Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of 4 Day Split Kickbox & Upper Body with Cathe Friedrich

May 20, 2019

should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know

should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


4-Day Split is another incredible Cathe Friedrich Program. This detailed review (that you’re reading right now) will give you a good idea of whether 4 Day Split is right for you.

4-Day Split Cardio + Weights by Cathe Friedrich is a 2-disc program with 27 different workouts.

I’m going to tell you everything about one of the workouts inside this program called Kickbox and Upper Body. (I burn over 500 calories doing it.)

Kickbox and Upper Body has just the right blend of cardio plus weight training.

Let’s dive in and find out why I (almost) gave Kickbox and Upper Body an A+…

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.

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich

Category-Cardio + Strength


aerobic step with 2 risers (on each side)

high step (or chair)


exercise band

dumbbells (5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, & 30’s—basically just grab all the dumbbells you own)

a barbell* (loaded with 62 lbs. and then 35 lbs.)


Length-103 minutes

HRM-523 calories


My rating– A*

*I’d give this routine an A+ if it wasn’t so long

If you’re adding to your dumbbell collection then I recommend you read, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells.  Or you can use the links above to purchase my favorite dumbbells.

✔ Pro Tip: This guide will be helpful if you’re in the market for an aerobic step: Your Expert Guide to Buying and Using an Aerobic Step

Important Stuff about Kickbox and Upper Body in 4 Day Split with Cathe Friedrich

Kickbox and Upper Body is found on the ‘Kickbox’ disc in this 2-disc program, 4-Day Split Cardio+Weights. I’ve also reviewed 2 other routines on 4-Day Split, Higher Intensity Step (Plus Heavy Weights Chest/Back) and Premix #10 Boot Camp Upper Body (I gave this routine an A+) from this video.

The ‘Kickbox’ disc has 11 premix workouts plus the 2 main programs, Boot Camp and Kickbox.  The second disc on 4-Day Split Cardio+Weights has 12 additional premix routines plus 2 more main workouts.  You get a total of 27 different workouts on 4-Day Split Cardio+Weights.  It’s a great investment.

This premix, Kickbox & Upper Body (#8 on the Kickbox disc) consists of a short kickbox routine followed by a complete upper body weight section.  You’ll hit every major upper body muscle group.

You won’t need any equipment for the kickbox aerobics section, which is the first part of this routine.

Read to the end of this post for tips on how to prepare for each section as well as links to a few places you can compare prices on this video 🙂


The warm-up in this program is a little longer than what you’re probably used to (about 12 minutes).  It consists of a lot of punches and kicks.  There’s no stretching in the warm-up.

I’d recommend a good calf stretch before you start the cardio section.  You’ll be glad you did.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Kickbox and Upper Body)

Cardio Kickbox

This section is about 20 minutes long.

You don’t need any equipment for this part.  There are several groupings of punching and kicking combinations as well as a crap-ton of jumping jacks (remember that advice I gave you about stretching out your calves? This is when you’ll wish you’d listened to me).

Cathe finishes this part with a short stretch.  The circumference stretch is awesome.

Strength Training


Round One


No equipment needed

1-Arm Rows

Set One-Cathe warms up (the back) by doing 16 reps on each arm with a 12 lb. dumbbell (If you follow the link you’ll see the dumbbells I recommend you buy.  Who doesn’t want a pair of blue dumbbells?).  Cathe does this exercise with one foot on her step, which has 2 risers.

Set Two-8 slow reps (per side) using a 30 lb. dumbbell


The pattern is 1 full push-up followed by 2 partials, she does 7 sets of those

1-Arm Rows

8 slow one-arm rows again with a 30 lb. dumbbell (or less)


This time you’ll do 8 full push-ups, then 8 low-end push-ups and finally 8 high-end push-ups

Round Two

Underhand Rows

Cathe uses a 62 lb. barbell (I use my 25’s or 30 lb. dumbbells).  There are 2 sets of 7 reps (she throws in an extra rep on the second set).

Incline Flys

Cathe puts 3 risers on one side of her step (and no risers on the other side) to set up this exercise. 

If you’re looking for a set up like Cathe’s you can buy a step with 3 risers/side using this link.

Sometimes I do this on a stability ball instead, which is a lot more comfortable.  If you want to try it on a stability ball, too, be very careful getting up and down from the ball with this much weight.  It’s awkward (and very ungraceful).

There are 12 slow reps with 25 lb. dumbbells.

