Pyramid Lower BodyCathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2002
Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Lower Body Strength
My legs are cooked after doing this workout. The first section, which is done standing, uses the usual exercises, such as leg presses (step-ups onto the bench), static lunges squats and plie squats, and deadlifts, all using a pyramid system, which ends up being 5 sets of each exercise )(except the squats which are 10 sets). Reps are 12-10-8-10-12 going from lightest to heaviest and back to lightest weight, so that's 52 reps for each exercise, and 104 reps for squats! By the time I finished the squats, my knees were on the verge of rebellion. The standing section ends with calf raises, not done with any resistance, but there are a lot of reps, so they are well-toasted. The standing section is about 34 minutes long.
The second section is done on the floor and I have to say that this is one of the toughest floor segments I've ever seen or done. Cathe uses a stability ball and the first exercise has you lying on your back with one foot on the ball and the other straight up in the air, with the buttocks lifted off the floor; you have to lift and lower. I found this exercise to be very difficult, so I modified it by using my Firm Fanny Lifter instead of the ball, and it was still very difficult. There's an inner thigh exercise using the ball, where you lie on your back with both feet on the ball in a turned out position, and lift your buttocks off the ground while you draw the ball towards you and then away from you. This one is also very difficult, especially in keeping yourself lifted off the floor. I liked the outer thigh exercise where you do leg lifts at various tempos, while lying on your side over the ball. The stretch at the end is a welcome relief.
In summary, I like this workout, although the pyramids are a bit long and there are a lot of reps. The time moves pretty quickly, though. This workout is suitable for advanced exercisers, although intermediate exercisers could modify it by going lighter on the weights, or by not doing the full pyramids. The stability ball work is super-challenging and even Cathe's legs were shaking during the exercises. I would use this workout to add variety, but not more than once a week. I give it an A-.
Cathe is the ultimate video exercise instructor, with her wonderful instruction, friendly personality, amazing strength, and terrific muscle definition. She's an inspiration. It's hard to believe she had a baby just months earlier.