The Pump Workout / Upper Body Complexes | EPIC II – Day 29

The Pump Workout / Upper Body Complexes is Day 29 of Caroline Girvin‘s Epic II program. This was a humbling workout. I did it because I really enjoyed Caroline’s other workouts based on complexes. This workout, however, was brutal–for me at least. I am in awe of Caroline. She used a set of 17.5 pound dumbbells for everything in this workout. She did start gassing out repeatedly near the end of the workout but still. I was gassing out in Complex 2–and there are 14 complexes! And I was using a wide variety of dumbbells–almost all of them lighter than hers! I took a shower afterward and my arms felt weak when I had to reach overhead to wash my hair. I have really enjoyed Caroline’s workouts, especially when they kick my butt, but I don’t want to work this hard. I probably won’t return to this one. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get an excellent upper body strength workout–I did. But I also need to enjoy my workouts. That’s what keeps me coming back.

This workout consists of superset complexes. What this means is you are doing supersets with no rest between exercises. Each complex is done for 2:30 minutes. For 2:30 minutes you will continue repeating the same superset with no rest between sets or exercises. Between each complex you get 45 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the upper right hand corner of the screen, counting down your 2:30 minutes of work as well as your 45 seconds of rest. The complex you are working through is listed in the upper left 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.

The Pump Workout / Upper Body Complexes is 52:21 minutes; 2 minute intro, no warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, a chair or step and a fitness mat. Caroline is using 8kg/17.5 pound dumbbells. I used a step at 14 inches so that I could also lay on it for the exercises where you are laying on your back. The dumbbell weights listed below are what I used.

Complex 1:

  1. Double arm bent over row, 10 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Alternating bicep curls, 10 reps (15# DBs)

Complex 2:

  1. Chest press, 20 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Deadstop push ups, 10 reps (do a regular push up but lower body all the way to the floor)

Complex 3:

  1. Single arm overhead shoulder press, 10 reps (one 10# DB)
  2. Single straight arm front raise, 10 reps (one 10# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other arm

Complex 4:

  1. Decline push ups, 10 reps (feet on chair, hands on ground)
  2. Tricep dips, 20 reps (hands on chair behind you, legs extended straight)

Complex 5:

  1. Kneeling double arm hammer curls, 10 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Narrow chest press, 20 reps (15# DBs)

Complex 6:

  1. Overhead double arm shoulder press, 10 reps (12# DBs)
  2. Walk into pike, 10 reps (with feet on chair and hands on ground, walk hands from plank to pike then back to plank)

Complex 7:

  1. Double arm wide bicep curls, 10 reps (12# DBs)
  2. Overhead tricep extension, 20 reps (French press) (one 15# DB)

Complex 8:

  1. Single arm supine row, 10 reps (underhand row, palm facing forward) (one 20# DB)
  2. Single arm bicep curl, 10 reps (one 12# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2

Complex 9:

  1. Lying skull crushers, 10 reps (8# DBs)
  2. Tricep push ups, 10 reps

Complex 10:

  1. Renegade rows, alternate arms, 10 reps (20# DBs)
  2. Push ups, 10 reps

Complex 11:

  1. Chest flys, 10 reps (12# DBs)
  2. Pullovers, 10 reps (12# DBs)

Complex 12:

  1. Single arm bent over reverse fly, 5 reps (one 8# DB)
  2. Single arm lateral raise, 5 reps (one 8# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other arm

Complex 13:

  1. Alternating overhead shoulder press, 20 reps (12# DBs)
  2. Push up with alternating arm raise, 10 reps

Complex 14:

  1. Clean to hammer press, 10 reps (hammer curl into overhead press) (12# DBs)
  2. Hammer hold pulses, 20 reps (hold isometrically in partial hammer curl and do small pulses) (12# DBs)

Burnout Finisher:

  1. Diagonal press for 20 seconds (hold one DB by bar with both hands, press upward on a diagonal directly in front of you) (one 15# DB)
  2. Tricep extension for 20 seconds (holding DB the same, push DB in and out straight in front of you at chest level) (one 10# DB)

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


2 thoughts on “The Pump Workout / Upper Body Complexes | EPIC II – Day 29

  1. I did this workout this morning. Based n your review, I was braced for a pretty challenging workout so I followed your weight recommendations for the most part. I don’t know how Caroline is able to handle 17.5 lb weights throughout. I found her to be a little intimidating from her physique to the way she stares into the camera during filming, but she has a pretty smile and I like the way she shows the next moves. I had to laugh near the end because she had that look on her face of “Forget about kicking YOUR ass, I’m kicking my OWN ass!” 😉☺️

    Thanks for introducing me to Carline … if you ever make a rotation for her like you did for Heather, can you please post it? Thanks for your reviews. I love reading them! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how Caroline does these workouts real time with you and frequently near the end she is burning out just like you are! Of course, her dumbbells are also frequently double the weight of what I am using. She is amazing.

      And yes, I do want to create a Caroline Girvin rotation. I need do more of her workouts first though–but I have a lot of them scheduled! So in a month or so I will hopefully have enough under my belt to create a rotation. I also plan to give create a dedicated trainer page for her like I did for Heather Robertson. I do some of these YouTube trainers so much now that I need their workouts categorized separately.


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