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Cathe’s Boss Bands & Loops Review – Boss Bands: Total Body

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Cathe’s Boss Bands & Loops Review – Boss Bands: Total Body


Boss Bands: Total Body is a pure strength workout using fabric resistance bands to target the whole body. This is definitely a change from Cathe’s usual workouts and the long fabric bands provide a different challenge to the standard rubber resistance bands, she sometimes uses. I liked using the fabric bands a little more than the normal bands, as when you are using the looped ends they are much more comfortable to hold. In addition, I found that with these bands I could more easily do the overhead moves, such as, tricep extensions, using the medium resistance, which I sometimes struggle with using the normal bands (I am 5’7 for info). The only issue I have with this routine is that I still found it quite tough on my hands, as you pulling on the band so much (often not using the looped ends) and as the workout is just under an hour that’s quite a long time. It is however a good one to take with you when you travel, as you only need the bands and limited space to do it.


Boss Bands: Total Body is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new Boss Bands & Loops Series that consists of two workouts, on two DVDs, plus a number of premixes. The routines are aimed at advanced exercisers to challenge the muscles in different ways and are great for travel, as you only need the bands and loops to do the workouts. Each DVD contains a 50+ minute workout, one focusing on total body strength and the other on low impact cardio combined with lower body and core. Cathe also now offers her own brand of fabric bands and loops, hence these new workouts, and offers bundles with or without the DVDs. I didn’t buy her bands or loops, as the shipping costs were too high but I did buy a set of longer fabric bands from Amazon and I already have a set of fabric loops, which I frequently use with other workouts. So I can’t comment specifically on Cathe’s bands or know the exact strength of each but I guess they are reasonably similar and so that is what my review is based on.


The workout consists of a mix of standing and floor based exercises all using the resistance bands. The exercises target the whole body and provide a very different workout to the standard dumbbell strength routine, as the focus here is on functional training and working in different planes of motion rather than just vertically. Cathe is using the long fabric bands, which are looped at the end, and alternated between the different resistances, depending on the different exercises. Sometimes she also combined two bands together to make it a little tougher. This is my first time using this type of looped band and it was definitely different! I will say that when you combine two bands, as you do for the bicep work, the range of motion dramatically decreases and I really had to pull hard to be able to get the full range of the movement.


The routine starts with a long “working” warm up, which uses the light resistance band, before moving into the main workout. The warm-up moves are all fairly straight forward, although she does change positions quite quickly sometimes. I did really start to feel like I was working by the end of this section.


The main workout consists of a variety of strength exercises, most of which are pretty traditional moves, such as, lunges, deadlifts, upright rows, bicep curls etc but just using the bands instead. Some are more isolation moves and others more compound, using both the upper and lower body together, such as, stir the pot. Each muscle group is hit at least twice, although I felt that some of the upper body was worked a little more than the lower body, in terms of intensity. However, I will say that the chest and back didn’t feel that challenged unlike the biceps, which were worked to definite muscle fatigue!


In reality, for many of the exercises, I would have been more challenged using dumbbells but I think it is good to train the muscles differently now and again. Many of the lower body exercises are a little more difficult to really target strongly with the long bands, as getting enough resistance is challenging. However, I did definitely feel the static lunges, at the start, as these were pretty high rep so I think Cathe did the best she could using this type of resistance. The rep range does vary though for the different moves but is generally between 8 and 16 reps but you often do multiple sets before you move on.


I am not always the biggest fan of using bands for certain exercises and in other Cathe workouts I often use dumbbells instead, however, for this one by using the fabric bands I felt this less and it was possible to do the overhead moves and bicep curls more easily. However, I did find using the band for glute bridges extremely uncomfortable and so in future would just use a loop here instead. I would also highly recommend using lifting gloves for this routine, as as mentioned I found this rather tough on my hands and wrists, particularly for moves, such as, double arms rows.


The workout ends with banded push-ups and a few core moves on the mat but these are quite limited and I didn’t find my core was targeted that well so I just added on a few extra exercises on at the end. I think the core moves might have been more effective with a dumbbell rather than the band here though, as they just felt a little awkward and using only light resistance didn’t really provide too much of a challenge. You then move into a well-earned and really enjoyable stretch, using the light resistance band. I love that Cathe spends more time on the stretches for her DVDs, as the Live ones are often so short.


As with the other routine in this series, there are no bonus add-ons provided. Again I think this is a little disappointing, as it would have been nice to have some extras to add more variety to the premixes, for example. There are 8 different premixes that allow you to isolate the different muscle groups you want to work, double the program or take out certain sections. There is also the option to scramble the workout so that the exercises appear in a different order, to mix it up a little.


Overall, a solid and different total body strength workout, which works a little bit of everything with minimal equipment.


The Workout – Boss Bands: Total Body

Boss Bands: Total Body is a pure strength workout using the long fabric resistance bands (looped). The exercises are a mix of standing and floorwork.


This DVD does not include any bonus add-ons.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves

Boss Bands: Total Body is 57 minutes long. The workout starts with a long 10 minute warm-up, using the light resistance band, before moving into the main workout.


