Archive for the Workout DVDs Category

ICE: Metabolic Total Body w/ Cathe Friedrich Workout DVD Review

Posted in Cathe, Health/Fitness, Review, Workout DVDs, Workout review with tags , , on March 10, 2016 by mistransformation



Cathe’s latest workout series is ICE.  This stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme.  This series is targeted towards the intermediate level exerciser but from what I’ve seen of it, I think that someone at an advanced level would be satisfied as well.

My first review from the series is with the Metabolic Total Body workout. As with most other Cathe workouts you get a lot of bang for your buck.  You get a thorough warm up and cool down, the “regular” workout and a few bonuses as well.  Cathe also gives us many premix choices and even mishmosh mixes.

The Regular Workout  – definitely have a few sets of dumbbells here.  Cathe uses everything from 5s to 15s.  I tried to be a hero the first time out and go heavy but Cathe does high repetitions and moves quickly so I suggest trying the weight level she uses until you find what works for you (maybe you go lighter or maybe you go heavier).  Cathe does mostly compound moves and your heart rate will go up without jumping.

Warm Up – 6:36
Workout – 36:58
Cool Down – 4:19
Total – 47:53

The moves:

Crossback Lunge with Overhead Press

Squat Press

Plie Squat/Upright Row

Front Lunge/Back Row/Fly

Front Swing with Abduction

Lunge Curl and Press

Front Swing with Abduction

Deadlift to Squat

Single Leg Deadlift with Front Raises

Deadrows/Upright Rows/Shrugs

Back Lunge with Rows

Side Lunge Abductions (no weights)

Front Lunge with Figure 8 Row Arms and Elbow to Knee (no weights)


Squat, Curl, Press with Tricep Extension

Squat Curl

Lunge Kick Lunge Stand (you do this in the warm up but this time with light weights)

Static Lunge with Tricep Extension

Sumo Squat with Bicep Curl

Dynamic Front Lunge Raises

Rear Lunge, Curl to Press

Front Raise with Rear Delt Pull to Lateral Raise

Squat Twists

Squat Jab

Controlled Slow Elbow to Knee (like a yoga prayer twist)


As you can see, this is a lot of great compound movements.  Your butt is going to get a great workout in this one.

The Bonus workouts are:

Total Workout – 15:29

Cathe does three sets of pushups, flat chest presses, flat chest flys and then incline presses and flys.  Again, the first time I tried to be a hero and go super heavy but when Cathe said we had 2 more sets of this I just about cried.  My chest was spent on the first set when I went super heavy.  I wondered why she was only using 12 pound dumbbells.

Total Workout – 12:21

Dynamic blast exercises (jumping) mixed with Compound weight movements

This is a nice little HiiT type workout weighted and unweighted.  You better be prepared to do a LOT of air jacks.

Total Workout – 11:00

Cathe is the Queen of Core.  With moves like:  Lying up and overs; Leg chasers; Slow bike maneuvers and Full body breast strokes. Cathe sure can pack a lot of punch in a short time and your abs/core burns in no time.

I like to use the bonuses as one total workout added together.  They are also great for add-ons or for short workouts if you are pressed for time.

Even though this series is targeted towards the intermediate level, I felt challenged just by upping the weight when I needed to.  You really can cater to your own needs.  Probably not great for a beginner, however.

I love Cathe, I love this workout and I surely will come back to it time and time again. I hope to review others in this series soon.

5 out of 5 stars.

Men’s Health Anarchy Workout System Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on April 21, 2015 by mistransformation


Anarchy is one of the latest offerings from Men’s Health.  I have reviewed a few other Men’s Health workouts on MisTransformation notably the workouts with BJ Gaddour.  The Anarchy workouts were created by Andy Speer.  He was the winner of Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition in which BJ Gaddour was a judge.  Some people may remember Andy from one of the Insanity offerings as well.

