Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New Perfect30 Series
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New PERFECT30 Series
Wondering what the new PERFECT30 workout series, from Cathe Friedrich, is all about, whether it’s a good fit for you and your fitness level? This guide will provide all of the details to help you decide and to get the most out of these new workouts.
(Each of the individual DVDs will also be reviewed separately and links to each review can be found at the end of this overview or on my Cathe DVD Review page (by clicking HERE). The bonus workouts are reviewed both at the end of this overview and on the review of the individual DVD on which they appear).
What is The PERFECT30 Series?
Cathe Friedrich’s new PERFECT30 series consists of six workouts on three DVDs plus a number of bonus add-ons and premixes. The series is aimed at advanced exercisers and is perfect for when you are tight on time but still want a solid, intense workout. Each DVD contains two 30 minute workouts, which focus on the main elements necessary for a well-balanced fitness routine: strength conditioning, cardio endurance and balance / flexibility.
In case you haven’t heard of her, Cathe Friedrich is a veteran fitness professional who has created over 400 workouts and also offers a streaming service for both her DVDs and her live classes (that she broadcasts most Thursday's from her gym in Jersey). Cathe’s focus has always been on developing high quality, safe and effective workouts that emphasise form and sequencing of the best exercises in a way that makes the most of your time and delivers the best results.
What Is Included In The PERFECT30 Series?
The program contains 6 main workouts. You can buy these as a 3 DVD (or download) bundle or as individual workouts (however, the downloads do not include premixes). Alternatively, you can use Cathe's On Demand streaming service to access all of the workouts and their premixes. The main workouts include:
1 Upper Body Strength Workout – Perfect Pump: Upper Body
1 Lower Body Strength Workout – Perfect Pump: Lower Body
1 High Impact Cardio Hiit Workout – Perfect Hiit: High Impact
1 Low Impact Cardio Hiit Workout – Perfect Hiit: Low Impact
1 Mobility Training Workout – Perfect Flow: Mobility Basics
1 Active Yoga-Based Workout – Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility
In addition, there are a number of bonus add-ons that are included on the different dvds and are used in the premixes:
A Bonus Core Workout (Bonus Core) - to keep that core toned and tight that is 9:17 minutes long
An Extended Stretch (Bonus Extended Stretch) – to lengthen and relax hard worked muscles that is 8:16 minutes long
A Bonus Cardio Blast (Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus) – to add to your Hiit workouts to increase the intensity, duration and challenge that is 11:59 minutes long
An Upper Body Strength Training Bonus (Bonus Pump: Upper Body) to add more intensity to your Perfect Pump routine that is 4:50 minutes long
A Lower Body Strength Training Bonus (Bonus Pump: Lower Body) – to add more intensity to your Perfect Pump routine that is 7:38 minutes long
There are 51 different premixes, included in this series, that mix in the above elements, provide time-saver options and change the order of the exercises to provide multiple ways to enjoy these routines, depending on your own time, preferences and the energy you have on any given day. (The premixes are also available on Cathe's On Demand streaming service).
The series also comes with a digital User Guide, which provides complete workout instructions, a list of all of the premixes and contains workout cards for the strength workouts. It also details a number of workout rotations for the PERFECT30 series, including combining it with other Cathe series – Low Impact Series, XTrain and Low Impact Training Extreme (LITE). The user guide can be accessed by clicking - HERE.
Note that each of the above workouts will be reviewed individually in separate posts and there are links, at the bottom of this overview, to each workout review in this program. The bonus add-ons are also reviewed at the end of this overview.
What Equipment Do You Need For PERFECT30?
The equipment used for each workout varies and many of them require no equipment at all. The reviews of the individual workouts provide further details on the specifics for each routine. However, for the full program the equipment used is as follows:
Full size step with 4 risers each side (you could substitute a high step or stability ball in places or just use the floor, if you don’t have a step)
High Step with 4 risers (you could substitute a full size step or just use the floor, if you don’t have a step)
Various weighted dumbbells - Cathe uses 5 - 40 pounds
Medium tension resistance tubing
Two barbell plates or small objects (dumbbells etc) to elevate heels or toes
A mat if you are exercising on a hard surface
Optional – lifting gloves for the strength workouts (Perfect Pump)
To find out what specific equipment you need for each workout just click on the link to that workout at the bottom of this post.
