Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp is an Incredible Total Body Workout for Women
This workout has every element I look for in the ideal total body workout for women.
I love Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp.
Strong & Sweaty Boot Camp has a perfect balance of cardio and strength training.
Here’s a peek:
You won’t have a near-death experience from the cardio portion but it’s still (very) intense. And Boot Camp will chisel your muscles but not make you so sore you can’t wash your hair the next day.
Need a few more reasons to love this workout?
There’s no complicated choreography. You won’t need that many tools. The main routine is a reasonable length (45 minutes). And anyone can do the exercises.
If you’re still not sure then let me tell you more…
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Category-Cardio + Strength
Equipment-an exercise step with 2 risers (per side), a barbell (with 20 lbs.), and dumbbells (10, 12, and 15 lbs.)
If you need some help with which dumbbells to buy then use my link above or read this, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells.
My rating- A
My Favorite Premix on Boot Camp: Mish Mosh Extreme #2 (Warm-Up+Rounds 1-6+Round 2, 3, and 5+Stretch)
The Important Stuff about Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp
There are 6 rounds of exercises in Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp.
Each round has 4 parts (a cardio segment, a lower body exercise with weight, a compound exercise with weight, and then an upper body move with/without weight).
You’ll need an exercise step (with 2 risers on each side) but only as a tool for repetitive cardio moves. You won’t need to figure out any choreography.
There are 13 premix routines on this video. (A premix is an additional workout using pieces of the main routine PLUS other workouts (sometimes) or a reorganizing of the main program.) Some of the premixes are shorter and some are longer. That means you get 14 total workouts with this program. A great investment.
I always say that it’s fine to replace any exercise where Cathe Friedrich is using a barbell with a pair of dumbbells (of equal weight). I’m sticking with that for this routine because that’s what I do (someday I’m going to buy a barbell) BUT if you already have a barbell then use it when Cathe does in this routine. Some of the exercises are just more practical with a barbell.
There’s no core segment in the main program (the one I’m reviewing here) in Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp (*sad face*). I’d have slapped an A+ on this thing if there was. HOWEVER, you will be engaging your core if you’re doing the exercises properly in this routine. If you want to do an A+ version of Boot Camp then do premix #1 (it’s the whole routine plus an ab segment).
There are several exercises in Boot Camp that require you to ‘toss’ a DB from hand to hand. Or switch the DB from hand to hand (really fast). There’s also one exercise where you’re literally swinging two 12 lb. DB’s over your head. Don’t be dumb.
If the weight is too heavy for you to maintain proper form when you do it then put down the DB or get a lighter one. And if you can’t go at Cathe’s pace then don’t throw a tantrum. She’s a pro. Most people can’t do what she does. Hug yourself for trying this thing. You’ll get better every time you do it.
Pay attention to my form pointers for Round 3. And Round 5 is the hardest one so you might want to browse over those exercises, too.
The Strong and Sweaty series is labeled beautifully with on-screen prompts for every section to let you know what equipment you need to grab (if you’re doing the routine exactly like Cathe). I LOVE this feature.
Remember to read to the end of this post for tips on every section of Strong & Sweaty Boot Camp as well as links to a few places you can compare prices on this video.
The warm-up is about 5 minutes long. You don’t need any equipment for this section.
Main Workout (The Exercises in Strong & Sweaty Boot Camp)
You’ll need a step with 2 risers on each side, a BB (barbell) with 20 lbs. (or two 10 lb. DB’s), and 8 and 15 lb. DB’s to complete this section
The first cardio move is an alternating plunge lunge off your step
There are 8 sets of 8
Elevated Lunges with 20 lb. BB (or two 10 lb. DB’s)
The exercise is a one-leg lunge. You’ll have one leg propped up on the step behind you. Keep your chest tall and your core tight. This exercise requires balance, and it’ll be easier on one side than the other.
There are 16 single reps, then 2 sets of 7 low-end pulses
Repeat on the other leg
Static Lunge & Front Side Raise with 8 lb. DB’s
This exercise is harder than it looks. Pay attention to the details. Notice that she’s coming up out of the static lunge when she does the side raise.
