I have been away from Cathe Live for a long time. I did plan to return sooner than this but life got in the way. But then Cathe started selling downloads of her live workouts. I bought my absolute favorites and also did some perusing of the 100+ she has created since I was last subscribed. As soon as I saw all of the Fit Tower workouts I knew I would have to purchase those. And if I was purchasing those, well then why not a few of the others? Anyway, needless to say, my list got huge. I decided I needed to actually try these workouts before buying them. So I subscribed! My plan is to subscribe for 2 months, do all of the live workouts that interest me and if I like them–buy them. I’m already nearing the end of a rotation I put together so I didn’t plan to do any Live workouts until I finished the rotation but once the thought entered my mind, it started calling to me. So today I pulled out my Fit Tower and did her live Tone & Tighten workout.
Wow! First, this one will definitely be purchased. I loved it. Second–there is so much I had forgotten about Cathe’s Live workouts that I love. For one, she gives you a lot more rest than she does in her DVDs. I do a lot of her DVD workouts and they are awesome and work me well, but I frequently want more time to get a drink of water and wipe the sweat off my face. In this workout at least, Cathe gives it to you. Even with the brief rests, she worked me very hard. For this workout all you need is your Fit Tower and the equipment that came with it (resistance band, resistance loop and mat). You will also need lifting gloves. You do a lot of modified pull ups using the tower and they work your back so well! In fact, that is one of the things I loved about this workout. The back and lower body get a lot of excellent and intense work. Cathe literally burned out so many muscle groups in this workout. During the stretch at the end my quad muscles were trembling. Another nice thing I liked about this workout is that Cathe stretches you out out frequently between exercises.
A few things to note about this workout. The overhand pull ups are amazing at working your back. Amazing. But, if you are not doing them regularly, they will seriously cramp your hands and wrists. I had this problem during Mark Lauren‘s 90 Day Challenge. I did the entire 90 days and you do a lot of them (Mark calls them “Let Me Ups”). The first few weeks after they are introduced, my hands were in pain at the end of every workout that included them. But within a few weeks my grip and wrists had strengthened and doing them no longer hurt at all. However, I haven’t done a Let Me Up since I finished the 90 Day Challenge, so my hands were cramping big time this morning. This is a high rep, total body strength workout. It is over an hour long but it is not metabolic. You will not burn a ton of calories. But your muscles will be burning by the end. Well, actually well before the end. Finally, if you have time limits like I do Monday through Friday, then you can cut out the 8 minutes of core work at the end so that the workout comes in under an hour. However, the core work is excellent! Not only did it work my core but it was also burning out my inner thighs and it ends with spinal erector training. So I might have to reserve this workout for non-work days
If you don’t have a Fit Tower then this workout is probably not for you. Though some of the exercises can be done with a chair, you will need something else for the modified pull ups.
Fit Tower: Tone & Tighten is 65 minutes; 6 minute warm up, 8 minutes of core and 3:30 minute stretch. It is #182 (this number will help you find it to download/purchase and also if you are subscribed and want to do the live workout). Here is a video clip. Equipment: fit tower and associated bands and mat that came with it, and lifting gloves. Fit tower bar starts at level 8.
- (place resistance loop around ankles) Stand facing the tower with hands resting on bar and do leg circles with constant tension on the loop, alternate sides first doing 8 reps per side, then 4 reps, then 2 reps, then singles
- Still facing tower with hands resting on bar, extend one leg behind you and raise and lower leg (leg straight, toe pointed); bend knee and bring loop on sole of shoe, press foot of bent leg out behind you; keeping knees together, raise and lower leg (loop is still along sole of working foot)
- (remove loop) Still facing tower with hands on bar, do a crossback/curtsy lunge into a side knee raise; hold top of tower in an underhand grip and keep knee raised isometrically to side and do a shallow pulsing single leg squat; keeping knee bent, cross it behind (still raised) you while continuing to do a shallow pulsing single leg squat
- Still facing tower, hands on bar, feet parallel, raise onto toes and, keeping spine straight, lower into a shallow barre squat and pulse; continue pulsing but in a deeper barre squat
- Still facing barre, toes are turned out to sides with heels together, raise onto toes, do a shallow pulsing barre squat with knees turned out to sides; continue pulsing but in a deeper plie barre squat
- Stand beside tower, forearm resting on bar, outside leg raised to side in hydrant, do a pulsing hydrant; continue pulsing but move leg forward and then back as you pulse
- (put on lifting gloves if you have them and lower tower bar to level 7) Sit on bottom under bar with legs extended and knees bent, hands on bar in an overhead grip, keeping feet on ground, do pull ups in this position (body is in crab/tabletop position) (these are “Let Me Ups” if you are familiar with Mark Lauren workouts)
- Loop 6 foot resistance band over the top of the tower, sit underneath the tower with one end of the band in each hand, keeping arms straight out to sides, pull arms/band down; changes to 3 pulses at the bottom each rep
- Repeat #7 but the tempo changes to one slow and 2 quick pattern
- (lower tower bar to level 1) Loop resistance band under bar, holding one end of band in each hand, place one foot on bar between band, press straight arms back behind you
- Posture pulls (hold band in both hands with about 18 inches of band between your hands, arms are extended straight in front of you, keeping arms straight, open arms wide then bring them back in front of you (standing band chest flys))
- (raise tower bar to level 9) Sit directly underneath the tower bar, legs crossed, holding the bar in underhand grip, do pull ups in the position to various tempos including pulses and isometric holds
- Stand beside tower, one hand on the bar, resistance band is looped under outside leg and both ends of band are held together in same side hand, other leg is raised straight in front of you and you pulse it up while also doing a pulsing bicep curl with the band
- (lower tower bar to level 4) Do push ups with hands on bar to various tempos (if you are doing push ups on your knees your barre will need to be lower)
- In split stance, with band looped under back foot, hold one end of band in each hand, lean torso back slightly and with arms straight, lift from thighs then arc them up and out to side so hands meet in front of you at forehead level
- (tower bar remains at level 4) Do tricep dips with hands behind you on bar and one leg crossed over opposite knee (done to various tempos)
- Loop resistance band over the top of the tower, stand close to tower, facing tower, grip the band up near the top of the tower, pull band down, straightening arms (done to various tempos, including pulses and isometric hold)
- Hold band in both hands with about a foot between each hand, keeping elbows close to sides, pull band out to sides, done slow first then fast pulses (120 reps!!!!)
- Place loop around both hands, palms facing each other, arms straight, pulse arms out to side; continue pulsing and raise arms straight in front of you; continue pulsing and raise straight arms overhead; changes to raising from thighs to overhead, pulsing throughout
- Loop band under one foot and hold one end in each hand, with arms extended straight in front of you, “march the arms” (raise and lower arms/band in opposition); changes to raising and lowering one arm then returning to marching both arms
Core (8 minutes; starts @ 53:30)
- (lower tower bar to level 3) In a straight arm plank, alternate tapping toes in; changes to bringing knee to same side elbow out to side of body
- Lay on mat with one leg extended straight and area just above heel resting on bar, other leg is extended straight on floor, do a crunch in this position; add raising and lower floor leg as you crunch, tapping insole of working leg to heel of foot on bar (done to various tempos and isometric holds); changes to crunching upper body while bringing knee of floor leg in toward forehead
- (lower tower bar to level 1) Lay on stomach with palms resting on top of bar and legs extended straight, in this position flutter legs; while continuing to flutter legs, bring one arm to side of body to touch same side thigh to count of 2, alternate arms