Neutral Cardigan Outfit + Home Workout Updates | On the Daily EXPRESS


Neutral Cardigan Outfit + Home Workout Updates

Just a simple outfit of the day post today, and as promised I'm following up with my thoughts on Cathe Friedrich's latest workout series, Strong & Sweaty

Sweater: Express (Similar) | T-Shirt: Target | Necklace: Express | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Boots: Lucky Brand ($48 at Dillard's vs. $139 at Nordstrom!) | Bag: Tory Burch (Option) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Nails: Essie "Pre-Show Jitters"

Outfit Notes:
These boots were on mega-sale at Dillard's for New Year's Day, and lucky you (apropos the brand name) the price is even better now. This is my second pair of Lucky shoes and I am a big fan. They have padded foot beds with padded arch support that really add a lot of comfort. I frequently add padded inserts to my shoes but it's not necessary with these. Some of the reviews on the same shoes at Nordstrom (for more than twice as much!) said they ran small, but I took my normal size in them and the fit was perfect. Of course, you do sacrifice a bit of comfort with a pointed toe over a rounded toe, but not much in the case of these shoes. Unfortunately you cannot tell from my pics that they do have fringe on the side. I was was worried that would make them less classic/more trendy, but it's pretty subtle in real life and I don't mind it at all.

Also, I sized up in this t-shirt (which comes in eleven other colors) as I often do in Target Junior's t-shirts.

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Cathe Strong and Sweaty Workout DVD Reviews:
For the last twelve years, I've been doing almost all of my workouts at home with DVDs (read the full story behind that in this post). My all-time favorite instructor is Cathe Friedrich, and her workouts make up about 95% of my DVD collection. In December she released her latest series, Strong and Sweaty (available on Amazon). Now that I've had a chance to do all of the workouts in this set, I'm sharing my thoughts and the rotations that I used for the DVDs.

5 DVD Set (Links to individual workouts below)

As a general note, this is marketed as an Advanced Series, and in my opinion it is just that. There aren't a lot of options to modify these workouts to lower impact or an easier pace. All of them are 50 minutes or less (in the past Cathe has done a lot of longer workouts...50+ minutes), which is ideal for me because I lose interest after that long, not to mention I don't like to schedule any more time than that for a morning workout. But despite the comparatively shorter running time on these, Cathe packs in the intensity so you are still getting a very thorough workout even on the shortest DVD. For this series you will need several sets of dumbbells (I own everything from 3s to 20s and used almost all of them), an adjustable-height aerobic step, a yoga mat, a stability ball, and some resistance bands. (And for what it's worth, those are all my must-have items for a home workout set-up.)

At first glance, I wasn't sure how these would fit into my normal routine because that three out of five of these workouts are total body weights, and I prefer split training (i.e. training different muscle groups on different days). But I was able to make it work fairly easily. Also, I thought it was interesting that she had an Upper-Body-Only workout but no Lower Body workout in the set. It didn't really bother me though because I have other Lower Body DVDs, and some came from sets with no Upper Body counterpart. Finally, each DVD has a Bonus Ab segment. At first I thought I was getting five ab workouts with this series, but really it's just one ab workout (albeit a very good one!) added as a Bonus Chapter to each of the DVDs.

Here is the two week rotation that I did for these workouts, with a brief review of the five new workouts. The titles link to Amazon for the individual workouts if you prefer that over buying the full set (although if you are considering two of these it's probably cheaper just to get the full set).

Day One: Lower Body Premix from Total Body Giant Sets
Day Two: Upper Body Premix from Total Body Giant Sets.
Day Three: Cardio Slam
Day Four: PHA Training
Day Five: Yoga/Stretch (see my favorite DVDs for this here)
Day Six: Strong and Sweaty Boot Camp 

Day One: Cathe Lower Body Blast DVD (from a previous series - not included in this set)
Day Two: Cardio (see a list of my cardio DVD favorites here)
Day Three: Ramped Up Upper Body
Day Four: Strong & Sweaty Bonus Abs + Yoga/Stretch
Day Five: Cathe High Reps Lower Body Premix (from a previous series - not included in this set)
Day Six: Cardio

Total Body Giant SetsThis is the longest workout in the series at 50 minutes (not including Bonus Abs), but I still chose to split it into two days by doing Lower Body and Upper Body on different days. It is a fast-paced (no rest between exercises), intense weight training workout that effectively hit every muscle group.

Cardio Slam: High impact, high intensity, fast-paced, no-time-to-rest-or-get-bored cardio. It is exhausting! It does require some equipment (a step, mat, and light weights), but the weights just add to the cardio intensity...they aren't there for actual weight training. There isn't any complicated choreography in this one, but you do need to be fairly nimble and coordinated to complete all of the moves.

PHA Training: I had to Google to find out that PHA stands for Peripheral Heart Action. Regardless, I loved this workout and it felt new and fresh to me compared to any of Cathe's other weight workouts. It alternated a series of upper and lower body weight training moves in quick succession (but the reps were not fast, so I was still able to use fairly heavy weight) to give your heart and lungs a good workout in addition to really fatiguing every major muscle group.

Boot Camp: I believe this is Cathe's third workout with the Boot Camp title, and of the three, it's my favorite! I loved the quick cardio burst followed by a series of alternating upper and lower body weight training moves.

Ramped Up Upper Body: I'm sounding like a broken record now, but again, this was another fantastic, fast-paced, killer upper body weights workout! I feel like Cathe has put out quite a lot of workouts in this style for lower body (see all of my favorite weight training DVDs here), but not as many for upper body, so I'm really glad she made this and happy to have it in my collection!

All in all, if you workout pretty regularly but are looking for something different to really kick up your routine a notch in 2017, I highly recommend this whole series. I didn't dislike any of the workouts at all and I'm sure they will all be in my workout rotation for years to come.

Linking up with:



  1. I was so waiting for this post to see how you did you workouts, I've been running through all the workout without breaking them down no wonder I was so sore. I'm going to copy you for sure :)


  2. I'm bored with the Jillian Michael's DVDs and really want to get Strong and Sweaty. Thanks for breaking the workouts down and sharing your review!

    Doused In Pink

  3. Nice cardigan! Lovely workout routine!

  4. ooooh those boots are cute. the fringe is super subtle. i'm not normally a fan, but i dig it.
    glad you enjoyed the new workout series - it sounds awesome. i don't have any workout dvds (except the 30 day shred, somewhere, i think) because i find myself pausing and taking breaks - that's all on me i know, but i haven't figured out how to stop stopping. haha. i do youtube videos occasionally, but short ones because of my crappy attention span.

  5. I have that cardigan based on your recommendation and love it! It looks fabulous with burgundy. I keep meaning to up the ante with a few workout dvds. Thanks for the recommendations!

  6. Great outfit!

  7. Such a good find with those booties! And the overall palette and texture mix of this outfit is right up my alley!! <3
    Carylee |

  8. I can't believe you've been doing these videos for 12 years! You must really like her! It's great when you find something that works for you (like running for me) and can stick with it. Great review!

  9. There is a chance you are eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  10. Great look! Love your necklace!

    xx, Elise


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