Muscle Endurance

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This is an endurance based strength training workout from fitness diva Cathe Friedrich. It's tough, but trust me, you're tougher! This workout won't kill you like some of her others, but you will feel a nice burn when it's done. Low dread factor with this one.

The set is the typical Cathe set with the Greek arches and columns and foliage in the background. Cathe is accmpanied by Cedie, Jai, Lorraine, and Brenda, her crew. They are all very ripped, and it's so inspirational.

This is a high rep/lower weight workout. I say "lower" weight, because Cathe's workouts are rarely low weight LOL! I think the lowest weight she used was 8 pounds for shoulders.

Cathe and crew really seemed to be enjoying themselves in this workout. There were plenty of laughs and jokes that didn't seem to be rehearsed. She would say things like "I'm counting the beads of sweat dropping to the floor" and "they're back there saying mean things about me" when the exercises got particularly strenuous. But she still kept it professional, giving great form pointers and tips throughout.

Cathe begins the workout with a thorough warm up. Lots of side taps, lunges, squats, side leg lifts, knee ups, and stretching the arms over, in front, and to the side. The very first exercise is leg presses the mini step (six risers!) while carrying a ten pound plate. Oh my! Two sets. Next we move on to squats with the butt-tastic low end squats. Following squats are deadlits, one arm rows, clean and press w/rows, and bicep curls using the crazy 8's routine.

And if your butt isn't tired, yep, another set of leg presses off the mini step with the same 10 pound weight plate. I was like "Come on, really?" After that are lunges with, again, the lovely low ends. Next are chest, triceps, and shoulder work: chest flyes (amazingly, no chest press), pushups (not too many, I think 12 but it has a count that makes them seem like more),tricep dips off the mini step, leaning ticep kickbacks, overhead press w/plate.

If your butt didn't feel it the first few times, it's sure to feel it now: the final set of leg presses off the mini step! By this time, I'm nearly falling off the thing. But I manage to squeeze out two more sets of presses. Next there is a new move called butt lifts. This is where you are positioned as though you are in a lunge but the back leg goes out a little further. Your front body also leans forward a bit at a 45 degree angle. You push the front leg up and down, concentrating on the glute and hamstring muscles. I think my butt got dizzy: yes it happens!! I think there are 25 reps per leg. To round out the workout, there is shoulder work: standing rotation press (new move), front/side raises, bent arm lateral raises, abs work (typical Cathe stuff using the medicine ball) and a relaxing stretch.

This is a GREAT workout, with varied exercises, and low dread factor. I do wish that she had not scattered the leg presses throughout the workout, as they are my least favorite and I would have liked to get them out the way first. However, I guess it's good that she did scatter them throughout, because my legs get to recover before the next set.

As for those that are worried about this being an equipment heavy workout: I did this workout with just dumbbells, my mini step, and the medicine ball, because I happened to have one. You can easily do this workout with a home sized step (if you have enough risers; believe me, there is a difference between 3 risers and 6) and various weighted dumbbells. She even shows modifications in the abs section on what to do if you don't have a medicine ball.

PROS: the music was great, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the workout was good without having a high dread factor. Yes, there are three sets of leg presses interspersed throughout the workout. I guess I will have to get used to it :) The Express premix was also seamless. I have not tried the upper and lower body premixes yet, but I'm sure they are just as good.

CONS: This isn't really a con, but more of an observation. I WISH that Cathe would have one person constantly show lower impact options for her workouts. I KNOW they are geared toward the advanced exerciser, but you can be advanced in weights but still have joint issues. Cathe does show alternate options for some of the exercises; I just wish it were constant throughout the workout.

OVERALL: hey, it's Cathe. What's not to love :)

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is Cathe: professional, awesome, and in this DVD, very relaxed. Love it!



