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This is a genuine review of exactly what you need to know about Boss Bands and Boss Loops by Cathe Friedrich BEFORE you run out and buy it.
I’m a Cathe Friedrich mega fan. I’ll admit it. If she makes it. I try it. And then I tell you about it. But here’s what you need to know about her workout programs. They’re not for everyone. 99% of her routines are for what I’d call advanced home exercisers. BUT, over the last few years, she’s produced several programs that are ideal for beginners and intermediate-level exercisers–this is one of them.
Boss Bands and Boss Loops is ideal for an intermediate home exerciser.
It’s low impact and it’s fun. BUT, if you’re like me you noticed that those bands she’s using in the video clips of this program aren’t your regular ‘ol exercise loops and bands. So, my biggest questions (and possibly yours) was this: do you have to buy those loops and bands to do these routines?
I’ll answer that below.
I’ve done these workouts several times via Cathe’s On-Demand membership (get one!) and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about these routines BEFORE you buy them (or hit PLAY the first time) so you’ll be as prepared as possible BEFORE you get started.
This topic was featured on the Crunches and Cosmos podcast. You can listen to the episode below:
Boss Bands and Boss Loops are a pair of new workouts created by Cathe Friedrich. They’re 2 completely different workouts that are a part of Cathe’s ‘Boss’ line up of routines that use bands.
Boss Bands Total Body is a (you guessed it) total body low-impact workout using an exercise band.
And Boss Loops Glutes and Core (I’m obsessed with that title) is another low-impact workout that uses cloth loops and has exercises that focus on the lower body and abs.
Definitely check out the videos above to get a preview of how each workout is different. And keep reading to get a more detailed breakdown of each workout (length, style and more about the equipment).
Keep reading to find out which workout I recommend you buy (if you’re trying to select JUST ONE of them).
Before we dive into the rest of the details I think it’s important to give anyone who DOESN’T know who Cathe Friedrich is the opportunity to learn more about her.
The most important things you need to know are this:
She’s a badass. She knows what she’s doing.
Each video has one main workout and several other workouts that Cathe calls ‘premix’ routines*. These are combinations of the main workout blended for you into different standalone routines.
*The premix workouts are additional bonus workouts that feel like completely different routines. The premix workouts are my favorite part of the Cathe Friedrich library.
Main workout – 57 minutes
Number of premix options – 8
What you’ll see in the workout – total body resistance training using a long cloth band (she has 3 different sizes), no cardio, no choreography to learn, all low impact
Difficulty level – beginner to advanced
Main workout – 52 minutes
Number of premix options – 8
What you’ll see in the workout – low impact lower body and core resistance training using cloth loops, there are a few cardio blasts but no choreography to learn
Difficulty level – beginner to advanced
If you’re a workout nerd (like me) then you’ll love the fact that Cathe’s team has created a workout guide for this program. You can click here to find where Cathe keeps your copy of the Boss Guide for this program.
And there’s a workout rotation calendar in the Cathe on Demand library using these Boss workouts.
Click on the ‘Rotations’ tab along the bottom of the library menu and you’ll find it.*
*This is where you’ll find the rotation calendars if you have a membership to Cathe on Demand. I’m not sure if these rotations are available to you outside of the membership.
I’m not a fan of workouts that
seem to be are created with no other goal than to force you to purchase a specific piece of equipment with some special angle, attachment or nib nob (yes, I made that up but it feels perfect here) that you MUST HAVE to do the exercises you see in the video.
We’ve all seen these routines.
Soooo, I was secretly like, noooooo Cathe!
Please don’t let this be one of those workouts! (Because like I said before, Cathe is a freakin’ icon and that kind of thing always feels ‘gimmicky’ and would be very beneath what I’ve come to expect from Cathe Friedrich.)
So, here’s the dealio.
I set out to test these workouts using the equipment I already had (without buying the cloth loops and bands that Cathe uses in these workouts).
Here’s what I used:
And here’s what I discovered….
Sadly, you can’t really emulate the exercises Cathe does in the Total Body Band workout with the bands you might already own. Believe me. I tried really hard to make it work.
But, the good news (whew) is that the exercises you’ll do in this workout are so creative (and functional, not just forced together so that you’ll have a reason to pick up the long band) that you’ll be ready (and not feel suckered into) investing in one of those bands.
Now, let’s talk about the cloth loops you’ll see in the Glutes and Loop workouts…
Will you need a pair of cloth loops? Or can you use the rubber ones you’ve been hooking around your ankles for years?
That’s a great question.
You’re gonna need the cloth loops.