Anarchy is a 6 week program split into two 3 week phases. You get 3 discs with the system.  Disc one is your Phase One workouts – Cardio – Strength and Endurance.  You are meant to do these workouts once a week for 3 days a week for three weeks and then move on to the Phase Two workouts on Disc two.  This phase is also set up with the Cardio/Strength/Endurance workouts that you do each workout once for 3 days a week.  On your off days you may use the workouts on Disc three which are Anarchy Abs and Free Flow.  The Anarchy workouts are 30 minutes in length except for the Abs and Free Flow workouts (about 15 minutes).  You don’t need a lot of equipment for Anarchy; a set of moderate dumbbells will suffice.

The Anarchy system is all about progression.  Progression in the workouts themselves from round to round and progression within the system from Phase One to Phase Two.

Phase One:

Cardio:  No equipment needed in this one.  After a thorough warmup you will do three rounds of dynamic movements that get your heart rate up.  Each round offers different amount of time for the work to rest ratio.  In each round you do a set of movements and in the next round the movements progress to a higher level of difficulty.

Strength:  A set of moderate dumbbells is needed.  I think this was my favorite out of all of the workouts.  I liked the combination of movements.  Goblet Squats – Lawnmower rows – Split Stance lunge with a shoulder press – RDL – Skull Crushers and Chest presses.  These moves progress in round two the goblet squat adds a curl – the split stance lunch add a push press –  the deadlift becomes a one-legged deadlift – during your skull crusher you lift your legs and the chest press is harder with an iso hold.  The work to rest ratio also changes from round to round.

Most notably in this workout is the Burnout Round:  6 exercises 30 seconds each with no break between moves.  These are moves you will be familiar with – most having been done in this workout.  This Burnout round is really what makes this workout special.  When I was done I wished the whole workout had been this tough.

Endurance:  No equipment necessary.  This is a bodyweight challenged workout.  This workout has a 6 minute warmup which is the longest warmup of all 6 workouts on Anarchy.  The moves you will be doing challenge your balance and some challenge your core. Some of the moves you will be doing are:  Sprint balance hold – Sprint buildup run – Pulldown to pushup – Downward dog to pushup (or do a divebomber if you can) – Rockstar sweep (which is like a breakdance move) – bodyweight crawls and bird dogs. The work to rest ratio is primarily 45 seconds of work to 15 seconds of rest.

Round Three of this workout has some dynamic movements like the hollow rock (hollow man while rocking) – punch jacks – bunny jacks and a squat jack.  These are done 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest.

This workout also has a Burnout Round of 6 moves done for 30 seconds each with no rest between.

PHASE TWO has the same setup as Phase One.  The moves are very similar but they harder in difficulty level and there is more work time and less rest times.  Again my favorite was the Strength routine.  Most notably is the sumo high pull that progresses from round one to a dumbbell snatch in round two.  Also deserving of a mention is the fact that the finisher in Strength Two is 4 minutes in length.

In addition, I also liked the finisher round in Endurance Two – this is a three minute thirty second long round in which you do a pyramid of two movements – the pushup and the squat jump.  First you do one of each; then two of each; then three of each, etc., trying to make your way up the pyramid to ten reps.

Anarchy Abs and the Free Flow workouts on Disc 3 are about 15 minutes in length each.  Anarchy abs is a true testament to why Andy has developed the midsection that he has (which is pretty sexy I must say).  The Free Flow workout are some mobility and stretching movements that are a nice add-on to any of these other workouts and you even get a tad bit of strength added in here on some of the movements.

Overall I would give Anarchy 4 out of 5.  I would have given it 5 stars if it just had a little something extra like Black Fire (read my earlier review of the Black Fire program). The burnout rounds are really what I was hoping for in the entire system.  In fact I loved the burnout rounds so much in this workout that I strung all of them together one day for an entire workout of burnouts and I have to say that this was PURE ANARCHY.  What I did was used the warmup for the first burnout round that I was going to complete then forwarded to the burnout round (watch the clock so you can stop promptly).  After completing the burnout round of course you have to stop and start and go to the next burnout round on the next workout which might seem like a pain but if you are prepared and do it fast enough it’s a welcome break and not too long either – just be quick about it.  You can then use the cool down on the last burnout round you complete.  This was what I was really hoping for out of a workout entitled Anarchy.