How Much Space Do You Need To Do The PERFECT30 Workouts?
You will need a reasonable amount of space to do all of the moves in these workouts effectively – particularly the cardio routines (Perfect Hiit), as you will be moving all around in those. The strength workouts (Perfect Pump) require less space, as you are not moving about so much but you will still need space behind and to the sides of your step. An area of about 8x7 should give you enough room for all of the routines.
How Long Are The Main Routines?
Each of the main workouts are between 30 and 32 minutes long, including the warm-up and cool down. However, there are numerous premixes that give you a range of different length workouts, depending on the time you have available on any given day.
So What’s New?
This workout series is based on the concept of 30 minute routines, which aim to fit more easily into your day. This is slightly different from Cathe’s usual 40+ minute routines and gives you more timesaver options for shorter workouts. However, each DVD does contain two of these 30 minute routines so you can obviously combine them for a longer workout, if you prefer.
As there are two workouts on each DVD, plus the bonus add-ons, this also allows for greater levels of mixing and matching of the different segments. In addition, all of the different premixes allow you to combine the workouts any way you want to. For example, this approach allows you to get a total body workout, with the strength routines, rather than just having upper or lower body on one DVD. Also you can then combine both the high and low impact cardio workouts together, rather than again having to change routines to get both.
Two of the routines are yoga-based and focus on strength, flexibility and balance challenges. This is very different from her usual main workouts and offers more challenging routines rather than simple stretches. The exercises in these routines are designed to take your tendons, muscles and joints through their complete and full range of motion, helping to release stress, improve your range of motion and prevent stiffness from your more intense strength training and high-intensity workouts. They also make a great active recovery workout too.
Some of the workouts also include new exercises, different combinations of moves or slightly different formats. This includes both the strength and cardio workouts. For example, the ‘Rapid Row Toss’ from Perfect Pump: Upper Body, where you rapidly transfer the weight in a rowing action to work the back muscles, or the step pyramid hiit in the Perfect Hiit: Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus. In addition, the core bonus includes moves that are yoga and mobility inspired to work the core from different angles and in a slightly different way. This keeps it interesting while providing different challenges for the core muscles, as they help you to stabilise and balance the body within the exercises.
For the strength workouts, Cathe is also using some slightly heavier dumbbells than she sometimes does, which is more in line with some of her recent Live heavier weight workouts. Given the shorter timeframes for these routines, this is a good way to increase the intensity a little more and to get the most out of the time available. In the strength routines, Cathe is using weights between 5 and 40 pounds.
Finally, unlike Cathe’s last two series, this one only includes one bonus ab routine and one extended stretch. This seems a little bit of a shame to me, as I love the variety of having the multiple versions of the bonuses, particularly the core routines. However, there are two strength bonuses – both one for the upper body and one for the lower body.
So What’s The Verdict?
This is a rather interesting and different series to what Cathe usually puts out and contains some good routines to add to your collection. The series targets a little bit of everything from strength and cardio to flexibility and mobility. I really liked the variety in these workouts and enjoyed the new combinations of exercises. As presented, the main workouts, not including any of the bonus material, are not necessarily the most advanced routines given that they are so short. However they do pack quite a bit into a short amount of time and, as usual, you can make them a little harder by using heavier weights, jumping higher, going a little faster, using a bigger range of motion, adding the bonus material or mixing several of them together to get a longer workout. For the weight routines, given the length, it is really important to select the right weights – ones that really challenge you on every set - to really get the most out of your time. For the cardio – really put effort and intensity into every move.
If I had to rate these workouts from easiest to hardest, I would say Perfect Flow: Mobility Training, Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility, then Perfect Pump: Upper Body and Perfect Hiit: Low Impact, Perfect Pump: Lower Body, and finally Perfect Hiit: High Impact.