I tried the rubber loops. I have a LOT of them. I tried all different sizes and resistances for these workouts.
The problem is that the rubber loops are the ideal size, material and resistance for your ankles. The exercises in the video require you to put the loop around your thighs.
The rubber loops will NOT stay on your thighs. They’ll roll down. And the resistance isn’t enough.
The cloth loops are ideal for your thighs. They will NOT roll and the resistance is perfect (but you will need a couple different sizes).
You don’t have to buy the loops Cathe sells if you’d rather shop somewhere else. I already had some that I bought from Amazon several years ago that worked great.
The workouts from both programs are pretty compact (your range of motion is limited by the resistance of the bands).
You won’t need more space than the average home workout to do these workouts.
One of the things I LOVE about Cathe Friedrich is that she brings back the same team of exercisers year after year, program after program.
If you’ve ever done any of her other programs you’ll recognize Jai and Brenda in the Boss workouts. And if you do Cathe Live routines, then you’ll recognize one of the Jen’s as well (the other 2 members of the team are both named Jennifer).
These aren’t calorie-torching workouts.
HOWEVER, you’ll create lean muscle with the resistance exercises so the after-burn is significant. Here’s the average calorie burn I had after doing each of the main workouts 3 different times.*
*Calorie-burn is significantly different from person to person depending on several different variables. I still like to share my numbers with you because I track all the data. But please DO NOT put these numbers into your Fitness Pal app. You’ll need to track them for yourself. Your numbers will be different.
Boss Bands Total Body – 275 calories
Boss Loops Glutes and Core – 286 calories
If I had to choose a favorite workout of the 2 then it would be the Loops Glutes and Core video.
I just thought it was more fun. Plus, you’ll get more out of the cloth loops than the cloth bands (more on that in a minute).
AND this workout includes a few cardio blasts, which I really like.
The Boss workouts are a great low-impact workout for beginners to advanced. Because the exercises are dependent on the loops and bands, you can easily modify them to your level.
There’s no complicated (or any) choreography or confusing combinations in the routines.
You have a lot of options for where to access these workouts.
I recommend you sign up for a Cathe Live + On Demand membership (it’s around $20/month) and you’ll immediately get access to every single Cathe Friedrich program (there are 100’s) and live workouts. This is a phenomenal option for the price.
If you want to purchase the videos (without signing up for the service) you can do that, too.
Make sure you scroll down the page for all of the buying options. You can buy a bundle that includes the bands/loops or not. The prices vary depending on what combination of video and/or equipment you buy.
Click here to buy from Amazon (this is NOT an affiliate link)
*I recommend you buy directly from Cathe Friedrich. It supports her business without giving a cut to a 3rd party seller.
The most impressive things about these routines are the originality of the exercises.
It’s a big pet peeve of mine (if you’ve read a lot of my reviews you’ll have noticed) when a workout program forces exercises together into some weird sandwich of chaos that feels awkward and messy.
It’s just so painfully obvious when that happens in a program and it makes it difficult for me to recommend it.
Cathe did a phenomenal job creating the exercises and combinations in these videos.
They feel natural, seamless and even though you may have to work up to doing them, it won’t be because they don’t really fit together.
At the end of the day, I’m very tempted to run out and buy one of the long bands used in these workouts so I can do the exercises exactly the way they’re done in the video, but I haven’t (more on that next).
I also love that these workouts are challenging while staying low impact (the older I get the more I like that about a workout).
The ONLY thing that bums me out about this program is the long cloth band used in the Total Body video. I simply couldn’t recreate the moves using any of the equipment I had (I did my best, but ultimately you need one of those bands).
And while a pack of those bands is currently only about $30, I don’t know of any other workout I’d ever use them in, and therefore probably won’t invest in them.
The cloth loops are a different story.
There are many workouts on the market where you can find these used, which makes them a smarter investment IMO.
One kind of weird thing I want to say about the Loops and Glutes video–there’s a section in the workout when the background music includes what sounds like a siren. Every time I did the workout I found myself hitting pause to go look out the window and check on my neighbors. lol.
It’s not a big deal, but if you hear that sound, too, then you’ll know it’s part of the music. You can keep going.
Any workout that gets you excited to try it is worth the money.
You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to pay for the equipment or not.
The smartest investment is in the Cathe on Demand service. (I’m NOT an affiliate for Cathe. I don’t know her. I’ve never met her. But I LOVE her programs.)
With the membership you can try out all of Cathe’s programs (including the Boss workouts) and see what you think before you purchase any equipment.
My Review of 80-Day Obsession (a different program that uses loops)
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