Back Fat Blaster!!! // Upper Body Workout w/ Weights

It’s been a while since I have a new-to me Heather Robertson workout. It’s not that I don’t want to! I do! I love her workouts. I just have a long list of workouts I need to get through. But once I saw Heather had created a back workout I knew I need to give it a try. I do love working my back. Back Fat Blaster is an upper body strength workout that focuses on the back muscles but Heather works other muscles, too (shoulders and chest). Also, when you are working large muscle groups (like the back and chest), smaller muscle groups have to assist, so they are getting worked as well.

This was yet another excellent workout from Heather. Use the right weights and you will get a great metabolic upper body strength workout. I did this workout in combination with one of Heather’s newer lower body workouts, Brutal Booty + Leg Slimming Workout for a total body strength workout.

Like most of Heather’s workouts, this is music only. Which I love! The music is always great. You just follow along with Heather as she does the exercises with perfect form. Each exercise is done for 40 seconds with a 10 second rest between exercises. There is a timer in the lower right hand corner of the screen counting down your intervals and rest periods. During the rest period Heather previews the next exercise.

Back Fat Blaster is 23:30 minutes; 30 second intro, 3:30 minute warm up and 4 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Heather is using a set of 5 and 10 pound dumbbells. The dumbbell weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Narrow + wide row (alternate these two rows) (13# DBs)
  2. Renegade rows (10# DBs)
  3. Super push up (alternate 1 superman with 1 push up)
  4. Rear back flys (8# DBs)
  5. Scapular squeeze (extend arms out to sides, palms facing ceiling, and alternate pulling one elbow into waist) (5# DBs)
  6. Underhand row (15# DBs)
  7. Lat lift & pull (hinge forward at hips, raise arms from beside thighs until arms are in line with head (palms are facing each other), rotate palms so they face the floor and pull arms back into goal post) (5# DBs)
  8. Plank stroke (in forearm plank, extend one arm straight in front of you then sweep it beside you to behind you as if doing a swimming stroke, alternate arms)
  9. Bent arm jacks (jumping jacks with arms opening and closing while in goal post)
  10. Repeat #1-9

For more info on Heather Robertson’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.


29 thoughts on “Back Fat Blaster!!! // Upper Body Workout w/ Weights

  1. Hi there. Thank you for the well wishes. I hope you and your family had a safe and festive Thanksgiving.

    Although I am still not cleared to exercise I am still incredibly grateful that you chose that Jessica Smith walking DVD for me (4MPW). I don’t know if I told you but I did go ahead and buy it from Amazon. It will be something to look forward to doing.

    That being said, I hope you’ll be my personal shopper again and also share some of your expertise, knowledge, and experiences with me about the Classical Stretch / Essentrics programs. I know you’ve done and reviewed the programs and even recently purchased some more of their DVDs.

    So long story short. I just finished watching a special 1-hour program on PBS called Aging Backwards 2 with Miranda Esmonde-White. It was informational and not a follow along workout program, although you could see groups of people working out in the background.

    Could you please explain the difference between the Classical Stretch and Essentrics programs? And perhaps help me decide which program would be best for me?

    With either Classical Stretch or Essentrics, I’m looking for gentle movement and gentle stretching and strength building (not sure what I mean by that, not lifting weights) and rejuvenation and a workout that “feels good” and lifts my spirits. I know that Miranda and Sarah (I think that’s her name) tend to host most of the CS and E programs but since both are new-to-me I don’t think have a host preference although it is important to me that the host cue well, give body position and form tips, and count reps evenly on both sides of the body. Hope all my desires can fit into a 20 – 30 minute workout. I don’t think, even when I’m cleared to exercise, that I’ll have the stamina (or strength?) to do anything longer. As for budget, I’d prefer to spend under $25 per DVD so that would probably rule out any pricey season episode bundles.

    I’m sure I just missed a terrific Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale if I had ordered directly from the Classical Stretch site but I’m fine with ordering from Amazon (I hope they carry the DVDs.) Oh well.

    I’ll pop back in soon to see if you’ve replied. Thank you for any help/advice you can offer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. P.S. I would also be open to hearing about other programs that you know of that are like Classical Stretch and Essentrics. For example, maybe Jessica Smith has a gentle workout similar to CS or E? Not yoga per se, but maybe some type of stretching/gentle movement program????

      Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Beth! So sorry to hear you still aren’t able to exercise. That really sucks. Are you in any kind of therapy or other kind of treatment?