Underhand Rows

Repeat this as before with the same weight and reps.  Go down in weight if you need to.

Incline Flys

I drop to 20 lb. dumbbells for these 2 sets of flys

Round Three

1-Arm Row (with arm angled wide)

Aim your knuckles to the front of the room for this exercise.  I use a 20 lb. dumbbell (so does Cathe).  There are 12 slow reps.  Cathe uses her step to prop up one foot again.  (In the next round of exercises you have to position the step with 3 risers on one side again so you may just want to leave your step alone and keep both feet on the floor for this.)

Push-Ups (with a butt spike)

This position hits the upper chest and shoulders.  There are 12 slow reps.

Round Four

Incline Pull-Over

This is that exercise where you’ll have your step with 3 risers on one side (like you did in Round Two).  Cathe and I both use a 15 lb. dumbbell for this exercise (sometimes I use a 20 on this one, there are only a few reps and 15 is light for this exercise). 

If you’re doing this right you should feel it in your lats.  There are 8 slow reps.

Incline Press

Keep the step in the same set-up.  Cathe grabs her 30 lb. dumbbells for this exercise.  I’m usually too fried for that much weight at this point so I use 25 lbs.  There are 12 reps.  Listen to Cathe’s form pointers.  Notice the hand position.

Round Five

Go get an exercise bandCathe does T and Y pulls on the floor.

You’ll position the band under your feet.  My band is shorter than Cathe’s so I don’t cross the band over my ankles (the link is for a long band like Cathe’s).  This exercise is a burner.  Keep your torso tall and your core tight.  Get ready for a bunch of pulses with a few isometric holds.


12 push-ups with your ankles crossed.

Cathe moves lateral after every rep (so that you make a circle with your feet as the pivot point).  If you don’t have the space to do this then just vary the distance between your hands after each rep and stay in one spot.


Round One

Seated Overhead Press

Cathe uses 8, 10, 12, and 15 lb. dumbbells and a high step to sit on (you can sit on a stability ball or chair, too, but try to keep about a 90 degree angle at the bend of your hips).

You start with your lighter weight and higher reps and do less reps as you move up in weights (anyone who’s ever lifted regularly will be familiar with this pattern).

I often do the last set with the 12’s if I know I’m too burned to get in any decent reps with the 15’s.  Listen to your body.  Bad form is a waste of time.

Notice that the palms face the front of the room and that you only go down to the level of your ears and then push the weight back up.

Use your lightest weight on set one and do 15 reps.  Go to your next heavier weight for set two and do 12 reps.  Keep going up in weight (if you can) and do 10 reps in set three and 8 reps in set four.  Remember to use the highest weight you can while still maintaining proper form.

Round Two

Seated Isolation Press

Grab your 15 lb. dumbbells (or 12’s).  The palms are facing your ears this time.  You hold one arm static and do four presses on the other side and then switch.  There are 3 sets of four reps per arm.

Cathe sits on the high step for this exercise.  Sometimes I stand up.  Keep your core really tight and tall.  No slouching.

Upright Row

Stand up for double arm upright rows with whatever weight you were holding for the seated isolation press.  There are 12 reps.

Round Three

Standing Lateral Raises

Get your 8 and 10 lb. dumbbells.  You’ll stand up and do straight-arm lateral raises with your heavier weight first.  There are 8 reps.

Repeat another set of 8 reps with the same weight (or go down to your lighter weight).

On the third set you’ll bend your arms, and do 8 more.  I try to do at least two sets with the 10’s.

Round Four

Get your 8 and 5 lb. dumbbells and your high step (or whatever you’ve been sitting on)

Front/Rear Raise

Grab your 8’s for a front raise/pull back combination.  This is hard with the 8’s because your shoulders are tired at this point.  Use the 5’s if you need to.  There are 8 reps.

Bent Over Lateral Raise

Put down the 8’s and use your 5’s for this exercise.  Don’t lay your torso on your lap.  You just tilt forward and keep your torso strong.  You’ll feel this in your rear delts if you’re doing it right.  There are 8.  The exercise is controlled, but pretty fast.

Repeat both of those exercises (same weights/reps)

Round Five

External Rotation Pulls

Listen to Cathe’s form pointers.  Keep those elbows against your ribs.  Something about this exercise makes me nauseated.  Just do your best.  We all know band work is hard (and effective).


Tricep Dips on the High Step (8 reps)

Cathe does this exercise to warm up the tricep muscles before the first grouping.

