one push up, walk hands out further in front of you and hold for 4 counts)
  4. Wipers (on back, legs straight and raised to ceiling, windshield wiper legs side to side)

Repeat Quad 3

Quad 4:

  1. Tuck jump add on (like ladders–add a tuck jump every time you do it; so one tuck jump and pause, then 2 tuck jumps and pause, then 3 tuck jumps and pause, and so on up to 8)
  2. Single arm burpees with row (do row while in the plank portion of the burpee) (one 15# DB)
  3. Palm up bent leg slide row (partially squat, back of hands holding DBs close to thighs and do an underhand row, sliding hands up thighs and remaining in a partial squat the entire time) (15# DBs)
  4. Bridge taps (get into crab position and raise one leg, tapping hand to opposite knee; alternate sides)

Repeat Quad 4

2×4: Upper & Lower Body is 26 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 4 breaths at the end. This workout is led by Amy Dixon and she brings the same energy to this workout that she does to her own workouts. For such a short workout, this is pretty intense. I had to pyramid down to lower weights on two of the Quad 2 exercises because I thought I could lift heavier–but actually doing the exercise proved me wrong! Though I did like this workout, I probably would not use it on it’s own but it would work very well with 2×4 Cardio & Core–giving you a 52 minute total body cardio + strength workout. And it would definitely increase the intensity by being 4 quads instead of two. Now I want to try that!

Quad 1:

  1. Squat knee + curtsy knee (15# DBs)
  2. Single leg deadlift (20# DBs)
  3. Tire lift (with palms facing ceiling, squat down and swing DBs w/ straight arms up overhead) (10# DBs)
  4. You jerk back lunge (reverse lunge w/ overhead press) (12# DBs)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. 4×4 scoop + push ups (get into a deep lunge and scoop straight arms from side to shoulder height 4x then do 4 push ups; keep alternating exercises ) (8# DBs)
  2. Raise & rotate (reverse lunge while doing a bent arm lateral raise and twist torso toward front leg; alternate legs) (5# DBs)
  3. 4×4 high low curls (squat and do 4 bicep curls w/ knees against knees then stand and do 4 wide curls) (8# DBs)
  4. In out renegade (in straight arm plank do 4 renegade rows, set DB on ground and plank walk to side, pick up DB with other hand and do 4 renegade rows) (one 15# DB)

Repeat Quad 2

2×4: Cardio & Core is 26 minutes; 4 minute warm up and ends w/ 4 breaths. This was a great little workout. I didn’t find it as intense as Paul’s workouts or as Amy’s other 2×4 workout on this disk (Upper & Lower Body) but it is a good workout. I think if it is done with her other 2×4 workout, it would make a great 52 minute workout.

Quad 1:

  1. Heel kicks (butt kick runs)
  2. Swing & slam (swing arms to side like you are swinging a bat, bring hands/arms overhead and slam them down on other side of body) (one 5# DB)
  3. Squat jacks (2 regular jacks + one squat jack)
  4. Barriers 1 & 4 (4 small leaps side to side + one big leap)

Repeat Quad 1

Quad 2:

  1. Push through push up (start in plank, step one to out side of same side hand, bring other leg through underneath you and kick; alternate sides)
  2. 4×4 hurdle crunch (on back, do 3 bicycles and hold on 3rd, reaching arm across opposite leg)
  3. Twisting frog (in straight arm plank, jump feet up to hands then back to plank, then lift one arm to ceiling; alternate arms)
  4. Warrior twists (sit w/ legs straight in front of you, torso leaned back slightly and holding one DB in both hands–twist DB to one side while lifting the leg you are twisting toward and placing heel on top of other toe; alternate sides) (one 8# DB)

Repeat Quad 2

Repair: Roller is 29:30 minutes long. Equipment: foam roller and fitness mat. For this workout you get Paul only–no crew. The workout starts sitting on your roller and taking deep breaths. You roll out the body by muscle group. There really is nothing to break down in this recovery workout. I know using a foam roller is good for you but I never seem to see/feel a difference after I do a foam roller workout. Plus they are uncomfortable to do. I have chronic neck problems so the neck portion actually did feel good when doing it, but I noticed no difference in my neck afterwards. Still hurt like always.

Repair: Rope is 31 minutes long. Equipment needed: stretch rope, chair and fitness mat. This is an assisted stretching workout–you do dynamic stretching and you do some static holds. The rope itself is just a braided rope (not literally a “stretchy” rope, but a rope used to assist in stretching). I was not impressed with this stretch workout. Using the rope for a lot of stretches makes them easier so this is probably great for someone who never stretches or is very inflexible, but I am fairly flexible. I ended up setting it aside for several of the exercises to get a deeper stretch. I have also gotten much better total body stretches from other trainer’s much shorter workouts: Cathe’s Total Body Stretching, STS Extended Stretch, Stretch Max (all 12-20 minutes long), Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s 19 minute bonus stretch on Boot Camp, Michelle Dozois Ultimate Workout (14 minute stretch), Weider Ruthless has two 20 minute workouts that include deep stretching, Insanity Asylum 1 Relief (23:30 minutes), Tracey Mallet’s Yoga Svelte (20 minutes), Christine Bullock’s Evolution 20 Balance 1 (20 minutes)–and any Ashley Turner/Element yoga–she has many that are the same length as this and give you a better total body stretch. Plus, with the shorter ones I listed, just add them on to a 4×4 workout so your total workout time is approx. 60 minutes rather than the 80 minutes Paul expects if you finish with his Repair workouts.

  1. Simple rotation: core + shoulders + back
  2. Dips: obliques (core)
  3. Dive & roll: upper body
  4. Table top: hamstrings & back
  5. BTN push & pull (triceps and shoulders)
  6. Quad stretch: legs & hips
  7. Ski stretch
  8. Hamstring + hip + knee
  9. Point & flex calves
  10. Inner thigh
  11. Outer thigh
  12. Side lying stretch: hips & legs

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8 responses to “Katami 4X4

    • You’re welcome! I keep thinking about the last two 4×4 workouts in this system (I Am Hero 1 & 2) and how I should find ways to incorporate them into my rotations more often. Those two workouts alone (the last 4 actually–the Warrior workouts, too) are worth the cost of the entire system.

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