Boss Bands: Total Body

Boss Bands: Total Body is the newest DVD/download offering from Cathe Friedrich. The other workout in the Boss Bands series is Glutes & Core. As the series title indicates, these are strength workouts that use resistance bands. You can buy the workouts with or without the bands. I pre-ordered the whole package: 2 DVDs plus the large loops and the small loops (or booty bands). Unlike other resistance bands, these are all elastic cloth bands. Total Body uses the large loops which come in 3 strengths: Light is orange, medium is green and heavy is blue.

I found this to be a solid intermediate level total body strength workout. You need to go through the workout once to determine the resistance that is appropriate for you. For some of the exercises the band Cathe chose was also appropriate for me and for some exercises I needed something heavier. You can pair two bands together to increase resistance even more and Cathe illustrates this in the bicep circuit. I also own two rubber resistance loops. My heaviest one is heavier than the blue band that came with this workout so I will have that handy, too, when I return to this in the future. As for how often I would use this workout–it is a travel workout for me. As I mentioned above, this is a solid workout but I am accustomed to working out at a more intense/advanced level so I would not use this in my normal rotations. But for travel purposes it is perfect. I wish these workouts had arrived sooner. I was in England the first 2 weeks of August and these would have been perfect to use while I was there. But of course, they did not arrive until I had been back home for a week (even though I pre-ordered them in April). At least I have them for my next trip.

The success of any resistance band workout is contingent on two things: the strength of your bands and hand/body placement. Choking up on the band will increase the resistance. You can do that by gripping it lower and/or wrapping the ends around your hands. The bands you use should be appropriate not only to your fitness level but to the exercise you are performing. So if the band Cathe is using is not heavy enough for you–use a heavier band or pair two of the bands together. The same theory applies if the band Cathe uses makes the exercise too difficult–use a lighter band and/or do not choke up as much on the band. It’s your workout so make it challenging for you.

Total Body is 56:44 minutes; 9:45 minute warm up and 5 minute stretch. Equipment: large loop boss bands and a fitness mat. You use the orange band for the warm up and the stretch.

Legs & Shoulders: (green band) 10 minutes

  1. With band together (not open), step on the center of the band and hold one end in each hand, lower to the bottom of a lunge and do low end lunges, only raising halfway before lowering back to bottom of lunge; changes to pulses
  2. Band is in same position as #1 but leg is straight and you are pulling up on band, do single leg deadlifts
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other leg
  4. Alternating front lunges, band is still together holding one end in each hand, arms are extended straight in front of you and wide enough so there is tension on the band, chop band to side over front leg when in lunge
  5. Continue #4 but between lunges when standing pull band down behind shoulders while opening arms wide and pulling band open
  6. (swap green band for blue band) Open band and stand on inside of band with legs wide then hold band together in both hands so it is looped around feet, do shoulder shrugs pulling up on band
  7. Still in same position as #6, release bottom part of band so that band is open, do upright rows
  8. Repeat #6 & 7
  9. Same position as #7, lower into wide sumo squat, clasp hands together with top part of band laying across wrists, in this position (holding sumo squat isometrically) circle arms
  10. Same position as #9, stop circling arms but hold them in front of you while doing sumo squats

Back: (blue band) 4:30 minutes

  1. Sit on mat with one leg extended straight in front of you and other leg is bent with sole against inner thigh, with band together, loop it around foot of straight leg holding one end of band in each hand, in this position do back rows; add triple pulses
  2. Your legs are in the same position as #1 but open band and loop it around foot of straight leg, hold band together in opposite hand, arm is raised to shoulder level with arm bent, pull elbow/band back to wall behind you; add triple pulses
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other side of body

Glutes Floorwork: (blue band) 5 minutes

  1. Lay on back, one leg is bent with foot on floor near glutes, other leg is extended to ceiling, band is together and looped over foot with one end of band in each hand, raise and lower hips (single leg glute bridges); add triple pulses
  2. Repeat #1 on other leg
  3. Loop one end of band around each foot and hold band together in the middle, lay on back with knees bent, pull band over thighs and hold band at hips, raise and lower hips onto glute bridge; pulse 15 times at top of bridge
  4. Band is still looped around feet, raise legs to ceiling and open legs into a V, open band so you are only holding one end in both hands at chest, pulse legs out wide against the band; changes to singles rather than pulses; press legs out wider against band and hold isometrically

Legs & Core: (orange band) 4:30 minutes

  1. Loop one end of the band around foot (this is your stationary leg), hold other end of the band together in same side hand, do a side lunge while sweeping arm holding band in front of you and down to knee when in lunge
  2. Band is in same position as #1, hold top end of band together in both hands, stationary lunge side to side, arms are extended in front of you, “stir the pot” with band while lunging side to side
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. (swap orange band for blue band) Loop one end of band around one foot and loop the other end of the band around the same side shoulder, raise and lower heels to various tempos
  5. Repeat #4 on other side of body

Biceps: (green + blue band) 5 minutes

  1. Stand on both the green and the blue band, and hold the other end of both bands in hand with about a foot of band between hands, do double arm bicep curls with palms facing upward to various tempos
  2. Release the green band and hold blue band with palms facing floor, do double arm bicep curls; add triple pulses at top of curl
  3. Grab the green band again (you are holding both bands again) and do double arm hammer curls (palms face each other) to various tempos
  4. Repeat #2