Bicep Curls with 15 lb. DB’s
There are 2 sets of 8. Stay with the team on each rep.
If you don’t lift weights very often you might need to have 12’s close by to finish the set.
Equipment used in this round-step (you’ll keep 2 risers on both sides for the entire routine), BB with 20 lbs, and 10 lb. DB’s
Wide Box Jumps/Plyo Jacks/Power 7’s on each leg
There are 4 wide box jumps and 4 plyo jacks
She does this combination twice
Marching Sumos with your 20 lb. BB (or two 10 lb. DB’s)
You’ll ‘march’ in a circle. Each ¼ turn is an 8 count (so you’ll do 32 ‘marches’ to make a full circle).
Repeat going the other direction
Front Swing Overhead Press with two 10 lb. DB’s
You MUST keep your core tight on this exercise. Don’t sway your hips to launch the weights up. That’s wrong, girls. Ten pounds should feel challenging if you’re doing this correct.
Don’t get too excited about swinging and forget there’s a plié squat and wide overhead press in there, too.
There are 2 sets of 8
Push ups (*sadness*)
There are 8 singles then she adds a step out to the exercise. She prompts everything perfectly so just listen to her and stay in that plank position.
Do these on your toes. Don’t be a wimp. There aren’t that many. And I bet you can do more than you thought you could.
Equipment needed for round 3-step, BB with 20 lbs, 10 lb. DB’s
Squats in a Box
2 sets of 8 (switch to the other side of the step on the second set)
Don’t make this complicated. You’re just jumping in a square around the step.
Cross Back Lunge Sumo Squat with a 10 lb. DB
Warning-You probably won’t catch on to this pattern the first time you do it. Why? The tempo.
She goes really fast and you have to toss the weight from hand to hand. It’ll take a few reps for you to figure out how you’re going to toss the weight and then you have to get the legs down, and finally you have to speed up to keep up with her and the team.
I think I got in every rep the 2nd or 3rd time I did this routine—but definitely not the first time, through. It takes effort to keep your chest up on this one. When you try to go faster your chest will start to collapse. Pay attention to your form.
Single Leg Deadlift with Front Raise & Upright Row (with 20 lb. BB)
You know how I recommended that you get out your barbell (if you have one) for some of these exercises? This move (and the next one) is one of the reasons why. I do it just fine with my DB’s but it’d be easier to have perfect form with a barbell (in my opinion).
There are 3 parts to each rep (the deadlift, into an immediate front raise and upright row). Keep your torso tight and tall for the front raise/upright row combination.
Dips off your step with a 20 lb. BB (or 10 lb. DB’s)
ATTENTION-This exercise is the other one that really doesn’t work with 2 DB’s.
Cathe puts the barbell across her lap to do the dips. My DB’s slide off my lap AND force me to keep my thighs wide open to make room for the DB’s. If you don’t have a BB then I suggest you get one 20 lb. DB. With your thighs together one DB will stay put while you’re dipping.
If all you have are two 10 lb. DB’s then make it work. It’s not the end of the world.
There are 4 sets of 8 in the first set, then two more sets of 16 reps (that’s a LOT of reps)
Equipment Cathe uses in round 4-step, 10 lb. DB’s, BB loaded with 20 lbs., 12 lb. DB’s
Squat Thrust/2 Plank Jacks/Box Jumps
When you go down for the squat thrust/plank jacks your hands will go on the step, not the floor.
You do this combination for 2 sets of four reps. Then get ready for a ‘BONUS’ set of 8 box jumps added to the end of the set.
Squat Toss with one 10 lb. DB
I don’t like it when Cathe tells you to pick up a DB then uses the word ‘toss’ to describe the exercise.
You hold the DB in one hand in front of you and do a squat. With each squat you swap the DB to the other hand.