Legs & Shoulders

  • Static lunge - medium resistance band – 8 reps, 15 pulses & 2 sets (4 reps, 7 pulses)

  • 1 Leg deadlift - medium resistance band – 8 reps & 8 reps

  • Static lunge (other side) - medium resistance band – 8 reps, 15 pulses & 2 sets (4 reps, 7 pulses)

  • 1 Leg deadlift (other side) - medium resistance band – 8 reps & 8 reps

  • Alternating forward slice lunges - medium resistance band doubled up (in hands) – 8 reps

  • Alternating forward slice lunges w/ lat pull down - medium resistance band doubled up (in hands) – 8 reps

  • Shrug – heavy resistance band – 8 reps

  • Upright row – heavy resistance band – 16 reps

  • Shrug – heavy resistance band – 8 reps

  • Upright row – heavy resistance band – 16 reps

  • Straight arm circles (clasp hands together out in front of you & circle) - heavy resistance band (under feet & across wrists) – 16 reps in each direction

  • Sumo squat & front raise– heavy resistance band (under feet & across wrists) – 8 reps


Back

  • Seated double arm rows – heavy resistance band doubled up (around feet & held on both hands) & mat – 8 reps, 3x 3 pulses, 4 reps & 1x 7 pulses

  • Rear delt row w/ rotation (band around 1 foot & held in one hand; fly arm out towards the back) – heavy resistance & mat – 8 reps, 4x 3 pulses, 4 reps & 1x 7 pulses

  • Seated double arm rows (other side) – heavy resistance band doubled up & mat – 8 reps, 3x 3 pulses, 4 reps & 1x 7 pulses

  • Rear delt row w/ rotation (other side) – heavy resistance & mat – 8 reps, 4x 3 pulses, 4 reps & 1x 7 pulses


Glutes Floorwork

  • 1 Leg glute press – heavy resistance band doubled up (under 1 foot & held in both hands) & mat – 8 reps, 4x 3 pulses, 4 reps & 1x 7 pulses each side

  • Glute bridges – heavy resistance doubled up (under feet & held in hands on hips) & mat – 16 reps, 15x pulses, 8 reps & 15x pulses

  • Lying outer thigh press – heavy resistance band (over soles of feet & held in each hand) & mat – 16x pulses, 8x slow, 16x pulses & 4x hold


Legs & Core

  • Side lunge with arm sweep / stir the pot – light resistance band (under 1 foot & held together in both hands) – 2 sets (8 of each)

  • Side lunge with arm sweep / stir the pot (other side) – light resistance band – 2 sets (8 of each)

  • Calf raises - heavy resistance band (under 1 foot & over 1 shoulder) – 8x slow, 8x fast, 4x slow, 8x fast, 4x slow & 8x fast each side


Biceps

  • Bicep curls – heavy & medium resistance together – 8 reps, 4x 1/3, 4x 3/1, 4x 3 pulse & 2x 2/6

  • Forearm curls - heavy resistance band – 12 reps & 4x 3 pulses

  • Hammer curls – heavy & medium resistance together – 21 reps (various counts), 4x 3 pulses & 2x 2/6

  • Forearm curls – heavy resistance band – 12 reps & 4x 3 pulses


Triceps

  • 1 Arm overhead tricep extension – medium resistance band – 18 reps (singles & 1.5’s)

  • 1 Arm tricep press down – medium resistance band doubled up (held in 1 hand to opposite shoulder & pull down w/ other arm) – 8 reps, 2x 7 pulses, 8 reps & 4x 3 pulses

  • 1 Arm overhead tricep extension – medium resistance band – 18 reps (singles & 1.5’s)

  • 1 Arm tricep press down (other side) – medium resistance band doubled up – 8 reps, 2x 7 pulses, 8 reps & 4x 3 pulses


Chest

  • Banded push-ups (knees & toes) – light resistance band (under each hand & across the back) &mat – 4x knees, 4x toes, 4x knees, 4x toes. 4x 3/1 & 4x 1/3 (knees)

  • Crossover push-ups (stepping hands out wider & back in) – light resistance band (as above) & mat – 6 reps


Core

  • Straight arm butterfly sit-ups - light resistance band (under feet & held in both hands) & mat – 12 reps

  • Side plank hip dip – light resistance band (band under top foot & held in top hand) & mat – 12 reps each side

  • Superman lat pulldowns – light resistance band (held in hands) & mat – 12 reps


The workout ends with a 4:30 minute cool down and stretch using the light resistance band.


Premixes

Boss Bands: Total Body has 8 premixes on the dvd.

(Premixes are extra bonus workouts included on the dvds that use the main workout as the backbone and then add, remove or change the order of elements to create a new routine. The premixes are also available on Cathe's On Demand streaming service).

Timesaver Premixes

  • Timesaver #1: Legs, Glutes & Core (29 mins)

  • Timesaver #2: Upper Body (47 mins)

  • Timesaver #3: Back, Biceps & Core (29 mins)

  • Timesaver #4: Shoulders, Triceps & Chest (33 mins)

  • Timesaver #5: Core Focus (23 mins)


Mish Mosh Premixes

  • Mish Mosh #1: No Legs & Core (52 mins)

  • Mish Mosh #2: Scrambled (56 mins)

  • Mish Mosh #3: Double Legs & Shoulders and Legs & Core (48 mins)


Take Action

These workouts are available individually on DVD, download or through Cathe’s On Demand streaming service ($19.99 per month, which also includes access to all of the Cathe Live archived classes).


Check out my reviews of the other workout in this series by visiting my Cathe DVD Reviews page HERE. Alternatively go directly to the blog post HERE.


If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Total Body Band Blast (#343) – HERE.


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