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Cathe Live Review: Step Hiit & Upper Body Weights (#2)

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Cathe Live Review: Step Hiit & Upper Body Weights (#2)


Step Hiit & Upper Body Weights is a really challenging and intense, cardio and strength workout focused on the upper body. This is another rare edition of this type of routine, as there are not many, cardio and upper body strength workouts, either on Cathe Live or on her DVDs. To add to that it is also a really good long workout at 66 minutes. (Note: On Cathe Live this is just labelled ‘Step Hiit’).


The workout consists of three main sections – cardio Hiit using the step, strength training for the upper body and core work on the mat. The routine starts with a cardio step warm-up with simple choreography so nothing too complex here. You start on 6” (one riser) and then part way through the warm-up you add another riser and start to increase the intensity. This section ends with two sets of an interval blast on the floor - shuffle, shuffle, drop - so you heart rate will already be rising before you even start the main routine.


After a quick water break, you then move into the first section of the workout that consists of thirteen different cardio blasts, many of which are Hiit level. These intervals generally use the step but there are three on the floor, one of which uses a 10 pound dumbbell. On an 8” step these were pretty tough as there is lots of jumping on and off the step, which I am not a huge fan of. So for me, this wasn’t the most enjoyable but it certainly got me sweating and working. Unlike Cathe’s DVDs though you do get short breaks in between most of the intervals so you have a chance to catch your breath, a little, before going at it again. I still found this whole section pretty challenging overall though.


The next section of the routine is strength training. This starts with a compound move, off the side of the step, and then you move into purely upper body strength training. Cathe hits each muscle group at least once, although chest got the least worked, which is unusual for Cathe. You do only one set of chest flys and that’s it. However, the other muscle groups got worked very well and I was definitely struggling a few times, particularly on the shoulder circles, as you go from one exercise straight into the next with very little rest. For many of the exercises, the reps are not too high but you do multiple sets so you do start to feel it.


The workout ends with a tough core section on the floor. This is quite a long set of different exercises and there is not much rest between any of the exercises, as you just go from one to the next. I particularly found the layout crunches challenging, as they are done at a much faster pace than usual.


Overall, this is a tough cardio and strength workout that will really challenge both your cardiovascular system and your upper body.


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


The Workout


Step Hiit & Upper Body Weights is a cardio and upper body strength workout using the step.


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves


Step Hiit & Upper Body Weights is 66 minutes long and originally aired on 15th May 2014 (#2). The workout starts with an active 11 minute warm-up, before a quick water break and moving into the first cardio drill. The step, with one riser on each side, is set up horizontally in front of you at the start of the workout. You will need to have four more risers off to the side. Cardio shown in bold italics below.


HIIT/Cardio (step at 8” – two risers)


  • Straddle jumps - step - 2 sets of 16 reps

  • Jacks – 16 reps

  • Push up hops on side of step (4’s, 2’s & singles) / swim lunges – step – 8 sets (push-up hops) & 48 reps (swim). 14 sets (push-up hops) & 32 reps (swim)

  • Jacks – 16 reps

  • Push up hops on side of step (other side) / swim lunges – step – 14 sets (push-up hops) & 32 reps (swim)

  • Fast feet (tapping toes to step) / jacks – step – 48 reps & 8 jacks, 52 reps & 8 jacks

  • Shuffle, shuffle, drop – 8 reps

  • Uneven Squats – one 10# Db & step – 48 reps (pulsing & singles)

  • Weighted side to side sumo squats – one 10# Db – 8 sets (2x singles & 1x double pulse) & 16 singles

  • 2 Straddle jumps & burpee – step – 2 sets of 5 reps

  • Squats in a box – step – 8 reps each side

  • Basic step / run up & down on step / box jump & step down / box jumps / power 15 – step - 2 sets (8 reps of each move) (Cathe forgets the 2nd set of power 15’s but remembers after a long break)

  • Jacks / power 7’s / 2x power 3’s – step - 2 sets

  • Power 7’s / lateral ski hops (ski hops on floor) – step – 8 sets

  • 8 Wide box jumps (onto step) / wide box jump, jump together, step down & jack x4 / 16 jacks / 8 air jacks – step – 2 sets


Quick cool down, water break & add one more riser to each side (10”) at 32:10 minutes


Upper Body Strength


  • 1 Leg abduction & 1 arm upright row (one foot on step) - one 10# Db & step – 20 reps (1st side) & 16 reps (2nd side)

  • Rear delt fly / overhead press – two 10# Dbs - 16 reps of each

  • Rear delt fly / overhead press – two 10# Dbs - 10 reps of each

  • Rear delt fly / overhead press – two 10# Dbs - 8 reps of each

  • Side lateral raise (palms facing forward) – two 8# Dbs – 8 reps

  • Front raise - one 10# Db (I used 1x 12) – 10 reps

  • Side lateral raise (palms facing forward) – two 5# Dbs – 10 reps

  • Shoulder circles (4 circles low, 4 medium, 4 high) – two 5# Dbs - 2 sets

  • Tricep dips – step – 32 reps

  • Overhead tricep extensions – resistance tubing (I used 2x 12# Dbs instead) - 8 reps (2/2 count)

  • 1 Arm tricep pulldown – resistance tubing – 8 reps & 32 pulses (1st side). 12 reps & 32 pulses (2nd side)

  • Double arm tricep kickbacks – two 10# Dbs (I used 2x 12) - 16 reps

  • Incline tricep push-ups (on toes) – step & mat - 6 reps (2/2 count) & 6 reps (singles)

  • Chest flys – two 15# Dbs & step – 3x 4/4 count, 6x 2/2 count & 12 partials (pulsing at bottom)

  • Concentration curls – one 15# Db - 40 seconds each side

  • Bicep curls – two 5# Dbs & resistance tubing (I used 2x 12# Dbs instead) - 6 reps (2/2 count) & 32x pulses (at halfway)

  • Hammer curls – two 10# Dbs (I used 2x 15) - 10 reps (2/2 count)

  • T-Band pulls – resistance tubing & mat – 10x single & 8x 3 pulses

  • 1 Arm seated back row – resistance tubing (around 1 foot & held in 1 hand) & mat – 41x pulses (1st side). 32x pulses (2nd side)

  • Posture pulls – resistance tubing - 8 reps (2/2 count) & 2 sets of isometric holds


Quick water break at 57:30 minutes


Core on the mat at 58 minutes


  • Heel tap crunches (starts with feet on floor then raise them; reaching hands to heels) – mat

  • Basic crunches knees raised) - mat

  • 3 Crunch pulses & tap heels to floor / layout crunches (legs straight out) / layout crunches (alternate heel taps & legs straight out) - mat

  • 3 Level crunches - mat

  • Rope climb sit-ups - mat

  • Bike manoeuvre - mat

  • Elbow plank hip dips (rolling hips side to side over a ball) - mat


The workout ends with a brief 2 minute cool down and stretch. I added on a few more stretches for the upper body at 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 liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Upper Body Circuit w Hiit (#216) – HERE.


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