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Cathe Live Review: Strong Express Upper Body (#234)

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Cathe Live: Strong Express Upper Body by Fitness My Style

Cathe Live Review: Strong Express Upper Body

Strong Express Upper Body is a pure strength workout from Cathe Live. The workout is only 36 minutes but for such a short routine it really packs a lot into it! The routine is set up in giant sets of exercises for 1-2 body parts at a time. You run through a series of exercises and then repeat all of them for a few more sets.

I found this to be a pretty effective workout and definitely felt the work in my upper body. If you are using a weight selection that really challenges you – you will definitely feel it too. I pretty much stuck with Cathe’s weights and only increased on a couple of the exercises. The moves are done at a faster pace than usual and there are only short rest periods between exercises so it keeps the muscles firing throughout. I particularly felt the shoulder work, which is the first giant set. My muscles were burning by the end of the second set of exercises even though the weights weren't that heavy.

The exercises are a combination of traditional upper body exercises and a few of the newer exercises from Cathe’s new LITE (Low Impact Training Extreme) workout series – Strong Body Stacked Sets: Upper (for more information on this DVD, check out my detailed review HERE or Your Ultimate Guide to the whole of the LITE Series HERE). The rep range varies by exercise and some are quite high rep.

The workout ends with a bang as you do Cathe’s famed / dreaded ‘Sit-up & Push-up combo’, which will really get your heart racing! The combo is 5 sit-ups followed by 5 push-ups repeated five times! I really feel these. Although I will say that Cathe did them at a slightly slower pace than she often does, which was a slight reprieve but not much of one! (Also you can always slow these down even further if you need to and just pause the workout until you have completed all the sets).

Overall, I found this an effective upper body workout, particularly good for those days when you are short on time and still want to feel the work.

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

The Workout

Strong Express Upper Body is a pure strength workout consisting of 6 giant sets of upper body exercises and ends with a couple of core focused exercises. Cathe and class use dumbbells and a full size step at 10” (3 risers each side). The step is only used as a weight bench for lying exercises so if you don’t have one you can just do those exercises lying on the floor.

What You Need to Know

What you need to know: Instructor: Cathe Friedrich. Length: 36 mins. Equipment needed:  5-15# dumbbells, full size step with 3 risers each side & a mat. Optional Lifting gloves. Fun Factor: 3/5. Sweat Factor: 3/5. Coordination: 1/5

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

The Moves

Strong Express Upper Body is 36 minutes long and originally aired on 31st January 2019 (#234). The workout starts with a brief 3 minute warm up before moving into the first shoulder exercise with 5# dumbbells.

1. Lateral raises – two 5# dbs – 24 reps

2. Lateral ‘U’ raise – two 5# dbs – 16 reps

3. Scarecrows – two 5# dbs – 12 reps

4. Front raise (dumbbells held vertical) & ‘pour’ (tilting dbs down at the top) – two 5# dbs- 10 reps

5. Repeat 1- 4 for 12, 8, 12 & 6 reps respectively

Front Raise & Pour

6. 1 Arm Back Fly – one 10# db – 10 reps

7. Upright row – two 10# dbs – 10 reps

8. Hip hinge & rear dealt flys – two 10# dbs – 4 singles & 4x 3 flys

9. Repeat 6-8

Upright Row

10. Overhead press – two 12# dbs - 4x singles, 2x 1.5’s & 4x singles

11. Sweeper curls – two 15#dbs – 10 reps

12. Overhead press – two 10# dbs – 4x singles, 2x 1.5’s & 4x singles

13. Hammer curls – two 15# dbs – 10 reps

14. Overhead press – two 10# dbs – 4x singles, 2x 1.5’s & 4x singles

15. Bicep Curls – two 15# dbs – 10 reps

16. Repeat 11, 13 & 15 – using 12# dbs – 6 reps each

Hammer Curls

17. 1 Arm row – two 12#dbs – 16 reps

18. 1 Arm bicep curls – one 12# db – 10 reps

19. Repeat 17 & 18.

20. Repeat 18. one more time

1 Arm Bicep Curls

21. Tricep kickbacks – two 12# dbs – 12 reps

22. Tricep overhead extensions – two 12# dbs – 6 reps 2/2 count

23. Repeat 19. & 20.

24. Repeat 22. one more time

Tricep Kickbacks

25. Close grip bench press – two 15# dbs & step – 24 reps

26. Bench press – two 15# dbs & step (2/2 & singles)

27. Chest flys – two 15# dbs & step – 8 reps 2/2 count

28. Bench press – two 15# dbs & step - 6 reps

29. Chest flys – two 15# dbs & step – 8 reps 2/2 count

Close Grip Bench Press

30. 5 Sit-ups & 5 push-ups combo – 5 sets

31. Reverse crunches

Sit-Up / Push-Up Combo

The workout ends with a 3 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 230 live workouts in the archive for you to access at any time.

If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Awesome Upper Body – HERE.

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1 comment

1 Comment

May 28, 2021

Fun vigorous workout. It does burn your UB pretty well in a short period of time. No modifications.

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