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xoxo, Kerri O.

Review: Cathe Friedrich's XTRAIN Series

A while back I was ecstatic to receive Cathe Friedrich's XTrain Series for review purposes. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own.

The XTrain Workout Series is a total body fitness program that combines heavy weights with intense cardio. If you've read FitViews for long you can already guess this was a match made in heaven for me.

The XTrain Series comes with:
  • 9 or 10 (deluxe set) calorie crushing workouts
  • 142 Premix Workouts
  • 2 Bonus Core Workouts
  • 5 Bonus One Hundred Rep Challenges
  • Bonus Rear Delts Workout
  • Bonus Barre Workout
  • STS Full Color User's Guide packed with four rotations and detailed XTrain workout details.
  • Free XTrain Online Tools and Workout Cards
My unboxing video:

As you can also purchase each DVD and the User's Guide individually I'm going to briefly discuss each item. Each DVD includes a brief introduction, several pre-mixes, and the option to play with or without music. 

Disc 1 Chest, Back and Shoulders
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Stability Ball, Resistance Tubing.
Bonuses: Core #1.
100 Rep Challenges: Lateral Raises.
This workout is an upper body strength training workout with little rest between moves. You will do 8 rounds of: 1 set chest, 1 set back, 1 set shoulders with new exercises for each round (no repeating moves here).

Disc 2 Bi's and Tri's
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Stability Ball, Resistance Tubing.
Bonuses: Core #1 and Core #2.
100 Rep Challenges: Bicep Curls and Flat Bench Tricep Extensions.
This workout is an intense upper body strength workout focusing on biceps and triceps. You will do 9 rounds of 1 set biceps, 1 set triceps. Again, different exercise for every round. 

Disc 3 Burn Sets
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Bench or Step with Five Risers per Side, Incline Bench or Step with Two Risers on Front and Five Risers on the Back, Firewalker Loop, Resistance Tubing. 
Bonuses: Core #1.
This workout includes two upper body workouts. Chest, Back, & Shoulders and Bi's & Tri's. You will work each muscle group with 3 sets of 3 exercises (the final set a burn set to failure) and then move on to the next muscle group.

Disc 4 Super Cuts
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Slide N Glide Discs, Dixie Cups, Firewalker Loop, Resistance Tubing.
Bonuses: Core #1 and Core #2.
100 Rep Challenges: Hip Thrusts.
Super Cuts is low impact metabolic circuit workout. This is on of my favorite discs. A little taste:

Disc 5 Legs
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Stability Ball, Slide N Glide Discs, Dixie Cups, Firewalker Loop, Chair.
Bonuses: Rear Delts and Barre.
100 Rep Challenges: Hip Thrusts.
This workout is a mix of standing leg work, stability ball work, barre, and floorwork.

Disc 6 Cardio Leg Blast
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Step with Three Risers per Side, Dixie Cups, Firewalker Loop.
Bonuses: Core #2 and Burn Set Bi's.
100 Rep Challenges: Hipe Thrusts, Scarecrows.
Cardio Leg Blast mixes cardio, such as plyo moves, and strength moves using moderate (not heavy as in the other strength workouts) weights.

Disc 7 All out Low Impact HIIT
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Step, Slide N Glide Discs.
Bonuses: Core #1, Burn Set Chest, and Burn Set Shoulders.
100 Rep Challenges: Scarecrows.
This workout is a High Intensity Interval Training workout that Cathe manages to still keep low impact.

Disc 8 Hard Strikes
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, Optional Boxing Gloves.
Bonuses: Core #1, Burn Set Tri's, and Heavy Bag.
100 Rep Challenges: Bicep Curls.
Hard Strikes is a boxing infused cardio workout.

Disc 9 Tabatacise
Equipment needed: Step with Two Risers per Side.
Bonuses: Core #1, Core #2, and Burn Set Back.
100 Rep Challenges: Flat Bench Tricep Extensions and Bicep Curls.
Tabatacise is an intense tabata workout that lets you work up from level 1 to level 5. Another one of my favorite discs, this workout is no. joke.

Disc 10 (Spin workout available with the deluxe set, I did not receive this DVD) Ride

XTRAIN User's Guide
This guide is jam packed with useful info. It includes several different calendars (from 30 days to 90 days) for workout XTrain workout rotations, discussion on the science behind Xtrain (undulating calendars, HIIT, Tabata, heavy lifting, etc), detailed info on every DVD and the exercises in each, finding the right weight to use including a one rep max chart and testing, nutritional info, and more. 

What I loved most about XTrain:
  1. Variety. XTrain is all about variety. Variety in the types of workouts included, variety in the exercises you do in the workouts, variety in the workout calendars included, variety of premixes... So much variety. I love it. I'm not sure I could ever get bored here.
  2. Intensity. Cathe is definitely not playing around here. This is a tough workout set. Which of course I love. From lifting heavy to tabata to HIIT to plyo this set is intense start to finish. Expect to work and expect to have some sore muscles. All good things...right?!
  3. Seperate Cardio and Weights. I don't mind working in circuits, but I feel like that has become such a trend in at-home workouts that it can get old. I really like that most of the workouts in this set separate the cardio  and the strength. I love being able to focus strictly on lifting or strictly on cardio.
  4. Online Tools. The online tools available at are very cool. There's calendars, workout rotations, tracking, a one rep max calculator, and so much more. I love that all of this is available to enhance the XTrain set.
I do want to note that XTrain is definitely not for beginners. It is more of an intermediate to advanced workout. Also, it does require a little more equipment than some workout sets. However, I think if you're serious about working out at home it's all definitely worth it. As someone who strictly works out at home I already had most of it. I also found that I could work around what I did not have, such as boxing gloves.