      Classical Stretch is a great program to rehab with. The only difference between Classical Stretch and Essentrics is the trainer. Miranda Esmonde-White created Classical Stretch. All of the Classical Stretch workouts are led by her. Essentrics is the same technique but led by other trainers, including her daughter Sahra. Personally, I prefer Sahra. But her workouts that I’ve done are intermediate and advanced level. For your current situation, I recommend this one:
      There is currently a used copy for $9.99 on Amazon.

      When you are feeling better, I recommend It is a great starting place. Several gentle feel good workouts. There are two used copies on Amazon right now for $22 and $25.

      However, Miranda has several beginner workouts that I have not tried–if you search for Classical Stretch on Amazon you will see them. I actually think they are the other workouts on her Age Defying Series that I just posted the link to above, so it is obviously cheaper to buy the collection that has them all (5 workouts) rather than buying them separately.


      1. Yes, it is quite disappointing, depressing if I’m being completely honest. I’m ready to heal and be pain-free. Up until now, I’ve never experienced any physical pain like this and it’s been a physical and emotional struggle. I am in physical therapy now (with an official person that I visit) and do the exercises at home too daily. I see him later this week.

        Thank you for the info and suggestions about Classical Stretch and Essentrics. I prefer to buy my DVDs in brand-spanking new condition but I will still seriously consider your recommendation. I definitely need to visit the official site and Amazon again (I did briefly) and figure out which one to order.

        From a previous visit to the Essentrics site months ago, I noticed that A LOT of their DVDs are completely gone and I assume won’t be released again as I assume they are going to want to transition to streaming only. So I don’t want to miss out on a DVD that would be perfect for me when I’m cleared to exercise. (I have vague memories of a gorgeous production with Sahra at the ocean, stretching and light cardio and flowing movements as I recall, I don’t know if it was beginner or not but if it was indeed beginner, I am sad that that particular DVD is not available on Essentrics or Amazon.)

        Also, on a completely different topic, I spent just a few minutes lurking on the VF forum, I do like that site and miss lurking there daily, but anyway, a VF member did some detective work on Amazon and ended up finding the two brand new forthcoming Jessica Smith DVD releases. I won’t tell you the names in case you would prefer to be surprised in Jessica’s newsletter and get the news straight from her, but if you are curious, you can visit this specific discussion thread and go to page 5, 4th comment from the top.


      2. I visited the link and I’ll be honest, I am not excited about Jessica’s new offerings. I will buy them because she is an auto-buy for me and I want to support my favorite trainers but I tend to like her strength and cardio workouts better. I also like her fusion/feel good workouts a lot.


      3. Yes, I wasn’t excited either about Jessica’s latest offerings. Would have loved to see a new walking workout, a feel good workout, or a low-impact dance/walk workout. I’m mildly intrigued by both new offerings but I doubt I’ll be buying either one of them. Of the two, the Gentle Yoga + Pilates interests me the most but that is likely because the back of the DVD case features a gorgeous view of the ocean. I’ll definitely be interested to read your reviews on them when you purchase them and eventually do them.


      4. I didn’t see the videos before. I just watched them and I am liking them more now. The Yoga/Pilates one actually looks like it feels really good and the background is beautiful. The other stretch one looks like it will feel good, too. But the Yoga/Pilates one is speaking to me now. (o:


      5. Jen, the video clip previews were very recent additions to the Amazon page. They weren’t there when I first visited those pages…. Both videos are growing on me but I’m not likely to order them when they become available on Amazon because I’m looking for gentle movement things I can do now rather than later. (Both programs are available in Jessica’s digital store.)

        As for now rather than later, I’m thinking about Lee Holden’s (have you heard of him?) 30-Day Qi Gong Challenge.

        I’ve also been thinking about Lee’s Healthy Joints program (might not can do this now) and his Anxiety program. It’s been awhile, but I remember lots of folks raving about him and his programs on VFF.



      6. Jen, you may already know this, but Jessica’s two new DVDs are officially for sale on Amazon. Some folks on the VFF site have already received them!! For now, I am going to pass on both of them because I’m interested in a few of her other DVDs that I think may be a better fit for me for when I’m cleared to be more active with exercise. But I’m sure her new DVDs are going to be great and I look forward to eventually reading about your experiences with them.

        And Jessica shared a bit of info about a forthcoming new workout program (not going to spoil anything in case you haven’t read it yet) in her newsletter. I’m quite intrigued.

        Also, with my comment from Dec 13, I was curious if you had ever heard of Lee Holden.


