Review of Cathe’s LITE: Body Weight & Bands
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Review of LITE: Body Weight & Bands from Cathe Friedrich – a total body workout that utilises your own body weight and resistance bands / loops.
Body weight & Bands is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new Low Impact Training Extreme (LITE) workout series, which consists of 7 dvds plus numerous bonus add-ons and 100’s of premixes. The series is aimed at intermediate exercisers. However, Cathe states that it will also provide a solid challenge for the advanced exerciser through ramped up bonus segments, higher weight options, and premixes. For more details on the full LITE program, click HERE or check out my blog post – Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New LITE Workout Series.
This workout is perfect for taking with you when you travel, as the equipment used is very easy to pack and you don't need too much space to complete the routine. Cathe has a few Live workouts in this style and also one DVD – Travel Fit. I find these are really great to take with me, while traveling, when I know I won’t have access to dumbbells and still want to get in a little strength training. So I was very pleased to see this addition to the new series.
This workout moves fairly quickly from one thing to the next and works your muscles in different ways using the rubber resistance. For the workout, Cathe uses a medium tension resistance band (flat long band), medium tension resistance tubing (with the handles) and a medium tension loop. However, you can easily substitute the flat resistance band for the tubing, if you don’t have both (this is what I did, as I just don’t like using the tubing but that is just a personal preference!)
There are also a few different exercises in this workout (or twists on familiar moves) that I hadn't seen Cathe do before – so that was nice to provide greater variety. I particularly liked the front raise in tree pose - this was a nice balance challenge! A lot of the moves will be familiar to you though if you are a Cathlete. This workout aims to focus on the total body by incorporating a number of compound moves, which work both upper and lower body at the same time (e.g. sumo squats & wide band pulls). This also helps to increase the heart rate and make it a little more metabolic. The standing section is more upper body focused and the floor work more lower body focused. However, as the workout is so short and the reps are generally not very high, there is not really enough concentrated work to really make this feel like a true strength workout. I felt a few of the shoulder exercises, particularly the diagonal pulls, but overall this definitely felt more of an intermediate workout. Now you can obviously use heavier resistance bands and that would probably help a bit, however, given the above this is still unlikely to give you a more advanced strength workout, unlike some of her other body weight / band workouts.
I did like the floor work, in this workout, and found it reasonably challenging but I would have liked it to have gone on a bit longer with more reps / exercises. This section is mainly focused on the lower body, although there are 2 upper body exercises at the start. The moves focus specifically on your hips and thighs and provide a good alternative way to train your lower body without heavy weights.
This DVD also includes a Calorie Crush bonus add-on (Band Blast), which uses the resistance loop to increase the intensity of a number of high impact intervals. The add-on is only 8:30 minutes long but is still a nice addition to any workout, if you want a quick cardio blast. The only thing that I found disappointing though is that there are really limited options, in the premixes, for how you can include this add-on with the workout. The only option for using it with the main workout is to have the whole section at the end, which to me does not seem to make sense, as by the end of floor section your heart rate has really lowered. Surely it would make more sense to have it after the standing section? Or better yet - sprinkle in the blasts throughout the workout. Travel Fit (Cathe's existing DVD) and the two Live travel-friendly band workouts all consist of circuits of cardio and strength, which really helps to make the workout more metabolic and keep your heart rate higher. This seems like a missed opportunity to increase the intensity of this workout, for more advanced exercisers, as this is definitely only intermediate level.
One final point, as the workout uses the resistance band and tubing, you may wish to wear lifting gloves when doing this workout. I always find this helps me to grip the band more effectively, particularly when your hands start to get warm and / or tired.
Body Weight & Bands is a total body strength workout and consists of two main sections – standing metabolic exercises and floor work exercises. The routine uses rubber resistance and body weight to challenge your muscles in different ways and includes a wide variety of different moves that target your total body. You will need to have your equipment close by at all times, as you are moving quite quickly from one exercise to the next.
This DVD also includes Calorie Crush – Band Blast, Pyramid Pump Triceps, Extended stretch #2 and 6 Pack Abs #2.