I get a lot of emails with people who have finished Body Revolution, ChaLEAN Extreme, etc and are looking for what to do next to kick it up a notch. I would absolutely recommend XTrain for this (or to anyone looking to take their fitness and their results up a notch). 

I plan to blog my way through either a 30 day or 90 day calendar sometime post-baby. I can't wait to share my results!

Final Answer:
I've never given a workout system 5 stars before, but I wholeheartedly bestow 5 stars on Cathe's XTrain. This set rocks. Period.

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KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly!

The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the lemon drop. I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight, it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good.

I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those delicious memories! It'…

KETO Hot Cocoa Pancakes

OK, I know I've been on quite the low carb pancake tangent lately, but THESE! Seriously, these are yummtastic. Yummazing? Ya, they're really good. They just might be my favorite recipe I've ever done. Ever. OK, that might be my paleo apple crisp recipe, but that's not low, I wonder if I could tweak that low carb...

That would be brilliant!

You know, bloggers area always talking seo this and seo that (seo stands for search engine optimization if you're not a blogger) and I'm just over here yammering. I'm pretty sure when google's spider crawlers (anyone shiver at that word picture? eesh) get to FitViews they just think, "Yeesh, move along. Nothing to see here." Ha ha ha!

Anyway, pancakes. KETO Hot Cocoa Low Carb Pancakes no less. So good. 

As I've mentioned before I'm back to low carb (keto actually) and developing new recipes to make it easier to stick with. I find I just plain feel great when I eat ketogenic, and I definitely h…

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days.

When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me:

Quick and easy salads.Prepping food on Sunday.Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day.
I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you.

This list of 30 Whole30 Lunch Reci…

Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments. 

In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant.

Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though.

This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun! 

Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger Recipe Ingredients
2 lbs Lean Grass-…

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat...

Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes:

What's in the box:BodyShred Fitness Guide
BodyShred Meal Plan
BodyShred Rotational Calendar
BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel
     8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts
       1. Launch
       2. Rise
       3. Amplify
       4. Escalate
       5. Conquer
       6. Triumph 
       7. Zenith
       8. Apex
     2 - Straight Cardio Workouts
       1. Fire Up
       2. Ignite
    Plus, bonus workout Opus and a disc on the cast and teaching the moves. So, a total of 12 DVDs are included in this set.

The BodyShred Workouts

KETO Sweet Cinnamon Pancakes

I'm completely obsessed with keto pancakes lately. Oh, you've caught on to that? Well, these Sweet Cinnamon Low Carb Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They're a quick and super easy breakfast option.  Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these are for you! With only 4 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE, they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 340 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go.

Low Carb Sweet Cinnamon PancakesFor this recipe you'll need:
A mixing bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cup to easily pour the batter in the skillet), a hand mixermeasuring spoons

Keto Paleo Friendly Coffee Creamer Recipe

Going keto paleo has me missing one thing: the organic grass-fed half-and-half I'd been having in my coffee. Since going paleo over a year ago I've searched and searched and just never found anything else I love in my coffee. I'd just about given up on a keto paleo-friendly coffee creamer!

I was almost to resign myself to black coffee forever, but then I decided to resort again to trying to make my own. This version is simple and quite delicious. Not only is it keto paleo, but Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly as well.

Keto Paleo Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(the kind in the carton just won't do it)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Vietnamese Organic
1 teaspoon Organic Pure Vanilla for 100% Whole30 compliant swap for vanilla powder
2 teaspoons raw local honey or Organic Maple Syrup (optional, leave out for KETO, Whole30, or 21DSD)

Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Store in the refrigerator (the cinnamon tends to set…

Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe was sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
Growing up the only encounter I had with sweet potatoes was at Thanksgiving dinner. I hesitate to even call them sweet potatoes though. They were more like sugar coated sugar, with a side of sugar. Seriously!
The recipe was to coat a baking dish in margarine, add diced sweet potatoes, top with more margarine and a healthy heaping of brown sugar. Bake. And then? At the end you top the whole thing with a bag of marshmallows and bake again.
Blech! Needless to say I was never fond of sweet potatoes.
When I first went paleo I decided to reacquaint myself with sweet potatoes. They’re a great paleo-friendly carb source. I must confess the thought made me shudder, but I persevered. I tried them simple. Baked. I was so shocked. They're so good!
Now, I love sweet potatoes. They’re a go-to side dish for family dinners. Not only are they delicious, but they’re good for us and easy to make. The funny thing about sweet…

KETO Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

I'm building quite the little collection of low carb pancake recipes! And, if I do say so myself, these Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They are a quick and super easy breakfast option for your low carb diet. Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a LCHF or keto style eater these are for you! With only 6 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 348 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go. Though, I personally kind of like these cold, straight from the fridge. They taste like little slices of cheesecake that way.

Yes, yes, I know. If you're doing an egg fast…

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it!

Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long!
So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with a KETO Paleo-friendly version. With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime.

Not only is this recipe Keto Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free.

KETO Paleo Peppermint Mocha RecipeIngredients:
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.)
1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract(Depending how pepperminty you like it. I do 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspo…