Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of Afterburn (A Unique Dumbbell Workout for Women)

February 9, 2019

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Afterburn with Cathe Friedrich is a great low impact workout where you’ll burn a ton of calories.

For some reason, whenever I see ‘low impact’ on a video I assume it will be slightly easier.

Afterburn is the perfect example for why I should never think that.

Here’s a peek at Afterburn:

So, don’t be fooled by those two words: Low Impact.

Afterburn offers an incredible workout even while giving your joints a little vacation.

Let me tell you what you need and what you’re going to see in the Afterburn program with Cathe Friedrich…

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

Cathe Friedrich doing a side lunge with a black dumbbell in her left hand ready to do an overhead press

Instructor: Cathe Friedrich

This workout is from the Low Impact Series by Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength

Length-54 minutes

HRM-460 calories


Dumbbells (5, 10, 15 lbs.)


dixie cups

a mat (optional if you’re on carpet)


My rating– A

If you don’t own any dumbbells and don’t know where to start then read this, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells.

The Important Stuff about Afterburn

As always Cathe actually does the entire workout with you. That’s important to me so I like to mention it.  She also lets you know exactly what weight she’s using.  (Thank you, Cathe)

Afterburn is a great workout option, especially if you don’t have room for an aerobic step. The routine is advanced.  There are a lot of compound moves using weights. There’s a great stretch at the end so don’t stop the video before you get to it!

I missed Cedie in this video!  She’s in almost every Cathe Friedrich video.  It was kinda weird without her back there counting.

Afterburn is the perfect video to pull out if you regularly do high-impact exercise and your joints need a day off.

If you’ve done workouts using discs before then you know it’s sometimes ok to replace the discs with paper plates (on carpet) or washcloths under your feet (if you’re on hardwood) but I’d recommend you invest in the actual equipment if you’re going to be doing this workout all the time. 

Discs aren’t expensive and it will make a big difference in your experience in this workout.  (I’ve used paper plates and washcloths before and they just don’t work as well as you might think.)

After the warm-up this workout is divided into intervals. Each of the intervals (there are 10) consist of 2 exercises.  The first move is a cardio move and the second move uses weights.  This is great metabolic training.  That means serious calorie burn and sculpting together.  Win-win.

Make sure you read to the end of this post for tips on every section of Afterburn as well as links to 4 different places you can find this program.  


This part is simple, short, and thorough.  You’ll be ready to go.

Main Workout (The exercises in Afterburn by Cathe Friedrich)

Interval I

The cardio move is a squat dig.  She does a lot of them.

The strength move is a curl squat press with 10 lb. DB’s.  You might have to use 8’s on these.  Again, there are a lot of reps.  That’s what this video is all about, low-impact and high-reps.

Now you repeat both of these moves.  I always stick with the 10’s but you can adjust your weights for the next set if you need to.

Interval II

Mountain climbers on the discs are next.  This gets your heart going because it goes on for days.

The strength move is an alternating front lunge with the dixie cups.  The cups are optional, of course, but everyone can find a dixie cup (or a couple of your kids’ small plastic cups from your cabinet) so you may as well use them.

Repeat both exercises.

Interval III

The cardio move is a lateral skate.

The strength move is a front swing with a 15 lb. dumbbell.  This is a great core move.  I like to switch which hand I place on top (of the weight) in each set.  Keep your arms extended and don’t knock your head with the weight.


Interval IV

Get ready for about a thousand air squats.

Next are burpees with a straddle jack push-up on the discs.  I think these are nearly impossible to do on paper plates.  The plates catch/drag on the floor.  If you don’t have discs then just jump out into the straddle push-up.


Interval V

Runner sprints are the cardio move.  Stay low.  You do both sides in each set.  Don’t listen to your thighs.  They want cake.  You want to look good.

Rear lunges with hammer curls using 10’s are the strength move.  You may have to go down in weight for the second set.  It’s a lot of curls.


Interval VI

This next cardio move is frustrating.  Cathe does what she calls kick-thru’s (I really want to spell it this way but that may be wrong) in a high plankYou may kick yourself in the shin (I always do).  You may catch your toe on the floor (I always do).  Just keep going.  No one cares if you look dumb.

The strength move is a plié squat with one-arm upright rows using a 15 lb. dumbbell.  She does both sides on both sets.


Interval VII

The next cardio move is a jumping jack on the discs with changing arm moves.  It’s not hard.

This strength move is super fun but requires some coordination and balance so you may not want to use the 12 lb. dumbbell until you figure it out.  It’s a lunge with a one-arm overhead press but there’s a hip turn in there, too.  Watch Cathe.  You’ll figure it out eventually.


Interval VIII

Get ready for spiderman mountain climbers.  Make sure you’re switching your legs simultaneously.  Don’t cheat.  I know, you hate me so bad right now.

The strength move is a lateral lunge holding a 10 lb. weight.


Interval IX

Lunge kicks are next.  Make sure you lunge back with one leg and kick with the other one.  You only do one leg each set.  Yay!

Sometimes I look like I’m drunk or something when I do these because I get off balance and just keep going and each rep puts me further and further to one side and pretty soon I’ve lunge-kicked into the kitchen.  It’s really pathetic.

Thankfully, my balance is usually rock solid but every day is different.  Getting old sucks sometimes.

The next strength move is so good.

You put your feet on the discs (again the actual discs will work better than any substitute) and drag yourself four steps forward and then do two staggered push-ups (staggered refers to your hand position).  Then you push your legs—which you had no idea weighed so freaking much—backwards and do two more staggered push-ups.  Your core might have been on a mini vacation but will instantly wake up with these.


Interval X (Last Interval)

Using the dixie cups as a marker only (you don’t need them) you do side-to-side lunges for your final cardio move.  Keep your hips forward.  Try to squat low but don’t round your back.  Your legs will be on fire but this is the end so don’t stop.

The last strength move is a rear lunge with a double arm lateral raise using 5’s.  The back lunge part is really just a distraction because this exercise is all about the shoulders.


Cool Down/Stretch

The short cool down has some stretching but Do Not Turn Off the video.  The actual stretch is after this and it’s good and you need it.

Now What?

Afterburn is a great program.  You get a lot of bang for your buck with cardio and strength.  I recommend you buy this one.

You can find Afterburn on Amazon, Cathe’s website, and over at Collage Video.

And you can find Afterburn (and hundreds of other Cathe Friedrich workouts) with a membership to Cathe on Demand.  (It’s how I access Cathe Friedrich workouts these days.)  

If you’d like more information I recommend this post: Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand.

Thanks for reading!  Have an amazing workout!


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