4 Day Split: Bootcamp

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

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There are four workouts in 4DS, each consisting of approximately 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of so of weight work. This review is for Bootcamp, which is on the same disc as Kickbox.

4DS Bootcamp is my least favorite workout of the 4DS series. The total workout clocks in at 62 minutes, but I usually do the cardio and weight sections separately. The cardio portion has a decent warmup at 8 minutes, and then it goes into 12 drills which nominally range from 1-2.5 minutes each; however, equipment changes (and there are many!) count as part of this time. It ends with a brief cool down. I usually do the premix which adds a stretch at the end for a 34 minute cardio routine (when I do this workout at all, which is rarely).

The tricep and bicep work is done in 4 rounds. There first round has one tricep, and one bicep, exercise, done in a pyramid up configuration. The remaining rounds have two exercises for each muscle group. By and large, these are old standards: overhead extensions, lying extensions (skull crushers), dips, and bicep curls (lots and lots of them). Cathe uses a band for one round of triceps exercises (press downs and kickbacks), which I thought was particularly nice/effective. The workout ends with a standing 3 minute stretch.

This DVD has 11 premixes, ranging from 31 to 105 minutes. Cathe has incorporated footage from the other 4DS workouts to include premixes that are cardio only, weights only, weights before cardio, and circuits. There are a lot of options.

Equipment used: Dumbbells in varying weights, a barbell, a band, a step, a high step, and a stability ball.

What I Like

Some of the drills are fun. (“One, two, three, four, jump! Jump!”) And once you get going, you do get your heart rate up. Also, each drill doesn’t last long, and the variety of movements is nice.

In addition, I liked the toning work in this one. It’s standard Cathe, but, in my opinion, standard Cathe is pretty darn good. I particularly liked the band work, and I also liked the hanging concentration curls. I don’t remember seeing those before in any of Cathe’s weight work; if she’s done them before, she hasn’t done them often.

Also, as with the other 4DS workouts, Bootcamp is easy to separate into cardio and weight portions. Each of the workouts (main plus premixes) has a nice card listing the exercises included and the equipment used. The premixes also have the weights that Cathe uses (this information is on the “Mix & Match” menu in the main workout). No guesswork for weights! I wish she did that with all of her workouts.

What I Don’t Like

Most of the issues I have with this workout are in the cardio portion. Sigh. This could have been so good. But…

The warm up is 8 minutes long and fairly high energy. I thought that was great… until Cathe threw in some squat thrust/pushup combos. I’m not a big fan of squat thrusts in general, but I absolutely hate going to the floor in a warm up. There’s no reason to do that, in my book. So I guess I started off the workout a little annoyed.

I also liked most of the drills. However… Cathe doesn’t do a very good job of alerting you to what’s coming, and she uses a lot of props, so I often felt that I was a step behind her. This resulted in my pausing the workout while I set up the necessary props (heart rate up! then heart rate down!). To be fair, she does tell you what props to use; she just doesn’t tell you what you’re going to be doing with them or in some cases how far to space them. (This will be less of a problem the more often you do the workout, when you know what to expect.)

Also, the flow of the drills seems to be designed for maximum inconvenience. For example, Cathe uses the step, then she does a floor drill with props, then it’s back to the step, then another floor drill with props. At one point, Cathe says that part of the calorie burn is setting up and breaking down the equipment, and you “gotta love it!” (And I say no! No, I don’t!) If she’d put all the floor drills together, then did all of the step drills (or vice versa), there would have been a lot less downtime.

Finally, the last drill is football runs with a pushup combo thrown in. I had the same reaction to this drill as I did to the squat thrusts in the warm up. Totally unnecessary! So I ended the drills as annoyed as I started them.

That said, I remember liking this workout a lot better in the past, so maybe I just had an off day myself.

In the final analysis, I liked the workout more than I didn’t. Despite the fact that it has some negatives (for me), it IS Cathe. And Cathe on a bad day is better than some instructors on a great one.

Things to Be Aware Of

There is a good bit of impact in the cardio section. Some of it can be modified down, but I don’t think all of it can. Therefore, if you can’t do — or don’t enjoy — impact, you might want to give this one a miss.

Also, the workout takes a good bit of space. One of the drills is suicide runs, and if you don’t have a lot of horizontal space, you won’t get the full cardio effect. However, I did it with about 8 or 10 feet, and it was (sort of) ok.

This one uses a LOT of equipment. At one point, I wondered what equipment Cathe DIDN’T use. (Answer: gliding discs… and hand weights/weighted gloves/a chin up bar. Pretty much everything else is in there. sigh) Be prepared to have equipment scattered all over the floor at the end, unless you’re super organized or don’t have a problem pausing the workout to gather/put away equipment and props.

Finally, the music for the most part is techno. I don’t mind that — plus, I spent so much time being annoyed at the equipment changes that I didn’t listen to the music much. However, I know that this is a deal breaker for some people, so I mention it here.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is happy and encouraging. She’s having fun in this workout, and she wants you to have fun too.