Cross Train Express: Upper Body Split

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Upper Body Strength

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A comprehensive upper-body tape compiled from all the strength sessions in Cathe's Cross Train Express series. You will need a step for use as a bench, plus dumbbells and a barbell. All the exercises could be done with dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. There is no warmup or cooldown/stretch in this workout, as it was done before Cathe started premixes, so when you hit "play" Cathe is setting you up for back work; the workout ends after the final set of biceps work. You will definitely want to add on a warmup and stretch from another workout. Music is CTX's generic background stuff, and the set is the arched-doorway one. Backgrounders vary from 4-5 in number. The full workout is 56 minutes long, but the sections are easy to break up if you want a shorter workout: 13 minutes back, 10 chest, 10 shoulders, 11+ of triceps and 10+ of biceps.

Cathe works each body part fully before moving to the next: back, chest, shoulders, triceps, then biceps. I would call this more muscle endurance-focused than strength, because the rep counts are relatively high and there is not much rest between sets. You could modify to make this a strength-building workout by cutting the number of reps (do 8 slow reps when Cathe does 16 fast single reps) or increasing the rest time between sets.

The exercises are:
Barbell dead row (3 sets of 16 reps)
Barbell underhand triple row (3 sets of 5 reps, each rep has 3 rows)
One-arm row with dumbbell (1 drop set of 8 reps at heavy weight, 12 at medium weight and 16 at light weight)
Barbell deadlift (2 set of 8 reps)

Barbell bench press (1 set of 24, 1 set of 24 with tempo changes like 3 counts down, 1 up or 1 down, 3 up, one set of 12 with tempo changes)
Dumbbell flyes into bench press (1 set of 8 flyes, 1 set of 8 press, 1 set of 16 reps of fly-into-press)
Pushups (2 sets of 16: 4 slow reps, 12 regular)

Dumbbell overhead press (1 warmup set of 16 at lighter weight, 2 sets of 8 at heavier)
Dumbbell bent-arm lateral raise (1 set of 10, 1 set of 8)
Dumbbell side lateral/rear delt fly/front raise giant set (2 sets, 8 reps per exercise)
Dumbbell bent-over shrug (2 sets of 16 reps)
Dumbbell overhead press (1 set of 16)

Barbell lying close-grip press (1 set of 16 reps with constant tempo changes, pulses)
Dumbbell lying French press (2 sets of 16, second set with tempo changes)
Single arm dumbbell overhead extension into kickbacks (1 set of 16, 1 set of 12)
Triceps pushups (1 set of 8)

Barbell crazy 8s (2 sets; each set has 8 reps of halfway up curls, 8 reps of halfway down curls and 8 reps of full curls)
Alternating dumbbell curls (1 set of 10, 1 set of 12)
Alternating dumbbell rotation curls (1 set of at least 12, 1 set of 18)
Seated dumbbell concentration curls (1 set of 20: 16 straight curls, 3 reps with pulses, 1 rep of slow 8-counts down)

Cathe's form pointers are decent in this workout, so a beginner could do it, but I'd advise another workout with more detailed form pointers (Pure Strength, for example) before tackling this one. It's geared toward intermediate and advanced exercisers because of the pace. This workout is not much on fun factor - the set's a little dreary, Cathe is matter-of-fact, the music is not at all inspiring - but it is basic, straightforward and gets the job done.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is professional and demonstrates excellent form. There is very little chatter in this workout; mostly form pointers, rep counts and encouragement.



I’ve really enjoyed these segments. I know that they are parts from the CTX Series cardio segments, but I did them separately from the cardio segments. The workout is available separately on VHS. I have been using workout videos for about 3 three and I consider myself an intermediate exerciser.

I used this workout as a split; the first day was back and biceps and the second day was chest, shoulders and triceps. I liked most of the exercises and all of it was fairly tough, but I found the chest and triceps to be the most challenging. Those staggered push-ups in the chest segment are hard! I was able to do the first set on my toes until Cathe said it was okay to drop to the knees. For the second set of push-ups, I did them all on my knees. In the triceps segment I had to substitute overhead tricep extensions for the French presses as French presses really bother my left elbow. For the second set of tricep extension/tricep kickback supersets, I was only able to do 12 extensions to Cathe’s 16 because I didn’t want to drop the dumbbell on my head and knock myself out. Of course by the time we got to the triceps push-ups at the end my arms were fried and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it. I dropped to my knees and eeked them out but, oh my goodness, it was tough!

The second time I did this workout, it was just as tough, but I was able to progress a little tiny bit in some areas. I was able to increase my weights a little on back and biceps since I knew what to expect, but I definitely “feel the burn.” One thing I like about the shoulder segment is that there are overhead presses, but no Arnold presses which I am not comfortable with. I still had to do the staggered push-ups the same way—maybe I wobbled a little less, but I’m not sure. I finished all the tricep extensions with 8 pound weights, but still had to be on my knees for the tricep push-ups.

Instructor Comments:

Karen (Rhae)