Help - rotation that fits my physical limitations?


Hello amazing Cathletes!

I'm new to the forums, but been lurking for a while. I came out of hiding to ask for help instead of continuing to beat my head against a wall (or someone else's head :) ) figuring out a solution. But first, a few things about me - it's wordy, so I apologize in advance.

I've been an at-home exerciser for many years (starting with Jane Fonda in the '80's - oy!); I've never been to a gym. My first Cathe DVD was the original Stretching one, which I've been using on and off for years as an add-on to other workouts. Branching out slightly, I bought Stretch Max and Yoga Relax (again, as add-ons), and loved both. I eventually thought, hey, I love the Cathe stretch-y stuff - why not try something more challenging? So my first "real" Cathe workouts were Slow & Heavy and Total Body Tri-Sets (I mean, if I'm going to start, why NOT start big?!), which I got about a month ago, and I love both. Although I'm at a beginner + level, I'm pretty good at coming up with mods for exercises or my own premixes to fit my requirements....

See, I have some chronic health issues that limit me in several pretty major ways: I can't work out more than 4 days a week; I can't generally work out on consecutive days; I can't work out for more than about 45 minutes a session; I can only do one session of one type of thing a day (so no two-a-days, no cardio-then-weights); and I can't do anything even vaguely impact-ful (the rule I was given was: you must have at least one foot on the floor at all times, so nothing that involves even a small hop, much less a jump) or high-intensity (like intervals). Violating these "rules" means that I need to take off at LEAST 2-3 days to recover instead of one.

So my schedule winds up looking like this:
Sun., strength (usually total body, often metabolic-type)
Tues., strength (usually lower split)
Thurs., strength (usually upper split)
Sat., 20-25 min steady-state cardio + 15-20 minutes flexibility (stretch or gentle yoga)

So I'm off Mon, Wed, and Fri (and "off" means OFF - no "active rest" unless I'm willing to skip the next day's planned workout). I can do Sat / Sun back to back only because they're non-work days (and because one is strength and the other cardio...and I despise cardio). Although it has taken me years of experimentation to finally figure out how to work around what I can & can't do, I'm finally at a point where I can commit to a routine of being healthier and stronger.

Sorry to give so much background, but I felt like if people want to make suggestions, they need to know what I'm trying to work around (instead of just "hey, I want to lose weight, here are the DVDs I have"). I like the structure of rotations (especially ones that cover multiple weeks) but every pre-made rotation I can find involves 5-6 days a week of LONG workouts (even the "beginner" ones). I'd make my own rotation, but then my lack of exercise science knowledge fails (or is at least confused by the huge variety of contradictory information that can be found via Google) - what should I make sure I'm doing each week? What works as a progression? Does it matter what I do, as long as I can do a little more each time? How do you Cathletes know what to put in your rotations or how to structure them?

Thank you for any and all advice / suggestions /input :) A gold star if you read (or at least skimmed) this far!!


Hi, I see nobody has responded to this yet (unless it was posted somewhere else and if so, I'll keep this brief for now). I also have some workout limitations and can't do the long 5-6 day a week rotations either. Just a few questions, do you have any specific workout goal, such as to increase flexibility, to work on upper body strength or is it just general fitness? What equipment do you have at home? What other dvds do you have both Cathe and non-Cathe? Are you looking for a general rotation to plug your own workouts into or are looking for a specific planned out rotation using the dvds you have? Are you looking to purchase more workouts? Thanks!


Hi Stacy,

Thanks for replying (and sorry it took me so long to see it)!

Specific goal: General fitness (which I guess would include things like increasing strength, flexibility, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, etc.).

Equipment: Mat, large ball, small ball (playground size), body bands / firewalkers, dumbbells ranging from 1- 12 lbs. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, plus a 3-pound set of weighted balls), 12" step. I use the 1-2 pounders as add-ons so I can increase weight more slowly (from 5 pounds to 6 or 7 pounds ather than straight to 8) .

DVDs: While I have a few dozen videos, I have 11 Cathe ones (Push/Pull & Supersets, Slow & Heavy, Low Impact HiiT, Flex Train, Rockout Knockout, ICE Metabolic Total Body, Total Body Tri-Sets (LIS), Turbo Barre (LIS), Yoga Relax (LIS), Stretch Max, Total Body Stretching). There are a handful of other non-Cathe videos that I used to use fairly often, but more and more, if I'm just randomly picking something I feel like doing, I pick up Cathe videos.