Patrick Goudeau Presents: Release with Erin Kirk – Yoga DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Stress Relief, Workout DVDs, Workout review, Yoga on August 7, 2014 by mistransformation


Release is a yoga practice video that is lead by Erin Kirk and presented by Mr. Choreography himself, Patrick Goudeau.

I appreciated this yoga practice because it had something other than your typical sun salutations over and over like many other DVDs out on the market (Disclosure:  Sun Salutations are not my favorite vinyasa flow).

This practice starts out with a dancey type rhythmic warmup.  This was a bit different and sort of had me afraid that I would not care for the rest of the practice but then we went into the Starfish Sun Salute vinyasa flow and my mind changed. This vinyasa was a non-warrior flow and featured triangles and starfish poses.

In this practice you will do lots of fun things like lizard pose, eagle balance, work your core with boat pose and open your hips with pigeon pose.

In the end we get the sweet little dessert known as savasana and enjoy a bit of chanting and singing by Erin.

This practice does allow for someone that is advanced to go to their level of a pose while a less experienced yogi could stay back with the level that is comfortable for them.  Always remember:  Yoga is a personal practice and you should do what is good for your body and not push to what hurts your body.

That being said, I was surprised at how well Patrick did throughout the video.  While he couldn’t exactly do everything the teacher did, he did exhibit that he definitely has been practicing yoga for awhile.

I would give this yoga practice DVD 4 out of  5 stars.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.


Scott Cole Discover Tai Chi For Fitness Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Stress Relief, Tai Chi, Workout DVDs, Workout review on February 15, 2014 by mistransformation


Okay, I found a new love and that love is Scott Cole (he’s really hot for his age – over 50).  At a recent stop to my local library I found Discover Tai Chi in the Fitness section of the library.  Scott has quite a few tai chi DVDs on the market  but this is my first tai chi experience with him.

My dablings in tai chi are minimal.  A few workouts that I own use it as a cool down at the end of a workout.  I always felt the calming effects and thought it might be enjoyable so one day I tried a different  tai chi DVD from the library about a year ago.  I gave up quickly when I just could not follow along with the guy leading it.  I did not have any problems following along with Scott at all.  Scott’s demeanor is very soft, calm and gentle.

This tai chi DVD has Five different 10 minute segments:  Balance; Strength; Mobility; Flexibility; and Stress Reduction.  I would say the first three segments (Balance, Strength and Mobility) focus the most on tai chi whereas Flexibility and Stress Reduction have a little yoga thrown in as well. The Stress Reduction portion uses a chair.

In some of the segments you will hear Scott talk about qigong and how it relates and differs from tai chi.  I have only dabbled in quigong but would like to learn more about this in the future as well.

This DVD contains bonus segments including a short position review tutorial which may be helpful if you have no prior experience with tai chi.  I didn’t view this tutorial until after I completed the entire DVD.

Someone that likes yoga may like tai chi or on the opposite end someone that doesn’t like yoga may prefer tai chi because of its constant movement.   One thing that I like about tai chi that I also like about yoga is that it takes away my anxiety and calms me.

On another note:  Be sure to visit the bonus section of this DVD to watch Scott practice tai chi shirtless.  You won’t be disappointed.

I almost didn’t pick this DVD up at the library and I’m really glad I did.  I found it very calming and peaceful and hope to try a few more of Scott’s tai chi DVDs in the future.

Four out of Five Stars.

New Year! New Rear! Cathe Great Glutes DVD Winner Review

Posted in Cathe, Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on January 27, 2014 by mistransformation


You may remember that last year I had my New Year!  New Rear! drawing for Cathe’s Great Glutes DVD.  The winner was Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd.    She also runs a blog at:  Please check out her blog.    When I did my drawing I asked that the winner come back here and give me their thoughts on the DVD.  The following is Jonelle “FitGirl’s” review:

From Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd:

If you’re already a Cathe Friedrich fan, you know that Cathe NEVER disappoints! And this DVD was no exception!

First let me say, I am somewhat of a newbie to Cathe’s workouts. Being the workout dvd queen that I am (I probably have almost any workout DVD that you can think of), of course I had heard of her, Cathe is well known in the fitness community and has TONS of workout DVDs to her credit! I even had a couple of her DVDs (“High Reps” and “Gym Style – Back, Shoulders & Biceps”), but it wasn’t until I bought her Low Impact Series workouts that I really became a fan. I had been doing the Low Impact workouts for a couple of months when I entered Missy’s giveaway and won the “Great Glutes” DVD.

I have to admit, while I was excited about receiving the DVD and getting another Cathe workout to add to my collection, I honestly didn’t think that this was going to be much more than just a whole bunch of squats and lunges. I didn’t expect it to be the whole body workout that it is! Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of squats and lunges, but Cathe uses exercise moves using gliding discs, an exercise ball, dumbbells, loops, and a chair to not only work your glutes and legs, but your arms, shoulders, and core too! It’s an awesome strength workout but it surprised me by giving me a little cardio action, too! My heart was pumping, sweat was forming, and I was definitely feeling the burn! I’ve been doing this workout for a couple of weeks now and every time I finish it, I feel great! A little sore? MOST DEFINITELY! Lol! But that just gives me even more proof that I’ve completed one body changing workout!

Cathe is hardcore, and this is a pretty long workout, around 55 minutes long, so I would definitely rate this at an intermediate to advanced level. But even if you are a beginner, this workout could still be done with some adjustments. Cathe provides some slightly shorter premix workouts and you can always cut back on the amount of reps you choose to do, taking breaks in between exercise segments.

In conclusion, would I recommend this workout? DEFINITELY! It’s a full body workout that while its primary focus is glutes, will work every part of your body and I have no doubt that if done consistently will give you a GREAT BODY!

There you have it from Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd.  Again, please check out her blog at

Thanks to Jonelle for the great review on my blog.

Cathe Great Glutes Workout DVD Review

Posted in Cathe, Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on November 21, 2013 by mistransformation


Great Glutes is a 55 minute (w/ 6 minute chair segment bonus) lighter weight glute focused workout. The tools needed are a few sets of dumbbells (or one if that’s all you have), gliding discs or a paper plate, exercise ball and the Firewalker (loop stretch band) and chair for the bonus segment.

After a thorough warm up Cathe starts off with a bang:  Compound moves with a non-plyometric cardio move interspersed between more compound moves to get your heart rate up and keep it up.  The first segment is all standing and approximately 17 minutes in length.  As usual Cathe uses tempo changes and pulsing to really burn out your butt on the squats and lunges.  Cathe uses 8 pound dumbbells but this wasn’t heavy enough for me and to make this segment more advanced I had to use heavier weights.  If you like using lighter weights then this workout is for you.

The second segment is another standing portion that uses gliding discs.  If you don’t have gliding discs you can use a paper plate.  This segment is approximately 8 minutes in length.  This portion is a series of lunges with change of tempo, pulsing, etc., utilized once again.  After the first standing portion this was a relief to move on to.

The third segment utilizes the stability ball and your hamstrings will really be worked.  First there are roll-ins with both legs and then after two rounds of that you do roll-ins one leg at a time.  After that you get to squeeze the ball ala Thighmaster flashback and then you feel like a kid at the playground when you throw the ball up to your feet and catch it.

The fourth segment is the floor work without equipment.  There are only two moves:  Hydrants and Pizza Presses.  This may sound simple but in true Cathe style she burns your butt with a ton of reps.  I would estimate over 100 for each move on each leg.  This works the endurance and I really have to fight to get through this.  I think this portion is what was responsible for my DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) the next day.

