Review – Cathe Workout Downloads

CatheDo you like working out at home in your pyjamas? Good news – home fitness queen Cathe Friedrich has just launched Cathe Downloads.

Her entire 150+ workout catalogue is now available in digital format, so you can watch your downloads on any computer or video-enabled mobile device, like an iPod.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post or a PR conspiracy. I wanted to share this as I know many of you are fellow home workouterers. Cathe doesn't even know I'm alive! Sniff sniff.

I wasn't terribly excited by the Download idea at first – what's wrong with old-fashioned DVDs? But it's proved to be very, very handy:

  • No more shipping or customs fees – more affordable than DVDs, especially for non-US residents.
  • Extra lazy option – When I work out at home I usually play the DVDs on my computer, and cranking up a DVD takes so many seconds, man. Downloads are a mere double click into action!
  • Good for travel – a couple of workouts stored on my laptop squashes those feeble dang I left my DVDs at home! excuses.
  • Tailored to your taste – all Cathe's multi-disc series are broken down into the individual workouts – you don't have to purchase the whole set. I can skip stuff I don't dig (like high-impact Step) and just buy the bits I enjoy.

For example:

  • I got a fab 15-minute Stretch routine for $3.97 that is a wee component of her massive Shock Training System series ($299 for 40 DVDs). I like Cathe stretches when I'm not in the mood for proper, la-di-da yoga. Also good for a quick stretch when I get home from kickboxing.
  • I got the Kickbox part of her 4-Day Split series, $15.97 – I've wanted this one for ages but wasn't willing to fork out $79.99 plus shipping/customs fees for the entire 4-disc series.

image from Shopping
You can browse all the workout categories via the Products menu. There's sample video clips too. You can purchase with PayPal or a debit/credit card. To download the workouts you need a good internet connection.

To view the downloaded files you need a computer or a video-capable mobile device, like a phone or MP4 player. Apparently you can watch them on television too if you have an iPod/Phone and an AV cable. There's plenty of support and tutorials on the website.

I'm not a technical person but the video and audio quality was great on my MacBook and Gareth's aging PC laptop. The workouts have chapter points like the DVDs, so you can skip past any too hard bits.

I haven't tried them on my iPhone yet – I don't know when or why I'd need that. Perhaps if I could listen to a weights workout while I lifted at the gym? Or watch a workout on the train and wiggle my feet around a bit?

I like my Cathe downloads – they're more affordable, convenient and ideal for trying out something a different, since you don't have to buy a bigass DVD series.

If you'd like some ideas, here are my favourite Cathe workouts:

And some ideal for beginners:

UPDATE June 2010: I've now become a Cathe Downloads affiliate, so if you purchase any Cathe workouts using this link, I'll receive a small commission. Any sales will go towards hosting fees for this blog so if you fancy supporting I will love you for life. Thanks for your consideration! πŸ™‚

Excuse me while my head explodes

Stinky Summary of recent events:

  1. Dr G and I bought a house!
  2. Upon collecting the keys we discovered it stank. In the literal sense.
  3. We’re frantically trying to de-stink before the move on December 9*
  4. Some bright spark said, “If we’re ripping up carpet, we may as well re-paint!”
  5. On Sunday I was most comprehensively defeated in a kickboxing tournament
  6. It was one part life-altering thrills, one part Dear Lord Sign Me Up For  A Lobotomy To Erase The Horror.

* ETA: We’ve yoinked all the carpets out now and the smell seems to have departed with them! They were old and manky anyway, so I’m glad to be rid of ’em! Glad but broke.

Better living through The Baby-Sitters Club

Bsc The thing I miss least about being a kid is all that longing to be someone else. Oh to be anyone but grotty swotty ginger-haired me!

Like many younguns, I found my escape in books, particularly The Baby-sitters Club series. I didn't want to join the Babysitters Club so much as I wanted to shed my own skin and be one of 'em. I deliberated over whom I aspired to be; which one I most resembled. Kind of like the shrieks of some women in the late 90s: OMG I'm totally a Carrie! No I'm the Carrie! You're the Miranda!  Except less fecking annoying.

When I was ten I wanted to be Stacey. She was so cool, hailing from New York City and all. She also had diabetes. Every time I was busting for the loo I'd think, Dude I must be getting the diabetes like STACEY!

Then I had a Dawn phase. She had blonde hair cascading right down to her bum. I went for a haircut and the lady wanted to give me a bob. I said "sure!" then instantly died inside. CRAP, I was sposed to be growing my hair like Dawn's!

And of course there was my favourite, Claudia. Artist and master accessoriser. We had nothing in common but the desire to stash candy under our beds.

I thought long and hard about this stuff, I tell you. Here is a handy chart to summarise my pre-teen ponderings: (click pic to view full size)

Baby-Sitters Club chart

The only BSC character I actually had anything in common with was Associate Member Mallory Pike – she had red hair, was insecure about her appearance and wanted to be a writer. But she was also very annoying. And she liked to read horse stories. Horse stories! I did not want to align myself with that.

In my research I found out that after I bailed out of the series, Mallory got an Australian boyfriend named… BEN HOBART. I will be bwahahaha-ing over that morsel for months.

Tea, coffee and biscuits provided

A flyer whooshed through the door this week for the local Fitness & Friendship Club. Check out the bicep on this smiley face!

The F&F Club is basically fitness classes held in various community halls. But it's not all about sweating…

There are few phrases in this world that give more comfort and joy than TEA, COFFEE AND BISCUITS PROVIDED!

