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Cathe Live Review: Lean & Mean Legs (#15)

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Cathe Live Review: Lean & Mean Legs (#15)

Lean & Mean Legs is a pretty tough lower body cardio and strength workout that ends with a challenging yoga style bodyweight sequence.


This is a rather different lower body workout again and I think I liked it. It has lots of variety and is very effective, as you are mixing both metabolic strength, more traditional strength work and cardio blasts, and then finishing off with yoga. It definitely hits your lower body from all different angles and I got a strong cardio effect from both the strength work and the cardio blasts. However, for me, it isn’t necessarily the most fun workout. This reminds me a little bit of Cathe Live: Lean Lower Body (#33) (for a detailed review click HERE), which also ends with a yoga sequence but I like that one much more for some reason.


The routine starts with a warm-up using the stability ball. You then go into approx. four minutes of cardio, again using the stability ball. I find it very awkward to use the stability ball for this so I just used a 6 pound weighted ball instead (the smaller sand filled ball from my Firm days) and this worked much better for me. This section is very reminiscent of the stability ball cardio section in Cathe’s Drill Max DVD or the Live version – Drill Max Live #64 (for a detailed review of that workout click HERE), where she does hamstring curls, squat jumps, jog / toss the ball and pendulums etc. So if you have done any of these they will all be very familiar moves.


The workout then moves into the main part of the routine, which is a mix of lower body strength moves and cardio blasts. The cardio intervals often use a resistance loop, around the ankles, to provide even more lower body work and as they are fairly high rep you will start to feel them. They also got my heart rate up nicely and it stayed pretty elevated throughout.


The strength work is a mix of lighter weight, more metabolic exercises, some of which include compound moves, and moderate weight strength moves, which are more focused on the lower body. Cathe used a barbell, for some of the exercises, but kept it pretty light at 25 and 15 pounds. As usual, I substituted dumbbells and a kettlebell (for plie squats only so you could just use dumbbells for everything) instead of the barbell with no issues. I did increased my weights on a few of the moves but they soon started to add up. So by the static lunges, towards the end, I was really feeling the work and there are just so many reps! The rep count is generally a little higher, for the more focused lower body exercises, than she sometimes does so hence the lighter weights.


The workout ends with a bodyweight yoga style flowing sequence of moves that start in downward dog and move into warrior 2 etc. I found this section really effective in challenging my lower body – particularly the deep lunge hold – they were absolutely brutal!


Overall, this is an effective, different and fairly intense, cardio and strength workout that will challenge your lower body, from all different angles, using a variety of equipment.

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


The Workout


Lean & Mean Legs is a cardio and strength workout focused on the lower body. The routine includes cardio with the stability ball, a mix of lower body strength with cardio blasts and then ends with bodyweight strength moves. Cathe used light to moderate dumbbells, a barbell at 25 and 15 pounds, a stability ball, a medium tension resistance loop, dixie cups and a mat for this routine. I used dumbbells, a 25 pound kettlebell instead of the barbell and a 6 pound weighted ball instead of the stability ball (except for the warm-up).


What You Need to Know

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

The Moves


Lean & Mean Legs is 52 minutes long and originally aired on 7th August 2014 (#15). The workout starts with a 7:30 minute warm-up using the ball, before a quick water break and moving into the stability ball cardio section. Cathe is already holding her stability ball at the start of the workout. Cardio shown below in bold italics.


Stability Ball Cardio

  • Hamstring curls x8 / squat jumps x7

  • Double hops (shaking ball side to side)

  • Jog & toss ball on 7 count

  • Pendulums (ball low & high)

Repeat above moves one more time through

Quick water break & put ball away at 12:30 minutes

Lower Body Strength Training & Cardio Blasts

  • Forward leaning lunges (lunge & set cups on floor, stand, lunge & pick up cups w/ knee lift & overhead press) - two dixie cups – 10 reps (1st side) & 8 reps (2nd side)

  • Side lunge to curtsy lunge (setting down & picking up cups) – two dixie cups – 8 reps each side

  • Jump jacks / shuffle jabs – resistance loop (around ankles) – 32x jacks / 16x jabs / 32x jacks / 16x jabs

  • Squat press (Db held horizontally between hands) – one 10# Db – 10 reps

  • Squat & bicep curl / squat & front raise (Db held horizontally between hands) – one 10# Db – 8 reps (1 of each)

  • Woodchops (middle, side, middle, other side) – one 10# Db – 16 reps

  • Squat press (alternating sets of rotating Dbs & not rotating) – two 10# Dbs – 16 reps

  • Rear lunge & curl press – two 10# Dbs – 6x 3 pulse lunge, 2x 3 count hold lunges & 8x lunge & curl press

  • Squats & overhead presses (when in squat bring dbs towards ankles) – two 10# Dbs – 13 reps

  • Side steps (firewalkers) – resistance loop (around ankles) – 8 sets (4 steps)

  • Step out squats – resistance loop – 8 reps

  • 4 Pulsing plie squats & 1 plie jack / plie jacks – resistance loop – 3 sets & 4x plie jack only

  • Jump ropes

  • Side steps (firewalkers) – resistance loop (around ankles) – 6 sets (4 steps)

  • Step out squats – resistance loop – 8 reps

  • 4 Pulsing plie squats & 1 plie jack / plie jacks – resistance loop – 3 sets & 4x plie jack only

  • Scissor, scissor, wide jump & tuck – 4 sets each side

  • Plie jacks / jacks – resistance loop (around ankles) - 3 sets (15x plie & 8x jacks)

  • Plie squats - 25# BB (I used 25# kettlebell) – 20x singles, 4x 2/2, 8x 1/3, 4x 1.5’s, 4x 3.5’s & 8x singles

  • Wide stance deadlifts – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 19 reps

  • Static lunges - 15# BB (I used 2x 12# dbs) – 4x 3/1, 4x 2/2, 4x 1/3, 16x singles, 4x 1.5’s, 2x 3.5’s & 4x singles

  • Single leg deadlifts - one 10# Db (I used 2x 12’s) – 16 reps each side (2/2 & 3/1 counts)

Quick water break & get out mat at 39 minutes

Yoga / Bodyweight Strength Sequence

  • Start in downward facing dog, lift 1 leg up, bend heel towards bottom, sweep that leg through & come up into Warrior 2 position. Come up on back toe, pivot into front lunge & lean forward; reaching arms forward in front of you & hold. Whilst keeping leg bent, lift torso up, open hands to side & then clasp them behind your back; interlacing the fingers; & drop down into your deepest lunge & hold. Hands then come down & move back into downward dog. You then repeat this series on the same leg; but now after Warrior 2; lower 1 arm down towards the floor & other hand towards the ceiling in side angle pose; then leaning back into reverse angle pose w/ other arm up towards the ceiling. Move back into Warrior 2, pivot turn into front lunge; reach forward & hold. Lift torso up; open hands to side & then clasp them behind your back; sink down into the deep lunge & hold. Then bring hands down & come to the front before moving back into downward dog facing the other way.

Repeat whole series on other leg.

The workout ends with a 4 minute cool down and stretch.

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: Love Those Legs (#133) – HERE.


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