OPPOSING Upper Body Workout / Dumbbells | EPIC Heat – Day 12

Opposing Upper Body Workout is Day 12 in Caroline Girvan‘s EPIC Heat program. This is another excellent and tough upper body strength workout. I challenged myself in this workout. I used heavier dumbbells for a few of the exercises than what I normally use in Caroline’s upper body workouts. I was working hard but I was able to lift heavier and still maintain good form, so she is definitely making me stronger! What I really love about Caroline’s workouts is that she works your back so hard and thoroughly. And I love back work. She also hits your chest really hard, too. Unfortunately I am not as fond of chest work! But she is keeping me balanced, so that is good!

This workout is done interval style: 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of recovery, with the exception of a few of the exercises at the end (#17, 18 & 19 are done for 50 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest; 23-27 have no rest/recovery periods). The title of this workout means that you are pairing opposing muscle groups–one exercise will work the biceps and the next exercise will work the triceps, one exercise will work the back and the next will work the chest, and so on. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recoveries Caroline previews the next exercise. She also shows equipment modifications for some of the exercises (for instance, if you are doing the exercise on the floor rather than using a chair). There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.

Today I used an upper body warm up and an upper body stretch from MRandMRsMuscle. I really liked them. They have some more warm ups and stretches I will be giving a try over the next month.

***I returned to this workout on 12/08/21; I am updating the weights I used in the break down below, but I am also leaving the weights I used the first time I did this workout back in May 2021 to illustrate the strength gains I’ve made since I started doing Caroline’s workouts.***

Opposing Upper Body Workout is 42:12 minutes; 2:30 minute intro, no warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Optional: a chair or bench. Caroline is using 15kg/33 pound and 8kg/17.6 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. I also used my full step for all of the lying down and sitting exercises. Except the dead bugs. I did those on my mat.

  1. Seated shoulder press (15# DBs; 12/8/21–16.5# DBs)
  2. Pullover (one 30# DB; 12/8/21–one 35# DB))
  3. Repeat #1 & 2
  4. Chest press (20# DBs; 12/8/21–22.5# DBs)
  5. Alternating renegade rows (25# DBs)
  6. Repeat #4 & 5
  7. Double arm bent over row (30# DBs)
  8. Push ups
  9. Repeat #7 & 8
  10. Chest flies (18# DBs)
  11. Bent over rear delt flies (10# DBs)
  12. Repeat #10 & 11
  13. Straight arm front raise (8# DBs)
  14. Bent over supine row (palms facing forward) (25# DBs; 12/8/21–30# DBs)
  15. Repeat #13 & 14
  16. Tate press (lay on back, knees bent and feet in floor, DBs are extended to ceiling with palms facing feet/legs, bend elbows bringing ends of DBs to chest then straighten arms again) (12# DBs)
  17. Bicep curls (intervals change to 50/10) (15# DBs; 12/8/21–16.5# DBs)
  18. Repeat #16 but for 50/10
  19. Repeat #17
  20. Skull crushers (10# DBs; 12/8/21–11# DBs)
  21. Hammer curls (15# DBs; 12/8/21–16.5# DBs)
  22. Repeat #20 & 21
  23. Straight leg dead bug (lay on floor, both legs extended straight to ceiling, both arms reaching for ceiling, holding one DB in one hand, do a single straight arm pull over with arm holding DB while also lowering opposite straight leg) (one 12# DB)
  24. Straight leg dead bug hold (keep arm and leg extended straight a few inches off the floor and hold for 15 seconds) (one 12# DB)
  25. Repeat #23 & 24 on other side of body
  26. Double dead bug (hold one DB in both hands, do straight arm pullover while also lowering both straight legs) (one 12# DB; 12/8/21–one 15# DB)
  27. Double dead bug hold (keep arms/DB and straight legs extended a few inches off the floor and hold for 10 seconds) (one 12# DB; 12/8/21–one 15# DB)
  28. 60 second rest
  29. Deep push ups (push ups with hands holding DBs) (45 seconds)
  30. Hold at bottom of push up for 15 seconds

25 second rest

Finisher: (2:30 minutes–the times below are the what the screen says when the exercise changes, if you do the math it adds up to more than 150 seconds)

  1. Sweeps (holding a DB in each hand, hinge forward and “sweep” straight arms behind you up past hips) (30 seconds) (10# DBs)
  2. Deep push ups (45 seconds)
  3. Hold at bottom of push up for 15 seconds
  4. Sweeps (60 seconds) (10# DBs)
  5. Hold isometrically at top of sweep for 15 seconds

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


5 thoughts on “OPPOSING Upper Body Workout / Dumbbells | EPIC Heat – Day 12

  1. I did this one this morning. Wow. What a super workout! I agree that she really hit the back well. Looking at the exercise list you wouldn’t think it was back-heavy but she does a great job of using combo moves to really amp up the difficulty level. I finished it off with heather’s legs and booty ankle weight workout which I thought hit the butt muscles nicely. Great finisher!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Heather’s ankle weight workout. It is a burner. I have plans to try Caroline’s ankle weight mat workout in early June and it looks more challenging than Heather’s. I am doing Caroline’s booty band workout on Monday. I previewed it and parts of it look similar to some of the booty band exercises in Awakened Glutes, which fried my glutes and hamstrings yesterday. My glutes and hamstrings burned all day yesterday after that workout. I was sure I would have severe DOMS this morning but I didn’t. Weird. So Monday should be fun!


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