Round One

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Cathe uses a 15, 20, 25, and 30 lb. dumbbell for this grouping (I use a 12, 15, 20, and 25 lb. dumbbell).  You’ll do the first set with the lightest weight and highest number of repetitions and go heavier in weight with each set (and lower in reps).

Set One: Use your heaviest weight and do 12 reps

Set Two: Go up to the next weight and do 10 reps

Set Three: 8 reps with your 20 or 25 lb. dumbbell

Set Four: 6 reps with your heaviest weight

Twisting Rotation Curls

You’ll only need two weights for this exercise.  Cathe uses her 10 and 12 lb. dumbbells.

There are 12 reps with the 10 lb. dumbells and then you switch to the heavier weight and do 10 reps.

Bicep Curls

Get two heavier weights than what you used on the twisting bicep curls.  Cathe uses 15 and 20 lb. dumbbells.  I can barely curl 20 lbs. so I do both sets with my 15’s.

There are 8 reps with your lighter weight in set one.

Do 6 reps in the second set with the heavier weight.

Round Two

Lying Tricep Extensions

Cathe uses a barbell with 35 lbs. for the first set and two 8 lb. dumbbells for set two.  I don’t have a barbell so I do two sets with my 8 lb. dumbbells.  You may be tempted to grab heavier dumbbells but I wouldn’t go much heavier than 10 lbs.

There are 8 slow reps in the first set.  In the second set there are 8 solid repetitions and then a bunch of partial reps (halfway up pumps) that are really tough.

Crazy 8’s

Cathe stays with the 35 lb. barbell for this exercise.  I go much lighter and use 12 lb. dumbbells for the crazy eights.  There are 24 reps with changing patterns along the way.

Reverse Curls

Use 12 lb. dumbbells for these 10 reps.  Make sure your hands are positioned correctly.

Round Three

Dips (on the high step with feet propped on stability ball)

You don’t have to have a stability ball to do this.  If you want to prop up your feet (and you don’t have a big stability ball) then you can switch this around and prop your feet up on your step and put your hands on the floor.  I usually do the dips on the step with my legs extended out in front of me on the floor.

There are 8 full dips and then 16 top-end partial pulses.

Tricep Push-Ups

Do these on the high step.  You’ll do one full push-up followed by 2 partial (top-half) pulses.  There are 4 reps with that pattern.  Then you do one 4-count slow push-up to finish the set.

Seated Incline Hammer Curls with Rotation

Use your 12 lb. dumbbells.  Cathe does these on the stability ball.  There are 12 reps.  I like this exercise on the ball.

Seated Hammer Curls

Keep your 12’s and do 8 reps.  You’ll have to keep your arms out away from your sides to keep from hitting the ball.  I usually walk over to my high step and sit there for this exercise.

Round Four

This is your band work.  Cathe walks you through the set-up for this exercise.  You’ll be working your triceps.  You’ll hate the word ‘pulse’ when these are done.

Hanging Concentration Curls

Cathe uses a 20 lb. dumbbell for this.  I usually grab a 15 for this exercise but sometimes I feel like a monster and try the 20.  There are 12 reps on each side.

Wrist Curls

Use your 10 lb. dumbbells and sit on your high step.  There are 16 reps.

Cool Down/Stretch

This is a really long workout.  You need to stretch.  You’ve got time for 5 more minutes and your body needs this.

Now What?

I love the Kickbox & Upper Body premix workout.  The cardio section is short but the strength-training section hits every major upper body muscle group.  When you have the time, this is a great program to add to your home exercise routine.

You can find 4-Day Split Cardio+Weights on Cathe’s website and on Amazon.

And don’t forget you can get access to ALL OF CATHE FRIEDRICH’S WORKOUTS with a membership to her Cathe on Demand service. I’m NOT an affiliate but I love the program. There are hundreds of advanced workouts just like this one you can do at home.

For more details about Cathe Friedrich’s on demand program read, Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand + Live.

Want to know a little bit more about the 4 Day Split workouts before you buy? No problem! Here’s a detailed breakdown and review of another routine inside 4 Day Split: 4 Day Split Cardio + Weights

 Thanks for reading!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

search the database!

Excuse me...Do you have any articles on...

get it now

Don't waste another minute trying to piece together all the right workouts and equipment for the 'perfect' plan. Download a blueprint with all the steps in one place.

Your home exercise roadmap.

free guide

Take me to the quiz

Get matched with the on-demand library that aligns with your workout style, equipment and goals by answering a few questions!

Have you taken our

Workout Personality Quiz?