Review: Cathe Friedrich – Perfect Pump

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Overview: Cathe’s Perfect Pump DVD features time-efficient upper body and lower body workouts designed to get you lifting heavy so you can get strong. There are also plenty of premixes to choose from, as well as upper body, lower body and core bonuses.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells of varying weights (5-35 lbs); tubing with handles; step with 4 risers; high step with 4 risers; mat; 2 weight plates

Workout times:

Upper Body – Warm-up: 4:00; Main program: 25:20; Stretch: 1:23 – Total: 30:43
Lower Body – Warm-up: 5:07; Main program: 23:19; Stretch: 2:22 – Total 30:48
Upper Body Bonus – 4:52
Lower Body Bonus – 7:39
Core Bonus – 9:17
Extended Stretch Bonus – 8:17

Workout structure:

Upper Body exercises: Pullover; one-arm row; bent over clutch row; posture pull; rapid row toss; standing sweeper curl; clutch curl; bicep curl; incline front V lat raise combo; lateral raise; scarecrow; push press 3.5; battle ropes; incline bench press; incline clutch press; flat dead bug fly; leg lift pushups; overhead extension; banded kickbacks; kickbacks; tricep pushups; tricep dips

Lower Body exercises: Squats; static lunge; deadlift; pick up squats; elevated lunge; explosive lunge; deadlifts with toes elevated; heels elevated front squat; step up; single leg deadlift; front lunge; close grip squat; squat crossover lunge; forward leaning glute lunge; Cossack squat; calf raise

Upper Body Bonus: Upright row single-double/single-double; single arm rear delt fly combo grip; bench press, fly combo; banded curl 1.5; banded overhead tricep extension

Lower Body Bonus: Hamstring press; outer thigh press; banded glute squeeze

Core Bonus: Banana hold into opposite hand to foot; rotating piston plank; T raise superman; glute bridge leg drop; side plank angle extension

My impressions:

Cathe’s Perfect Pump workout DVD is the strength part of her Perfect 30 set. It features a lower body and upper body workout, along with bonuses and a variety of premixes. I’ve only done the Lower Body + Upper Body + Extended Stretch premix, which comes in at 61:49, but there are plenty to choose from. There are 10 basic premixes, 5 timesaver premixes, and 5 mishmosh premixes. The longest premix on the DVD (Lower Body + Upper Body + Lower Body Bonus + Upper Body Bonus + Core Bonus + Extended Stretch) comes in at 83:41.

These workouts use heavy weights – the recommended equipment includes dumbbells ranging from 5 to 35 pounds, but I don’t think Cathe uses anything under 15 pounds (except during the warmup), and for a couple of the squat exercises she uses 40-pound dumbbells. Tubing is also used for a few exercises. You won’t need a barbell, although you will need a couple of barbell plates to lift the heels and toes during a couple of the lower body exercises. The rep range is fairly low, as well.

Even though the individual upper body and lower body workouts are short, Cathe packs quite a few exercises into them, as you can see in the Workout Structure section above. Because there are so many exercises in a short time frame, you’ll be moving quickly from exercise to exercise, so you’ll want to have your equipment ready to go.

While the DVD includes standard exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, and bicep curls, several of them were new to me, including the forward leaning glute lunge, incline front V lat raise combo, and incline clutch press. I had slight bit of trouble keeping up with some of the unfamiliar lower body exercises, but all in all I managed to get through the workout fine, even though the pace was a bit faster than most strength training workouts.

Summary: If you want to lift heavy, this DVD should definitely have a place in your workout rotation. Plenty of premixes provide a variety of options to choose from – you can do a short, focused workout, or a longer one, depending on what you have time for. Cathe packs a lot into these workouts and moves quickly, so be prepared! You can purchase this DVD on its own, or as part of the Perfect 30 set.

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