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Cathe Live Review: PHA Training #1 (#57)

Updated: Jun 15

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Cathe Live Review: PHA Training #1 (#57)


PHA Training is a tough pure strength workout with a pretty good cardio effect.

This workout is based on the concept of PHA Training and is the first time that Cathe introduced this concept to her viewers. Since then she has produced six other Live versions (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 workout as they are based on PHA (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 one, like PHAT 2 and S&S PHA, has more repetition than the later versions, as you do three sets of the exercises and in this case there is only one set of eight exercises rather than two. In reality though, for this one you do four sets of the exercises or six of them at least, as Cathe forgets two exercises in the first round so calls that a warm-up set and proceeds to do three more full sets. Unfortunately, for me, this is far too much repetition to make it enjoyable and it is not one I would return to. Don’t get me wrong it is an excellent and very effective workout but now that Cathe has so many versions of this and the later ones have only two sets of each exercise and usually two rounds, I would always pick one of those over this one.


This workout uses dumbbells and a barbell. I used dumbbells and a kettlebell (for plie squats) and had no issues. Cathe went pretty heavy on her barbell with 45 pounds and used heavier weights for some of the exercises. As there are so many rounds and you are moving quickly with very little rest between exercises, it is important to have a notepad so you can record your weights for each round and what worked and what didn’t. This is the key to getting the maximum benefits from this type of workout so that you really challenge yourself each time.


Once you have finished the fourth set of the exercises you then go immediately into core work. This consists of a giant set of six exercises that are then repeated two more times. I really liked this core section, as you just flow from one move to the next without any breaks and it really works the muscles well. This was a great way to round out the routine and finish working the whole body.


Overall, a highly effective but rather repetitive total body challenge that will get that heart rate up and burn out those muscles.


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


The Workout


PHA Training is a pure strength total body workout consisting of eight exercises that are repeated three times (plus six exercises one more time).


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves


PHA Training is 50 minutes long and originally aired on 2nd July 2015 (#57). The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm-up, before moving into a warm-up set of plie squats using 12 pound dumbbells. You will need to have your equipment handy, as you will be moving quickly from one thing to the next.


Round 1 (Warm-up Round)

  • Plie squats (warm-up set) – two 12# Dbs - 16x singles, 1x 7 pulses & 2x 3 pulses

  • Plie squats – 45# BB (I used 40# kettlebell) – 7 sets (1x 2/2 & 2x singles)

  • Rear delt flys – two 12# Dbs - 14 reps

  • Side lunges (two side lunges to one side then switch sides) – two 5# Dbs (I used 10’s) – 16 sets

  • 3 Hammer curls, press & 3 overhead tricep extensions – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 6 sets

  • Deadlifts – 45# BB (I used two 22# Dbs) - 12 reps

  • Push-ups – mat – 12 reps


Round 2

  • Plie squats – 45# BB (I used 40# kettlebell) – 7 sets (1x 2/2 & 2x singles)

  • Rear delt flys – two 12# Dbs - 14 reps

  • Side lunges (two side lunges to one side then switch sides) – two 5# Dbs (I used 10’s) – 16 sets

  • 3 Hammer curls, press & 3 overhead tricep extensions – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s. Cathe used 12’s for last 2 rounds) – 6 sets

  • Static lunges – two 12# Dbs (I used 15’s) - 20 reps each side

  • Front raise & side lateral raise – two 8# Dbs – 5 sets (2x 1 arm front & 2x both front, 2x 1 arm side & 2x both side)

  • Deadlifts – 45# BB (I used two 22# Dbs) - 12 reps

  • Push-ups – mat – 12 reps (last round is 16 reps)

Repeat above moves two more times


Core on mat at 40:40 minutes

  • Pulsing crunches – mat – 16 reps

  • Sit-up & speedbag arms (rolling arms) – mat – 4 reps

  • Sit-up & 2 jabs (at top of move) – mat – 4 reps

  • Ankle grabber sit-ups – mat – 8 reps

  • Sit-up & 1 leg lift (at top of move reaching arms to leg) – mat – 8 reps

  • Straight arm plank knee-ins – mat – 16 reps

Repeat above moves two more times


The workout ends with a 2:30 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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