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Cathe Live Review: Low Impact Cardio Compound Upper Body (#336)

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Cathe Live Review: Low Impact Cardio Compound Upper Body (#336)


Low Impact Cardio Compound Upper Body is an enjoyable and different upper body strength workout with a few low impact cardio intervals mixed in. This workout is a real treat, as Cathe has so few cardio and upper body routines, in the Live archive. At the time of this review there are only seven and only one of those is low impact, so it’s a really nice change to have another one to add to the collection. This one is also a little different, as the strength moves are all compound exercises so you are working multiple muscle groups at any one time.


The workout consists of four circuits and each includes approx. 1 minute of cardio and three compound strength moves for the upper body and core. Cathe goes through the four circuits and then at the 30 minute mark, says you can either go straight to the cool down or repeat the circuits again but this time without the cardio moves. So you have the option of making this an express routine, if you would like. I did the whole thing and although it wasn’t very challenging it gave me a nice upper body and core workout.


The cardio intervals are all familiar Cathe low impact moves and as there are only four in the whole workout it is not very intense. As mentioned, you do each for 1 minute and they are all quite lower body focused so you do get a little bit of leg work in too. Plus two of the strength moves also include squats or kettlebell swings so you get an additional bonus there too!


The strength moves in this routine are really interesting, as you are mixing different moves or muscle groups together and I really liked the variety of these combo moves. For example, you do chest flys and pullovers with a 1 leg hip bridge. This also helps to keep the heart rate a little bit higher throughout but overall I didn’t find it as metabolic as many of her other similar workouts. The nature of the routine does mean, for many of the moves, it is more difficult to go really heavy, as for example, I could easily use 20 or 25 pounds for the chest flys but would struggle for the pullovers. Therefore, I would suggest having a notepad handy so you can note down what worked and what didn’t and where you may be able to increase for next time. I particularly found the sumo squat with 1 arm bicep curls and the seated incline curl / press quite challenging.


The routine does hit each of the main muscle groups, at least once, but it’s not very comprehensive strength training so as Cathe says it’s more endurance style. The core is also targeted both as a supporting muscle group, for many of the moves, and also directly with plank work. I really liked the mountain climber / shoulder taps, as I found that by holding one knee in, while doing the taps, they really challenged my core stability. Once you have completed the four circuits, you then run through them again, without the cardio, at a faster pace with both less rest and less reps. This time through the exercises just flew and I would have liked for it to be a little longer or a few more reps to really feel the work a bit more here.


Overall, a varied and different challenge for the upper body and core.


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The Workout

Low Impact Cardio Compound Upper Body is an upper body and core strength workout with a few low impact cardio intervals mixed in. The routine consists of four different circuits each incorporating one cardio and three compound strength moves, which are then repeated one more time, excluding the cardio moves.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves

Low Impact Cardio Compound Upper Body is 47 minutes long and originally aired on 25th February 2021 (#336). The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm-up, before a quick water break and then moving into cardio. Cathe picks up 8 pound dumbbells towards the end of the warm-up. Cardio moves shown in bold italics below.


Circuit 1a

  • Double pulse insole snap ups (2 squat pulses & lift insole to opposite hand) – 30 reps

  • T-Raise (front raise & hold at top, out to side, in & down) / front raise & pull / T-Raise & pull (front raise & hold at top, out to side & in then pull back towards body; out to side, in & down) – two 5# Dbs – 8 reps / 4 reps / 4 reps

  • Sumo squat & 1 arm bicep curl (passing Db from hand to hand) – one 15# Db – 12 x singles, 4x 3 curls & 4x singles

  • 3 Mountain climbers & 2 shoulder taps (do 3 mountain climbers & on last hold 1 knee in under the body then do 1 shoulder tap on each side) – mat – 11 reps


Circuit 2a

  • Side together, step & punch / add a hop & overhead reach – 45 reps (different variations)

  • Seated incline bicep curl / overhead press – two 15# Dbs & mat – 5 reps

  • Seated incline bicep curl / overhead press – two 12# Dbs & mat – 7 reps

  • Chest fly / pullover in 1 leg hip bridge – two 15# Dbs & mat – 7 reps each side

  • Release push-up & 1 plank knee tap – mat – 11 reps


Circuit 3a

  • Lifted squat abductions – 48 reps

  • Lateral raises (holding Dbs out to side & drop 1 arm then both) – two 5# Dbs – 16 sets (1x 1 arm & 1x both)

  • Close grip bench press / lying tricep extensions in hip bridge – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) & mat – lots of reps (different combos / tempos)

  • Plank knee circles – mat – 8 sets of 4 reps


Circuit 4a

  • Zig zag puddle jumpers – 32 reps & 40 reps

  • Front swing to overhead tricep extension – one 15# Db – 12 reps

  • Hip hinge & rotating rows (bringing Dbs in underhand) – two 15# Dbs – 4x 3 rows & 4x 2 rows

  • Push-up / bear crawl walk-in (do 1 push-up then hold in plank; walk feet into bear crawl position & back out) – mat – 12 reps


At 30 minutes - You can either stop here or continue on to repeat each circuit minus the cardio segments at the starts of each circuit.


Circuit 1b

  • T-Raise & pull (front raise & hold at top, out to side & in then pull back towards body; out to side, in & down) – two 5# Dbs – 6 sets

  • Sumo squat & 1 arm bicep curl – one 15# Db – 2x singles, 4x 3 curls & 2x 7 curls

  • 3 Mountain climbers & 2 shoulder taps – mat – 10 reps


Circuit 2b

  • Seated bicep curl / overhead press – two 12# Dbs & mat – 7 reps

  • Chest fly / pullover in 1 leg hip bridge – two 15# Dbs & mat – 4 reps each side

  • Release push-up & 1 plank knee tap – mat – 6 reps


Circuit 3b

  • Lateral raises – two 5# Dbs – 6 sets (1x 1 arm & 1x both) & 8x 1.5’s

  • Close grip bench press / lying tricep extensions in hip bridge – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) & mat – lots of reps (different combos / tempos)

  • Plank knee circles – mat – 8 sets of 4 reps


Circuit 4b

  • Front swing to overhead tricep extension – one 15# Db – 8 reps

  • Hip hinge & rotating rows – two 15# Dbs – 7x 2 rows

  • Push-up / bear crawl walk-in – mat – 8 reps


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


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If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Low Impact Hiit Plus Upper Body (#175) – HERE.


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