Share your rotation for tank top arms?


My goal is to be able to have nice arms by summer...can you share the most effective rotations you have tried to get your arms in shape real fast? I am beginning to see some nice stuff from S&H...even more now that I have added Cardiokicks and Circuit max ( minus the weight circuits ) and spinning. I did 2 weeks with 4 cardios plus 2 Body pump classes at the gym and am back to S&H's the only Cathe split series that I own and it's very hard keeping away from it. I have Corey's Basic sculpting and GHAS and Firm videos. I'm eyeing PS but might hold off hoping Cathe might come out with new split routines.
Hi Rachel,
First let me say that with the S&H series I developed that cut or line on the upper arm front between the bicep and the deltoid. Boy do I like that.

But to answer your question, the rotation that really got my arms in tank top shape was one suggested by Cathe sometime last year. Actually, the part that did it is just one part of a larger rotation, I only did this part. This was weeks 4-6 of an 8 week rotation.

Mon....Power Circuit (back) in its entirety plus add on PS

Tues.....Kickbox (bi's) in its entirety

Wed......All Step (shoulder) in its entirety

Thurs.....Step & Intervals (chest) in its entirety plus PS Back/Bicep/Abs

Fri........Leaner Legs plus the floor work portion of PS Legs(so its the section that has inner thigh, outer thigh, hamstrings, but leave out abs since you already had them on the Leaner Leg tape)

Sat........10/10/10 (triceps) in its entirety


So Rachel, here is the good news/bad news. Good news! you get to purchase Cathe's PS series and CTX series (both well worth the bucks) The bad news! you have to pay for it.

Here is my current rotation which I have been doing for 10 weeks. I plan to do two more weeks of this, then two to three weeks of Slow & Heavy and then back again. I have had such incredible success with this rotation that I hate to let it go even for a few weeks but I know I must to cause some muscle confusion.

Anyway, here it is (and I admit, it's a killer):

Day #1: Pure Strength Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
Day #2: CTX Leaner Legs
Day #3: CTX Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps plus cardio
Day #4: Cardio
Day #5: MIS
Day #6: Cardio
Day #7: Cardio or rest

As you can see, this routine works shoulders, biceps and triceps three times per week, chest and back twice and legs twice. I do abs 4-5 times per week as well.

Everyone is different and this may be too much training for some but it works for me. In order to develop cuts and definition I have to work the muscles frequently, making sure there is a day of rest between. My abs, which I work the most, have become fabulous - I even have a six pack that I can actually see and feel. Awesome. So in my case at least, the three times a week sessions for the shoulders and arms have produced the best results. I am ready for tank top weather.

You may have to get these tapes but they are well worth it. Also, since I changed to DVD for the strength training it is a snap to go through the sections without winding, re-winding etc. DVD's are cheap now, about $80, and I went ahead and purchased Pure Strength, Slow and Heavy, and Power Hour-MIS DVD's even though I own the videotapes. The DVD system allows for quick transitions through the various segments.

Hope this helps.

Those rotations look pretty good. Thanks for sharing! I need more DVDs by the looks of it. It is a lot easier working out to them, isn't it? I hardly pick up my tapes anymore because of that. How tough are the cardio sections in CTX? I am not all that great with choreography, I still forget which leg leads in Circuit max during the step portion.
I'm glad you like S&H! I can't stop using that one ... it is such a good workout and I love the pace, although I know it's time to get PS. You got the cut in the front deltoid? That is fantastic! You know what I found works great? If you use an EZ curl bar for the tricep workout during the skull crushers and subbing close grip presses with the EZ curl bar for the standing tricep kickbacks. This really brings out the triceps. I love this series.
RE: ?4 Marlene

Hi Marlene,
I love your rotation and will be doing it for the next 12 weeks. I had one but I like yours a lot better.

Can you tell me what type of cardio you did (kickboxing/running etc). And how long were your cardio sessions?

I have muscle and cuts but they are not where I want them to be. I still have a few pounds to loose but I am journaling and doing WW to deal with that problem:D

Thanks for sharing,

Ohmygosh, this means that I have to buy another barbell!! I already have three, a six foot 15 lb monster (like the one in the PS series), the firm 4' padded barbell (which I use for leg-work) and the 5lb body pump bar.