What You Need To Know
(The information below is based on the main workout not including any of the bonus add-ons).
(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).
Body Weight & Bands is 43 minutes long. The workout starts with a 4:30 minute active warm-up and ends with a 3 minute stretch and cool down.
Standing Metabolic Exercises
Puddle jumpers (side steps in squat position) - singles / doubles with Resistance Loop (around ankles)
Firewalkers – 4 steps to the side with Resistance Loop (around ankles)
Alternating step out sumo squats with wide band pull - side to side then pivot to the back (each side) – Resistance Band
Bow and arrow lunges – Resistance Band
Tricep overhead extension (standing on the band) – Resistance Band (my band is too short to do this move so I used two 8# dumbbells instead)
1 Arm tricep press downs (band held at the shoulder and pull down on loose ends with the other hand to engage the triceps) – Resistance Band
Band front raises (standing with one foot on the band, raise & lower 1 arm. The more advanced version of this is lifting the other foot off the ground in tree pose) –Resistance Band
Diagonal pulls (holding band between both hands on a diagonal and pull band apart) – one side then the other, using the Resistance Band (Cathe calls these X pattern rear delt pulls)
Single leg deadlift with rear pulses (one foot standing on the tubing and handle in each hand) - Resistance Tubing
Single arm bicep curls with resistance tubing (standing in split stance with one foot on the tubing and both handles in one hand) – Resistance Tubing
1 Arm overhead press (one foot in the middle of the band & do 1 arm overhead press while other hand is at the waist) – Resistance Band
Rear lunge with bicep curls (back lunge with one foot on the tubing and handles in each hand do a bicep curl. Then stand and do 3 pulsing bicep curls) – Resistance Tubing
Upright rows (standing on the tubing) – Resistance Tubing
Knee pushups (on the floor) - 3 sets
Double arm back rows (seated with band around feet and criss-crossed – pull arms back to do rows) – Resistance Band
Outer thigh lifts (lying on your side with legs angled at 45 degrees and resistance loop around ankles – raise the top leg) – Resistance Loop
Hip lifts with leg extensions (lying on your side with band around your top foot and ends secured in top hand – do hip dips while kicking the leg in and out) – Resistance Band
Inner thigh lifts (lying on your side with band around bottom foot and top foot securing the band to the floor in front of you – hold the ends of the band in one hand and lift bottom leg up / down) - Resistance Band
Hip bridges (lying on your back with knees bent and band secured across your hips, bridge the hips up & down) – Resistance Band
Glute press (in same position as above but raise one leg straight up to the ceiling and pulse up from there) – Resistance Band
Calorie Crush - Band Blast – is 8:30 minutes long. This is a cardio blast using the resistance loop and includes lots of high impact moves, such as air jacks, snowboards and traveling scissors. This is an excellent cardio add-on and flows from one move straight into the next. All of the moves use the resistance loop and this really helps to keep the heart rate high throughout.
This section starts with Cathe and crew, jumping rope, with the resistance loop already around their ankles. This move is used as the recovery move in between some of the intervals (others just flow one into the next). There is no choreography - the intervals are just one or two moves repeated for a set number of reps. The section ends with low impact firewalkers (side steps with loop). This is a really fun routine, the time flies by and before you know it you are done.
You will need a medium tension resistance loop for this workout. The blasts are as follows:
Jacks / scissors
Twist & travel combo
Heel toe combo
Reach & taps
Jacks / air jacks
Low impact firewalker combo
Pyramid Pump Triceps Bonus is 6 minutes long. Pyramid training is a stepped approach to sets and repetitions. In this case you start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight, whilst decreasing the reps, for 3 sets of each exercise (pyramid up) then you reverse that starting heavy and going lighter, whilst increasing the reps, for 2 sets of each exercise (pyramid down). The rep pattern is as follows - 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps. This bonus is focused on one body part – Triceps and goes both up and down the Pyramid for two different exercises listed below (5 sets per exercise). The exercises for upper body are supersets so, for the triceps you do both tricep kickbacks and lying tricep extensions. You start with your light weights and do set one of kickbacks and one set of lying extensions before you move up to your moderate weight for set two and so on.
