Feeling like a weakling- able to lift half of Cathe's weights

andreadaile

Cathlete
I have recently gotten back into taking my workouts seriously after a really crazy 5 year period of my life. I got the LITE series and and absolutely loving it, have done every workout and am finding myself *very* challenged using about half of the weight that Cathe suggests. Like, barely able to complete many of the sets.

I feel like a weakling but also feel like if I tried to go higher I would be missing out on most of the reps. I guess what I'm wondering is should I just continue with this and gradually increase my weights or should I stay with the more beginner ones (basic step, body fusion, the add ons from basic step, LIS/TBS, and High step circuit) I did those all throughout December. I'd really like to stay with the LITE series, just wondering if it's just too advanced even at an intermediate level.

I bought myself pretty much the whole Cathe inventory for Christmas with full intention of becoming an advanced exerciser within the next few years! I really want to succeed at this...anyone else only able to do half Cathe's weights?
 

ddsadie

Member
I am also doing half of Cathe's weights and modifying some moves too. Increasing your weights before your body is ready could lead to injury. Permanent injury is why I am modifying. I was able to increase my weights after a few weeks. Not as much as Cathe is using, but more than my usual. I still feel accomplished!
 

bonjonbart

Cathlete
You are rebuilding your strength. I remember those days well. It used to be very challenging to make it through Cathe's workouts using half the weight she was lifting. I continued doing the workouts as she presents them, lifting only what I could manage. Long story short - it was only a matter of months before I was lifting heavier and a few month more I was able to use the same weights for most of the exercises.
I don't think LITE is too advanced. You simply need to take it at your own pace and that means lighter weights or shorter premixes.
When I first started working out, I remember 15 minutes of exercising was all I could manage.
Keep plugging away at your own pace and always, always remember that no matter what level you're working at, you are doing more than someone sitting on the couch.
In a year's time, I guarantee you'll look back at this post and say, "Wow! Look how far I've come."
 

aqua girl

Cathlete
Oh my goodness, I cannot even lift close to what Cathe uses... but, I use the weights I can do and definitely
have found myself being able to use heavier weights sometimes on some of the exercises. That is one of
the reasons I love weight workouts, you can use the weights you can lift and still be in the "game" going at
your own weight and knowing when and how to challenge yourself.
 

FireLight

Cathlete
Dear andreadaile,

First, Congratulations on getting back to taking care of your health and well being.
Second, please don't "feel like a weakling" you had a crazy 5 years and certainly don't need to reduce yourself to this thought. Working out to Cathe isn't a race or competition.
Her workouts encourage you to do your BEST with good form and a healthy attitude like your motto states, "I CAN do this...I AM doing this!"

I'm loving the responses Cathletes have offered you. Bonjonbart, ddsadie and aqua girl have written beautiful words of experience. A slow and steady pace will help you reach your goal. Lower your weights, perfect your form to avoid injury and as the workouts become easier increase the poundage as well as move up to intermediate workouts. Keep the variety of dvds flowing. The journey and the doing will give you the confidence to do better each day. Remember to listen to your body, eat healthy, drink plenty of water and enjoy the days off. Cathe has plenty of well built rotations for all types of goals.
Heads or tails - you'll be a winner!
Keep us posted on your progress andreadaile!
 

andreadaile

Cathlete
Thank you everyone! It seemed like on all the posts about the new workouts people were like "oh, I used weights a little heavier than Cathe..." and I was feeling a little down. I'm very excited to see what the future holds because I am most definitely going to stick with it! :p
 

Hazlady

Cathlete
I have completed 1 round of STS and I cannot use the same weights as Cathe for most of her workouts. The LITE series is the first series where I can use the same weights up to about 10 lbs. When she goes heavier than 10 lbs I sometimes have to use a lighter weight depending on the body part and exercise. For example I can't go too heavy on deadlifts. If I do I tend to lose my form, dropping my shoulders and rounding my back. Don't be discouraged by using lighter weights. When you are just starting out you may not have the grip strength to use heavier weights and it takes time to build this up. Even though LITE is an intermediate series you can make it easier by using the shorter premixes and also going shallower in lunges and squats. You will also notice that throughout these workouts Cathe tells you to slow down the reps if you need to. Don't be too concerned if you have to hit the pause button or rewind a bit. I still have to do this sometimes.
 

ChelePA

Cathlete
Love this post and encouragement!!! For Ice and Lite, I can mostly match Cathe's Weights for upper body. This has taken time. I started adding more weight workouts this past year by following rotations. I also remember feeling like a weakling with other Cathe workouts because I was lifting half her weight. We are all different. And I have slowly increased my weights. Going too heavy too fast, you lose your form and potential for injury increases. Keep going!!! You are doing great!!!
 

