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Cathe Live Review: Vertical Loading (#124)

Updated: Feb 20

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Cathe Live Review: Vertical Loading (#124)


Vertical Loading is a fantastic and fairly challenging total body strength workout. I loved this routine – it has lots of variety and the time just flies by.


This workout is based on the concept of vertical loading - in that you start at the top of the body and work your way down. So you start with a shoulder exercise, then biceps, triceps, back, chest and finally lower body. There is also one more of these routines in the Live archive – Vertical Loading 2 (#194. Review HERE) and that is also an excellent routine. I really like the format, as it keeps things interesting and there is also not too much repetition.


For this workout there are 3 circuits of five or six exercises that are each repeated. There should be six in each but unfortunately, the first circuit does not include an exercise for back, which is a shame. So this area only gets worked four times rather than six times. The rep counts, patterns and tempos all vary between the sets and in the actual exercises. Cathe says she is not going to give a number of reps and so they are very random – some higher rep and some lower. However, with the right weights they all work the muscle very effectively. I was really feeling many of the exercises, including the upright rows and rear delt flys and the chest particularly, felt well worked with all of those push-ups! Also there is a little bit of a cardio factor too so my heart rate stayed a bit more elevated throughout. The upper body does get worked more than the lower body though, as there is only one set of exercises for lower in each circuit. There is no specific core work in this routine but it does act as a supporting muscle group for many of the moves.


Overall, an excellent and effective total body challenge that will get those muscle pumping. This is definitely one I will return to often.


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


The Workout


Vertical Loading is a total body strength workout consisting of three circuits that are each repeated. Cathe used light to moderate dumbbells and a mat for this routine (I also used a step for the chest flys).


What You Need to Know

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


The Moves


Vertical Loading is 52 minutes long and originally aired on 3rd November 2016 (#124). The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up, before moving into the first exercise for shoulders. You will need to ensure that your equipment is handy, as you will be moving fairly quickly from one thing to the next.


Circuit 1a

  • Overhead press – two 12# Dbs – 6 sets (2x 1 arm & 2x both arms) & 4 reps (both arms)

  • Bicep curls – two 15# Dbs - 15 reps

  • Tricep kickbacks – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) - 16 reps

  • Push-ups – mat – 20 reps

  • Walking lunges / plie pulse squats – two 10# Dbs – 6 sets


Circuit 1b

  • 1 Arm overhead press – two 15# Dbs – 22 reps (alternating arms)

  • W curls – two 12# Dbs (I used 15’s) - 12 reps (2/2 & 3/1)

  • Tricep kickbacks – two 12# Dbs - 12 reps

  • Push-ups – mat – 8 sets (lower to count of 4, go back into child’s pose then up to straight arm plank)

  • Walking lunges / plie pulse squats – two 12# Dbs – 4 sets, 4x plie squat only & 8x plie pulses


Circuit 2a

  • Side lateral raise / front raise – two 8# Dbs - 2 sets (2x 1 arm & 4x both)

  • Hammer curls – two 15# Dbs - 12 reps

  • Overhead tricep extensions – two 12# Dbs - 12 reps

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs - 10 reps, 9 reps & 8 reps

  • Push-ups – mat – 10 reps (2/2 count)

  • 4 Squats & 2 deadlifts - two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) – 6 sets


Circuit 2b

  • Side raise to front, back to side & lower / front raise, out to side, to front & lower (palms facing in) / front raise, out to side, to front & lower (palms facing down) / shoulder circles – two 5# Dbs – 4 reps of each raise & 2 sets of 8 circles (4 low & 4 high)

  • Sweeper curls – two 15# Dbs - 10 reps

  • Overhead tricep extensions – two 12# Dbs – 6 sets (2 partials) & 2x 2/2 count

  • Rear delt flys – two 10# Dbs - 10 reps, 9 reps & 8 reps

  • Release push-ups – mat - 10 reps

  • 2 Squats & 1 deadlift – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) - 10 sets


Circuit 3a

  • Upright row – two 15# Dbs - 19 reps

  • Isolation curls (hold Dbs halfway for 8 then raise to top & lower to count of 6) / bicep curls – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 4 sets & 8x bicep curls

  • Tricep push ups – mat – 14 reps (2/2, 3/1 & 1/3)

  • 1 Arm back fly - one 10# Db (I used 1x 12) - 10 reps each side

  • Chest flys (knees elevated) – two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & mat (I used a step) – 10 reps (2/2 count) & 2 reps (open to 2 counts then hold for 2 counts & raise to top for 4 counts)

  • Alternating side lunges / alternating reverse lunges – two 10# Dbs (I used 12’s) – 16 reps of each


Circuit 3b

  • Upright row – two 15# Dbs - 22 reps

  • Isolation curls / bicep curls – two 12# Dbs – 4 sets (isolation) & 8x bicep curls

  • Tricep push-ups – mat – 18 reps

  • 1 Arm back fly – one 12# Db - 10 reps each side

  • Chest flys & leg extensions - two 15# Dbs (I used 20’s) & mat (I used a step) - 12 reps (1 leg extended) & 4 reps (both legs)

  • Alternating reverse lunges / alternating side lunges – two 12# dbs – 8x reverse lunge & 2x 15 pulses / 18x side lunge


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 liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: Total Body Giants Sets 2 (#214) – HERE.


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