You will need dumbbells and a stability ball for this segment (although you can easily substitute a full size step for the tricep extensions – or just do them lying on the floor, if required). With the right weights you will feel these exercises and this makes a nice little add-on for any workout.
Standing tricep kickbacks - two 5, 8, 10# dbs
Lying tricep extensions on the ball - two 5, 8, 10# dbs & stability ball (or step)
6 Pack Abs 2 is also included on this DVD. This bonus core section is 10 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 quick stretch at the end. You will just need a mat for this core bonus.
This is a really nice bonus and works the core well. There are 8 moves and most of them are done lying on the mat except the last two, which are plank moves. The routine includes several new moves or twists on more familiar moves but they are all very doable and there are no awkward moves. I really enjoyed this bonus and will use it often!
Long leg lift crunches (crunches lifting one leg then the other. Starts with hands behind head then changes to straight arms out)
Long reach butterfly sit-ups (lying on back with feet together in frog-style, 1 arm behind the head & the other straight out, do sit-ups)
Reverse cycling (leaning back on elbows, cycle legs slow & fast)
Wide knee swings (lying back with arms out / palms facing the sky, sit-up bringing one knee in and tapping side of hands (pinkies) together under the knee)
Side to side tap outs (leaning back on hands, swing to side & bring knees it at an angle & tap with hands then swing to other side)
Roll ups (leaning back with arms out, hold for 4 counts then roll back 2 counts & up 2 counts)
Knee circle planks (in straight arm plank, circle one knee inwards 8 x then outwards 8x. Repeat on other side)
Staggered arm plank holds (in elbow plank, start on the knees for 4 counts then up to the toes for 4 counts then step 1 arm forward & back then other arm then go back to knee plank)
Extended Stretch #2 – is 11 minutes long and only requires a mat. This is another really relaxing stretch routine that I enjoyed very much. The routine starts standing (on the edge of the mat) with a flow of moves, including breathing in, swan dive down into forward fold then half lifts. This is repeated a few times before you move to towards the floor. The stretches are all familiar moves, including downward dog, straddle stretch etc and provide a nice way to end a workout session or as a standalone if you want a little flexibility work. I found this very calming and it nicely stretched out my lower body. Again the upper body, I felt, was a little neglected but overall it’s still a nice addition to add to my weekly routine.
Body Weight & Bands offers 23 different premixes.
(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).
1. Main Workout + Extended Stretch #2: 50:45
2. Main Workout + 6 Pack Abs #2: 53:03
3. Main Workout + 6 Pack Abs #2 + Extended Stretch #2: 60:38
4. Main Workout + Calorie Crush: 51:33
5. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + Extended Stretch #2: 59:09
6. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + 6 Pack Abs #2: 61:27
7. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + 6 Pack Abs #2 Extended Stretch #2 : 69:02
8. Main Workout + Pyramid Pump Triceps: 49:24
9. Main Workout + Pyramid Pump Triceps + 6 Pack Abs #2: 59:18
10. Main Workout + Calorie Crush + Pyramid Pump Triceps + 6 Pack Abs #2 + Extended Stretch #2: 75:17
1. Timesaver #1 (Calorie Crush): 15:59
2. Timesaver #2 (Standing - No Floor): 30:51
3. Timesaver #3 (Floor - No Standing): 19:54
4. Timesaver #4 (Calorie Crush + Pyramid Pump Triceps): 22:15
5. Timesaver #5 (Standing Exercises Only + Pyramid Pump Triceps): 37:06
6. Timesaver #6 (Floor Exercises Only + Pyramid Pump Triceps): 26:09
7. Timesaver #7 (Pyramid Pump Triceps): 13:51
Mish Mosh Premixes
1. Scrambled #2 (Floor Exercises First): 43:09
2. Scrambled #2 (Mixes 6 Pack Abs #2 After Standing and Floor Sections): 53:03
3. Double Standing : 54:06
4. Double Floor: 32:12
5. Double Standing + Calorie Crush: 62:30
6. Double It: 78:43
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 Recent Posts Page HERE.
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