Body Fusion is another of Cathe‘s easier workout DVDs that I bought after doing (and enjoying) Basic Step and High Step Circuit. This DVD contains one full length workout and 3 bonus add ons. Body Fusion is a total body cardio + strength circuit workout that alternates step combos with weight work. The bonus add ons are a 20 minute upper body workout, a 20 minute lower body workout and a 10 minute core workout. The DVD case featured to the right states Basic Step is also on the DVD but it’s not on the version I bought. One of the versions on Amazon and the version on Cathe’s website do include everything–Body Fusion, the bonus add ons plus Basic Step, but the DVD version I bought only has Body Fusion and the bonus add ons.
I did all of the bonus add on’s as a single total body strength workout, starting with lower body then upper body and finishing with stability ball abs. It was a nice little total body workout. Harder than I expected but not advanced. Cathe and crew only use 3 pound dumbbells. I used heavier than that but nothing super heavy. She uses partial reps and pulses to increase the burn so it’s hard to lift heavy. Plus, how challenging the resistance tube exercises are depends on the strength of your tube. I used the medium blue one I bought from Cathe’s website and it burned my muscles out for most of the upper body work!
Body Fusion is a great, low to moderate intensity cardio + strength workout. The step combos are easy to learn. Cathe teaches them in layers and goes over them several times. It is mostly low impact, but even when there is impact it is nothing crazy. I have a hard time rating the strength work after only doing the workout once. I was feeling very weak and tired the morning I did this workout so I could not lift very heavy but someone who isn’t going through chemo could probably lift heavier than I did. That’s another thing to note–I was very tired and I still had no problem following Cathe’ step choreography, which means this is not a complicated step workout.
If you are a beginner/low intermediate, or rehabilitating from an injury/illness, or like me and working your way through medical problems (cancer/chemo) then Cathe’s beginner/intermediate workouts are perfect. She doesn’t have a ton of them but she has enough that a little rotation could be created. In fact, I plan to do that, supplementing with some of the other easier workouts I have been doing. I will post it on the rotations page when complete.
Body Fusion is 51 minutes long; 6 minute warm up and 4:30 minute stretch. Equipment: step @ 6 inches and dumbbells. Cathe and crew are using 3 pound dumbbells. I used 5, 8 and 15 pound dumbbells, but as mentioned above, I was feeling pretty weak when I did this workout. However, some of the exercises are done to a slower 2/2 count, which makes lifting heavy dumbbells hard to do while maintaining good form. The step combos are pretty long, about twice as long as the strength circuits. There are 3 step combos and 3 strength circuits.
- Step cardio
- Squats w/ DBs at shoulders; add shoulder press; changes to just shoulder presses (8# DBs)
- Stationary lunges; add bent arm side lateral raises (5# DBs)
- Step cardio
- Lunge kicks off of step
- Forward heel taps w/ bicep curls; changes to hammer curls; add alternating knee raises (8# DBs)
- Step cardio
- Deadrow (15# DBs)
- Rear delt flys, done to 2/2 count (5# DBs)
- Single arm tricep kickbacks, 2/2 count then singles (one 5# DB)
- Push ups, 3 sets of 8 reps, 2/2 count
Upper Body is 20 minutes long; no warm up or stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, step @ 6 inches and a resistance tube. Cathe and crew are using 3 pound dumbbells, I used 5, 12 and 10 pound dumbbells. She does a lot of partial reps and pulses to increase the burn, so you cannot lift as heavy as you would expect on the chest flys. I found this more challenging than I expected. How challenging depends on the weight of your dumbbells and the strength of your resistance tube. The weights listed below are what I used. I will probably use a heavier tube for the back work in the future, but for everything else, the medium resistance tube burned my muscles out. This is a nice little add on. Cathe hits every muscle group in your upper body nicely.
- Push ups
- Chest flys (10# DBs)
- Repeat #1 & 2
- Sit with legs extended and wrap tube around feet and grip tube under handles, do back rows
- Stand on tubing w/ both feet, hinge forward, gripping tubing under the handles and do bent over back rows
- Stand on tube with one foot, criss-cross handles and hinge forward at hips, do rear delt flys
- Stand on tube w/ one foot and do overhead press
- Still standing on tube w/ one foot, do alternating front raises
- Bent arm side lateral raises (5# DBs)
- Standing on tube w/ one foot again, do alternating straight arm side lateral raises; changes to double arm side lateral raises
- Sit on step and do tricep dips
- Stand on tube w/ one foot and do one arm overhead tricep extension
- Stand on tube w/ both feet and do bicep curls
- Sit on step and do concentration curls (one 12# DB)
Lower Body is 20:30 minutes long; no warm up or stretch. Equipment: resistance tube, a mat and dumbbells. The step is set up but never used. Cathe and crew are using 3 pound dumbbells. I used 15 pound dumbbells for the standing exercises and one 5 pound dumbbell for the floor exercises. Just like in Upper Body, Cathe uses partial reps and pulses to burn muscles out. In this workout I found the floor exercises much more challenging than the standing ones. It still does a nice job of working your legs in a short amount of time. Nothing like her advanced lower body workouts but that’s the point right? This is something easier for beginners.
- Stand on tube w/ both feet and bring tube handles to shoulders, do squats in this position
- Squats w/ DBs (15# DBs)
- Plie squats w/ both feet on tube and handles held at shoulders
- Plie squats w/ DBs (15# DBs)
- Forward lunges and pulse 8x, rear lunge and pulse 8x, repeat 3x
- Wrap resistance tube around both feet and lay on side, holding handles up near waist, raise and lower top straight leg
- Lay on back, legs raised to ceiling and tube wrapped around both feet, open and close straight legs in a V
- Lay on side again, top leg bent behind bottom leg, hold one DB against bottom inner thigh and raise and lower straight bottom leg (one 5# DB)
- Lay on back, heels on step and bottom close to step, raise and lower hips; changes to one leg hip raises (raise one leg to ceiling); returns to hip raises w/ both heels on step
- Lay torso on step w/ hips right at edge of step, squeeze heels together and raise and lower legs
Stability Ball Abs is 10 minutes long. Equipment: stability ball and mat. Cedie is modifying by doing all of the exercises w/out the ball. This was a very nice and effective core workout. Not terribly challenging but it does the job working the entire core nicely.
- Sit on ball w/ arms folded across chest and take deep breaths; lean torso forward and back; continue leaning forward and back but now with arms extended forward
- Roll down so back is on ball, hands behind head and do basic crunches; changes to isometric holds at top of crunch; changes to crunches that tilt elbow to opposite side; ends w/ more basic crunches
- Lay on back w/ ball under calves, hands behind head, do basic crunches; changes to reverse crunches (heels grip ball against hamstrings/glutes and you lift hip/ball); add upper body to lower body reverse crunch
- Lay on back, legs straight, holding ball between hands overhead, arms straight, do partial roll ups, leading with ball; add lifting one leg (alternate legs)
- Sitting up now, legs extended and knees slightly bent, still holding ball between both hands, rotate ball side to side
- Modified superman (lay abdomen on ball, arms and legs are straight and on floor, lift one straight arm and opposite straight leg, keep alternating)