Fit Body by Julia: Upper Body Workout

Upper Body Workout is another tough workout from Fit Body by Julia and it was created by Daniela. This workout is very deceiving. One thing I love about Julia’s workouts is she gives you the break down below her videos so I can create my workout card in advance and choose my weights before starting. Well, doing strength training “no rest tabata” style negates being able to lift heavy. I ended up dropping to lighter weights several times in the course of this workout. I don’t know what weights Julia used for every move but I do know for a lot of Part 1 (the no rest tabata part) her dumbbells were set at 9 pounds. I think they were at 24 for the first exercise (chest press) then she dropped them to 9 pounds for most of the remaining tabatas. In Part 2 she did set her dumbbells heavier for some of the exercises. But I will not be noting her weights below because I was more focused on what I was lifting! The benefit for me is that I have a huge selection of free weights–not dial up/adjustable like Julia (though I do own Select Techs, I just never use them anymore). So as soon as I realized I was lifting the wrong weight, I was able to quickly swap to a different weight, which Julia could not do. Once the tabata started she was stuck with that weight until it was over. Since the tabata contains two exercises, I was also able to quickly swap dumbbells since, on several of the tabatas, using the same dumbbell for both parts of it was inappropriate for my strength level. During Tabata Circuit 3, Julia had to set her DBs on the ground during the 10 seconds of lateral raise holds because although she could lift 9 pounds for actual lateral raises, she couldn’t hold them out to the side for 10 seconds (she held her arms out straight to the sides w/ no dumbbells). I was able to drop to lighter weights for that exercise so I was able to hold mine out to the side for 10 seconds. True, I could have lifted heavier for the actual lateral raises, but I also wanted to be able to perform the static hold.

This was a very challenging workout. Lots of push up variations, especially in Part 2 with all of the burpees. I have a really good burn going in my upper body hours after finishing this workout and because you get strength related cardio bursts, this is a very metabolic workout–higher calorie burn than if you were just doing straight strength training. Overall this is a an excellent and challenging upper body workout. I was introduced to a new (to me) exercise that I really, really love–Reverse Grip Push Ups (circuit 4)–in plank holding dumbbells with palms facing in front of you–do push ups. Wow! What an awesome and effective twist! I really felt that one differently than I’ve felt any other push up variety.

Upper Body Workout is 50 minutes long, no warm up or stretch, and no music. Equipment: dumbbells and stability ball. The breakdown below was copied from Julia’s YouTube page. I only made some formatting adjustments and explained any exercise that isn’t obvious from the name.

Part 1: No Rest Tabata; each move is done 4x before moving on to the next move (tabata: 20 seconds of work + 10 second of rest, except in this workout that 10 seconds isn’t rest, it is usually a harder version of the 20 second move)

Tabata Circuit 1:

  1. Chest Press/10 sec pulses (20# DB)
  2. Pushups /10 sec pushup hold
  3. Cardio move: 10 explosive pushups

Tabata Circuit 2:

  1. Reverse fly/ 10 sec alternating rows (8# DBs)
  2. Bent row/10 sec squeeze shoulder blades together (12# DBs)
  3. Cardio move: 10 jerk rows/side (lunge back, lowering DB to ground then jump when you stand, raising knee and doing a close one arm back row–10 reps per side) (12# DBs)

Tabata Circuit 3:

  1. Shoulder press/10 sec pulses (8# DBs)
  2. Lateral raises/10 sec holds (6# DBs)
  3. Cardio move: 10 pike pushup + double butt kicker

Tabata Circuit 4:

  1. Bicep curl/10 sec external rotation (12# DBs)
  2. Reverse grip pushups/pushup hold (12# DBs)
  3. Cardio move: 10 bicep makers (reverse grip push up, plank row (one each arm) w/ hands in reverse grip, jump feet to hands, stand and do a bicep curl) (12# DBs)

Tabata Circuit 5:

  1. Tricep kickbacks/10 tricep presses (10# DBs)
  2. Tricep pushup/10 sec tricep hold plank jacks
  3. Cardio move: 20 press jacks (one 8# DB)

Tabata Circuit 6:

  1. Chest fly/10 sec pulses (15# DBs)
  2. Wide row/10 sec pulses (10# DBs)
  3. Cardio move: 10 back bow burpees (burpee and at bottom, lay on stomach, lifting arms and legs off ground)

Part 2: Burpee and Strength Pyramid

  1. 20 close grip chest press (15# DBs)
  2. 10 burpee and bent row (15# DBs)
  3. 18 elv plank rows (renegade rows) (20# DBs)
  4. 8 burpee hammer curl and shoulder press (15# DBs)
  5. 16 Diamond pushup
  6. 6 burpee and reverse fly in plank and front raise (the reverse flys are done in plank and when you jump to standing you do the front raise) (8# DBs)
  7. 14 incline chest press (stability ball + 20# DBs)
  8. 4 tricep pushup burpee and kickback (10# DBs)
  9. 12 chest fly (stability ball + 20# DBs)
  10. 2 burpee + upright row (15# DBs)
  11. 10 one rows row per arm (one 25# DB)
  12. 1 reverse grip burpee + shoulder press (10# DB) + 4 overhead switch lunges (holding DBs overhead while doing jump lunges) (10# DBs)

For more info on Fit Body by Julia and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.


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