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Cathe Live Review: Compound Giant Sets (#58)

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Cathe Live Review: Compound Giant Sets (#58)


Compound Giant Sets is a very metabolic endurance workout using one giant set of exercises.


This is an extremely effective and pretty challenging workout and I felt really well worked by the end, however I did not enjoy it. There is just too much repetition for me, as you do four sets of the same moves and that just makes me dread the workout. It did go by a little more quickly than I was expecting but it is probably not one I would return to, as there are so many other effective and challenging workouts in the archive that don’t have this level of repetition.


The workout consists of one giant set of seven compound exercises and as mentioned you repeat this set a total of four times through before moving onto core. Cathe used 8 pound dumbbells for every exercise. She states she is going light as it is an endurance workout rather than a heavy strength one and as you are doing multiple sets, she wants you to maintain form and tempo throughout. The tempo is fairly fast and so she states that she would rather you maintain the faster tempo than go heavier and slower. Therefore, this may take a little trial and error to see what weights work best for you.


The strength moves are all compound exercises, combining upper and lower body together, and this really keeps the heart rate up. Also as you only, generally, have an 8 count rest between exercises there is not a lot of downtime and so it stays very metabolic throughout. I was pretty drenched by the end. I did increase my weights on two exercises but the rest I stayed with Cathe as the work compounds progressively through each set. As you have the 8 count rest there is time to switch dumbbells, if you want to (having a notepad in front of you to tell you when to is very useful here). I did find one of the moves a little awkward, which was a plie squat with 1 arm tricep extension. However, Cathe does show a modification for this, at the end, doing a lunge instead of a squat and I might try this is I ever do the workout again.


(One thing to note: on the first round Cathe goes out of order and does the plie squats before the lunge down / overhead press. She then fixes this in the second round and continues in that order).


The workout ends with a short and effective core section. This segment starts standing with lots of core rotation moves before picking up dumbbells for side bends and woodchops. You then move to the floor for lying and plank based exercises. This worked my core well and rounded out the routine nicely.


Overall, a repetitive but challenging, metabolic endurance workout that will work the whole body.


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


The Workout


Compound Giant Sets is a metabolic strength workout consisting of one giant set of seven exercises that are repeated for a total of four times. The routine ends with a short core section.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves


Compound Giant Sets is 42 minutes long and originally aired on 9th July 2015 (#58). The workout starts with a 6 minute warm-up, before a quick water break and then moving into the first exercise.


Compound Giant Set

(Cathe goes out of order on the 1st round – so she does the plie squats before the lunge down & overhead press)


  • Squat & overhead press – two 8# Dbs - 12 reps

  • Rear lunge & 3 hammer curls – two 8# Dbs (I used 10’s) - 10 reps

  • Sumo drop squat / tricep extension combo (jump into plie squat jump feet back in & do 2 tricep extensions) – two 8# Dbs - 8 reps

  • Alternating forward leaning lunge & rear delt flys – two 8# Dbs (I used 10’s) - 10 reps

  • Lunge down & overhead press combo (lunge down to side then stand & overhead press, lunge down to other side) – two 8# dumbbells - 10 reps

  • Plie squat & 1 arm overhead tricep extensions (lower into plie squat; hold & do 2 tricep extensions, raise up out of squat, arm stays overhead) / plie squat pulses - two 8# Dbs - 10 reps, 7x pulses, 10 reps (other arm) & 7x pulses

  • Squat thrust & 2 push-ups w/ 1 leg lift (raise 1 leg for each push up) - 8 reps (6 reps 1st time)


Repeat above moves three more times


Core on mat at 33 minutes

  • Sumo squat torso rotations - various patterns, including side to side & just to one side

  • Sumo squat straight arm side bends / add force to arm lift (as if throwing something overhead)

  • Sumo squat bent arm side bends

  • Standing side bends – two 8# Dbs in one hand (I used 1x 20) – 16 reps each side

  • Woodchops – one 8# Db (I used 1x 10) – raise to side, middle & side then just side to side

  • Straight arm plank hold / elbow plank hold / elbow plank march / elbow plank knee jogs - mat


The workout ends with a 3 minute cool down and stretch. I added on a few extra stretches at the end, as after such a tough workout I needed a bit more.


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: PHA 3 (#184) – HERE.


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