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Cathe Live Review: Intense Upper Body (#351)

Updated: Jul 19

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Cathe Live Review: Intense Upper Body (#351)


Intense Upper Body is a pretty metabolic, pure strength workout that targets all muscle groups in the upper body. This is a fairly fast paced routine so I was pretty drenched by the end, as you are quickly moving from one thing to the next with short rest breaks. As an added bonus Al, from Cathe’s older DVDs, is also in this class. I really like it when he joins, as his form is great, he works really hard and he is so smiley!


The workout consists of five giant sets of exercises each targeting a different muscle group. You repeat all of the exercises, in the giant set, one more time before moving onto the next one. Even though there is repetition, this approach made it feel far less so as there is lots of variety within each giant set to target the muscles in all different ways.

The workout starts with triceps then chest, shoulders, back and biceps. Each giant set has between three and five different exercises and the reps are generally between 12 and 16 although some vary from this. What I all really appreciated, in this one, was that on the second set Cathe often does something slightly different – whether that’s changing the exercises slightly, e.g. rotational rows to wide rows or varying the reps or rep patterns with singles, 1.5’s, 2 down / 6 up etc. This keeps it really interesting and so there is never any dread factor as you are having to really concentrate each time on what Cathe is doing. The moves are all traditional exercises often with a slight twist, such as, adding a step out e.g. with overhead presses or combining two moves together, e.g. upright rows and front raises. Cathe used 5 to 20 pounds in this routine. I increased on a few moves but would definitely go heavier on back, in particular, next time. I used one 20 pound dumbbell for the 1 arm rows and could have used much heavier. Also on biceps and shoulders, I would go heavier on the bicep curls, 8-point curls and the lateral U raises. Therefore, I would suggest having a notepad handy to record which weights worked and which didn’t so you can get an even better workout next time.


The whole workout for me just flew by even though it is actually over 50 minutes long – I think the variation in moves and nature of the routine helped a lot with this. You are constantly moving onto something different and the short rest periods really help to increase the intensity, a little more, and fatigue the muscles faster. I found the triceps and biceps the hardest sets but I could have gotten an even better burn on biceps, if I had used heavier weights throughout. It’s worth noting though that although the pace of the routine is fast the actual exercises, I felt, were done at a controlled pace so you could go up in weights, if you wanted to.


(One thing to note, the cool down and stretch is extremely short, for such an intense strength workout, so I had to add on extra stretching at the end).


Overall, an excellent and effective upper body workout that will target every muscle group and, with the right weights, will give you a great workout.


(For more information about Cathe Live, how to sign up & to see all of my Cathe Live reviews, click HERE. Alternatively, to see all of the Cathe Live Reviews in numerical order click HERE).


The Workout

Intense Upper Body is a pure strength upper body workout consisting of five giant sets of different exercises, focusing on one muscle group at a time. Each giant set is then repeated before moving onto the next one.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves

Intense Upper Body is 54 minutes long and originally aired on 1st July 2021 (#351). The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up, using 5 pound dumbbells, before a quick water break and moving into the first giant set. The step with three risers on each side is set up horizontally in front of you, at the start of the routine, and the step height does not change.


Triceps

  • Tricep dips – step – 16 reps & 4 sets (1x 1.5 & 4x singles)

  • Step out overhead tricep extension – two 12# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Standing overhead tricep extension – two 10# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Incline tricep push-up (knees) – step (hands on step) & mat – 12 reps

  • Tricep kickbacks – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 16 reps


  • Tricep dips – step – 16 reps & 3 sets (1x 1.5 & 4x singles)

  • Step out overhead tricep extension – two 12# Dbs – 14 reps

  • Standing overhead tricep extension – two 10# Dbs – 8 reps (different tempos – 2/2, 2/6, 6/2)

  • Incline tricep push-up (knees) – step (hands on step) & mat – 11 reps (different tempos – 2/2, 2/6, 6/2)

  • Tricep kickbacks – two 10# Dbs (Cathe changed to 12’s part way. I used 12’s) – 12 reps



Chest

  • Bench press / narrow grip chest press – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step – 7 sets (1 of each) & 8x bench press

  • Chest flys – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step – 12 reps (add leg extensions)

  • Incline push-ups – step (hands on step) – 12 reps


  • Bench press / narrow grip chest press – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step – 8 sets (1 of each) & 8x bench press

  • Chest flys – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step – 12 reps (add leg extensions)

  • Incline push-ups – step (hands on step) – 12 reps & 4 reps (2/2)


Shoulders

  • Front raise / upright rows (Cathe suggests if using heavier weights to do 1x upright row & 1x 1 arm front raise)two 8# Dbs (I used 10’s & did both arm front raise) – 8 sets & 4 sets (1 foot back)

  • Step out Arnold press – two 12# Dbs – 12 reps

  • Lateral raise – two 5# Dbs – 16 reps

  • Lateral U raises (lateral flys out to the side then pulse overhead press - palms forward) – two 5# Dbs – 8 reps

  • Hip huggers – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 16 reps


  • Front raise / upright rows – two 10# Dbs (I used 10’s & did both arm front raise) – 8 sets

  • Step out Arnold press – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 12 reps

  • Lateral raise – two 5# Dbs – 4 sets & 2 sets (1x 1.5 & 2x singles)

  • Lateral U raises – two 5# Dbs – 11 reps

  • Hip huggers – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 16 reps


Back

  • 1 Arm rotational row – one 20# Db – 16 reps each side

  • Pullovers – two 15# Dbs & step – 16 reps

  • Drop set rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs – 10 reps, 8 reps & 4 reps


  • 1 Arm wide row – one 20# Db – 16 reps each side

  • Pullovers – two 15# Dbs & step – 18 reps

  • Drop set rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs – 10 reps, 8 reps & 4 reps


Biceps

  • Bicep curls – two 12# Dbs – 8x singles & 8x 1.5’s

  • 8 Point curls (bicep curl up then come down a little further each time for 8 reps then start from the top again and repeat) – two 12# Dbs – 2 sets

  • Sweeper curls – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 8 reps

  • W Curls – two 12# Dbs (I used 15’s) – 8 reps


  • Bicep curls – two 12# Dbs – 6x 1.5’s

  • 8 Point curls – two 12# Dbs – 2 sets

  • Sweeper curls – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 8 reps

  • W Curls – two 12# Dbs (I used 15’s) – 12 reps


The workout ends with a very short 1:30 minute cool down and stretch. I added on extra stretching at 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. Alternatively, to see all of the Cathe Live Reviews in numerical order click HERE.


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


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