I did make the mistake of getting a barbell that has curves, but it is the old fashioned one where the bends are more pronounced than the ez curl I guess I really have four. (i don't even want to admit to all the other 'stuff' i have)
I'm new on this forum. Marlene, on Day 3 of your rotation, which upper body tape was that? PS? I don't think there's an arm tape for CTX. TIa.
LOL this made me laugh, you should see my tiny bachelor's unit! I can barely fit in there with my big step, my fit ball, my nerf ball, my padded Firm barbell, the EZ curl bar, the sportblocks (powerblocks that go up in increments of 3 lbs...which I got to use only when I got S&H )my dumbells, mat, push up bars and tall box and the huge plastic tub full of videos. This stuff plus my other stuff means I can't mambo very far from the step at all! The things we buy! I call them my toys though. But you beat me when it comes to barbells!
I just got online this morning and of course, came to the Cathe forums first thing.

Here are my answers to some questions in this thread:

Terri: I do three cardio sessions per week ranging from the time efficient choices in any of the CTX tapes and when I have more time, any of Cathe's hour long step videos. I have Cathe's Kickbox as well. In the past 10 months I have lost 27 pounds so I am not concerned with losing more weight, just maintaining what I have accomplished. Three times a week of cardio seems to be doing just that. When I began with Cathe last spring and weight loss was my goal I did cardio 5-6 times per week. But now weight training has taken center stage because I want to refine and improve the cuts and definition I have achieved.

K60: You are correct. CTX does not have an upper body workout per se, but I have constucted my Day 3 from the CTX segments for the shoulders, biceps and triceps. I have CTX on DVD and I combine these individual weight training sessions and do them at one time. Each of these segments appears at the end of various cardio routines. I believe that CTX was intended to be a six day routine containing cardio and one body part but I just do shoulders, biceps and triceps one after another on the same day rather than on three separate days.

Hi ;o)

Thanks so much for posting this. I printed out the rotations, there're great. Because I too, want great looking arms. I want them so cut, that when people see me this summer in a tank top, they will say, hey! you workout, don't you, hehe. Then I can introduce Cathe to he or she, Yeah Baby!!!

I still have fat in the triceps. Man oh man, that seems to be a tough area to develope. Now, I've figured it out. Simply I wasn't working my tri's hard enough.

I've had CTX for 6 months or so, and really didn't know how to put the a rotation together. Know this, I simply LOVE Leaner Legs, and I reach for it alot to. You guys are awesome, thanks.

RE: Thanks Marlene!!

Thanks for getting back with me. I have already started the rotation and I love it. I have not been able to post from my home computer, so I had to wait until I came into my office to thank you.

Will let you know how it worked.

Thanks Again,

Thanks for all the info. I'll get right to my question.

What did you do to lose 27lbs? While I'd love to work on tank top arms, I really need to lose about 20-25 lbs, and I'd like to do that first. I've been Firming since the end of October, with little result in the fat loss dept. I just picked up CTX and the PS series, as well as MIS, MIC and Interval Max, but all on VHS for now! I also have a few KV's.

I'm rededicated to eating clean (starting yesterday), so, hopefully, at 1400-1600 calories of clean eating, my diet will help my efforts. I want my workouts to help tho too. Any ideas?

I'll take suggestions from anyone!

You asked how 27 pounds were lost and I guess you were directing that particular question to me since that was the figure I mentioned earlier in this thread.

You said also that you would like to lose about 25 pounds and wanted to do that "first" before getting tank top arms.

There should be no "first" about it. You lose weight and get those arms at the same time.

I also used various Firms for several years. The results were good but not great. Remember that the name "Firm" says it all. Those videos will make you firm but not very cut or muscular. I will be grateful to the Firm for introducing me to a fun way to use heavier weights and showing me that I could do it. But I wanted more. Cathe took me there. I see myself in a mirror and just cannot believe how I look now. Never in a million years did I think I would have a body like this. As a matter of fact, I look very much like Cathe does in the Pure Strength series. My natural body shape is similar to hers (lucky me) but until I started to follow Cathe's tapes I could never have achieved the muscle definition I have now. I am overwhelmed with how great the results have been.

I began Cathe last year, sometime in early spring. I did cardio five or six times a week plus MIS and Pure Strength, making sure I hit each body part two times in each week. Now that I have lost the weight I needed to lose (I am five feet tall and weigh 102 pounds now) I have reduced cardio to three times a week. My legs, back and chest are in great shape but I want more more more cuts in the shoulders and arms so my current rotation includes an extra session for these body parts.

Now, on to the food plan part to all this. Through trial and error I came up with this and obviously it worked. So here is a condensed version.

Breakfast: Myoplex Lite protein shake with fruit (i.e., frozen unsweetened strawberries or peaches).

Lunch: Choice of:

Non fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of chopped pecans, or

Protein source on whole grain bread (i.e., baked turkey slices, tuna with very light mayonnaise, natural peanut butter and no sugar jelly, etc.) or

Protein bar such as Nature's Best Solid Protein, or

Large tossed salad with a protein source (not cheese) such as baked turkey chunks or tuna or boiled shrimp.