There is an optional 6 minute ballet style chair bonus to work your calves and hamstrings.  You will need a “firewalker” (loop stretch band) and one weight plus the chair.

A thorough stretch ends the workout.

So as you can see the workout is called Great Glutes but you are also going to work your inner thighs, hamstrings and calves for Great Legs as well.  I mean what good are great glutes if you don’t have some great legs to go with your great butt?

I’m going to be honest here I do like this workout but I prefer the heavyweight “Gym Style” workouts that I reviewed last week to this.  It’s a great workout for people who do not like to use heavy weights or for use on days when you don’t want to lift heavy.  I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Stay tuned because in the next few days I will have a post where you can win your own Great Glutes DVD (a brand new still in the plastic wrap DVD.  I’m not giving up my own just yet.). 

Vintage Cathe Workout DVD Reviews

Posted in Cathe, Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on November 14, 2013 by mistransformation

A few posts back I mentioned my jackpot of great vintage Cathe DVDs (my Coming Soon post).  I have finally completed all of the DVDs and am now in a position to talk about them.  Instead of doing each on a separate post I am just going to say a little bit about each one.  These have been out on the market for a while and a lot of diehard Catheletes probably already have these workouts.

My Favorite:  Lower Body Blast.  Out of all four of my recent purchases this is my favorite.  I think a better title for it would have been Lower Body Burn because that is exactly what is going to happen when you complete this.  There is one segment where Cathe does split squats or a lunge where one leg is raised on the step in the back.  I normally do these with like 20 pounds so when Cathe said she was doing them without weight I thought: What?  After doing it I completely understood.  She does such a high rep count with a combination of tempos and holds that it really does make your butt burn.  The “low ends” are killer.  This workout is a great all around workout for the lower body.  You get strength, cardio bursts and conditioning exercises.  With the bonus conditioning work this is 76 minutes in total length.  Conveniently chaptered and premixed.


Most Bang for your Buck:  Pyramid Lower & Upper Body. This DVD has two separate workouts on it and that makes it a great value.  A 56 minute workout for the upper body and a 49 minute workout for the lower body.  Cathe uses the pyramid format for weights and rep counts and this really does work your muscles to fatigue (if you lift heavy enough).  I had some great DOMS the day after I completed each of these.   This DVD is chaptered to mix and match between the two workouts.  Good workout but horrible background set lol.  OMG what were they thinking.  It’s so cheesy looking.


Most challenging:  Gym Style Legs.  This workout is total isolation/compound exercises with no cardio bursts but anyone who works legs knows that a leg workout can still get the heart rate up.  A variety of tools are used: Band, high step, dumbbells, barbell, and stability ball.  Another workout that works the lower half to fatigue.   One thing I remember in this workout is burning out my calves like never before.  Cathe doesn’t let up in the calf raises off of the step.  Relentless.  67 minutes in length.  Another one with a terrible setting. Thank god the workout ROCKS!

GymStyleLegsMy Least Favorite:  Body Max 2.  Yes Body Max 2 is my least favorite of these gems but that doesn’t mean it is worthless or that it will never get used.  The reason why it is my least favorite is because of the step choreography.  I’m a little clumsy at first but I’m getting better at it.  I’ve even done a couple of other Cathe step workouts but I like more athletic/less dancey when it comes to step.  This workout is versatile.  It has Step Combos – Power Circuits which is step choreography with lower body moves interspersed; Upper body weights, Abs and a bonus cardio segment.  One thing I really did like about this workout and probably when I use it the most for is the option to do  double upper body.  You do two sets of each of the upper body moves with this premix plus the abs and I felt this premix option was golden.  So even though I say it was my least favorite I still find it useful.


There you have it.  Once again stay tuned I have another Cathe review and giveaway coming soon!