Cathe Live: Total Body Giant Sets 2

#214 Total Body Giant Sets 2 is an incredibly intense, total body metabolic strength workout. Another Cathe Live winner! I was working very hard. I burned more calories doing this workout than I burned I doing In the Ring yesterday! (According to my FitBit.) Plus, I was in my peak heart rate a few times during this workout. This workout is very fast paced. You get brief rests between circuits but little to no rest between exercise sets. I love Cathe‘s Giant Sets workouts! This one seems like a sort of hybrid between her first Live Total Body Giant Sets workout and her Strong & Sweat: Total Body Giant Sets DVD workout. Both of those are excellent workouts, as well, and two of my favorites. I finished this workout several hours ago and my back is still burning. The good burn, letting me know it was well worked. And I love working my back. I am planning to do her Live Total Body Giants 3 next week.

Another thing I loved about this workout is that Cathe encourages exercisers to lift heavier. She said that if she had heavier dumbbells available to her she would be lifting heavier, too. I took her advice! You can do Cathe’s live workouts by subscribing to her streaming site or purchasing the individual downloads. Here is a video clip of this workout.

Total Body Giant Sets 2 is 57 minutes; 5:30 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. Equipment: various dumbbells and a barbell with plates. The barbell is only used for deadlifts so load it heavy. You used 5 pound dumbbells during the warm up. I used the same weight as Cathe during the workout unless otherwise indicated below.

Circuit 1:

  1. Squats, 16 reps (Cathe is using 15# DBs; I used 20# DBs)
  2. Stationary lunges, 16 reps each leg (Cathe is using 15# DBs)
  3. Deadlift, 10 reps (Cathe is using 45# BB; I used a 60# BB)
  4. Curtsy lunges, 16 reps each leg (Cathe is using 15# DBs)
  5. Repeat #1-4

Circuit 2:

  1. Overhead presses, 12 reps (Cathe is using 12# DBs)
  2. Overhead tricep extensions (French Press), 10 reps (Cathe is using 12# DBs)
  3. Tricep push ups on your knees, 10 reps (I think she did 12 reps the second circuit)
  4. Chest fly to 2/2 count, 12 reps (Cathe is using 15# DBs)
  5. Repeat #1-4

Circuit 3:

  1. Bent over rear delt flys, 12 reps (Cathe is using 12# DBs; the second time through the second set she drops to 10# DBs halfway through; I used 10# DBs for both circuits)
  2. Front raise holding one DB in both hands, 12 reps (Cathe used one 15# DB for the first circuit and one 12# DB the second circuit; I used one 15# DB both times through the circuit)
  3. Straight arm side raises, 20 reps (Cathe is using 5# DBs)
  4. Repeat #1-3

Circuit 4:

  1. Side lunges, 16 reps to each side (Cathe is using one 15# DB; I used one 20# DB)
  2. Front lunges, 16 reps each leg; second time through the circuit she does front diagonal lunges (Cathe is using 12# DBs)
  3. Wide side-to-side sumo squats, 12 reps (Cathe is using one 15# DB; I used one 20# DB)
  4. Wide straight leg deadlifts to 3/1 count, 12 reps (Cathe is using 45# BB; I used a 60# BB)
  5. Repeat #1-4

Circuit 5:

  1. Single arm row, 16 reps each arm (Cathe holds one 15# and one 5# DB together in one hand; I used one 25# DB)
  2. Bicep curls, 16 reps (Cathe is using 12# DBs)
  3. Single arm rear delt fly, 10 reps each arm (Cathe is using one 10# DB)
  4. W (wide) bicep curls, 16 reps (Cathe is using 12# DBs)
  5. Repeat #1-4

Circuit 6:

  1. Triangle choke holds (lay on back, extend one leg straight to ceiling, other leg is bent with foot behind other knee, roll up so you are in a kneeling lunge without using your hands to assist you, lower bottom to mat and roll back to starting position, alternate which leg is bent and which leg is raised to ceiling), 8 reps
  2. In elbow side plank with top hand behind head, rotate elbow down toward floor, 12 reps each side
  3. 64 fast reverse crunches (I think she did more than 64 reps the first circuit but she said at the beginning that we were doing 64 reps)
  4. In straight arm plank, alternate tapping legs/feet out to side; lower to elbows after 8 reps and continue for 8 more reps
  5. Full ankle grabber sit ups, 16 reps

6 thoughts on “Cathe Live: Total Body Giant Sets 2

    1. Some are easier and some aren’t. I think she now has more live workouts than she does DVD workouts and they all vary. The Total Body Giant Sets are a great example. The live versions are much more intense but with the DVD version you are able to lift heavier due to the tempo of the reps being slower and you get slightly more (not a lot) time between exercises. Then there are others, like her Live Fit Tower: Tone & Tighten that seem easier because you have more breaks between exercises. But it is still a thorough and excellent workout and you can also look at it as being able to work harder because you are getting more recovery time–so you can lift heavier. In her DVD workouts you do not get water breaks. You are more likely to get more breaks in live workouts but not in every live workout. This workout is a great example–you get more breathing and recovery time in the DVD version! Bottom line–some workouts are easier and some aren’t. However, in a live workout you are more likely (but not guaranteed) to get more recovery time.

      Now, Cathe and class will almost always be lifting lighter dumbbells than what she lifts in her DVD workouts but that has more to do with what is available to her class size. You should always lift weights that are commensurate to your fitness level rather than copying everything Cathe lifts. What she is lifting in her Live classes and in her DVDs is just a guideline.


  1. The blog is making you lazy – I do understand what you are saying, but I am giggling myself silly since your version of lazy (given how much work you do for each of these blog posts) is definitely not my version of lazy (written as I sit here on my couch reading blog posts and sipping tea 😎). 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great review. While I haven’t tried any Cathe Live workouts yet – because there are still so many new to me dvds that I am trying through On Demand – I just wanted you to know that I truly appreciate when you include not only the weight that Cathe uses but the weight that you use as well, it helps me wrap my mind around how to approach a workout. So, thanks.


    1. Thanks Yvonne! I am glad that info is helpful. I used to include it because I did not always create workout cards immediately and it helped me keep track of my weights for when I did create the workout card prior to returning to the workout. But over the past 2 years I’ve gotten lazy. I do not create workout cards nearly as often as I used to so now I just look at the reviews and set my dumbbells out based on that! Now when I return to a workout and lift heavier, I just go back into the review and change the weight I used. This blog is making me lazy in that respect!


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