So will I be returning to these workouts? Some of them yes, as I actually liked quite a few of them for different reasons and for different uses. The strength routines are, as usual, both excellent routines and they will be used frequently as add-ons or for a good total body challenge. The yoga, mobility workout and the extended stretch I want to try and incorporate more often into my routine, as I know I need to do this type of activity more consistently. I have a feeling the mobility and extended stretch will be used more frequently though!
The Hiit workouts I am less sure about, although I might use them sometimes as they do provide a quick cardio blast, without the need to pull out lots of equipment. However, for me, the high impact one definitely has a bit of a dread factor and the low Hiit isn’t quite my ideal version of low impact. Also I am unlikely to use the step blast add-on, as it is just not my preference to jump on and off the step lots. The bonus core workout, I am also less sure about and may just have to do it a few more times before I decide.
My only other comments are in regard to the premixes and the bonus routines. Some of the premixes, as they often are more recently, seemed a little bit unimaginative. For example, there is no premix that alternates the high and low impact Hiit moves, which would seem an obvious choice. However, I guess Cathe is hoping that we will use her Workout Blender service to make these premixes ourselves. In addition, I felt the bonus routines were rather short, as all except the Pyramid Hiit are under 10 minutes and one is even under 5 minutes. That seems a little bit of a shame in my opinion.
Who Is The Perfect30 Series For?
These routines are perfect for those who are short on time and still want to get a solid workout in. The cardio ones (Perfect Hiit) and the yoga / mobility (Perfect Flow), particularly, are great as they don’t need any equipment so also make good travel workouts. The strength routines are effective for any level of exerciser both more beginner / intermediate, as well as advanced, as you can just adjust your weights accordingly and the shorter timeframe means less reasons not to just get it done. Also by using the premixes, to combine the workouts, the series offers Cathe fans more excellent longer workouts too. For example, by combining the strength routines you get a really good, nearly hour long, total body challenge. As usual, Cathe does manage to cram a lot into a short amount of time, however, given the shorter timeframes though, they are not necessarily all the most intense and advanced routines, as they are presented (as 30 minute routines). However, they are still a great way to get your body working and moving in a short amount of time.
How Do You Approach These Workouts?
There are numerous ways you can do these workouts. As mentioned, the series comes with a digital User Guide that provides a number of different rotations for these workouts, including combining PERFECT30 with other Cathe series (Low Impact Series, Xtrain and LITE). These rotations set out exactly which workouts to do each day and provide an easy option for scheduling these routines into your daily activities. (Click HERE to access the User Guide).
Alternatively, you can just build them into your own / existing rotation or select individual workouts that appeal to you and do them however works best. This is what I did, as I rarely do full rotations, as I tend to get bored quite easily! In addition, with the 51 premixes, you can also adapt these workouts to suit your schedule, preferences and mood on any given day.
And finally, as it is Cathe and with the magic of her Workout Blender (the amazing online tool Cathe offers free with her On Demand streaming service), you can blend any chapter of any of her workouts together in whatever way you want to (and can think of!) This gives you almost unlimited ways to use these workouts (or parts of them) to adjust the intensity and level to whatever you desire.
PERFECT30 Series Reviews
As mentioned, each of the main workouts will be reviewed individually, as will the bonus elements, but obviously bear in mind that the DVDs offer the chance to incorporate these bonuses into the workouts pretty much however you want to. Therefore, the reviews will focus on the main workouts as they are presented in the program.
For the main workouts you can access the detailed reviews by clicking on the links below (or go to my Cathe DVD Reviews Page HERE).
The bonus add-ons are reviewed below.
The Bonus Workouts
Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus
This is an additional cardio segment to add to your Hiit workouts to increase the intensity, duration and challenge.
Pyramid Cardio Hiit Bonus is 11:59 minutes long. For this routine, you will need a full size step with two risers on each side (you can obviously use a lower step height, if you would prefer). If you don’t have a step you could do the moves on the floor instead.
