Hardcore: Muscle Max

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

DURATION 68 minutes
EQUIPMENT The Original Health Club Step, weighted barbell, resistance band, and various weighted dumbbells
TYPE Strength
MUSIC Very good, some recognizable early 90s stuff
IMPACT Low impact
LEVEL Advanced

This is a full body strength workout led by the advanced workout queen, Cathe Friedrich. I found the workout to be very tough without dreading it. Of course, I couldn't match Cathe on all her weight choices, so I modified down a bit. Don't let the fact that this is billed as an advanced workout deter you from enjoying it!

The exercises have been broken down, so I won't go into that again. Let's just say that I found it to be thorough and there weren't too many reps or sets to make me not want to do it again. You do short stretches between each exercise (except for the ones you're supersetting) and a nice short stretch at the end. However, I usually add my own 10 minute stretch routine at the end of every workout. I haven't found anyone except maybe Kathy Smith and Gilad who give adequate stretches at the end of their workouts.

Overall, a very effective workout, and one of my favorite Cathe strengths routines.

PROS: Unlike many people, I really liked the music in the workout. For me, the time flew by because of the music. Cathe gave many form pointers and joked a little bit, but remained professional. I liked that she added in the band work to break up the monotony. Finally, I liked that this workout didn't seem to be rushed like her Pyramids. There was time to change weights or get a piece of equipment in place. OR take a much needed breather :)

Another pro: although premixes are included, I found that at around the 33 minute mark, you can actually make this into a lower/upper body split routine without using the premix. Just stop at the 33 minute mark and pick up the rest the next day. Very nice if you find yourself running short on time. Of course, you'd have to add your own warm up the next day.

CONS: I wish that she had kept the lower body work together. I don't really like lower body work, so I would have rather she exhausted that body part before moving onto the next. Also, I wish that she had done more lower body floor work as opposed to so many lunges and squats. Stretch segment could be longer at the end too.

OVERALL: Very glad to have this workout in my collection. I guess I would rate it as between heavy strength and endurance. Not quite enough reps and sets to rate as endurance, but too many reps to be a full heavy strength workout.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe gave form pointers and joked a bit, but not too much that you are rolling your eyes that next time you do the workout.