Lean Legs & Abs

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Abs/Core , Lower Body Strength

Part of Cathe's 2013 releases, this workout focuses on lower body and core/abs. If you're expecting any similarities to the CTX Series lower body workout Leaner Legs (also known as Meaner Legs!), you will be disappointed. Instead of heavy weights and slow controlled reps, Cathe mixes it up with compound standing moves, standing and floor band moves, a brief chair section, an optional barre section, plus a thorough core/abs segment. Premixes allow you to pick and choose your poison. Equipment required is a set of light/moderate dumbbells (Cathe uses 8#), a firewalker band, a chair and a mat. The workout does have a little bit of impact - one of the standing moves is a sumo squat/jump combination, and there are some scissors in there - but it is easy to change to low/no impact. Many of the standing moves use 8# dumbbells, which Cathe says are to enhance the cardio effect, but there are a fair number of shoulder presses and upright rows in the workout.

Overall I'd rate this workout a B. On the plus side, there are no tricky or torque-y moves, no one section was endless, the music-without-vocals options was a godsend if you don't like pseudo-vocals from recent pop hots, and I was never bored with all the variation of compound, barre and band exercises. I also really like the variety of core/ab exercises. Negatives: Cathe was way offbeat some of the time because she performed so exercises so fast, and her cueing is terrible. Also, I didn't think the workout had any flow at all. Cathe progresses in a workmanlike manner from one exercise to the next, one section to the next, but the sections felt a bit...unrelated.

I would rate this workout as solid intermediate. I consider myself intermediate and did the workout all the way through on my first try with one modification (lighter dumbbells since I did shoulders yesterday). Another VFer suggested wearing a weight vest instead of using dumbbells to enhance the cardio effect without doing shoulder work, which I think is brilliant.

I don't know that this will be part of my regular rotation, but I'll add it in as a second leg workout during a week when I've already done heavy weights for lower body.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is professional and in terrific shape, as always. During most of the standing section she cues as she begins a move rather than before - annoying! - and she's not good about saying "stay with the right leg for 8 reps" versus "we're going to alternate legs here". Some of the standing work is performed at very high speed, but the rest of the workout has better pacing.