Please note that I wrote this review probably about 4 years ago; I've copied and pasted it pretty much as originally written. At the time of the review I had done the workout multiple times in the year that I had it.
Although I liked this workout, I've moved away from this type of strength workout (namely very high rep); also, I personally never warmed up to Boot Camp (just not my type of workout), so after I thought long and hard about keeping this expensive DVD for one workout I used occasionally eventually I traded this one away (I think for Push Pull + Supersets).


General workout breakdown: Decent 6 min. warm up, 45 min. of weights, 9-10 min. of abs, and too short 4 min. stretch. This brings you to a total of about 65 minutes. The pace is good: quick but controlled. None of the moves are too fast, and I never feel like Iím racing around picking up equipment for the next segment. Most of the time Cathe gives you enough time to do that. At the same time, thereís not a lot of down time, except during the Clean & Press instructional segment (after youíve seen it two or three times, that is), and there arenít many rests.
Iím glad the moves have already been broken down. Iíll just say most will be familiar to anyone whoís seen or done Catheís workouts; sheís nothing if not consistent. Itís a Cathe endurance workout, so expect tempo changes within sets containing a good number of reps. (In fact, for sometimes you donít even pause between sets.) You switch back and forth between upper and lower body after a couple of moves. For the upper body, the work for one body part is concentrated together (i.e. all of the chest work is done at the same time), but the lower body is broken up. The three different sets of leg presses serve to tie the workout together, more or less.

Level: This is intended for advanced home weight lifters. It is NOT for beginners, as Cathe doesnít include instruction here except for new moves. Solidly intermediate exercisers can modify this to their level by using lighter weights, choosing the shorter workout premix, etc.
I consider myself a solid intermediate in weights. Iíve lifted on and off over the last decade but only introduced heavy lifting into my home workouts about a year ago. I find this workout appropriately challenging with weights suitable for me (generally 1/2 to 2/3 of what Cathe lifts).

Class: Cathe leads Brenda, Cedie, Jai, and Lorraine.

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The music is pulsating techno. I actually found it motivating, although I wouldnít listen to it when not working out. I recognized a remix/remake of ďEye of the TigerĒ and an Elvis song. The set is typical Intensity Series: Neo-neoclassical architecture run amok with plants everywhere. At least the studioís bright and cheery. Of course, the production qualities are terrific here: crisp sound and picture.

Equipment: Cathe and crew use a high step, barbell (Cathe takes off a 10 lb. plate for the leg presses), several pairs of dumbbells (I believe Cathe has a pair each of 8s and 5s), a weighted medicine ball (that 8 lb. orange thing Catheís pushing on FitTV), and a mat for the floor segment. I donít have enough money and space for all that equipment, so here are my substitutions: high step = one-legged squats (use a regular step, Transfirmer, etc., if you have that); barbell = body bar or dumbbells; and weight plate = SmartBell or dumbbell. These are not ideal, but until I win the lottery or at least get a high paying job and bigger space itíll do.

Comments: You should obviously have enough space so that you can move comfortably and not trip over your stuff. One step to the front, back, and each side should be good for the movements; you should be able to lie down with arms and legs extended for the floor portion.

DVD Notes: This is available with Boot Camp on DVD. You can mix and match segments or use one of the PreMixes (Express Workout, Leg Press, Lower Body Split, or Upper Body Split). Thereís a Bonus Combo with parts from both Boot Camp and ME. (Iíve been too scared to try it.) (Note: When I do premixes, I sometimes notice that for the first few seconds Catheís voice and mouth are out of synch; this usually resolves itself quickly, however. I donít think the discís defective; it could be my player reading this DVD with so much stuff on it.)

Conclusion: This is my favorite of the Cathe weights workouts I have (ME, BC, PH, MIS, L&G, and BM), but not because itís the easiest. It seems like itís ten minutes faster than any of the others. Catheís attitude, the moves, and the music just work best for me for whatever reason. I always feel this in my chest the next day, and those glute raises are a nice change of pace. (Imagine a tough Cathe strength move with no equipment!) Iím absolutely definitely keeping this. I donít care for Boot Camp, so Iím not sure if this is quite worth what I paid for the entire DVD, but maybe someday Iíll come to appreciate BC half as much as I do ME. . .
Oh, I canít comment on the abs exercises, as I usually skip them in favor of Pilates. Catheís abs segments are tough, tough, tough for me, and she doesnít offer many modifications. One day Iíll work up to these.

