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Cathe Live Review: Upper Body Bootcamp (#145)

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Cathe Live: Upper Body Bootcamp

Cathe Live Review: Upper Body Bootcamp (#145)

Upper Body Bootcamp is a tough, high rep endurance workout for the upper body and core. This really targets every muscle group effectively and provided an excellent, fast paced strength challenge. There is also a Lower Body Bootcamp in the Live archive (#146) that is also an excellent and challenging routine, which adopts the same format as this one.

The workout is structured into ten circuits. The first five circuits have three exercises, per muscle group, and finish with one core move. The final five circuits have two exercises, for each muscle group, and one core move. I loved this format as you move quickly from one thing to the next and only repeat a couple of the moves so there is lots of variety. Also each exercise is different for each muscle group so all ten circuits have different moves. You use a combination of dumbbells, a stability ball, resistance tubing and your own bodyweight to challenge the body effectively.

The strength exercises are generally high rep and sometimes very high rep. Also they are often done at a faster pace, than usual, so I found it pretty challenging in places. This was particularly so for the chest work, as you do so many chest press and chest flys (both in standard positon and inclined), that I was really struggling on the incline chest presses towards the end. I did go a little heavier than Cathe on these and a few other moves but I would have found it difficult to go too much heavier, given the reps and pace. Also many of the upper body exercises use the stability ball so there is an added balance / core challenge in there too. Each body part is worked well and I was pretty fatigued by the end.

Each circuit ends with a core move, using a dumbbell, the stability ball or your own bodyweight. These I found were a nice relief from the upper body work. They generally were not too high rep and although I felt they worked the core nicely they were not too challenging. The ball provided nice variety too to work the core in different ways.

Overall, this is an excellent, fast paced, high rep strength challenge that will work your upper body and core well.

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

The Workout

Upper Body Bootcamp is a pure strength workout targeting the upper body and core. The routine consists of ten circuits of two or three upper body exercises and one core move. Cathe used light to moderate dumbbells, a stability ball, medium tension resistance tubing (I used a resistance band instead) and a mat for this workout.

What You Need to Know

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

The Moves

Upper Body Bootcamp is 57 minutes long and originally aired on 20thApril 2017 (#145). The workout starts with a 4:30 minute warm-up. The warm-up starts with just your own bodyweight then you pick up 5 pound dumbbells and finish off with push-ups on the knees. You will need to have all of your equipment close by, as you will be moving quickly from one thing to the next.


  • Chest press – two 15# dumbbells & ball – 40 reps (fast)

  • Chest fly – two 15# dumbbells & ball – 21 reps

  • Incline push-ups w/ legs on ball – ball – 8 reps, 8 reps & 4x 2/2 count

  • Core: Ball roll outs – ball & mat – 13 reps


  • Pullovers – two 15# dumbbells & ball – 2x 4/4 count & 16x 2/2 count

  • 1 Arm row – Cathe used one 15# & one 5# dumbbell in one hand (I used 1x 20) & ball– 16 & 8 reps each side

  • Seated T-band pulls – resistance tubing & mat – 14 reps, 7x 3 pulses, 7 reps

  • Core: Torso circles (standing w 1 db in hands overhead, circle torso to side, floor, side & overhead) one 8# dumbbell (I used 1x10) – 2 sets of 8 reps (4 reps in each direction)


  • Seated overhead shoulder press – two 12# dumbbells & ball – 10 reps (both arms) & 16 reps (1 arm alternating)

  • Upright rows – two 15# dumbbells – 8 reps, 8 reps & 4 reps

  • Seated rear delt flys – two 8# dumbbells (I used 10’s) & ball – 2 sets of 10 reps

  • Core: Butterfly sit-ups (full sit-ups with soles of feet together & hands behind head) – mat – 16 reps


  • Seated bicep curls – two 12# dumbbells (I used 15’s) & ball – 16 reps

  • Incline bicep curls – two 12# dumbbells & ball – 16 reps

  • Preacher curls – two 12# dumbbells & ball– 10 reps

  • Core: Ball roll-ins (while in plank w/ shins on ball, pull knees in under the body & back out) – ball – 16 reps


  • Seesaw push-ups – ball – 5x 1.5’s & 8x 2/2 count

  • Seated overhead tricep extensions - two 12# dumbbells & ball – 16 reps

  • Narrow grip bench press – two 15# dumbbells & ball – 6 sets (1x 2/2 count & 2x singles)

  • Core: Russian twists / slow ball arcs (arcing ball overhead from one side to the other) – ball & mat – 31x twist, 16x arc, 16x twist & 8x arc


  • Incline chest flys – two 12# dumbbells (I used 15’s) & ball – 16 reps

  • Incline chest press – two 12# dumbbells (I used 15’s) & ball – 18 reps (fast)

  • Core: Standing oblique side-bend crunches - Cathe holds one 20# & one 5# dumbbell in one hand (I used 1x 20) – 16 reps each side


  • Seated Y pulls – resistance tubing & mat – 10 reps (both arms) & 6 sets of 4 reps (1 arm)

  • Saluting supermans – ball – 28 reps (1 arm at a time), 2 reps (both arms) & 8 reps (1 arm)

  • Core: Ball exchange – ball & mat – 12 reps


  • Seated lateral raises – two 8# dumbbells & ball– 8 sets (1x both arms & 1x 1 arm)

  • Seated lateral raises – two 5# dumbbells & ball– 16 reps

  • Incline straight arm front raises – two 5# dumbbells (I used 8’s) & ball – 10 reps (both arms) & 16 reps (alternating)

  • Core: Side plank clam extensions – mat – 20 reps (1st side) & 22 reps (2nd side)


  • Side lying 1 arm tricep push-ups – mat – 16 reps each side

  • Tricep dips – mat – 24 reps

  • Tricep kickbacks – resistance tubing – 20 reps (both arms) & 16 reps (alternating arms)

  • Core: 1 Leg sit-ups w ball (lay on back, holding ball overhead; sit up & raise one leg, tapping ball to foot; alternate legs) – ball & mat – 24 reps


  • Seated W bicep curls on ball – two 12# dumbbells & ball – 16 reps

  • Incline hammer curls on ball – two 12# dumbbells & ball – 16 reps

  • Core: Banana holds / banana holds & scissor legs – ball & mat – 4 sets (banana hold) & 4 sets (scissoring the feet)

The workout ends with a 2 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 liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Upper Body Core Crush (#245) – HERE.

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1 comentario

03 ene 2021

This was fun, as far as Upper Body workouts go. I really liked the format, and the core work on the ball is different and interesting.

My modifications: nothing serious except for my preference to do some of the moves standing versus sitting.

Zero dread factor.

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