      7. Sorry I missed your question. I have not heard of Lee Holden. Are you planning to try some of his workouts?

        I won’t be buying Jessica workouts until after Christmas. I am apparently hard to buy for so I usually get a lot of Amazon gift cards (when people ask me or my husband what I want, that’s what we tell them), so I will buy it some time after Christmas.


      8. Yes, I am going to try his 30-Day Challenge program, 7 minutes for 30 days, 30 different mini “workouts.” It seems a good place to start and something that I can do now. Hopefully I will really enjoy it and, if I do, I will likely get this his Healthy Joints program.

        Lee Holden’s programs seem to get really positive reviews on Amazon and on the VFF site. It certainly can’t hurt that he’s attractive and his programs are filmed in various gorgeous outdoor locations 😉


  2. This looks like a fun workout but obviously there is the fear factor for me since I’m having back issues right now. Although, and I don’t want to jinx anything, but I dearly hope that today is the turning point and my back will start feeling much better as my back hasn’t been too bad today. Still a bit tight and stiff, but spasms, burning aches, and isolated spots of bother haven’t been too bad. Even if my back does continue to improve (and dear Lord I hope it does) I’m still keeping my doctor appointment.

    P.S. I saw your comment on the photo about being out of town with your family to go hiking. That sounds like fun. I like hiking too but am not a camping kind of gal so I would have wanted to stay in some type of properly air conditioned and bug-free lodging as well. Oh and those indoor bathrooms and showers are pretty great too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely keep your doctors appointment. They may send you to some physical therapy or at least give you some exercises that will help heal your back.

      We had a great time hiking. I love hiking but I hate camping. For those reasons! I want my AC, shower and soft bed!


      1. Oh I’m definitely keeping my doctor’s appt. The middle of my back started bothering me this afternoon but the heating pad for about 30 minutes helped significantly to alleviate symptoms. Either way, my back is definitely not at 100%. Maybe 70%? I dunno. I’ll let you know how the appt goes….


      2. Could you please help me pick out a Jessica Smith walking DVD for when I’m cleared to do more active type movements and exercise?

        I need a beginner-ish level, low-impact workout (so Jessica’s mom, Debbie, needs to be in the video) with no jumping around or twisting or anything wacky that would aggravate my back.

        I’m looking for a walking program that has a separate warm-up and cool-down and where you can choose how many miles you want to do — as I’m sure some days I might only have the energy for just one or two miles and other days I might feel up to going longer.

        Any ideas for me?

        Thank you.


      3. Jessica has so many good walking workouts. One of my favorites is her newest one 4 Mile Power Walk. That one is chaptered do you can easily do anywhere from 1-4 miles. And it has a warm up and a stretch. Debbie is there for modifications but I am also pretty sure that Jessica herself does not do any moves with impact. I think this one was filmed at the beginning of her pregnancy.


      4. Thank you for the recommendation of the 4 mile power walk workout dvd. I just watched the preview clip on Jessica’s site and it does look like what I’m looking for and will meet my current health/fitness needs. I’m probably going to hold off on ordering it because right now I am only cleared to go on slow short walks outside. I’ll see what my doctor says at my next appointment.

        I went to the doctor on Monday — I have special exercises to do and some medicine to take. My follow-up is next week.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. thanks for the well wishes, I haven’t been using the computer much lately because the computer chair makes my back so achey and burny. we need to get a new chair that fits my back/bum/body better. hopefully i’ll be up to a short field trip this weekend to an office store and try out chairs.

        I’ve had some improvement but my back is definitely not 100%. but when I think about how much agony I was in (I had an unexpected set back right before my very first appointment), it is much improved.

        I’ve been told it can take several weeks for a back/ligament sprain (or was it a strain?) to heal.

        Either way, when my back is better and I’m cleared for more physical activity, I will be exercising *very* differently. And that Jessica Smith 4 Mile Power will be one of the first workouts I do. I keep thinking about that workout even though I’m not ready for it yet. I worry that Amazon will run out of DVDs and Jessica won’t re-release it.

        P.S. Just in case you didn’t know…………… I was lurking over on the Video Fitness Forum site, you might have to search for the recent thread/post as it might not be on the first page, but it seems that Jessica has completed a brand new fitness program and is in the editing stages. Whoever relayed the information to VFF said Jessica was being a bit mysterious and not really giving any information as to what to expect.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I did see that! I get Jessica’s newsletter. She is an auto-buy for me so I plan to get whatever she’s selling as soon as she announces it.