Instructor Comments:
I like Catheís on screen persona in this workout. She seems relaxed and natural, yet she doesnít lose sight of the fact sheís teaching a class. She doesnít offer much form instruction, except for the Clean & Press, but she does include a few pointers. She has fun with her ďhardĒ reputation: she says the low end lunges are ďyour favorite!Ē and laughs almost maniacally (ďHa, ha, ha!Ē) when she has you hold your barbell halfway up during biceps curls. Itís not annoying, frightening, or intimidating, though. Oh, this workout contains the Cathe classic line ďYou know what cheeks Iím talking about!Ē



I am an advanced exerciser and a huge fan of Cathe's strength workouts. I wasn't sure if I would like this workout since I rarely do Power Hour. However, I love Muscle Endurance. I can't quite explain it. There is a lot of leg work (each of the three segments of this workout starts with two sets of leg presses), which I generally dislike, but for some reason ME brings out my masochistic side. My favorite move is the glute raise, a one legged squat where your back leg is extended and you put your weight on your front leg, which starts at a 90 degree angle. The static lunge segment is also really tough, but I've seen some improvement in my endurance - I can actually get through this segment now without putting down my barbell! There were also some unique upper body moves, like the bent over row combined with a clean and press (okay, that's a compound move) and the standing rotation press.

The ab/core work at the end is super tough but very creative. I like that Cathe uses Pilates influenced moves but adapts them to her own unique style.

ME manages to be fun while leaving your muscles completely fried. Another great Cathe strength workout!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is in top form in this series! I like it when she jokes around about how hard the exercise is, but she always keeps going.

Caroline K


I thought this workout was going to be a Power Hour II, but it is quite different. The workout starts with a non-weighted warm up and then goes right into leg presses. Cathe and gang use a 10# plate, but once you get the form down, it is suggested that you go heavier. Next comes squats with the infamous low-ends and then you go right into dead lifts. This workout is nice in that the leg work is interspersed throughout the workout so that your lower body isn't totally blown out all at once. Next you go into back work and biceps, which a very challenging segment. Here comes the leg press again and then into static lunges with low-ends. Chest is worked next and then onto triceps. Then it's the third set of leg press (each set consists of 16 reps, then 12 reps on each leg) and onto a unique move called glute raises. No equipment on that one, but you sure do feel it! Then it's shoulder work and onto a wonderful ab routine using an 8# medicine ball. One nice thing about this workout is you don't use as many different weight selections as you do in Power Hour or some of Cathe's other videos. She uses a barbell, 8 and 5# dumbbells, the med ball, and a 14" step. No club length step and no dumbbells heavier than 8's. Cathe has really improved my endurance with Body Max and Power Hour so I was able to go heavier than the video for several segments, which made it a challenging workout. Oh, and the music is super! A+

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is personable, charming, and motivating. She has a fabulous physique which along with her enthusiasm and energy, is very inspiring. She is in great spirits for this one and appears to be working hard, but having fun!



This video is sort of like Cathe's PowerHour video or a BodyPump class.

It starts with a fun warmup and stretch. Then there's weight moves in the following order (I might've missed one):

Step-ups on tall bench w/plate
One-armed rows
Clean & Press w/rows
Bicep curls
Chest Flyes
Tricep Dips
Ticep Kickbacks
Overhead Press w/Plate
Butt Lifts (new move)
Standing Rotation Press (new move)
Front/side Lifts
Bent Arm Side Lifts

Overall, I liked this workout. Time went by quickly because you go from move to move. My muscles were worked hard! I couldn't even do the whole abs section. There are also some new moves which were great. I think this video will show results!