Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Pump: Lower Body
Updated: Nov 7
Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Pump: Lower Body
Perfect Pump: Lower Body is a fairly intense lower body strength workout that will get that heart rate up and work those muscles. This workout is part of the Perfect Pump DVD, which consists of two 30 minute strength routines – one focused on the upper body and one on the lower body.
Perfect Pump is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new PERFECT30 series that consists of six workouts on three DVDs plus a number of bonus add-ons and premixes. The series is aimed at advanced exercisers and is perfect for when you are tight on time but still want a solid, intense workout. Each DVD contains two 30 minute workouts, which focus on the main elements necessary for a well-balanced fitness routine: strength conditioning, cardio endurance and balance / flexibility. For more details on the PERFECT30 program, click HERE or check out my blog post – Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New PERFECT30 Series.
The routine consists of fifteen different lower body moves and uses a combination of lighter and heavier dumbbells to work the lower body from all angles. The exercises are a combination of more familiar moves with some slightly different combinations or twists on traditional moves. These include explosive lunge jumps, which I found very hard, and Cossack squats. The use of the high step and heavier weights, for some moves, also serves to increase the intensity a little more, as Cathe is using 25 to 40 pound dumbbells for many of the exercises. This combined with the shorter rest periods, helps to keep the heart rate a bit higher, making it more metabolic overall. I used the same weights as Cathe and given the pace and nature of the moves this worked well for me. However, I think you could heavy up a little on some of the lighter weight moves, if you wanted to and I would do so next time. Many of the moves are focused more on intensity, with slow and controlled reps, to feel the work rather than rushing through them at pace. So you will definitely start to feel the burn in the lower body, as the routine progresses, and my heart rate stayed elevated throughout.
As the workout is again only 30 minutes, including the warm-up and cool down, it is not the most intense workout but with the right weights will still provide a good workout for the lower body. Cathe does manage to pack quite a lot into a short amount of time and the fact that you don’t repeat any of the exercises makes the time fly by. I would have loved for this to be a bit longer, although the premix that adds on the Bonus Pump: Lower Body is a nice way to add on a little more, even if it’s only 7 minutes or so!
The Bonus Pump: Lower Body targets the glutes and hamstrings with floorwork and this is a nice way to round out the program, if you have a little more time. Although it is only three moves, it does start to burn a little bit, particularly if you have already done the full routine beforehand. Also as the Perfect Pump: Upper Body routine is also on this DVD, you can use the premixes to get a total body strength challenge and even add in some core work and an extended stretch, if you are so inclined. I really enjoyed the Mish Mosh Premix that mixes both the upper and lower body exercises together, providing a nice 54 minute workout. If you don’t have the extra time though, there is also an express total body routine that combines some of both workouts and is only 31 minutes long.
Overall, this is a quick and enjoyable lower body strength workout that targets the lower body from all angles.
The Workout – Perfect Pump: Lower Body
Perfect Pump: Lower Body is a pure strength workout that consists of fifteen different standing lower body strength moves.
This DVD also includes Perfect Pump: Upper Body (review HERE), two Pump Workout Bonus (Bonus Upper Body & Bonus Lower Body), a Core Bonus Routine (Bonus Core) and a Stretch Bonus (Bonus Extended Stretch).
What You Need to Know
(The information below is based on the main workout (Perfect Pump: Lower Body) not including any of the bonus add-ons).
(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).
Perfect Pump: Lower Body is 30:39 minutes long. The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm-up before moving into the first round. The high step, with four risers, is set off to the side at the start of the workout. You will need to make sure your equipment is handy, as you move reasonably quickly from one thing to the next. The warm-up starts bodyweight only and then uses both 12 and 15 pound dumbbells for a series of squats, deadlifts and rear pulsing lunges.
Squats – two 25# Dbs – 12 reps
Static lunges – two 20# Dbs – 12 reps each side
Deadlifts – two 30# Dbs – 12 reps
Pick-up plie squats (picking up & putting down Db) – one 40# Db – 12 reps
Elevated lunges right side (back foot on step) – two 15# Dbs & high step w/ 4 risers – 12 reps
Explosive lunges right side (in same position as above lift / jump front foot) – high step w/ 4 risers – 16 reps
Elevated lunges left side (back foot on step) – two 15# Dbs & high step w/ 4 risers – 12 reps
Explosive lunges left side (in same position as above lift / jump front foot) – high step w/ 4 risers – 16 reps
Deadlifts w/ toes elevated – two 30# Dbs & two BB plates (to elevate toes) – 12 reps
Front squats w/ heels elevated (Dbs at shoulders) – two 15# Dbs & two BB plates (to elevate heels) – 12 reps
Step-ups – two 15# Dbs & high step w/ 4 risers – 12 reps each side
Single leg deadlifts – one 30# Db – 10 reps each side
Front lunges – one 15# Db – 10 reps each side
Close grip squats – one 40# Db – 12 reps
Squat to crossover lunges (front foot on step) – one 15# Db & high step w/ 1 riser – 10 reps each side
Forward leaning glute lunge (tapping Db down towards floor) – one 15 Db & high step w/ 1 riser – 10 reps
Cossack squat (leaning from side to side in lunge bringing toe upwards) – one 12# Db – 12 reps
Calf raises – two 25# Dbs – 25 reps, 20 reps & 15 reps
The workout ends with a 2:30 minute cool down and stretch.
