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Cathe Live Review: Total Body Toning (#201)

Cathe Live: Total Body Toning

Cathe Live Review: Total Body Toning (#201)

Total Body Toning is a tough pure strength total body workout that will work every muscle group. This is a really excellent, high rep endurance routine that I really enjoyed. It moves very quickly from one thing to the next with lots of variety - alternating groups of lower and upper body exercises and keeping the heart rate high. I was drenched by the end of this one and really felt like I had had a great workout.

The strength exercises are all traditional Cathe moves and are generally all very high rep. The weights used therefore are slightly more moderate but you will definitely be feeling the work. The routine starts with a bang as you do about a million squats straight off! I particularly felt the lower body work as they are generally done for even more reps than the upper body. Cathe does use a barbell in this routine but I don’t like using one so I used dumbbells instead.

Cathe really excels at making these kinds of workouts, whilst also keeping it interesting. The strength exercises vary in tempo and rep patterns, so even though you are doing a lot of reps, you are regularly changing the tempo etc so it still keeps you focused. Quite a few of the moves are also done at a faster tempo, particularly when you are doing single reps, so it would probably be difficult to go too much heavier and maintain good form.

There are a few rest breaks, built in between some of the upper / lower body sets, so you have a little chance to stretch but this routine definitely moves and you will be feeling the compound effects of the different exercises, particularly towards the end of the workout. This is one where it may take a few run-throughs, to get the perfect weight selection for every move, to make sure that you can make the most of this workout.

Total Body Toning ends with a tough core section. As the muscles are already fatigued – this section was pretty hard. Even Cathe was struggling during this one – particularly on the butterfly sit-ups!

Overall, this is a tough, high rep endurance workout that effectively targets the whole body. You will definitely be feeling this one the next day. If you are looking for a real strength challenge then this is the perfect workout to do.

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

The Workout

Total Body Toning is a high rep endurance strength workout targeting the whole body. The routine alternates groups of lower and upper body exercises and ends with a tough core section. Cathe and class use dumbbells, a barbell and a full size step, with 3 risers each side, for this workout. As I don’t like using the barbell, I used dumbbells throughout and only had to modify the clean and press move (details below) otherwise I didn’t have any issues. The step is only used as a weight bench for upper body so if you don’t have one you can just do these moves on the floor.

What You Need to Know

What you need to know: Instructor: Cathe Friedrich. Length: 57 mins. Equipment needed:  5 - 15# dumbbells (I also used 20’s), 25, 30 & 40# barbell, full size step with 3 risers each side & a mat. Optional - Lifting gloves. Fun Factor: 3/5. Sweat Factor: 3/5. Coordination: 1/5

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

The Moves

Total Body Toning is 57 minutes long and originally aired on June 7th 2018 (#201). The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up. You pick up 5# dumbbells part way through to simulate some of the upcoming moves and warm the muscles further before moving straight into squats. If you are using a barbell you will need this set up with 30 pounds (one large & one small plate each side) or the weight of your choice at the start of the workout. Be aware - all of the exercises listed below are very high rep (except a few noted below) and vary in rep patterns / tempo – you may need to adjust your weights accordingly!

Two further notes for this workout:

  • For the shoulder work listed below – Cathe uses a 30# barbell, however after that section she says that she meant to change the barbell to 25# instead for that section – so if you wish to lighten it – do so after the bench presses below

  • After completing the pulsing lunges (2nd exercise below), you put the weights down and immediately move into unweighted alternating back lunges. However, unfortunately, the camera is not on Cathe as she starts this exercise and the class have not caught up. So just listen to her instructions and start doing back lunges! (It annoys me to miss a rep just because the camera isn’t on Cathe….)

Lower Body

  • Squats – 30# barbell (I used two 15# dumbbells) - loads of these!

  • Pulsing lunges – two 15# dumbbells

  • Alternating back lunges

Alternating Back Lunges


  • Narrow grip bench press – two 15# dumbbells & step (these are fast)

  • Incline push-ups – hands on step – 4 sets

  • Chest flys – two 15# dumbbells & step

  • Bench press – two 15# dumbbells & step

Shoulders & Back

  • Clean & press / upright row – 30# barbell (I used two 15# dumbbells & did Curl & press / upright row)

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# dumbbells

Repeat above two moves

  • Upright row – 30# barbell (I used two 15# dumbbells)

  • Front raise – one 15# dumbbell (1st set), one 12# dumbbell (2nd set. I stayed with 15) – 2 sets of 8 reps

  • 1 arm row – one 15 & one 12# dumbbell (I used 1x20) – 12 reps each side

  • Lateral raises & side / front raises (2nd set is Lateral raises & front / side raises – holding dumbbells vertically) – two 5# dumbbells

Repeat above three moves

Lateral Raises

Lower Body

  • Plie squats – 25# barbell (I used two 12# dumbbells)

  • Alternating side to side sumo squats – one 15# dumbbell

  • Alternating front lunges (on slight diagonal) – two 10# dumbbells

  • Air squats & pulsing back lunges

Alternating Sumo Squats


  • Bicep curls – two 12# dumbbells – 3 sets

  • W curls – two 10# dumbbells

  • Hammer curls – two 10# dumbbells

Repeat above two moves


  • Lying tricep extensions – 25# barbell (I used two 12# dumbbells) & step

  • Tricep dips – 25# barbell lying on the lap (I used two 12# dumbbells) & step

  • Tricep push-ups on knees - hands on step – 2 sets of 8 reps

Tricep Dips

Lower Body

  • Deadlifts – 40# barbell (I used two 20# dumbbells)

  • Alternating side lunges (reaching dumbbell to outside foot) – two 10# dumbbells – 12 reps (1st set) & 16 reps (2nd set)

Repeat above two moves

Core – move to mat on floor

  • Crunches – pulsing up in sets of 3

  • Crunches with knees elevated

  • Heel toe-tap crunches

  • 1 Arm sit-ups (one elbow anchored on the ground & raise up other arm)

  • Butterfly sit-ups

  • Leg thrusters (to the middle & each side) – 3 sets

  • Bike manoeuvre

  • Plank knee-ins

  • Plank marches

1 Arm Situps

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 enjoyed this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Total Body Barbell Challenge - HERE.

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