Dinner: Choice of:

Protein source (even lean red meat), raw salad, cooked vegetables, or

Soup (homemade with beans is nice and hearty) or Healthy Choice stuff.

Some ideas:

Try to include a protein with each meal (building muscle depends on this). Stay away from all white flour products (crackers, bread, pasta) and limit bread to whole grain and no more than two slices per day. Avoid junk food. If I had a need to eat between meals, half of a protein bar with a glass of skim milk usually did the trick.

Now, I would like to be able to tell you that every day went exactly as planned but I would be lying. Many times I caved in and ate things that were not good choices. In spite of that I lost the weight. I believe it took about 5 months. I made sure that no matter how badly I ate the day before, each morning I would get up and exercise. I went from a size 10 to a size 2. Not overnight, however, so don't feel that you must lose it all in a month. Slow and steady.

If you have any other questions I would be glad to answer them. I am certainly no expert, either with exercise or food plans, but I can just tell you what I did and what seemed to work best for me. I hope this information benefits someone out there.


Thanks a million for your post. Yes, it is benefiting somebody out here. I am struggling with a plateau and I wanted to hear from somebody who went from just Firm to Cut like Cathe in PS. I know that the eating is one of my biggest challenges. I have yet to graduate from low fat (2%) to no-fat cottage cheese, and portions are tough to control.

On weeks that I do live up to my exercise ideal (one hour 5 days a week, including strength once a week per body part and once lightly in a Firm tape) I feel tired. So it's a struggle to balance undertraining with overtraining. I think lighter, more nutritious eating may help save my joints from overexercise.

I am between 5'4 and 5'5 and went from a size 12 (tight) to a size 6 since March of 2001. From 153 pounds to 136. I want to be in a loose size 4 or a very gappy 6, 125 pounds and strong as an ox! Then I will be in proportion. Sizes sure do vary but I mean an average. A 25 inch waist would be nice. I have a medium build.

Thanks for such a thorough reply and I will keep my eyes peeled for your posts.

RE: Connie

I am glad to see that I could be of some help to you. It is most gratifying to post something that others find useful. I have gotten so much from this forum from kindred spirits who so unselfishly share their experience, insight and knowledge and the idea of giving something back to the Cathe community makes me feel good.

This has been a place for me to go to stay motivated (especially in the beginning when results were slow) and to keep me on track when my motivation was less than great. And I have enjoyed the interchange of information with Cathe-ites all over the world.

I am amazed that I have achieved so much success in less than a year and even though I am certainly no expert in exercise and nutrition I am delighted to be of help in my own little way to others out there facing similar situations to mine.

I also want to congratulate you on your successes thus far.

I do however have a few tidbits to add after I read your post.

In order for you to transition from low fat dairy to nonfat I suggest you try mixing the two. For example, combine cottage cheese types by using 75% lowfat and 25% nonfat. Gradually change the proportions increasing the nonfat and lowering the lowfat. By doing this you give yourself time to become accustomed to the nonfat versions. However, don't get too hung up with nonfat verses lowfat. Both are good choices and if you really don't like the nonfat versions don't beat yourself up over it.

You mentioned a problem with portion control.

When I wrote about the food plan that worked for me I neglected to mention that I did not weigh and measure. I ate enough to keep me satisfied because I could not stick with any food plan, no matter how great, if I was hungry all the time. My philosophy is that if I was making good food choices I did not care if I consumed 3 ounces of chicken breast or 8 ounces. The important part is to avoid junk and eat enough at each meal to keep you going until the next. If you eat too little you will have strong snack attacks plus you won't have enough energy for your workouts.

I know lots of Cathe-ites out there like to weigh and measure their food intake and keep journals and that is all great if it works for you. For me, however, food journals did not seem to be as effective as striving to "eat clean" and not worry so much about calories and portion sizes.

Keep us posted on your progress. All of us are cheering for you.

RE: Connie

Thanks! Your answer came just in time. I was too hungry today, doing real well all day except for feeling like I needed to eat more!

Nonfat cot. cheese by Knudsen I find tastes great. I guess it isn't as bad as I expected.

I am listening to you because I want to live on common sense and reason, not compulsive rigidity. I have lots of active interests and I aim to continue branching out. The food thing is a new challenge. I am striving for balance.

I think one thing that Cathe has that might be close to the secret ingredient is persistence mixed with patience. She has a lifestyle where one could not help but be fit. She has designed it that way, around obstacles I'm sure. And she is in it for the long haul. I admire that.

Thanks again, Marlene!


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