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Cathe Live Review: PHA Supersets (#314)

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Cathe Live Review: PHA Supersets (#314)


PHA Supersets is a fun, total body, strength workout that keeps the heart rate up and your body working. I really enjoyed this routine and it provides a nice cardio effect too.

This workout is based on the concept of PHA Training and is now the sixth Live version as Cathe already has five others in the archive (PHA Training 1 #57, PHAT 2 #94, PHA 3 #184, PHA 2020 #278, Hooked On PHA #288, PHA: Barbell #299 & PHA Plus Cardio Blasts #238).There are also three PHA workouts on DVD (Strong & Sweaty PHA, LITE PHA 2 and STEP Boss PHA3).


All of them are fantastic and challenging workouts based on PHA Training (Peripheral Heart Action Training), which is 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 routine, however, is a bit different as it puts a spin on that, as you alternate supersets of two upper body and two lower body exercises rather than one of each. Cathe is also using slightly lighter weights and the pace is a bit faster, in places, so as she explains this is more of a ‘breathy’ PHA – so more cardio factor than heavy strength.


This workout consists of two rounds of eight exercises, which includes two upper body supersets and two lower body supersets. Each round is then repeated before moving onto the next round. The supersets are made up of two different upper or lower body exercises, which work different muscles groups, for example, shoulders and biceps or quads and outer thighs. The first round is slightly faster paced than the second, although Cathe does slow it down a little more the second time she runs through the exercises. In addition, the rest breaks are very short, in the first round, and you just go straight into the second run through so my heart rate stayed pretty elevated throughout. Due to the faster pace, as mentioned, Cathe is using slightly lighter weights and I stuck with those this time, as I wasn’t sure about the speed and the nature of the exercises, as many are moving with step outs or crossovers. However, having done the routine now, I would definitely heavy up a little bit more on that first round, particularly the second run through. The rep counts generally vary between 10 and 16 reps so are not too high.


The second round is slightly slower paced overall and uses some heavier weights, particularly for the lower body exercises. This is where Cathe used her 30 and 40 pound dumbbells. The moves are more controlled, in this round, so you can heavy up here, if you want to. Again the reps are generally between 10 and 16.


For me, this was definitely more of a metabolic workout rather than heavier strength training, like some of the other PHA workouts, and it was definitely not as intense as many of those. I found this easier than most of the others and I didn’t really get to muscle fatigue for any of the exercises, except the 1 arm rows. All of the muscle groups are hit at least once, except the core, but, as is often the case, some of the smaller muscle groups are hit more (biceps and triceps) and the back, for example, only gets one exercise. Having said that though, this was still a good workout and I did like it a lot. I also found the time flew by, as you are doing lots of different moves and only repeating them one more time, which is my favourite way of doing the PHA workouts (as they are in all of the newer versions). In the future I think going a bit heavier will help increase the intensity a little more and probably give me a better workout. This time though, as I didn’t feel like I had worked hard enough and as the workout is only 43 minutes, I added on Caroline Girvan’s 20 Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout. This is a no repeat workout consisting of 20 different strength moves (40 seconds of work and 20 seconds rest) that target the lower body, upper body and core using heavier weights. I found this nicely challenging and was a great add-on to this Live workout. The link for that video on YouTube is HERE, in case you are interested.


Overall, a different and enjoyable spin on the usual PHA total body strength workout that will get those muscles working.

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


The Workout

PHA Supersets is a pure strength total body workout that consists of two rounds of eight exercises. Each round includes two upper body supersets that alternate with two lower body supersets.

What You Need to Know

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

The Moves

PHA Supersets is 43 minutes long and originally aired on 17th September 2020 (#314). The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up, using 5 pound dumbbells, before moving into the first round.


Round 1

  • Step out Arnold press – two 10# Dbs – 16 reps

  • Step out Bicep Curls – two 10# Dbs – 16 reps

  • Alternating side lunges (putting down & picking up Dbs) – two 10# Dbs – 6 sets

  • Marching sumos – one 15# Db – 32 reps

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

  • Crossover push-ups (moving hands out to one side then other) – 10 reps

  • Alternating back lunges – two 12# Dbs (I used 15# Dbs. Cathe changes to 15’s on 2nd set) – 16 reps

  • Straight leg raises – resistance loop (around ankles) – 32 reps each side

Repeat above moves one more time

Round 2

  • Front swing & double arm lat pull down – two 10# Dbs – 10 reps

  • 1 Arm row – one 30# Db – 16 reps each side

  • Hop squat & rear lunge (2 squats hopping & 1 rear lunge) – one 10# dumbbell (I used 1x 15) – 10 reps

  • Side steps (moving forward & back) – resistance loop (around ankles) – singles / moving forward & back / 2 side steps / singles

  • Step out W curls – two 12# Dbs – 16 reps

  • 1 Arm tricep kickback in plank – one 12# Db (Cathe changes to 1x 10 for 2nd set) – 16 reps each side

  • Plie squats (picking up & putting down Db) – one 40# Db – 10 reps

  • Deadlifts – two 30# Dbs – 10 reps

Repeat above moves one more time

The workout ends with a 3 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: Supersets Live #209 – HERE.


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