Day 21 of EPIC | Leg Workout at Home

Day 21 of EPIC / Leg Workout at Home is part of Caroline Girvin‘s first Epic series (or Epic I). Yesterday I did It’s Row Time! from her Epic II program, so I am obviously not doing her workouts in program form. I am just previewing them and doing the ones that look like something I might enjoy. Having now done Leg Workout at Home, I am not sure “enjoy” is the appropriate word to use. This workout was very tough. It is also very metabolic. According to my FitBit I burned 345 calories and was even in my peak heart rate zone a total of 9 minutes. This is an excellent and very challenging workout. The only drawback (and it is a minor one), is that due to the structure of the workout (explained in the next paragraph), you cannot always use the appropriate weight for every exercise. For example, the first complex I used 20 pound dumbbells. This was appropriate for exercises 1, 3 and 4, but I can lift much heavier than 20 pounds for #2, which is a deadlift. But because there is no rest at all during a complex and therefore no time to swap dumbbells, I had to use 20s for the deadlift. It does encourage you to challenge yourself to lift heavier though for that same reason. I would normally choose 15 pound dumbbells for #4 even though I know I can lift heavier for that exercise. But because I wanted to get as much as I could out of the other exercises, I went with the 20s for everything. The structure of this workout will really elevate your heart rate so you are also getting a cardio workout along with an intense lower body workout.

This workout consists of dumbbell complexes. What this means is you are doing giant sets with no rest between exercises. Each complex is done for 3 minutes (except for Complex 3 & 4 which are done for 4 minutes), you get a 1 minute rest then repeat it. So each complex is done twice except for the final core complex which is only done once. You get one minute of recovery between every single complex. Each exercise is done for 10 reps. If you follow Caroline’s pace like I did, in the time allotted you are able to get through most of the complexes twice, a few you are in your 3rd round when the 3 or 4 minutes are up. There is a timer in the upper left hand corner of the screen, counting down your 3 minutes of work as well as your 1 minute of rest. The complex you are working through is listed in the upper right hand corner of the screen for your reference. This is especially useful if you cannot keep pace with Caroline then you can still keep track of your complex. 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. Caroline previews your next complex during the recovery.

Day 21 of EPIC / Leg Workout at Home is 50:11 minutes; 2:20 minute intro, no warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. I used Heather Robertson‘s Leg Day Warm Up and I also felt like I needed a longer stretch after such a brutal workout, so I finished with this excellent Leg Day Stretch I found on YouTube a few years ago and return to frequently. Equipment: dumbbells and a mat. Caroline is using 10kg/22 pound dumbbells. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. I also used 5 pound dumbbells to elevate my heels during the 5th complex.

Complex 1 (3 minutes) (20# DBs):

  1. Front squat, 10 reps
  2. Romanian deadlift, 10 reps
  3. Sumo squats, 10 reps
  4. Alternating reverse lunges, 10 reps

Complex 2 (3 minutes) (15# DBs):

  1. Lunge pivot, 10 reps (stand with legs wide, do a stationary lunge then pivot so are facing the opposite direction and do another stationary lunge)
  2. Stationary lunge, 10 reps
  3. Repeat #2 on other leg
  4. Calf raises, 10 reps

Complex 3 (4 minutes) (one 20# DB):

  1. Clean to squat, 10 reps (squat holding one DB in one hand, clean DB to shoulder and squat again with DB at shoulder, alternate between these two squat variations)
  2. Uneven lunge, 10 reps (pulsing stationary lunge holding one DB at shoulder)
  3. Uneven squat,10 reps (squats holding one DB at shoulder)
  4. Staggered Romanian deadlift, 10 reps (single leg deadlift, holding one DB in hand of working leg)

Complex 4: repeat complex 3 on other side of body

Complex 5 (3 minutes) (one 20# DB):

  1. Stationary curtsy lunge, 10 reps (holding one DB in one hand)
  2. Repeat #1 on other leg
  3. Alternating stationary side lunges, 10 reps (holding one DB in both hands)
  4. Close squat on toes, 10 reps (holding one DB at chest, squat with heels raised–I put #5 DBs under my heels to elevate them)

Complex 6 (3 minutes) (one 20# DB):

  1. Hamstring up & down, 10 reps (lay on back with legs extended and knees bent, heels are in mat, one DB on hips, raise and lower hips/glutes)
  2. Marches, 10 reps (same position as #1, keep hips elevated isometrically and raise foot off ground, alternate feet)
  3. Single leg bridge, 10 reps (still on back, knee is bent with heel close to glutes, other leg is elevated and extended, DB is still on hips, raise and lower glutes in this position)
  4. Repeat #3 on other leg

Core Complex (done for 3:12 minutes and is not repeated) (one 10# DB):

  1. Reverse crunch, 10 reps (hold one DB in both hands, do a reverse crunch, bringing DB to shins, then extend legs straight a few inches off the floor while extending DB overhead in a pullover)
  2. Opposite hand to foot reach, 10 reps (lay on back, one knee is bent with foot on mat, other leg is extended to ceiling, you are holding a DB in one hand, crunch up while reaching DB toward foot of opposite elevated leg, other arm is extended on floor)
  3. Repeat #2 on other side of body
  4. Crunches, 10 reps (lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, hold one DB in both hands, do basic crunches, reaching DB to knees when crunching)

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


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