Perfect Pump: Upper Body Bonus
Perfect Pump: Upper Body Bonus is also included on this DVD. This bonus strength section is 4:50 minutes long and does not include a warm-up (as Cathe is assuming you are adding it on to another workout) or a stretch at the end. You will need 5, 8, 12 & 20# dumbbells, medium tension resistance tubing and a full size step, with 4 risers on each side, for this bonus.
This bonus add on consists of five different exercises - one for each muscle group. They are not very high rep so I would suggest you go as heavy as you can, to get the most out of your time. I would definitely increase my weights further next time, as I found all of the weights used were on the lighter side for these exercises. Each move is done for a set number of reps or sets, as some combine two different moves or use single and double arms. I didn’t find the bonus that challenging and was extremely disappointed it is so short. It would have made much more sense to do a longer add-on, given that the main routine is already so short too. Also it didn’t really feel like it added much more to the main workout, whereas if it had two exercises for each muscle group, for example, it might have made more of an impact.
Overall, a very short upper body add-on and one that I probably would only use with this routine and not as an add on to another routine (where you would have to separately go to this bonus rather than it playing straight through on this routine), as I just didn’t find it that effective.
Upright row – two 12# Dbs – 8 sets (1x single & 1x both arms)
Single arm rear delt fly combo – one 8# Db (I used 1x10) - 5 sets (1x rear delt fly & 1x rear delt fly w/ palm facing back)
Bench press / chest fly combo – two 20# Dbs & step w/ 4 risers – 8 sets (1 of each)
Banded curl 1.5’s – two 5# Dbs & resistance tubing (I used two 15# Dbs & no tubing) – 8 sets (1.5's)
Banded overhead tricep extensions – resistance tubing (I used two 10# Dbs & no tubing) – 8x singles, 4x 3 pulses, 4x singles & 2x 3 pulses
Perfect Pump: Lower Body Bonus
Perfect Pump: Lower Body Bonus is also included on this DVD. This bonus strength section is 7:38 minutes long and does not include a warm-up (as Cathe is assuming you are adding it on to another workout) but does include a very quick stretch at the end. You will need a 10# weight, a high step with three risers, resistance tubing and a mat for this bonus.
This is a short add on routine that focuses on the glutes and hamstrings and can be added onto the main routine or any other workout for a quick lower body blast. This bonus consists of three different moves that are each done for a number of sets, using both single rep counts and pulses to increase the burn. I did find the first move a little awkward, trying to balance a 10 pound dumbbell behind my knee, for hamstring presses, and in future might use a booty band or ankle weights instead. The final exercise I found the most challenging, as you are doing banded single leg glute squeezes with one foot on the high step. The use of the band, around the top foot, definitely helped me feel the burn a bit more with this, particularly using a heavier tension resistance band (I used a band rather than tubing as I prefer it). However, given the bonus is so short, it’s not the most challenging add-on and I would have loved for it to include a few more exercises.
Overall, a quick and efficient, higher rep, lower body add on.
Hamstring presses – one 10# Db (behind knee on lifting leg) & mat – 8x singles & 32x pulses each side
Outer thigh presses (lying on back w/ legs straight up in the air & band around bottom of feet; open & close straight legs) – resistance tubing & mat – 2 sets of 4x singles & 24x pulses
Banded glute squeezes (lying on back w/ 1 foot on step & 1 foot in air (band around bottom of top foot); raise & lower hips in bridge position) – resistance band & mat – 2 sets of 8x singles & 16 pulses each side
Bonus Core is also included on this DVD. This bonus core section is 9:17 minutes long and does not include a warm-up (as Cathe is assuming you are adding it on to another workout) but does include a very quick stretch at the end. You will need a mat, if you are on a hard surface, for this core bonus.
This is an interesting and rather unique abs bonus. The routine includes a number of different moves that are yoga and mobility inspired, which work your core from all angles and in slightly different ways. The aim is to engage all of the core muscles from the thoracic region to the hip flexors and glutes. This is what makes it more challenging, as you are often extending or balancing in the moves and, therefore, having to maintain a greater level of stability through the whole core region.
