Slow and Heavy: Legs and Shoulders

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

I'm rediscovering this series - haven't done it in two years - and enjoying it a lot. Slow and Heavy is very different from Cathe's usual endurance workouts and it takes a fair amount of concentration and patience to Cathe and four backgrounders perform multiple exercises at a slow pace with heavy weights. The usual pattern is 2-3 sets of 8 reps each, with two counts down and six counts up for each rep.

For the legs portion, Cathe chooses to "pre-exhaust" the legs with a light set of 16 reps before moving to heavy sets. You start with alternating front lunges with dumbbells (16 total), followed by three slow sets of barbell squats. You then do a light set of rear alternating lunges, followed by two sets per leg of slow and heavy stationary lunges. Next is a set of alternating side lunges with a dumbbell, then your three slow and heavy sets of plie squats with a heavy dumbbell. Two sets of normal-pace calf raises with heavy dumbbells ends the legs section.

The shoulder workout is all slow and heavy: front raises, lateral raises, posterior raises (like these: bent over and arms go straight back along the sides), seated overhead presses (only two sets of these) and lying rotations for the rotator cuff.

Cathe does brief stretches between sets of most exercises, so the final stretch is very short.

I struggled a bit to find the right weights for some exercises. Shoulders are super-tough if you keep to your regular weights, but I found to my surprise that I didn't need to lighten up for most of the leg work.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe's form pointers are excellent in this series. She is very professional and can lift HEAVY.