Alas there were no refreshments at Squad Training this morning. "Squad training" is what our coach calls convincing all us kickboxing dames to get up early on a Sunday* for three hours of torturous activity:

  1. One hour of running
  2. One hour of old-school exercises (cardio/strength mixed up in painful ways, stuff like squats to burpees to jack jumps, punches, evil push up variations, evil ab moves, etc etc etc)
  3. One hour of sparring… pow!

Followed by collapsing into a pile of whine for as many hours as you please.

(It feels rather nice to be part of a squad, I have to say. We are getting team hoodies and everything. With our name printed on them!)

* UPDATE: Just to clarify in response to some emails, this is not something we do every Sunday! It's 3-4 times a year, tops! Most Sundays I am lounging around watching the MotoGP.

Instead of running outside, today we did an hour-long cardio machine circuit in the gym. I hate running, but cardio machines rank even higher on my CardioSucksOMeter. But this session was actually quite cool! We only had to do five minutes on each machine, so just when you were starting to foam at the mouth with rage, you could disembark and move to the next machine.

I need to do more cardio, so this might be something to adopt for the winter. Maybe a 30-45 minute circuit, some groovy tunes on the iPod… it would be over before you can say how the hell do you work this fecking stair machine. Of course I'd have to do it when the gym was quietish so my machine-hopping wouldn't be too annoying.

I can feel my body seizing up from today's efforts. Ow ow ow. But it was goooood… exercise has been helpful this week. Last week it was a messy, weeping my way through every class sort of affair. So onward and upward, dear pals.

Any cardio nerds out there curious about the circuit we did, I'll post it in the extended entry πŸ™‚

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Two Fit Chicks Episode 04, featuring the Weight Zapper 5000!

For your aural pleasure! I am so bloody excited about today’s new episode of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone, least of all because I FINALLY got things working so that if you listen to the show on a iPod or iPhone or other video contraption, you will see our logo on your screen! GEEKGASMS AHOY!

This podcast almost didn’t happen as when we went to record on Saturday my new microphone refused to work and I chucked a wee tantrum, but we carried on and it was rockin’ good fun! It’s great to have a new project to sink your teeth into. I love the planning, the collaborating, the chatting, the hours of nerdy editing. Three cheers for MizFit Carla for being such a good partner in crime. If anyone out there is tuning in, I hope it’s okay for you too πŸ™‚

Today we answer a megaload of your questions: how not to quit, staying positive, body weight workouts; should I eat breakfast?

Tangents include: secondhand advice from an Everest climber, Carla and I discover a mutual loathing of kayaking, and dealing with PR emails.

Β» Click here to check it on!

Ranting Orangutan follow-up

Hello dear groovers! I just wanted to follow up on Friday's Ranting Orangutan entry. This time I know it's not the blues or a bad day or Seasonal Affective Disorder (unless it's of the quattro stagioni variety!). It's not about houses or hormones or a terrible secret illness. Nor is anyone having a torrid affair, but thank you for the theories and diagnoses! πŸ™‚

Most of all I know it's not about weight or food. They are more like symptoms. Or what Martha Beck calls your designated issue – the go-to surface issue that you distract yourself with when you're trying to skirt around something deeper. I need to stop tinkering around the edges and face things I've buried for many years.

Blogging as therapy is sort of okay when you're 23 and completely anonymous with two readers. But when you're 32 (eep!) with your entire family, boss and landlord aware of your blog, it's not a wise or appropriate tactic. I need to seek proper help and open up to those closest to me.

I want to say a massive thank you for your comments and emails. Not just for the Ranting Orangutan, but all of your words and stories and support over the years. Thanks everyone who has plundered the archives or read that pesky book. I love this blogging lark and the community – the Two Fit Chicks podcast has reignited the love in a huge way and it feels good to be all giddy again!

So I'm not closing up shop on Dietgirl and I'll update on this topic, but I need to be a grown-up here and deal with things in a more quiet and mature way.

Shauna xxox

It ain’t just a river

ThinkingThere is a mutant breed of Positive Thinking that is called Denial.

Like if you decide to focus on the many many many great things in your life, and ignore the black cloud that's hovered over for months and months.

Or if you write selectively about that one good day or that one cool thing that happened, and forget about the twenty good days that didn't happen because you were hiding from your friends and eating toast on the couch instead.

Or if you focus on that one kick-arse kickboxing class you did this week, and ignore the five sneaky chocolate bar wrappers in your handbag.

Or if you tell yourself you really love this dark baggy daggy sweater, it's not because you want to be invisible. You were never one for dressing up all foxy-like anyway!

Or if you smile when a colleague comments on your Ultra Healthy Lunch, even though you're contemplating a cupcake run as you fork in the lettuce.

Or if you admit to your excellent husband, I feel as low and hopeless and lost as I did way back when I was 350 pounds… but since you're fitter than ever and your clothes still fit (ish) and chairs don't collapse beneath you, you've got nothing to whine about really!

Or if you've fancied writing a ranty blog entry about feeling awful, but don't do it because you know you have no real reason to feel awful and you'll get a Get Over Yourself email from a stranger, and what's the point because after all you're only One Good Day away from feeling fantastic again!

But how bad do things have to get before it's bad enough? How rubbish do you have to feel before you treat yourself with some kindness and self respect again? Does it have to be an extreme like morbid obesity or can't-leave-the-house-depression before you DO something?

Dude! You can tell yourself that you're a Glass Half Full person but if the glass is full of crap, that's not a very appetising beverage.