FireLight

Cathlete
Andreadailie,
I forgot to add...don't compare yourself to anyone on this forum.
You are the Star Athlete, the Superstar, the Champion in your home while doing a Cathe work out!
You are U-Ni-Que and don't you forget that!
Soon enough you will post your achievements as encouragement to others - "Work Work"!
Be Strong Beautiful and U-nique!:)
 
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bonjonbart

Cathlete
Thank you everyone! It seemed like on all the posts about the new workouts people were like "oh, I used weights a little heavier than Cathe..." and I was feeling a little down. I'm very excited to see what the future holds because I am most definitely going to stick with it! :p
Bear in mind that the people who wrote about using heavier weights than Cathe were people who have been focusing on strength training for a while. Be proud of yourself each time you work out.
Remember, we are all here to support each other. :)
 

bonjonbart

Cathlete
I am also doing half of Cathe's weights and modifying some moves too. Increasing your weights before your body is ready could lead to injury. Permanent injury is why I am modifying. I was able to increase my weights after a few weeks. Not as much as Cathe is using, but more than my usual. I still feel accomplished!
You are right on target! Cathe always says, "Listen to your body." I think she also has said there is a line between "good" pain (when you're challenging yourself) and "bad" pain (when you're apt to cause injury) and that it is different for each person.
You have to figure out what is right for you - and only you.
 

dmerz

Cathlete
You'll get there..... but even if you don't just compare yourself to yourself like everyone else suggesting. Make notes on your workouts even if you are using half the weight.... did it feel easier than last time? Did you recover faster? Work on progress no matter where you start from. Sometimes building the mind-muscle connection and the neural pathways to fire the right muscles is where progress starts and that's hard to measure by the number on your dumbell.
 

MelanieC

Cathlete
Thank you everyone! It seemed like on all the posts about the new workouts people were like "oh, I used weights a little heavier than Cathe..." and I was feeling a little down. I'm very excited to see what the future holds because I am most definitely going to stick with it! :p
Don't be discouraged - I had a year off of working out and only started back in earnest in January 2018. At that time I used Cathe's other intermediate series - ICE, and it was a real struggle to get back into it! I could only manage 1/4 or 1/2 a workout. Now I've made so much progress because of being consistent in my workouts. I love the LITE series - I can go higher in my weights than Cathe but that's only because I've been training a lot for the past year and I need to push myself. But I was exactly where you were a year ago.

When I re-started my workouts, I found it helpful to get some cheerful workout clothes - I got a tank top that says "stronger every day" from Walmart. May sound cheesy but something about wearing it made me feel happy and proud of myself that I was getting back into it.

All the best! And congrats on getting back to working out - that's a big step in and of itself!!!
 

Pippi

Cathlete
I have recently gotten back into taking my workouts seriously after a really crazy 5 year period of my life. I got the LITE series and and absolutely loving it, have done every workout and am finding myself very challenged using about half of the weight that Cathe suggests. Like, barely able to complete many of the sets.
I have a similar story - I was very fit then ended up caring for an elderly relative and having no time or energy (like many of us). I re-started exercising seriously and daily about a year ago and I too just got LITE. The heaviest weight I can use fairly comfortably is 8lb. I've started trying to incorporate some 10s but honestly, 'trying' is the operative word. When I first got back into working out I bought a little set of 3 weights - 1s, 2s and 3s - and used those exclusively for some time, even when I was doing a workout where the trainer was using much heavier. I progress very slowly in my upper body and I've kind of resigned myself to taking baby steps. Maybe in a few months I'll be looking at getting some 12s. I'd like to have that to aim towards but I'm not rushing it.

On another note, though, I'm glad that Cathe tells us what weight she's using - it irks me when a trainer on a home workout just says, 'Use a weight that's challenging for you.' - I know this is perfectly sane advice, but I want someone to give me at least a ballpark number so I can see what I'm working towards (or what I can try going beyond). When I first started, pretty much anything was challenging for me! If I know what range the class on the video is working in, then it really helps.
 

Pippi

Cathlete
Yes, you're on a roll there! I got myself 2 heavier dumbbell sets now (previously my heaviest was 5kg or 11lbs or so). So I got 6kg (about 13lbs) and 8kg (a terrifying 17lbs). I'm now very comfortable with the 11s . I've used the 17s for adding weight to lower body workouts only with no issues but when I try to do bicep curls or shoulder presses with them I can maybe squeeze out 3 or 4 before my muscles give up and I lose my form completely. The 13s I can maybe do 10 reps...but my aim is to practice with them, doing slow and controlled lifts and trying to do an extra one or two reps each time I try.

What has astonished me is this: I got my first Cathe workouts when LITE was released and before that I'd been stuck using 8s for months and finding them challenging. I don't know if my mindset has changed or if Cathe is magic but in the past few weeks I've made more progress than I did in the past 6 months of doing other workouts.
 

karategirl

Cathlete
Congratulations on your progress, That is fantastic! So many Cathletes have given you great advice.

My advice would be....have you considered trying STS? With that program, I still can't lift what Cathe does, yet I feel so accomplished because she instructs how much weight I should begin with and how much weight I should incrementally increase. The strength gains have been amazing.

Though STS is my number one go-to program, I wish you success on however you choose to continue your strength training program. Good for you!!! :):)
 

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