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Cathe Live Review: Hiit & Sculpt

Cathe Live: Hiit & Sculpt

Cathe Live Review: Hiit & Sculpt

Who says you can’t get a great workout with light weights and your own bodyweight? This Cathe Live workout uses only 5# dumbbells to get the job done but wow will you feel the work!

This was an incredible workout that really challenged my muscles even though you are only using very light weights and your own bodyweight. This is a cardio and strength workout that starts with a number of hiit blasts, one after the other, with very little rest in between. This section will really have you breathing hard, particularly that 3rd and final set of snowboards! I was definitely feeling the challenge here.

After a brief cool down you then move into upper body strength work. All of the standing exercises are done using 5# dumbbells. To start with I wondered if this would be sufficient but given the high reps and continuous movement – there are no real breaks – it was very quickly apparent that it would be just right! I really felt the work particularly in my triceps and shoulders. During the straight arm press backs and tricep overhead extensions, for both of which there are a about a million reps, I was really struggling by the end! I was so glad when we moved on to the iron crosses! However, it wasn’t long after that that my shoulders where then on fire instead!

My heart rate stayed elevated throughout a lot of this workout, particularly as most of the standing upper body exercises also incorporate leg movements – marching, heel taps etc. This does require some coordination though, to start with, as you are moving your arms and legs in different ways. Cathe does say though that if the legs confuse you just to march in place instead. The final few upper body exercises are done on the floor – push-ups and dips – before moving into the lower body section. All of the lower body strength work is done on the floor just using your own bodyweight. For this section, however, I did use ankle weights throughout and this worked very well for me. The final section is core work, which is a mixture of different exercises to work the entire abdominal region, including the lower back (swimmers and supermans).

Overall this was a really excellent workout and one I was still feeling the next day!

(In case you are not familiar with Cathe Live - it is a streaming service from veteran fitness professional Cathe Friedrich, where she provides access to her live classes filmed at her gym in Jersey. Currently, there are over 230 workouts available in the archive, which you can access at any time and a new class is recorded nearly every week. More details are provided at the end of this article).

The Workout

Hiit & Sculpt consists of four main sections – hiit blasts, upper body, lower body and finally core. There are 10 hiit blasts, each done for a minute or less, with brief recoveries in between each. Each blast is one move that is repeated for a set number of reps. Most of them are fairly high impact but obviously you can modify to lower impact, if required. The upper body section starts standing, using 5# dumbbells, and then you move to the floor for push-ups and dips. Finally you move into lower body exercises (all done on the floor) and a few core exercises (both supine and in plank position).

What You Need to Know

What you need to know: Instructor: Cathe Friedrich. Length: 60 mins. Equipment needed: 5# dbs & a mat. (I also used ankle weights for lower body). Fun Factor: 3/5. Sweat Factor: 4/5. Coordination: 2/5

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

The Moves

Hiit & Sculpt is 60 minutes and originally aired on 5th July 2018. The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm up before moving into the first cardio hiit blast.

Hiit Blasts

1. Icebreakers

2. Shuffle, shuffle, drop

3. Lean back, volley, air jack, jump rope

4. Pivoting apple pickers

5. Scissor, scissor, wide plie tuck & scissor, scissor, wide plie & 2 jumps ( 4 reps with tuck jumps, 4 reps with 2 jumps & 4 reps with tuck jumps)

6. 4 Lateral hops (4 slow, 4 fast, 4 fast)

7. 4 jacks, 4 air jacks ( 8 sets)

8. Plie jacks

9. Long reach lunges & high reach lunges

10. Snowboards (16 reps x3)

At 18:30 minutes - water break & brief cool down. Then Cathe starts warming up the upper body with various arm & leg movement patterns without dumbbells (just to prepare for what is to come).

Upper Body

All of the strength moves for upper body use 5# dumbbells. The moves listed below are often repeated and combined. Most of the upper body moves are done while incorporating the lower body – heel taps, marching etc.

  • Bicep curls

  • Curl & press

Curl & Press

  • Lateral raises (& curl press)

  • Incline arcs, curl press, bicep curls

Incline Arcs

  • W curls & reverse curls

  • Reverse curls into overhead press

Reverse curls into overhead press

  • Rear delt flys

  • Straight arm shoulder press back

Straight Arm Shoulder Press Backs

  • Tricep overhead extensions

  • Iron cross (dumbbells vertical, raise in front and then open arms to the side and back)

  • Side front raises

  • Shoulder circles

Get mat out for floor work.

  • Push-ups


  • Tricep push-ups

  • Tricep dips

Quick stretch for upper body.

(At 36 mins) - Lower Body (I used ankle weights for all of these exercises).

  • L Position leg lifts & leg circles (Lying on your side propped on elbow with legs out at 90 degrees)

Leg Circles

  • Knee & toe taps (still lying on your side with knees bent to side – hover top leg & tap knee to bottom knee and top foot to bottom foot) & ball push downs (as if you had a soccer ball between your thighs and you are pushing down onto it)

  • Glute squeezes (lying on your back place 1 foot onto dumbbell on floor, lift hips & raise other leg straight in the air - pulse up) Cathe uses one 5# dumbbell. I used my high step topper as it feels more secure

  • Inner thigh lifts

Quick lower body stretch.


  • Rotating child pose planks (starting in plank, twist hips down towards the floor - 1 side then the other)

  • Butterfly crunches (lying on back with knees out to each side & feet touching – crunch up. Alternates between feet on the ground and feet lifted off the ground)

Butterfly Crunches

  • Bear crawl & down up planks (starting in a crouched position, walk out to plank then go down to elbows and back up (one side then other) then walk back to crouched position)

  • Sit-up bringing in alternating knees (crossing elbow towards knee)

  • Swimmers (lying on stomach, arms & legs lifted off the floor – swim arms / legs up & down)


  • Supermans (lying on stomach with arms in goal post position, lift arms & legs up / down off floor. This changes to extending arms forward & back & 3 pulses up)

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

Take Action

Try it today! Cathe Live is a streaming service available from – you can subscribe to monthly ($9.99 pm), six monthly or yearly plans and has over 200 live workouts in the archive for you to access at any time.

If you liked this workout, try Cathe Live: Fit Tower Inferno – click HERE for my detailed review.

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