It’s Row Time! 45 Min Back Workout with Dumbbells / Epic II Day 23

Caroline Girvan is a new to me trainer who lives in Northern Ireland. She was recommended to me by a blog reader. I previewed some of her workouts on YouTube and I was very impressed. I decided to give her workouts a try. What I liked about her workouts that I previewed is that they are filmed similar to Heather Robertson‘s workouts and I am a big fan of the way both Heather Robertson and Naomi Joy film their workouts. Great music and cuing, visual as well as audible cuing, and they preview the exercises so you can not only mentally prepare but also choose appropriate weights. In addition, Caroline is incredibly ripped. I am in awe of her physique. Zero body fat. Just like in Heather Robertson‘s workouts, there is no talking during the workout but you are cued with visuals and beeps. Caroline does a lot of encouraging hand gestures and expressions during the recoveries to motivate you to keep going. And trust me, you need them. This is an advanced and challenging workout.

It’s Row Time! 45 Min Back Workout with Dumbbells is part of Caroline Girvan’s Epic II program. This workout obviously caught my eye because my back is my favorite muscle group to work (followed by my lower body, so you know I will be doing some of Caroline’s lower body workouts). I know what the word Epic means but I wanted to find the dictionary definition as it relates to Caroline’s workouts. Rather than relating specifically to the literary form, the definition “surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in size or scope; heroic and impressive in quality” is definitely an appropriate descriptor for Caroline’s Epic workouts. This workout, and her other 4 that I plan to do in the next 2 weeks, are not your ordinary workout. At least not mine. I honestly do not think I have ever worked a single muscle group to complete and total fatigue like I did in the course of this workout. You are doing all variety of single arm rows for the entire workout and you are working in 30 second intervals, so the arm that just worked always gets at least 30 seconds of recovery between exercises. In a 30 second interval, I was able to do 6-11 reps, depending on the exercise. Caroline gives a 2 minute intro to this workout that focuses not only on telling you the structure of the workout but also discusses proper form. She tells you to try to stay close to her tempo for reps. She does her reps slow and controlled and you will get a lot more out of any exercise when you do it slower and with control. I cannot imagine not being sore after this workout but I will return and add an update sentence about my level of DOMS tomorrow. Though this is a back workout, you are also working your biceps with the rows. The pullovers also work your chest, shoulders and triceps (in addition to back and biceps). Renegade rows also hit your core and finally, supermans also work the shoulders. So this workout actually works your entire upper body. **3/20/21 I woke with DOMS this morning–my upper back/shoulder area and my triceps are the most sore. But my biceps, chest and core even have a bit of DOMS. This definitely works the entire upper body.**

Most of the exercises are done for 30 seconds of work. The “staple exercise” is the pullover. That exercise is done for 60 seconds. What that means is that, every time you finish all of the sets of a certain type of row, you will do one minute of pullovers. Although I do not note this in the breakdown below, you also get 30 seconds of recovery on either side of the pullovers. There is a timer in the upper left hand corner of the screen, counting down your intervals and recoveries. Caroline previews your next exercise during the recovery. This workout is set to great music, no talking. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage. There is also a lot of other instruction on screen to help you through the workout.

***12/13/21 UPDATE I meant to return to this workout many times since I did it back in March 2021 but today (12/13/21) is the first time I actually returned to it. My strength has increased so much since I did this workout nearly 9 months ago that I decided to update the weights I used in the break down below. The first weight listed is what I used when I did this workout in March 2021. The second weight (which includes the date 12/13/21) shows what I used when I did this workout this morning. This illustrates the strength you can build when doing Caroline’s workouts regularly. And I do not do Caroline’s workouts exclusively. If I just did her workouts exclusively I could probably make even larger strength gains!***

It’s Row Time! 45 Min Back Workout with Dumbbells is 51:35 minutes; 2 minute intro, no warm and 3 minute stretch. Caroline has provided a 5 minute full body warm up that you should do before starting this workout. I did it before doing this workout and it did a good job warming up my entire body in only 5 minutes. Equipment: dumbbells and a chair or step or bench. Caroline is using 15kg/33 pound dumbbells. I used my weight bench for all of the rows and for the pullovers. I had a mat on the floor for the renegade rows and supermans. The weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Bent over single arm row (one 30# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)
  2. Repeat #1 on other arm
  3. Repeat #1 & 2
  4. 30 seconds of recovery
  5. Repeat #1-4 (one 30# DB; 12/13/21 one 37.5# DB)
  6. Pullover (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)
  7. Renegade row (25# DBs)
  8. Repeat #7 on other arm
  9. Repeat #7 & 8
  10. 30 seconds of recovery
  11. Repeat #7-10
  12. Pullover (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)
  13. Single arm arc row (starts like a traditional bent over row, but with arm slightly forward, pull arm back to glute so that DB arcs) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 35# DB)
  14. Repeat #13 on other arm
  15. Repeat #13 & 14
  16. 30 second recovery
  17. Repeat #13-16
  18. Pullover (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)
  19. Long renegade row (plank with wide legs, working arm DB is in front of shoulder level, from this position, pull DB back into a row, but closer to glutes than a traditional renegade row) (20# DBs; 12/13/21 25# DBs)
  20. Repeat #19 on other arm
  21. Lay on stomach, arms are extended at sides, raise chest and arms and hold for 5 seconds (do this for 60 seconds)
  22. 30 second recovery
  23. Repeat #19-22
  24. Deadstop row (single arm bent over row, but you place the DB on the floor, release it, then pick it up and do a row) (one 30# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)
  25. Repeat #24 on other arm
  26. Repeat #24 & 25
  27. 30 second recovery
  28. Repeat #24-27
  29. Pullover (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 35# DB)
  30. Single arm supine row (palm faces in front of you) (one 20# DB; 12/13/21 one 35# DB)
  31. Repeat #30 on other arm
  32. Repeat #30 & 31
  33. 30 second recovery
  34. Repeat #30-33
  35. Pullover (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 35# DB)
  36. Alternating rotate row (alternating renegade rows, DBs are held horizontally so palms face behind you, when you row, rotate DB so the row is close to body, palm facing body) (20# DBs; 12 /13/21 25# DBs)
  37. Supermans
  38. Repeat #36 & 37
  39. 30 second rest
  40. Repeat #36-39
  41. Pullovers (60 seconds) (one 25# DB; 12/13/21 one 35# DB)
  42. 30 second rest
  43. Burnout: Landmine row (hold one DB by bar with both hands, bend over and row DB underneath you for 30 seconds; hold at top of row for 30 seconds; row again for 30 seconds) (one 30# DB; 12/13/21 one 40# DB)

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


8 thoughts on “It’s Row Time! 45 Min Back Workout with Dumbbells / Epic II Day 23

  1. I’m so happy you’re starting to review Caroline’s workouts! I;m doing Epic 1 right now and I have never done any workouts like hers before, she is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you done Epic II? I did a workout from Epic I this morning–that was tough, too! She creates some killer workouts. I’m thinking about doing her new kickass kettlebell workouts.


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s