This is a quick and rather different cardio add-on that will really get your heart rate up and you breathing a bit harder. Cathe calls this “Step Pyramid Hiit”, as the format is a number of step cardio intervals in a hiit pyramid progression. Therefore, the exercise intervals increase in both work and rest periods up to a peak and then back down the other side, using different moves. So you start with 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds rest then repeat that, 25 seconds work and rest, repeat, graduating up to 35 seconds (only done once) and then working your way back down again. This routine is all high impact moves as you are often jumping on and off the step.
This is a good cardio routine that you can do on its own or add on to the main workouts for a little more intensity (or to any other workout that you choose). In addition, the premixes offer a number of different ways to use the bonus routine, including adding it onto the main routines, adding it to half of the high and half of the low impact routines or doubling just the bonus workout.
Bonus Pump: Upper & Lower Body
These are strength training bonuses to add more intensity to your Perfect Pump routine or if you want to add on a little strength work to another workout. There are actually two bonus routines – one for upper body and one for lower body.
Bonus Pump: Upper Body is 4:50 minutes long. For this routine, you will need 5, 8, 12 & 20# dumbbells, medium tension resistance tubing and a full size step, with 4 risers on each side.
This is an extremely short bonus add on that consists of five different exercises - one for each muscle group and according to Cathe aims to provide a little variety to the premixes. The moves are not very high rep so I would suggest you go as heavy as you can, to get the most out of your time. Each move is done for a set number of reps or sets, as some combine two different moves or use single and double arms.
Bonus Pump: Lower Body is 7:38 minutes long. For this routine, you will need a 10# weight, a high step with three risers, resistance tubing and a mat for this bonus.
This bonus targets the glutes and hamstrings with floorwork and is a nice way add-on to round out the program, if you have a little more time. It consists of three different moves that are each done for a number of sets, using both single rep counts and pulses to increase the burn. It is not very intense on its own but again provides a little more variety to the main workout.
The premixes available enable you to add these bonuses onto each of the main strength workouts or include everything for a total body challenge.
This is a bonus abdominal workout designed to be done separately or as add-ons to your workout to tighten and tone the whole core.
Bonus Core – is 9:17 minutes long with no warm-up and includes a quick stretch at the end. For this bonus routine, you will need a mat to lie on, if you are on a hard surface.
This is an interesting and rather unique abs bonus. The routine includes a number of different moves that are yoga and mobility inspired, which work your core from all angles and in slightly different ways. The aim is to engage all of the core muscles from the thoracic region to the hip flexors and glutes. This is what makes it more challenging, as you are often extending or balancing in the moves and, therefore, having to maintain a greater level of stability through the whole core region.
This bonus consists of five different moves, including variations, such as, side plank angle extensions and rotating piston planks. The routine is a mix of easier and slightly harder moves although Cathe does show modifications, where required.
This bonus is on both the Perfect Hiit DVDs, as well as the Perfect Pump DVDs, which allows you to add a little more stretching to both your strength work and your cardio routines.
The full review of this bonus, including details of all of the different moves, is provided on the reviews for Perfect Flow: Mobility Training (HERE), Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility (HERE), Perfect Pump: Upper Body (HERE) and Perfect Pump: Lower Body (HERE).
Bonus Extended Stretch
This is a longer stretch segment to add onto your workouts to provide a more comprehensive stretch and help lengthen and relax hard worked muscles.
Bonus extended Stretch is 8:16 minutes long. For this routine, you will need a mat to lie on, if you are on a hard surface.
This is another really relaxing stretch routine that I enjoyed very much. The routine starts lying on the mat with some lower body stretches, including knee circles, hamstring and figure 4 stretches. You then move into a mix of upper and lower body stretches, including cross legged stretches, straight leg stretches, cat / cow and upward dog. Finally you work towards a standing position through downward dog, forward fold and then finish with upper body stretches for the side of the body, shoulders, triceps and chest. Overall, a really nice routine to stretch out those tired muscles and definitely one I will return to often.
This bonus is both on the Perfect Hiit DVDs as well as the Perfect Pump DVDs, which allows you to add a little more stretching to both your strength work and your cardio routines.
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).
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