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Cathe Live Review: Buff Upper Body (#163)

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

Cathe Live: Buff Upper Body

Cathe Live Review: Buff Upper Body (#163)

Buff Upper Body is another tough, pure strength upper body workout. This is a fantastic routine that just flew by but wow did I feel the work!

The workout consists of groupings of upper body exercises that work two different body parts. These groups of exercises are then repeated for a total of two or three sets. Once you have completed each group there is usually a ‘finisher’ exercise to fry the upper body just a little more!

The strength exercises are all traditional upper body exercises and are performed at a more moderate pace so you can really heavy up here if you want to. The reps for each exercise vary – usually 6 – 12 reps (except for tricep dips). The rest periods between exercises are fairly short but are just enough to let you recover and hit the next set hard. I really felt this in the whole of my upper body as all of the major muscle groups are hit.

The workout ends with a fairly long core section. This includes a nice variety of different exercises, which target all aspects of the core, and provided a nice challenge to finish off the workout. Some of the moves are quite high rep here so you will be feeling it.

Overall, this was an excellent upper body challenge and one I will definitely be returning to regularly. Cathe has a way of making tough workouts really enjoyable and you feel a great sense of accomplishment once you are done.

(For more information about Cathe Live, how to sign up & to see all of my Cathe Live reviews, click HERE).

The Workout

Buff Upper Body is a pure strength upper body workout consisting of groupings of exercises that are then repeated a number of times. The workout ends with a core section on the mat. Cathe used moderate weights and a full size step, with 3 risers each side. If you don’t have a step you can always do the moves on the floor instead.

What You Need to Know

What you need to know: Instructor: Cathe Friedrich. Length: 48 mins. Equipment needed:  5 - 15# dumbbells (I also used 20’s), full size step with 3 risers & a mat. Optional - Lifting gloves. Fun Factor: 4/5. Sweat Factor: 3/5. Coordination: 1/5

(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).

The Moves

Buff Upper Body is 48 minutes long and originally aired on 17th August 2017 (#163). The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up using 5# dumbbells for the second part. Once completed you then move into the first group of exercises for shoulders & biceps. The step, with 3 risers on each side, is set up horizontally, in front of you, at the start of the workout.

Group 1 – Shoulders & Biceps

  • Standing overhead press – two 15# dumbbells - 12 reps

  • Sweeping bicep curls – two 15# dumbbells - 12 reps

  • Upright Row - two 15# (1st & 2nd set) & two 12# dumbbells (3rd set) – 10 reps

  • W Curls – two 12# dumbbells - 12 reps

Repeat above moves for 10 reps

Repeat above moves for 8 reps

Finisher: Bicep isolation curls - holding half way for long time then 2x 6/2 count & 2x 2/6 count traditional curls & the hold halfway again – two 10# dumbbells

Bicep Isolations

Group 2 – Back & Shoulders

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# dumbbells –10 reps

  • Front raise – one 15# dumbbell – 8 reps

Repeat above moves two more times

Finisher: Lateral raise (alternating sets of hands to side of thighs & hands just in front of thighs) – two 5# dumbbells – 2x 8 reps / 2x 6 reps / 2x 4 reps / 4x 2 reps / 8 singles

Lateral Raise

Group 3 – Triceps

  • Seated overhead tricep extensions – two 12# dumbbells – 8 reps (2/2 count)

  • Tricep dips – step – 24 reps

  • Standing tricep kickbacks – two 12# dumbbells – 8 reps

Repeat above moves two more times (Tricep dips – 16 reps (2nd set) & 24 reps (3rd set))

Finisher: Incline push-ups - hands on step - 12, 10 & 8 reps

Incline Pushups

Group 4 – Chest & Back

  • Chest Flys – two 15# dumbbells (I used 20’s) & step – 12 reps

  • Pullovers (4/4 count) – two 15# dumbbells & step – 6 reps

Repeat above moves once more (chest flys – 14 reps & pullovers - 7 reps)

  • 1 Arm row – one 15 & one 10# dumbbell (I used 1x20) – 2 sets of 12 reps each side

Finisher: Incline tricep push-ups – hands on step - 2 sets of 12 reps

Incline Tricep Pushups

Core (Move to mat on floor at 36 mins)

  • Butterfly situps – optional one 15# dumbbell lying on feet - 2 sets of 10 reps

  • Straight arm plank – knee-ins – 2 sets of 8 reps each side

  • Walking planks (in straight arm plank walk down to elbow & up, alternating sides) – 6 sets

  • 1 Arm sit-ups (lying on back – sit-up & lift 1 arm with other elbow anchored to floor) – 2 sets of 8 reps

  • Bike manoeuvre – 40 reps

  • Reverse crunches – 8x singles / 4x 7 pulses (slightly faster)

  • Bike manoeuvre – 32 reps

  • Reverse crunches- 8x singles / 4x 7 pulses (slightly faster)

  • Supermans – 12x singles / hold / 4x 7 pulses & 8x singles


The workout ends with a 2:30 minute cool down and stretch.

Take Action

Try it today! Find out more about how to subscribe and to check out all of my Cathe Live Reviews - click HERE.

If you enjoyed this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Strong Express Upper Body - HERE.

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Jan 29, 2021

A fun upper body workout that moves quickly from one set of exercises to the next. It didn't drag at all

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