The first couple of times I did this routine I couldn’t keep up with her on this exercise. I finally figured out the tempo and the hand change by the 3rd time. You can’t go deep in the squat or you won’t keep up.
There are 32 reps in set one. Then you go a little slower on the second set and do 16 more reps.
Rear Lunge with a 20 lb. BB (or two 10 lb. DB’s)
You’ll stand on the step and lunge back with one leg. Stay in the lunge and do 3 overhead presses. (I wish I had a BB for this exercise, too). Come back up and then lunge back with the other leg.
After you do a set of triple overhead presses on each leg Cathe does four single reps alternating legs. You’ll do that entire combination twice.
One Arm Back Fly & Reverse Fly with a 12 lb. DB
It feels like there are more of these than there actually are. The last 16 reps are tough. Make sure you keep your core really tight. Control the weight.
One Arm Back Fly-12 reps each side
Double Arm Fly-16 reps
Equipment for round 5-step, 12 lb. DB’s, 20 lb. BB (or 10 lb. DB’s)
*I think this is the hardest cardio section. The step is really high and you’ll be really tired. Make sure you GO FOR IT when you jump up or you’ll catch your toe on the bench.
You’ll position yourself with the step between your legs. The combination is 2 straddle jumps followed by a forward a back jump (with the step between your legs).
Don’t cheat on this exercise. Make sure you’re touching the step with your fingertips when you go down in the straddle.
Side to Side Toss Lunges with a 12 lb. DB
There’s that word ‘toss’ paired with the word dumbbell, again.
This exercise isn’t hard but you have to figure out how you’re going to position your hands on the DB with each swap. If you don’t commit to a hand position your hands will get in a scrambled mess and you’ll drop 12 lbs. on your foot.
Keep your core tight. This exercise is easy so you’ll be tempted to check out. Stay focused.
Cross Over Top (of the step) with a Clean & Press holding a 20 lb. BB (or two 10 lb. DB’s)
Cathe demos the clean and press before you get started. Pay attention to her form pointers. You don’t know everything. Listen to Cathe, she’s the pro.
The clean and press isn’t hard but when you pair it with a cross over the step it’s a whole new exercise. The first few reps are easy. The last few are not.
Bicep Curls with 12 lb. DB’s
Cathe challenges you to pick up 15 lb. DB’s ‘if you’re feeling strong.’ There are a crap ton of reps. I wouldn’t recommend getting a heaver weight than she does.
Equipment Cathe uses in Round 6-step, BB (loaded with 20 lbs.), 12 lb. DB’s, 10 lb. DB’s
Swim Lunges & Peak Lunges over the Step
This is a classic step aerobic move. It’s fun. Your feet never change, just your arms.
Diagonal Front Lunges with the BB (or two 10 lb. DB’s)
There are two sets of 8 reps on each leg.
Pull Overs & Chest Flys with 12 lb. DB’s
I count 11 reps. Each rep is 2 exercises (the pull over and a chest fly).
On the 5th rep you add your legs to the exercise. I suck at that part of the move. My core is pretty strong but I have to fight hard to keep my back on the step while my arms are moving.
Kickback Planks with a 10 lb. DB
Keep both hips facing the floor. Your body will want to rotate open but don’t let it.
Control the weight. There are 12 reps on each side.
The cool down/stretch section is about 3 minutes long. Don’t skip it, girls.
This is one of my favorite routines in the Strong and Sweaty series. Boot Camp is a solid program in a short amount of time and anyone can figure out all the exercises. I love any routine that combines cardio with strength training, and this one blends those two components perfectly.
You can find this routine in a few different places:
- Cathe’s site
- Collage Video
- And you can access ALL of Cathe Friedrich’s workouts (including every premix and Live program) with a subscription to Cathe on Demand. I won’t get any money if you sign up for that service but I always mention it because I love it. If you want to know more about Cathe on Demand then read this.
✔If you like this routine then you may also like Body Max 2 (Boot Camp premix)
Thank you for reading!
“Life is complicated. Fitness doesn’t have to be.”
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