Looking for: A general rotation - what types of stuff to do & how often, what kind of progression, that sort of thing. I feel like if I just knew what to DO, I could create my own with what I have, although I'm always open to purchasing other workouts, especially if they come highly recommended. I pre-ordered the Fit Split series, too - the "shorter workouts" bit hooked me - so I'm waiting patiently for those (glad we finally got videos & premix info! It looks fun).

Thanks for any help / recommendations!


I don't have a rotation plan per se, but I do have a few suggestions.
It looks like your 4 day a week plan is a good one. I would add core work in there 2 x week - maybe Tuesday and Saturday.

I also think you might want to look at the Muscle Max (MM)( from the Hardcore Series) and Power Hour (PH) DVDs.
Here is why:
PH has 3 workouts on it : PH, BM, and MIS. Each of these is a great TB workout, but only PH will fit into your time constraints used as TB ( if you skip the abs, it is 49min) But all 3 of them could be used as LB or UB splits:
UB+ abs only of PH ( skip the LB segments) is 45 min
LB + abs only of PH ( skip the UB segments) is 25 min
UB only of BM (FF past the step aerobics and power circuit intervals) is 35 min
UB only of MIS (FF past the Butt/Legs portion in the beginning, then skip the abs ) is 46 min
LB + abs of MIS (FF past all the UB segments) is 38 min

Muscle Max has premixes :)
The Timesaver Premix is a TB workout , so you could use that one - it is 56 min, but if you skip the abs, it is 46 min.
The Premix UB only is 42 min
Premix Upper Body Push-Pull is 33 min
Premix LB only is 23 min ( so after that you could do the GREAT abs workout on the DVD and still be less than 45 min.)

I think you would get a lot of use out of those 2 DVDs if you want to add some variety to what you are doing.

Another TB to consider is the Strong and Sweaty PHA Training - it is 43 min.
Also from that Series , you might consider TBGS, it is 51 min total if you have the extra few minutes, but the other great thing about that DVD is you could use it as a split:
TBGS Timesaver Premix #1 LB is 31 min
TBGS Timesaver Premix #2 UB is 28 min

These 2 newer DVDs would compliment the above 2 older ones. So, you could mix them like this :

Week #1
Su- PHA training 43 min
Tu- MIS ( LB + abs only ) 38 min
Th- BM ( UB only) 35 min
Sa- cardio + abs + stretch

Week # 2
Su- MM- Premix-Timesaver ( skip the abs) 46 min
Tu- TBGS-Premix #1 LB 31 min ( plus add abs from MM is 10 min )= 41 min
Th- TBGS - Premix #2 UB 28 min
Sa- cardio + abs + stretch

Week #3
Su- PH ( skip abs ) 49 min
Tu- MM Premix -#3 LB only 23 min + Abs 10 min = 33 min
Th- MIS-UB (FF past the Butt/Legs portion in the beginning, then skip the abs ) is 46 min
Sa- cardio + abs + stretch


All these times include the warm-up and stretch.
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Hi Linda,

Thanks so much for your suggestions! It's very thorough and you clearly put a lot of thought into your plan :)

MM has been in my cart for a while but I never considered PH....I guess I didn't have a good sense as to what it was or what was available in terms of premixes. This gives me a lot more options!

Thanks again!


MM does have premixes, but the PH DVD is older. It is chaptered, but it does not have Premixes, so to use it the way I do, you have to use the FF button on your DVD remote :) . Not a problem for me, but I wanted to clarify that.
I have probably used those 2 DVDs more than any others- they are all great workouts !


Um wordy, I'll tried to compare to give you an example of how you can work it out. when I started running, I gave up many times. The things I did to eventually be able to run a distance were just essential bits combined to accomplish that one thing. You know what you can and can not do, right now.

I drew a map of the road I wanted to run and split it into small pieces. I learned those small pieces, eventually visualizing the entire route. When practicing from memory, I could recognize those landmarks and pace myself for the whole route, I talked myself through each step the day before in real time. It was kind of like learning each step combo and then putting them all together, if you're familiar. So preview!

Regarding the one foot on the floor, I would use something like fit tower, barre, strap, or chair, something to hold on to as a guide, many strength moves can be accomplished more easily this way, even if it's one handed. This really helped me get deeper into leg work, and out of it! Good Luck!

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