        4 Mile Power Walk is currently her newest cardio walks so I bet they will be in stock for a while.

        It can take several weeks for your back to heal. It used to take mine forever back when I was in my 20s then it seemed like I would throw it out again as soon as I tried to play vigorously with my children. It literally wasn’t until I started working out every day and including heavy strength training that my back problems disappeared for nearly a decade. Unfortunately my back pain has returned but I think I mentioned before that now my back never causes me for pain more than a week. It can be severe pain for 2-3 days then it gets better and is usually 90-100% in a week. I’m 49 btw. I strongly believe it has to do with exercising daily and the fact I lift weights and do a lot of specific exercises like deadlifts and supermans that work the posterior chain.


      7. That’s good to know that 4MPW is her newest DVD — I’d still like to order it sooner rather than later. It’s $14.98 on Amazon and I just need to find something for $10.02 to add to my cart so I can get free shipping…..

        I’m sorry to hear that you back pain has returned — are you just resting and taking it easy? I see that you did a rebounder workout a couple of days ago and a short Lastics stretch yesterday…. (Btw, the TFDVD site has acquired a few Lastics DVDs and they will probably be discounted at the next sale which I assume will be around Thanksgiving Day, if you subscribe to the TFDVD newsletter, there’ll be an announcement in the November newsletter.)

        I was wondering if you have ever heard of the Feeling Pretty Remarkable programs? I discovered them on the TFDVD site. There are several DVDs that target different body parts and there are a few for the lower back. It’s just really strange that I can’t find any reviews on Amazon or the Video Fitness Forum site or really anywhere else — I did find one old blog review but it didn’t really say too much.



      8. I phrased it incorrectly. My back is fine. I just meant that in my 20s I had severe back problems until I started working out daily in my early 30s–then the back pain disappeared for a decade, then in my 40s it returned but nowhere near as bad. But not right now–I just meant that in the past 6-7 years my back will go out every once in a while (maybe once a year tho recently I went 2 years before it went out) but it is nowhere near as severe nor does it last as long as when I was in my 20s. But it’s been months since my back has gone out and before that–2 years.

        No, I have never heard of that program. I have several back strengthening focused workouts but I don’t return to them very often. Usually only after a back crisis then I forget about them.


      9. Well I’m seeing my doctor today for my follow-up and I’m going to show him a print-out about the program. Dr Jardine (I think that’s his name) is the creator of FPR and is from Canada so I’m not sure if my doctor will even recognize his name or have heard of his program.

        It’s really hard to find info about FPR online — the only two reviews I found were from bloggers who got the product for free (not that there is anything wrong with that) and the facebook page for FPR hasn’t been updated in a few years….. I don’t know if these should be red flags for me or not.

        I ordered Jessica’s 4 Mile Power Walk from Amazon! (My hubby picked out a DVD movie to bump our cart total up so we could get free shipping) I want to have 4MPW on hand for when I’m ready to get back to exercising. So thank you again for the recommendation.


      10. I hope you had some good news from your doctor. What did he think of the program? If you like Jessica’s 4 Mile Power Walk, I also recommend her 5 Fat Burning Miles. The walks in that workout are not super intense, but they are a lot of fun.


      11. Sorry for long delay in my reply. I had a setback with my back getting better but hopefully, Lord willing, I am on the road to recovery now. I am feeling better, both emotionally and physically, and hope again, Lord willing, this better feeling continues.

        My doc hadn’t heard of Dr Jardine but I went ahead and ordered the DVD from TFDVD site since it was on special for just $9.99 and I got 10% off on top of that. I haven’t done the DVD yet but am glad to have it.

        I remember reading (and re-reading) your review for Jessica’s 5 mile mix & match DVD. I’m sure Jessica is fantastic but I just wasn’t crazy about the themes for some of the walks such as brain booster; belly, buns & thight; and turbo charged. The power posture and boogie down walks sound fun though but I can’t justify buying that particular DVD for just two of the five miles. (Although the two bonus workouts seem pretty cool too.)

        That also reminds me that I need to sign up for Jessica’s newsletter as I don’t want to miss out on any announcements regarding her new DVD program that is coming out. While I’ve been recovering I’ve hardly been using the computer and haven’t been lurking on the VFF site — and the VFF is where I would have gotten any Jessica updates/news.

        I’d love Jessica to release a dance-y (but doable for those of us with two left feet) walk/cardio low-impact program.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I’m so sorry to hear you had a setback with your back. Injuries are so miserable. Hopefully you are on the mend and will be back to regular movement soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s