LITE stands for Low Impact Training Extreme and it is the newest workout series/program from Cathe Friedrich. The base program contains 7 workouts and you can also get an 8th bonus DVD called Pyramid Pump. You can also purchase each workout in the series separately. Cathe considers this an intermediate level series like ICE, but this one is all low impact (except for the Calorie Crush bonuses). Just like ICE, this series contains bonuses to make the workouts more advanced. And just like ICE, you always have the option of using heavier weights to make the workouts more advanced. Just reading over my review for ICE that I wrote 3 years ago, it is clear I am in a very different place fitness-wise now. Back then, I feared ICE would be too easy for me. Which is a joke now. After cancer claimed my 2018, the ICE workouts are the Cathe workouts I do the most now! Treatment has dropped my fitness level so far that when she announced LITE in the summer of 2018, I rejoiced! And pre-ordered. As you can see from clicking the link, these workouts are much more expensive now. That is the value of pre-ordering (or waiting for it to be one of Cathe’s Daily Deals)–I got this series for half the price it is now.
This is a review of the workouts as a series, not of each individual workout. The workouts are reviewed individually on this blog as well (and links to those reviews are at the bottom of this review) but this review focuses on the series as a whole. I will also be comparing this series to Cathe’s ICE series. I am doing that because they are the only intermediate level fitness programs she has created at this point in time and there are a lot of similarities between them.
LITE is another amazing series. It contains four strength workouts (5 if you get the Pyramid Pump bonus), one metabolic workout and two cardio workouts. Of the strength workouts, 3 are total body and 2 are muscle splits (one upper body and one lower body). Of the total body workouts, one is a travel/resistance band workout. In addition, you get 14 bonuses!! The bonuses are included in premixes and the Pyramid Pump bonuses are all collected together on a single bonus DVD. You can buy the entire LITE series with or without the Pyramid Pump bonus DVD. But even if you do not get the Pyramid Pump Bonus DVD, each individual Pyramid Pump muscle group circuit is included somewhere on the other 7 DVDs in the series. I got the Pyramid Pump bonus DVD–to me, that is one of the best things Cathe did with this series. I wish she would go back and do the same thing with ICE and make a Muscle Meltdown DVD. I would buy it.
Here are all of the bonuses. Two core workouts, two extended stretches, 4 Calorie Crushes (more advanced bonuses to add on to 4 of the workouts to make them more advanced–they also are high impact/plyometric) and 6 Pyramid Pumps–one Pyramid Pump circuit for every muscle group (chest, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and lower body). That’s another thing she did better in this series. The Muscle Meltdowns in ICE are awesome but they are all upper body. In LITE, we also get the lower body! Before ever doing a single workout in this series, it was obvious to me this would be even better than ICE (which is awesome) and probably my favorite series to date.
If you purchased this as a program you will also want to check out the LITE User’s Guide. It is digital and free to anyone. When purchased as a program you receive all of the DVDs except the Pyramid Pump bonus DVD in a nice clamshell case. The Pyramid Pump Bonus comes in a separate DVD clamshell. All together, between all 8 DVDs, there are 177 premixes! The LITE User’s Guide contains an overview of the program, the equipment needed, and a summary of each workout. Since every workout and bonus in this series is chaptered, she also breaks down the chapters of every workout and bonus. She provides 4 month long rotations, lists every premix contained in the series and provides you workout cards for the strength workouts (to keep track of the weights you are lifting so you can continue to challenge yourself by lifting heavier when an exercise becomes too easy). Of the rotations, one is LITE only, one is LITE and ICE, one is LITE and Strong & Sweaty workouts and one is LITE and Ripped with HIIT.
All of the above was written before doing a single LITE workout. The remainder of this review is written after doing all of the workouts. This review is posting before the individual workout reviews because I want to do all of the workouts (except Bodyweight & Bands) twice before posting the review. In addition, there are so many bonuses on each DVD that I want to make sure I have done every single bonus before posting each individual review. My favorite part of this series are the strength workouts and the bonus Extended Stretches. I personally will probably never use the Pyramid Pump bonuses that are included on the other 7 workouts, but I will definitely use the premixes on the Pyramid Pump bonus DVD frequently. I liked the cardio workouts–and I include Metabolic Blast in that category. I didn’t like them as much as I like the cardio workouts in ICE but they were all solid workouts. I also didn’t like the Calorie Crushes as much as I like ICE’s Blizzards Blasts. The reason for that is that most of the Blizzard Blasts are appropriate for the workout they are associated with. If you use weights in the workout then you use weights in the Blizzard Blast. With the exception of the Bodyweight & Bands Calorie Crush, the Calorie Crushes are just HIIT level (for me) cardio tacked onto the end of the workout. They have no real association/similarity to the workout they are paired with–again, I am excluding Bodyweight & Bands from that assessment. Although it, too, is a cardio add on and the workout itself is a strength workout, at least you used a band in that Calorie Crush. The fact the other Calorie Crushes are nothing like the workouts they are tacked onto is not necessarily a bad thing but I do prefer how the Blizzard Blasts in ICE flow nicely from the main workout. The strength workouts in LITE are excellent in my opinion and I love them. I also love ICE’s strength workouts and I think ICE and LITE work well together. However, IMHO, LITE strength workouts are more focused and comprehensive than ICE’s (which is why, again, the two series work so well together). And still, the best thing about LITE (to me) is that Cathe collected all of the Pyramid Pumps onto a single DVD. I wish she would still do that with ICE but I know she never will. If she did, that would probably be the ICE workout I revisit the most! Although I did enjoy Bodyweight & Bands, I’m not a fan of pure band workouts so I will probably use that the least. However, in the coming year, my job will require me to travel so Bodyweight & Bands will definitely be used when I am living out of a hotel.
The thing to keep in mind about everything I have written is that I am not an advanced home exerciser anymore. If you are, you may have a different opinion. Though personally, I think the strength workouts can grow with you by just lifting heavier dumbbells, but again, just a personal opinion. It will be a long while before I am an advanced exerciser again so these workouts will be getting a lot of use in 2019. I am planning to do a big push right before major surgery in mid-April, but after the surgery I will be starting over again and these workouts will serve me well.
A little bit more about the bonuses. I found both 6 Pack Ab workouts challenging but doable. I really enjoyed them both. I am thrilled with the Extended Stretches. Some of the Cathe workouts in my library that get used the most are her STS Extended Stretch and her Total Body Stretching. I have been tacking them on to the end of workouts for years. So the fact Cathe created and included extended stretches on these DVDs is wonderful to me. They are both great. They both start out with an easy flow so they continue the cool down after you complete a workout then they move into static stretching.
The consensus for me is that this is a wonderful series that I will continue using for a long time and will get a lot of use from this year.
Here are the individual workouts in the LITE series.