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Cathe Live Review: PHA 3 (#184)

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Cathe Live Review: PHA 3 (#184)


PHA 3 is an excellent, tough strength workout with a strong cardio effect. I was absolutely soaked by the end of this one and got a really good total body workout.


This is the third Live PHA workout as there are two others in the library (PHAT 1 #57 & PHAT 2 #94). There also two DVDs of the same name – Strong & Sweaty PHA and LITE PHA 2 (for detailed review of this workout click HERE). The concept is based on Peripheral Heart Action Training – alternating between lower and upper body exercises with very short rest periods between exercises. As Cathe states “the goal is to maximise blood flow between the upper and lower body, while shortened rest periods keep your heart rate up for cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits”.


This was another fantastic addition of this series of workouts and I liked it. As you are moving quickly from one thing to the next the workout flies by and my heart rate was seriously elevated throughout the whole thing. I was breathing pretty hard too, at certain points of this routine, as going from lower to upper body really works you hard.


The workout is set up in three groups of six exercises, alternating between lower and upper body. Each group is then repeated once more before moving on to the next round. The workout is reasonably high rep, particularly for some of the lower body moves. For the upper body though, sometimes, you do slightly less reps on the second set. Cathe uses moderate to heavy weights, including a barbell. As I don’t like using a barbell I substituted dumbbells with no issues. The only modification I made was with the Plie Squats - where I used a 35 pound kettlebell instead but you could also use dumbbells here if you like. Cathe mentions this is more of a strength endurance workout that is designed to keep the heart rate high rather than a really heavy strength routine. So although I think you could probably go a bit heavier on some of the exercises, it may be difficult to go too much heavier and maintain the pace / reps etc.


Just a couple of other notes on this workout - on the first round Cathe unfortunately misses off the last exercise for upper body (rear delt flys) completely so I just paused and added them on. Also for some reason Cathe doesn’t really do any dedicated upper body stretches in the cool down so I also added these on the end too.


Overall, this is a highly effective and challenging strength workout that will challenge your whole body and provide a nice cardio effect too. This is definitely one I will be returning to.


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

The Workout


PHA 3 is a pure strength workout consisting of three groups of six exercises. Each group alternates between lower and upper body exercises and is repeated once more before moving on to the next grouping. Cathe use moderate dumbbells and a barbell at 30, 35 and 40 pounds. I used dumbbells and one 35 pound kettlebell instead.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves


PHA 3 is 47 minutes long and originally aired on 8th February 2018 (#184). The workout starts with a 4:30 minute warm-up before moving straight into the first exercise. Cathe and class start with the barbell at 35 pounds (one large & one medium plate on each side).


Round 1

  • Crossback lunge to squat (switching dumbbell from one hand to other. These are fast) – one 10# dumbbell – 20 reps (1st set), 16 reps (2nd set)

  • Bicep curls – 35# barbell (I used two 15# dumbbells) – 16 reps (1st set), 10 reps (2nd set)

  • Front lunge & knee lift – two 12# dumbbells – 16 reps (1st set), 12 reps (2nd set)

  • Overhead press – two 12# dumbbells – 16 reps

  • Squats – 35# barbell (I used two 20# dumbbells) – 8 singles, 4x 3 1.5’s, 8 singles

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# dumbbells – 6 sets of 3 (NOTE: Cathe completely misses this exercise on the 2nd set. So you may wish to pause & add these on).

Repeat Above Moves
















Round 2

  • Deadlifts with toes elevated – 40# barbell (I used two 20# dumbbells) & 3# dumbbells (to put toes on) – 12 reps

  • Standing overhead tricep extensions – two 12# dumbbells – 12 reps (1st set), 10 reps (2nd set)

  • Alternating side lunges – two 10 dumbbells – 32 reps (1st set), 24 reps (2nd set)

  • Push-ups – mat – 6 sets (1x 2/2 count & 2x singles)

  • Squat toss – one 10# dumbbell – 32 reps

  • Lateral raises – two 8# dumbbells – 16 reps (1st set), 12 reps (2nd set)

Repeat Above Moves















Round 3

  • Front squats with heels elevated – 30# barbell (I used two 20# dumbbells) & two 3# dumbbells (to rest heels on) – 16 reps

  • Upright rows – 30# barbell (I used two 15# dumbbells) – 16 reps

  • Rear lunges – two 12# dumbbells – 12 reps each side

  • Hammer curls – two 15# dumbbells – 12 reps

  • Plie squats – 30# barbell (I used 35# kettlebell) - 8 singles, 4x 3 1.5’s, 8 singles

  • 1 arm row – one 15 & one 10# dumbbell (I used 1x20) – 16 reps each side

Repeat Above Moves
















The workout ends with a fairly brief 2:30 minute cool down and stretch. For some reason Cathe didn’t really seem to stretch out the upper body but focused far more on the lower body so I just added some extra upper body stretches on 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.


If you enjoyed this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Total Body Giant Sets 3 - HERE.


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