This workout should be called super "giant" sets. It consists of 4 giant sets that work in between muscle groups. Cathe calls each giant set round 1 or Round 2. And there are 2 muscle groups, A and B. But shedoesn't tell you what they are. So I will!
The first round-group A, you work legs, back/hamstrings, chest, shoulders and abs/core. The exercises are squats(Cathe uses a 40 lb barbell and does 16 squats and 2 sets of 8 reps of low ends and then 2 sets of 3 rep low ends. Then you move on to deadlifts(Cathe still uses 40 lbs). you do 16 reps in a 2-2 count. So you go down for 2 counts and up for 2 counts. I like this much better because you can really concentrate on form and its easier on the back.
Cathe then moves on to Bench press with the 40 lb barbell doing 16 reps and 2 setse of 8 pulse presses. Then you sit on the stability ball and do side delt and front delts with 5 lbs. The last exercise for round 1 group A is woodchops(sort of similiar to pull overs).But you lay on the ball and pull the weight up as you do a crunch.
Next is you move on to Round 1 Group B. Which works the same muscles as Group B but different exercises. The exercises are Plie(Cathe uses 35 lb barbell), Pull overs using ball, chest flies, shoulder work and more abs/core work using the ball.
Then you move on to Round 2 Group A. The exercises are legs, shoulders, biceps, triceps and abs. You will do 1 legged squats. I would rather call these 1 legged lunges. 1 foot is on a 10 inch step and theworking leg is in front. For biceps, Cathe introduces a Preachers curl using the stability ball. I've never seen this before. Triceps are lying French press using the ball and then for abs, you will do a very long set of oblique twists as you do pulley's with your legs.
Round 2 Group B works the same muscle groups as Round 2 Group A but Cathe changes the exercise. So these are the exercises you will do. A front lunge and back lunge using no weights. She also does explosive lunges which is a ply scissor move. For shouldres, you do rear delt moves using the ball. Then concentration curl for biceps. For triceps, you have the option to follow Cedie who does triceps kickbacks. Or you can do a Tricep exercise that Cathe does using the ball. The last exercise is ab oblique raises on the ball. Cathe ends with a nice cooldown.
Cathe is much more happy and smiling in her Body Blast workouts. She has perfect posture and form. I wish she would tell you what muscle the exercise is working though. That would be great. All the exercisers are wearing bright red.
This workout is part of Catheís Body Blast series and is available by itself on VHS or on a dvd bundled with the Push Pull workout. The dvd is very well-chaptered and features numerous pre-mix options (note though that some of these radically change a workout like this one: by bundling all the upper or lower body work together, you lose the circuit effect, which you might not intend to be doing).
This workout is, in spite of its title, a circuit routine. There are four circuits of five exercises each, done in sequence for one set. By one set I mean that you do all the reps for that exercise at once---you are still getting a lot of work in because some of the sets are very long and feature two or three variations during the set. For example for squats you do them the normal way, then at half range of motion, then with pulsing, then the normal way again. But then you are done with that exercise forever :-) The time just flew by in this workout. I liked that :-)
I liked that every circuit included lower body work. Cathe has some killer lower body stuff so it was nice to have it spaced out like this. But I felt as far as the upper body went that it was very shoulder-biased. Only two of the circuits had biceps and triceps work, but all of them had something that worked the shoulders. I am not sure why Cathe chose this ratio but for me it felt a little much. Also the ab work was not as comprehensive as some of Catheís other workouts.
I found some of the uses for the stability ball to be uncomfortable, especially the parts where you lie on your stomach on it, but I think that is more my fault than Catheís fault. And I absolutely cannot stand deadlifts. But I liked the rest of the exercises and since you do not repeat any the time went by quickly. I had some frustration the first time through in finding the right weight to use---I had to use lighter weights to manage the ball work, and I am not sure the trade-off in strength gains is worth the benefit in core and balance gains. But now that I have done the workout a few times and know which exercises I feel more comfortable modifying (e.g. I prefer to go heavier with triceps and not use the ball). In the past I have enjoyed circuit workouts but felt that they had a negative effect on my endurance. Catheís sets are fairly high rep so I donít see that being a problem here, and I am delighted to finally have a circuit workout that works for me. I may have a few small quibbles with some of Catheís exercise choices, but overall this is an excellent routine that I think I can grow with.
With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesnít really want to move up to advanced work. I do a combination of workouts with weights, ball workouts, and Pilates.
I have tried several of Catheís advanced workouts, specifically MIS, Muscle Endurance, and Power Hour. With those workouts, I felt they were excellent, but they produced a fairly high dread factor for me, so I didnít do them much. I decided to try the Push/Pull and Super Sets DVD since I read multiple comments that it was more an intermediate workout than some of her other workouts.
Turns out, I like these two workouts the best of the ones Iíve tried by her. I enjoyed Super Sets quite a bit. I felt well worked out afterward, but not exhausted.
As described above, she goes through two rounds of exercises for different combinations of muscles. I enjoyed most of the exercises. There was one exercise (biceps?) where she bent over the ball and I followed the modified and stood for that exercise. One thing I really enjoyed was that she included an exercise for the abs/core in each of the circuits instead of holding them to the end.
The music was good. I found myself humming along a couple of times. Her background exercises were their normal good selves. It was her normal set. A couple of times, I wished she would hurry up and tell me what equipment I would need for the following exercise.
All around, this is an excellent workout. If you have found yourself exhausted or intimidated by some of her other workouts, you might want to give this one a try.
She is pleasant, relaxed, and explanatory. As always, she gives good form pointers.
September 8, 2004
I just did supersets and all I can say is WOW!!! She does amazing combinations of so many different exercises. It's incredible. She does a lot of stuff with the ball. It is probably her most varied and intense strength type workout. Boy is this a keeper!!
Cathe is Cathe. What can I say about her that we don't already know. She looks great - as usual, she's friendly and happy - as usual and her body is kickin - as usual!!
November 16, 2006