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Cathe Live Review: Pumped Up Upper Body (#360)

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Cathe Live Review: Pumped Up Upper Body (#360)


Pumped Up Upper Body is a fast paced upper body strength workout with a little step cardio sprinkled in. If I am very honest, I didn’t really enjoy this routine, as the strength work was too fast paced. It is such a shame, as I was really hoping for a nice heavy strength upper body routine and having gotten used to the slower, more controlled, pace of Caroline Girvan this felt a little out of control at times. Now that being said, Cathe does encourage you to go at your own pace but if I am following a routine, ideally I like to do it how the instructor does or I would just do my own workout. So yes if I had slowed it down, I would have probably enjoyed it more but I wouldn’t have got anywhere near Cathe’s reps unless I constantly paused the video.


This is the second “Pumped Up” routine on Cathe Live recently, as there is also a Pumped Up Lower Body (#359), which I enjoyed much more, that was filmed the previous week (for a detailed review click HERE). The pace of that one seemed far more controlled and I got an excellent workout.


This routine consists of four rounds of one cardio interval followed by 3 or 4 upper body strength moves. The strength moves are then repeated, one more time, before you move onto the next round. The cardio intervals are generally reasonably short and are there just to get and keep your heart rate up a little more. These are all step cardio intervals and involve a lot of jumping on and off the step. Cathe encourages you to use whatever step height you prefer or you can do them on the floor instead, if you want to. Cathe used just the step topper for the cardio and I did the same, as I don’t like jumping onto three risers, particularly when the box jumps went on for quite a long time (the longest of the intervals). If you are using a higher step height, these will definitely start to add up and you will be feeling the work.


The strength exercises are all traditional moves, such as, rows, chest flys and overhead press, however, as mentioned, most are done at a faster pace and also the transition times are often quite short so you will start to feel the work. Cathe used dumbbells from 5 to 15 pounds. I increased on a few but couldn’t go too heavy given the pace. Generally the reps vary between 8 and 16 reps with a few drop sets mixed in. Each muscle group is hit at least twice so you get some good variety in here.


Cathe then ends the workout with a very short stretch - only 1:30 minutes - so I added on a few more stretches at the end.


Overall, a varied and metabolic upper body workout but not one I would return to.


(For more information about Cathe Live, how to sign up & to see all of my Cathe Live reviews, click HERE. Alternatively, to see all of the Cathe Live Reviews in numerical order click HERE).


The Workout

Pumped Up Upper Body is an upper body strength routine with a little cardio mixed in. The routine consists of four rounds of one cardio and three or four strength moves. The strength moves are then repeated before moving on.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves

Pumped Up Upper Body is 45 minutes long and originally aired on 2nd September 2021 (#360). The workout starts with a 5:30 minute warm-up, using 5 pound dumbbells and the step (for push-ups and cardio), before moving straight into the first step cardio interval. The step is set up horizontally in front of you, at the start of the workout, at the height of your choice for cardio. Cathe uses just the step topper for cardio and 3 risers each side for the strength work. Cardio moves shown in bold italics below.


Round 1

  • Power 7 / power 3 / step & jump – step – 2 sets (2x power 7, 2x power 3 & 2x step & jump)

  • Overhead press – two 15# Dbs – 10 reps

  • Drop set upright rows – two 15#, two 12# & two 10# Dbs – 8 reps, 10 reps & 12 reps (increasing weight increment each time)

  • Pullovers – two 15# Dbs & step w/ 3 risers – 9 reps (2/2 count)

  • Overhead press – two 12# Dbs – 16 reps

  • Drop set upright rows – two 15#, two 12# & two 10# Dbs – 8 reps, 10 reps & 12 reps (decreasing weight increment each time)

  • Pullovers – two 15# Dbs & step w/ 3 risers – 8 reps (1.5’s)


Round 2

  • Box jumps – step – 22 reps

  • Narrow grip bench press – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step w/ 3 risers – 16 reps (fast)

  • Incline push-ups (hands on step) / dips – step w/ 3 risers – 6 push-ups, 12 dips & 2 sets (5 push-ups & 12 dips)

  • Standing overhead tricep extensions – two 12# Dbs – 8 reps

  • Narrow grip bench press – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & step w/ 3 risers – 12 reps

  • Incline push-ups (hands on step) / dips – step w/ 3 risers – 3 sets (5 push-ups & 12 dips)

  • Standing overhead tricep extensions – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 8 reps


Round 3

  • Straddle jumps – step – 2 sets of 8 reps on step & 12 reps on floor (turning)

  • 1 Arm row – Cathe used two 12# Dbs in one hand (I used 1x 22) – 16 reps each side

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs – 10 reps & 8 reps

  • Drop sets bicep curls - two 15#, two 12# & two 10# Dbs – 8 reps, 10 reps & 12 reps (decreasing weight increment each time)

  • W Curls – two 12# Dbs – 12 reps

  • 1 Arm row – Cathe used two 12# Dbs in one hand (I used 1x 22) – 16 reps each side

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs – 10 reps & 8 reps

  • Drop sets bicep curls - two 15#, two 12# & two 10# Dbs – 6 reps, 9 reps & 12 reps (decreasing weight increment each time)

  • W Curls – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 12 reps


Round 4

  • Swim lunges – step – 38 reps

  • Incline front raise, V raise & lateral raise (lie back on step; do front raise & V raise then sit up & do lateral raise) – two 5# Dbs & step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) – 4 sets (1x front, 1x V & 2x lat)

  • Seated scarecrows – two 5# Dbs & step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) 16 reps

  • Incline chest flys – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s)& step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) – 19 reps (fast)

  • Incline front raise, V raise & lateral raise – two 5# Dbs & step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) – 5 sets (1x front, 1x V & 1x lat)

  • Seated scarecrows – two 5# Dbs & step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) 10 reps

  • Incline chest flys – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s)& step (2 risers at front & 4 risers at back) – 16 reps (fast)


The workout ends with a very short 1:30 minute cool down and stretch. I added on a few extra stretches at the end.


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Try it today! Find out more about how to subscribe and to check out all of my Cathe Live Reviews - click HERE. Alternatively, to see all of the Cathe Live Reviews in numerical order click HERE.


If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Upper Body Circuit w Hiit (#216) – HERE.


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