Lower Body Blast

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Gliding Disks, Lower Body Strength , Step Aerobics

My new favorite legs workout! This is Cathe's lower body workout from the four-workout post-STS series (others are Intensity, High Reps and STS Lower Body). This one reminds me of a fun, updated Leaner Legs: lots of reps, moderate weight, familiar exercises sequenced well. Cathe leads with a cast of thousands behind her: Amanda, Jai, Cedie, Nancy and Brenda. They're in the well-lit set with a fake skyline looking out onto something bright and beach-y. Equipment needed is a High Step with two risers, various dumbbells, a barbell (can sub dumbbells and the barbell weight stays the same throughout the workout, nice), a firewalker band and a gliding disc. If you tack on the bonus "leg conditioning" section, you'll need a chair or barre to hold onto. Music is upbeat sound-alikes with good volume; I thought the fake-o lyrics would annoy me but I don't even hear them when I'm doing the workout.

Cathe uses the floor and the High Step for the warmup, which has some brief step work like power 7s, lunges off the step and a heel-toe-over move. It's not the best-cued warmup in the world but it is fun. After that she alternates blocks of four exercises with a cardio blast between blocks. The blasts are high impact (ice breakers, jumps onto the step, and split/lunge jumps) but are easy to modify to low impact. The strength work is straightforward, like lunges, squats, plie squats and deadlifts, with lots of pulses and low ends. The disc work is lots of fun and challenging; it's a nice break between the toning/weights and the cardio bursts. I found the rep counts to be perfect in this workout: not so many that I was exhausted but enough to really feel the burn while keeping good form. A floorwork section - band work for outer thighs/glutes and hands-and-knees leg work for glutes - completes the workout, and there's a nice stretch to end things.

I'd classify this workout as high intermediate to low advanced. It's not one of her killer workouts where your legs are jelly at the end but you will be dripping with sweat and feel thoroughly challenged by it. You could certainly up the intensity with heavier weights than Cathe uses - she doesn't always announce her selection but her barbell looks like it's at 20 or 25 pounds, with dumbbells ranging from 5 to 12 or 15. If you can increase the weights and keep up with her faster reps, you're a GODDESS and I bow down!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is very upbeat, smiling and happy in this workout. There's not much extra chatter and what there is, is focused on the workout, cues and how she's feeling, plus a little encouragement to you and to her backgrounders. As always, her form is excellent. The warmup step section could be cued a leeetle better, before the move rather than on it.