Triceps: (green band) 4 minutes

  1. Loop green band around one foot and hold the other end of the loop in same side hand, raise arm overhead with elbow bent so hand/band is behind head, do single arm tricep extensions, straightening arm and pulling band to ceiling; changes to one partial rep (lowering only halfway) + one full rep
  2. With band together, hold one end of the band in one hand, press that hand to opposite shoulder, grasp band in the middle with other hand, keeping that arm close to side, pull down on band straightening arm; add pulses
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other arm

Chest: (orange band) 3 minutes

  1. Wrap band around back then loop one end of each band around palms, do push ups; add tempo changes
  2. Band is in same position as #1, do cross-over push ups (start in straight arm plank, step one hand out to side and do one push up, step hand back in then step other hand out to side and do one push up, continue alternating sides)

Core: (orange band) 4 minutes

  1. Butterfly sit ups (sit on mat with soles of feet together, knees are opened out to sides, band is looped around the feet, hold other end of band in both hands, arms are raised to ceiling with hands in prayer, do a full sit up in this position, pulling straight arms behind head at bottom of sit up and raising straight arms to ceiling at top of sit up)
  2. In modified side plank (on elbow/forearm and bottom bent leg, top leg extended straight), band is looped around foot of top leg, other end is held in top hand, push top arm overhead while extending top leg straight then pull knee into chest while bringing top elbow to knee)
  3. Repeat #2 on other side of body
  4. Superman (band is together and held in both hands with hands shoulder width apart, arms/band are extended in front of you, raise arms/chest/legs and hold, pull band into chest, push band out in front of you then lower arms/chest/legs)


Timesaver #1: Legs, Glutes & Core 28:32 minutes

Timesaver #2: Upper Body 46:38 minutes

Timesaver #3: Back, Biceps & Core 28:38 minutes

Timesaver #4: Shoulders, Triceps & Chest 32:35 minutes

Timesaver #5: Core Focus 23:23 minutes

Mishmosh #1: No Legs & Core 41:47 minutes

Mishmosh #2: Scrambled 56:22 minutes

Mishmosh #3: Double Legs & Shoulders and Legs & Core 48 minutes


9 thoughts on “Boss Bands: Total Body

  1. I had read your review before finally trying this workout (I restarted STS, so waiting for the active recovery week to try it), and now re-reading since I’ve completed it. Thanks for always keeping this blog up. I use it all the time.

    The two things that surprised me about the workout were:
    1. The biceps were tough! I couldn’t stick with the two bands through the end.
    2. The gripping of the bands worked my forearms throughout, which I hope is a bonus.

    I look forward to trying the other one tomorrow. 🙂


    1. I agree–the bicep exercise was probably the toughest in the entire workout and that was due to doubling up the bands. Which is a good idea for exercises that need heavier resistance than what one band alone can give you–like back exercises. I find workouts that use bands tend to work my shoulders with nearly every single exercises but you’re right, forearms are working hard, too. Sometimes I hold too much tension in my neck with band workouts and end up with an achy neck! But I think once I determine the proper band for each exercise it will be an excellent travel workout. I really enjoyed the Glutes & Core workout!


  2. I’m super curious how you review the other one since that is more glute focused and that’s one of your favorite body parts to work. Will it be tough or a walk in the park? 🤨😉


      1. Random thought … I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been doing a few workouts from Pamela Reid, specifically ab stuff, and that she looks like Barbie. She has a kajillion followers. The ab workout I did today she had just posted like 2 days prior and already she had several hundred thousand views. I wonder if her subscribers are all workout nuts or guys (or gals I suppose) looking for eye candy? That would be kind of weird, watching someone exercise not with the intention of exercising. She is very plastic-y. She’s got the kardashian outlined lips going. It’s kind of weird to look at her. I’m busy following her movements anyway but I think about how genuine Caroline is and compare her to Pamela and there’s just no competition. That said, Pamela is clearly dedicated to her craft so props to her.

        Sorry. That was very random and strange. 🙄😉


      2. I just realized I’ve done one of her stretches after one of Caroline’s workouts! It was a very good stretch. I just saved some more of her stretches to my Warm up/Stretch playlist. She is very pretty! I read a lot of the comments under her most recent video and they all seem like true followers, i.e., people who did or plan to do the workout. I have seen comments under some other trainers workouts about how hot they are or something to that effect. The trainer never responds to those when I see them. I am sure there are plenty of creepers out there but most of the viewers are probably exercisers. They are probably some like me who will scan a workout–scrubbing through fast to see if I am interested. Those probably still “count” as views.


  3. I’m glad you were able to fit this one in! I’m a little trepidatious about doing it though because I don’t want it to feel like a waste of time. I guess I’ll approach it with your mindset – that it likely will not be a regular part of any rotation. I get to try out the body bands, though, which I am excited to do since I’ve never had them before. I won’t be able to fit either of these in this week because fri-sun we will be taking our daughter back to school in NY. Many hours behind the wheel


    1. That’s what I was afraid of–the workout being a waste of time. Which is why I just decided to get just it out of the way. I decided if I didn’t, I would keep putting it off. I do feel it is only appropriate as a true travel workout–but it can be made more challenging just by using stronger bands and I have a stronger band than Cathe’s heaviest so I can make it challenging. Plus doubling up bands is a great idea. I know when I return to it I will be swapping out the light band with the medium one for many things and using my own heavier band. It is an enjoyable workout.


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