This bonus consists of five different moves, including variations, such as, side plank angle extensions and rotating piston planks. The routine is a mix of easier and slightly harder moves and I actually often felt more work in my upper body (e.g. T-raise supermans) and glutes rather than my core. I am not quite sure what to make of this routine, as I didn’t feel that my core was actually worked that hard. The only two moves that I really felt the work for my core was in the first and fourth exercise. One is a version of a banana hold and the other was the glute bridge leg drops, as you are really having to stabilise the core area when you drop the leg out to the side. This is also where I felt the work in my lower body too. The reps are not too high and there are breaks in between each move so it is not a very intense routine. I was definitely expecting something much harder given the short timeframe and how much Cathe packed into some of the main routines. Therefore, I am not sure I would return to it that often, as I just didn’t feel that it really worked my core very effectively. Although, I do think it worked well added to the Mobility Basics routine, as it is very much in the same style as that workout.
Overall, a short and different core bonus.
Banana hold into opposite hand to foot (lying on back; lift arms & legs in hollow hold then reach 1 hand to opposite foot) – mat – 6 sets
Rotating piston planks (start in straight arm plank; push hips back to one side then straighten & over to other side) – mat – 4 sets (2x slow & 4x fast)
T-raise superman (lying on stomach w/ hands out in a T-position; raise & lower arms while keeping feet on floor) – mat – 2 sets (2x slow & 4x fast) & 3 sets (1x slow & 2x fast)
Glute bridge leg drops (raise into 1 leg glute bridge & slowly lower top leg straight out to side & back in) – mat – 8 reps each side
Side Plank Angle Extension (in a side plank w/ lower knee on the floor; reach top arm / leg out & in) – mat – 8 reps each side
The routine ends with a 20 second stretch.
Bonus Extended Stretch
Bonus Extended Stretch is also included on this DVD. This bonus stretch section is 8:16 minutes long and only requires a mat. This is another really relaxing stretch routine that I enjoyed very much. The routine starts lying on the mat with some lower body stretches, including knee circles, hamstring and figure 4 stretches. You then move into a mix of upper and lower body stretches, including cross legged stretches, straight leg stretches, cat / cow and upward dog. Finally you work towards a standing position through downward dog, forward fold and then finish with upper body stretches for the side of the body, shoulders, triceps and chest.
Overall, a really nice routine to stretch out those tired muscles and definitely one I will return to often.
The main moves include:
Knees to chest / knee circles
1 Leg hamstring stretches (lying on back; bring 1 leg towards the head)
Figure 4 stretch (cross 1 leg over other knee)
Torso stretch (bringing knees to one side & arms to other side)
Quad stretch (lying on side; bring foot in towards backside)
Cross legged stretch (cross legs & lean forward)
Torso twist (sitting up w/ 1 leg straight out; bring other foot across top leg w/ opposite arm reaching across & twist torso in other direction)
Straight leg forward fold (sitting)
Cat / cow (in tabletop position)
Forward fold (standing)
Side stretch (standing; reach arms up & clasp opposite wrist & bend over towards side)
Chest stretch (bring arms behind back)
Perfect Pump has 20 premixes on the dvd.
(Premixes are extra bonus workouts included on the dvds that use the main workout as the backbone and then add, remove or change the order of elements to create a new routine. The premixes are also available on Cathe's On Demand streaming service). Basic Premixes
Lower Body + Extended Stretch - 36:47 mins
Upper Body + Extended Stretch - 37:39 mins
Lower Body + Upper Body + Extended Stretch - 61:49 mins
Lower Body + Core Bonus + Extended Stretch - 46:06 mins
Upper Body + Core Bonus + Extended Stretch - 46:58 mins
Lower Body + Upper Body + Core Bonus + Extended Stretch - 71:08 mins
Upper Body + Upper Body Bonus + Extended Stretch - 42:16 mins
Lower Body + Lower Body Bonus + Extended Stretch - 44:26 mins
Lower Body + Upper Body + Lower Body Bonus + Upper Body Bonus + Extended Stretch - 74:06 mins
Lower Body + Upper Body + Lower Body Bonus + Upper Body Bonus + Core Bonus + Extended Stretch - 83:41 mins
Back & Biceps - 16:38 mins
Back, Biceps & Shoulders - 21:10 mins
Chest & Triceps - 15:00 mins
Shoulder, Chest & Triceps - 19:32 mins
Total Body Express - 31:36 mins
Mish Mosh Premixes
Upper & Lower Body - 54:37 mins
No Step - 39:21 mins
No Step + Core - 48:39 mins
Upper Body Light Weights & Bands + Core Bonus Express - 32:06 mins
Lower Body Light Weights & Bands + Core Bonus Express - 36:53 mins
These workouts are available as a bundle or individually on DVD, download or through Cathe’s On Demand streaming service ($19.99 per month, which also includes access to all of the Cathe Live archived classes).
Check out my reviews of each of the other workouts in this series by visiting my Cathe DVD Reviews page HERE.
If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Burn Sets: Express Legs Heavy Weights (#305) – HERE.
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