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Cathe Live Review: Burn Sets: Biceps & Triceps (#304)

Updated: Jul 18

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Cathe Live Review: Burn Sets: Biceps & Triceps (#304)

Burn Sets: Biceps & Triceps is a challenging pure strength upper body split workout. This routine is the second in the Live Burn Set series and complements the previous one – Burn Sets Live: Back, Chest & Shoulders #302 (review HERE). There is also one other in this series that focuses on the lower body – Burn Sets: Express Legs Heavy Weights #305 (review HERE).


All of these workouts are loosely based on Cathe’s Xtrain Burn Sets DVDs of the same names (not including the Legs version). They are all tough upper body workouts and with the right weights will really challenge and burn out those muscles. The key here is getting the right weights and so again I would suggest having a notepad nearby, to jot down what worked and what didn’t, so you know which weights to use, next time, to really challenge yourself safely. Cathe used between 12 and 30 pounds in this routine, although she did use lighter weights for the warm-up sets.


This workout is structured into sets of alternating bicep and tricep exercises. There are nine pairs of these sets so eighteen exercises in total. Each move is slightly different so again there is lots of variety and no actual repeats. I much prefer this approach to the DVDs as they have a lot more repetition. This workout, like the others though, does not include the burn out sets from the DVDs, where you go to failure, as you are generally doing 12 reps for each move. There are a couple that are slightly lower and a few slightly higher but it is generally within that range so you can really heavy up, if you want to. I generally used the same weights as Cathe and got a really good workout. The tempo is nice and controlled and you will definitely be feeling the work throughout. My muscles were definitely burning out on some of the moves, particularly on the incline lying tricep extensions and the concentration curls. Both moves I had to drop down in weights, towards the end, so I could maintain good form. Cathe also dropped down for the concentration curls and you could definitely see she was struggling in this one too.


(One thing to note, Cathe only does a really brief two minute stretch, at the end, which didn’t seem enough to me given the level of work in the routine. Therefore, I added on a few extra stretches just to make sure I had really stretched those muscles well).


Overall, this is an excellent and tough upper body workout, focusing on the biceps and triceps, which will really fry those muscles and provide a little bit of a cardio effect too.


(**Update: 3 days later and I still have some serious DOMS in my triceps – this was definitely a pretty challenging workout!)

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


The Workout


Burn Sets: Biceps & Triceps is a pure strength workout consisting of eighteen alternating bicep and triceps exercises (nine of each).

What You Need to Know

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

The Moves


Burn Sets: Biceps & Triceps is 39 minutes long and originally aired on 2nd July 2020 (#304). The workout starts with a 6 minute warm-up, before a quick water break and then moving into the first exercise. Towards the end of the warm-up, Cathe picks up 5 then 8 then 10 and finally 12 pound dumbbells for a set of bicep curls and tricep overhead extensions, at each weight increment.


  • Bicep curls – two 20# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Overhead tricep extensions – one 35# Db – 12 reps

  • Seated bicep curls – two 20# Dbs & chair – 12 reps

  • Incline narrow grip chest press – two 20# Dbs & step w/ 2 risers at front & 4 risers at back – 12 reps

  • Seated alternating 1 arm sweeper curls – two 20# Dbs & chair – 16x alternating & 4x both arms

  • Incline lying tricep extensions – two 15# Dbs & step w/ 2 risers at front & 4 risers at back – 12 reps

  • Concentration curls – one 25# Db (Cathe changed to 20’s part way through. I used 22’s & changed to 20’s part way) & chair – 10 reps each side

  • Lying 1 arm cross body extensions – one 12# Db & step w/ 4 risers – 12 reps

  • W Curls – two 15# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Narrow grip chest press – two 20# Dbs & step w/ 4 risers – 14 reps

  • Seated alternating 1 arm hammer curls – two 20# Dbs & chair – 20x alternating & 2x both arms

  • Tricep push-ups (on knees w/ hands on edge of step) – step platform & mat – 10 reps (1/3 count)

  • Eccentric bicep curls (up 3 counts & down 1 count) – two 15# Dbs – 10 reps

  • Tricep push-ups (on knees w/ hands on edge of step) – step platform & mat – 10 reps (3/1 count)

  • Concentric bicep curls (up 1 count & down 3 counts) – two 15# Dbs – 10 reps

  • 1 Arm tricep kickbacks (one hand on chair) – one 15# Db & chair – 12 reps each side

  • Reverse curls – two 15# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Tricep dips – one 12# Db (on hips) & step w/ 4 risers – 40 reps

The workout ends with a brief 2 minute cool down and stretch. (I added a few extra stretches on the end).

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 liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Pumped Upper Body #185 – HERE.


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