Hardcore: Muscle Max

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

This workout is a grueling 68 minutes long. It is incredibly thorough and tough. Unlike most of her other full body strength workouts, the leg work is divided into two sections. This works well since the leg work is super tough. It starts with squats with lots of variations on the count: 2-2, 3-1, 4-4, low ends and pulses. It reminded me of Power Hour as it was long and brutal. Next is lunges. I was going to keep my weight at 45 but Cathe lowered hers and I wisely followed. Again, lots of pulsing reps and low ends. Very little rest between sets.

Chest work is next. Push ups followed by chest flies. She adds an interesting twist (literally) on the second set which I really felt. Just when I though chest was over she adds a second set of push ups with an extra slow count. I had some choice words about those push ups. Very tough.

Back work is next. I really disliked how she did the lat rows. There were so many changes in the rep speed that it reminded me of the Firm's Super Sculpting. Since I don't like to look at the TV while doing these (would cause me to come out of alignment,) I had to rely on Cathe's cues which were sometimes late or non-existant. Hopefully, after a few times with this workout, I'll have the rep count memorized. She also does pull overs and bent over rows with a barbell.

More leg work. I nearly cried when she announced this. First up was leg press with the band. This caused me to really cry and ask for my mother. I swear there were flames shooting from my butt. These REALLY get you deep in the glute area. I felt these more than I feel leg press with 20 lb dumbells. Plie squats were next but she added a twist were you switch the dumbell from hand to hand. Didn't feel much different to me but the extra long sets made me think I had peed my pants because my thighs were so hot (was that TMI?!?!)

Shoulders are next. Side raises are first. She doesn't do the "imagine you're pouring a big pitcher of water" thing anymore but some might still find them uncomfortable. Next are upright rows. Her tip to keep your arms wider if it's uncomfortable worked for me. Next is a new Cathe move where you do a front raise into a delt squeeze. I used dumbells since I found a barbell uncomfortable. This was tough! Front raises with the band add gasoline to shoulders already on fire. I was in pain and very glad this was the last exercise.

Biceps are next. Pretty standard here. Regular curls (which I used dumbells for instead of the barbell.) She did what seemed to be a variation on figure eights (painful and better be effective for all that pain!) I wish she had used the band here.

Triceps are last. An incredibly torturous superset of overhead press followed by dips repeated twice. I had to take a break here and lowered my weight on the second set. Zero rest between supersets and a blink and you'll miss it rest between sets. Kickbacks using the band add a new and incredible burn at the end. I enjoyed these although it was a bit tricky to get the band placed right. I'm sure it will get better with practice.

Core work finishes it off. This is MUCH tougher than Core Max. Kind of reminded me of the abs in Slow and Heavy (which I love.) Very long and high rep with little rest. Much more focus on the lower abs than is usual for Cathe.

Stretch is short but adequate. I didn't move for a good ten minutes after Cathe told me the workout was over. All in all, a good workout. Crappy music but when you have flames shooting from your butt, you really don't care.

Instructor Comments:
Professional as always. She is very encouraging but not in an annoying way. She provides good form pointers. She is very ripped in this workout.