Gain in muscle/loss of fat


I just turned 55 this past summer and have lost 60 pounds (under my doctors close supervision as I was starting to have high BP). I didn't think I'd ever be able to do Cathe again; in fact, I developed quite the attitude thinking that her workouts were just too advanced or crazy for someone my age.

I need to back up and say that during the first part of my weight loss phase I mostly walked and did beginner workouts. I couldn't do step because with my excess weight my knees couldn't take it. I'm following a meditteranean style diet; I've read up on clean eating and believe that eating nutriously dense food and eliminating processed food will be a way of life from now on!

To my Cathe success....I reached my goal weight a month ago. My doc did a body composition through electrical impedence (he'd been doing this throughout my weight loss; don't want to get into how accurate this method is, I just used each time in comparison to the previous composition). While I was at my goal weight, my body fat % was still 32%. I decided to start Cathe's beginner workouts. I have to say I got bored (I was an instructor for ten years; 1986-1996, but quit buying her workouts on my way to obesity) and decided to bump up to Cathe's intermediate rotation.

I want to share the difference in my fat % and muscle gain while challenging myself with Cathe's workouts. During that six week period:
Beginning-body fat %32 Ending-body fat 27.8

During that time I gained five pounds of muscle and lost 12 pounds of body fat in that six weeks! I can now do Cathe's great step workouts w/out my knees killing me the next day. I've gained strength in my core and I've gained flexability. I also love the kick-a$$ way I feel pumping weights again. I feel strong!

Now I don't know whether to jump into the low impact series, or dive into the STS program. I never thought I'd start to see my abs again. I've ordered Cathe's hiit workouts and a couple of her last series.

Clean eating and weights have made a world of difference in my body; I know that I have to continue on this path. Please, don't tell yourself because you're in your fifties, post menopausal, or out of shape, that you can't start on the path to good health. I believe gains are always possible! I may never be able to do those danged stability ball pikes, but I'm sure as heck going to keep trying :) I'm just glad there isn't a camera recording the process :)

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Sharron - Great story. Thanks for sharing.

At age 66, having been fit and normal weight until age 45, I am just starting on the road back to good health. I found Cathe a couple of months ago and I'm doing the Beginner Rotation now.

In the past 20 years, I have gained 45 pounds and now have a body fat percentage of 40.5. And that's with going to the gym to do moderately paced walking on the treadmill 6 days a week. But I had let my eating habits go to hell.

I knew/know that I have to add weight training to my program and I need to get back to eating a healthy diet.

Just wanted to say, that your story was an inspiration and I'm with you....

I SHALL do the stability ball pikes !!!!! That is one of my goals........


Susan, I've enjoyed reading your posts on this forum. Hang in there, you are heading in the right direction! My doctor suggested I follow a meditteranean diet. I also get a lot of nutrition information from Cathe and her newsletter.

As for the weights; I really push to lift the heaviest weight, while mainting good form, that I can. I had to laugh the other day as I was doing Push Pull; Cathe said her barbell was loaded at 40lbs...Mine was 20 :) But one day I'll get there...I'm really thinking about splurging on STS as it would be customized figuring my 1 rep max. I like the idea of a different workout for each body part week to week. Something I'm seriously considering.

Those pikes are something, eh? I try to convince myself that my core is getting a good workout because I'm laughing so hard. I can't imagine what I must look like attempting those things. I have FINALLY gotten to the point where I can do about 75% of the "roll ins" (those things she does before the pike).



Thank you Sharron. I've enjoyed finding this community.

Which DVDs did you find most useful for strength training?

As I said.. I'm doing the Beginner Rotation now, but I'm planning ahead.

I do have the Low Impact Series on order...

In addition, I have Muscle Max, Body Max 2 (I like the looks of the Upper Body workout on that one) and High Reps. I haven't done any of those, but I have watched them several times.

I am currently looking at:

High Step Circuit (supposed to be an Intermediate level, but I don't own a high step so that's a problem)

Pyramid Upper and Lower Body

Slow and Heavy

I like the look of Push Pull but it comes on the DVD with Supersets which I don't like the looks of and hate paying for something (SS) that I might never use.

I would appreciate any advice about these or other DVDs..... thanks in advance.


Good morning, Susan
I really love Pyramid upper and lower. The only drawback to Pyramid Lower is that I have to pause a lot because I'm a bit slower changing the plates on my barbell than Cathe and crew are. Pyramid upper is my favorite upper body at the moment; it uses dumbells so the transitions between exercises are easier.

I also love supersets/Push-Pull. I just did Push-pull this past week and supersets is scheduled this upcoming week. I also have the Gym Styles but have never done them. I've heard good things about Slow and Heavy and Pure Strength, but I don't have either of those.

I do have a lot of equipment that I've collected over the years; the only thing that is holding me back from STS is that I don't have the tower (is that what it's called?). I imagine I could use paper plates (since I have carpeting-but we're getting hardwood in another couple of months) if I need a "slider". I do have a high step.

Cathe's workouts have so many great premixes. Her workouts are a bit more expensive, but worth every penny. The nice thing about weight training is that if you know good form, any of her weight workouts will work as you simply lift the weight that is right for you. Cathe will usually say what weight she is using; then I know how much to reduce the weight for me. I keep a pen and notebook handy and write down the weight I used and whether I need to increase or back off teh next time I do that workout. Cathe is also good at giving modifications (at least on the weight dvds I've mentioned that I have above) so there is also an alternative.

You can't go wrong with her workouts! Good luck



Hi Sharron - I saw that you posted in the thread I started in the DVD/Video Questions forum....

Everyone seems to like the Pyramid DVD and the Supersets/Push Pull, so I'm leaning towards those and leave the question of Slow and Heavy and Gym Styles for a later date.

I think at this point, I'm better off doing the total body workouts or dividing them into upper and lower body and waiting on the split style DVDs like Slow and Heavy and Gym Styles until I've built up some strength with the other DVDs.

I also have to keep reminding myself that I have the whole Low Impact Series arriving in the not too distant future.

Like you, I am slower at changing equipment than Cathe and crew are.... so I need to keep my remote close by to pause when needed.

I shall have to find a notebook to keep by the TV to write down the weights that I use for each exercise.

Thank you for your help and best of luck on your continuing journey !!!

Jane Royse

I may never be able to do those danged stability ball pikes, but I'm sure as heck going to keep trying :) I'm just glad there isn't a camera recording the process :)


Sharron, I'm laughing out loud with you regarding those stability ball pikes! I get so tickled at myself while trying them, it's no wonder I can't do them! But, like you, I'm getting to where I can do the roll-ins, so I figure I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
I'm 56, soon to be 57, so I'm sure proud of your come back! What a great success story! Keep up the good work! & Susan, I'm so proud of you, too! Nothing holding us back - least of all, age!


Hi Jane and thank you. I'm enjoying this adventure, but I'm impatient to get stronger right away... lol

You bet I'm not going to let age stop me.

Stability ball pikes here we come :D


High Step

This is an old post of yours, but CONGRATULATIONS ! Cathe is very motivating!

I saw your question about HSC and the High Step. If you are still interested in getting Cathe's HSCircuit workout, you may want to buy the High Step where I got mine. The step comes with Cathe's HSCircuit workout ! Check out:
The High Step -

It's $47.54, you have them ship it to a store, and then there is no shipping cost. (I have seen it for twice the price.)

I thought of your post today when I did CTX Leaner Legs for the first time. It was a great LB + abs workout and (Like LBB, and many other Cathe DVDs.) uses the High Step.

I think HSCircuit is a good workout, but it's not my favorite. It is a good intermediate, and gives you some variety in your workout choices. I do use it, but not as often as some others. I LOVE HSChallenge.

I guess what I'm saying is if you get the high step, you will be using it for many other Cathe workouts in the future. So, if you like the looks of HSCircuit, this might be a good way to get both.

I don't know what workouts you have purchased since you posted, but relative to your other questions: I think Muscle Max will keep you busy for a while. It is an awesome DVD(my favorite). I really like both Pyramids and Slow and Heavy, and use them often. However, I think you may want to look at Muscle Endurance before those. The reason is, on days when I want to do the TB or UB on MM, but don't feel like getting all that equipment out, I will sometimes reach for ME instead. It's a different workout, but I often use it when I just don't feel like dragging out all that stuff. Plus the premix for UB on ME is 42 min. and includes the abs section. The MM UB is 44min and if you want to do the abs you have to add it on. So, when you don't have enough time, but you want to get the workout in, ME comes in handy ! If I were you I'd get that before the others.

I bought MM first, then GS, then PP/SS. I used to use PP/SS more than I do now, but when I do use it now, it's for the premixes. I recently ( finally) got PS series (it's all on 1 DVD). I really like it a lot. I would have been better off getting that a few years ago instead of GS and PP/SS. I know it is old, but if you haven't looked a it I'd encourage you to. Cathe has a lot of form pointers, and it moves at a little slower pace, so you don't feel like you have to keep the remote control handy. If the dated look doesn't bother you, I would recommend that next. (I am doing it again next week.) I like GS, but it has too much band work for me. I have a tendecy to go too hard and hurt myself with the band.

Just my 2 cents.

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