Day 36 of EPIC | BACK WORKOUT / BICEP WORKOUT with Dumbbells

Back & Bicep Workout is Day 36 of Caroline Girvan‘s first EPIC program. This was yet another incredible workout from Caroline. I adore her back focused workouts. I am definitely getting stronger, too. I lifted heavier on most of the back exercises in this workout and it was a success! I was working hard but I was able to do it and maintain good form. A few times I had to take a mini break but they only lasted a few seconds. Caroline took plenty mini breaks herself! There is a staple exercise in this workout which you do 6 times total in the course of the workout: a standard single arm bent over row. I used 35 pound dumbbells for that but I kept my 30s close by because I felt sure I would end up resorting to them by the end of the workout. But I didn’t! I stuck with the 35s until the end. So Caroline’s workouts are definitely increasing my strength. My biceps do not seem to be getting much stronger. I wish they made 16 pound dumbbells! I have 18s but they are too much for me for bicep curls. Anyway, I loved this workout. It worked my upper body hard and well. Though it is focused on the back and biceps you are working your triceps as well. And some exercises in this workout hit everything (pullovers and renegade rows). Plus she has push ups as one of the finisher exercises. So this works your entire upper body. **The next day my back and triceps were nicely sore.**

This workout is done interval style: 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest. However, a few of the exercises Caroline does for 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. The exercises with different interval times are noted below. 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. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.

Back & Bicep Workout is 50:21 minutes; 2:10 minute intro, no warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Optional: a chair or bench. Caroline is using 8kg/17.6 pounds and 15kg/33 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. I used my weight bench rather than a chair.

  1. Single arm supine row (bent over row with palm facing forward) (one 30# DB)
  2. Repeat #1 on other arm
  3. Repeat #1 & 2
  4. Single arm row (bent over row with palm facing you) (one 35# DB)
  5. Repeat #4 on other arm
  6. Alternating rotational renegade row (DBs are held horizontally so palms face behind you, when you row, rotate DB so the row is close to body, palm facing body) (25# DBs)
  7. Repeat #6
  8. Alternating bicep curl (Caroline is sitting, this is also a supination curl) (40/20 intervals) (15# DBs)
  9. Repeat #8
  10. Repeat #4 & 5
  11. Single arm lat sweep (hinge forward, working arm is straight, sweep straight arm up behind you, keeping arm straight and remaining hinged forward) (one 12# DB)
  12. Repeat #11 on other arm
  13. Lying lat sweep (lay on mat, legs straight and feet pressed into ground, raise chest and hold while raising and lowering straight arms behind you, keep arms close to sides, palms face the ceiling)
  14. Repeat #13
  15. Repeat #4 & 5
  16. Pullovers (one 35# DB)
  17. Wide bicep curls (Caroline is seated) (15# DBs)
  18. Repeat #17
  19. Repeat #4 & 5
  20. Clean to stand (hold one DB in one hand, legs are wider than hip width, squat lowering DB toward floor between legs then stand, racking DB at shoulder) (one 15# DB, but I will lift heavier in the future)
  21. Repeat #20 on other side of body
  22. Superman
  23. Repeat #22
  24. Repeat #4 & 5
  25. Single arm rear delt fly (one 12# DB)
  26. Repeat #25 on other arm
  27. Hammer curls (Caroline is seated) (15# DBs)
  28. Repeat #27
  29. Repeat #4 & 5
  30. Landmine row to curl (holding one DB by bar with both hands, legs wider than hip width, hinge forward and do one row, stand and do one double arm curl) (one 35# DB)
  31. Repeat #30
  32. Scapular push up (in straight arm plank, do scapular retractions, lowering chest while keeping arms straight and bringing shoulder blades together then round spine)
  33. Repeat #32
  34. Double arm bent over row (25# DBs)
  35. Repeat #34

Finisher: (2 minutes/no rests)

  1. Row to curl for 60 seconds (alternate one double arm bent over row with one standing double arm supination curl) (15# DBs)
  2. Hands off push up for 60 seconds (do full push ups, but lower entire body all the way to mat, raise hands off ground, place hands back on ground and push up, keeping body straight)

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

21 thoughts on “Day 36 of EPIC | BACK WORKOUT / BICEP WORKOUT with Dumbbells

  1. I just bought 22 lb dumbbells from Amazon. Prime day deal at $61 for the pair. Lamartine didn’t have any, bummer.

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  2. I have the dial-a-weight type dumbbells. They are great in terms of space but they also breed laziness during workouts as it’s inconvenient to switch them up. To mitigate this I try to choose as heavy as I can (I will sacrifice reps for form). If I had the space I’d definitely have gone the full set route but what I have is a decent compromise. I do need to find 22.5 lb dumbbells somewhere, though. I’m running into the “20 is too light but 25 is too heavy” for more stuff. 🤨😁

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    1. I used to have Bowflex Select Techs. I thought they were the answer for me. When I bought them (15 years ago or longer) I only owned dumbbells from 3-20 pounds. I thought buying the Select Techs would actually save me money in the long run. But I found that most of the workouts I was doing back then (Cathe, Jillian Michaels, Jari Love) do not give you the time between exercises to change the weight. I got so frustrated. Then they start jamming on me. Finally I gave up and got rid of them. By 2017 I had managed to accumulate every weight increment from 1-15 pounds, 18 pounds then starting at 20 I had/have 20-45 in 5 pound increments. Now I have 50s, too. I just bought those last weekend. I also have 2.5 pound plate weights, so all of my weights with 5 pound differences, I can increase my weight incrementally (22.5, 27.5, etc). Before cancer I used 17.5 for my biceps regularly but I just cannot get back there. I seem to be stuck on 15s for biceps. I am hoping the 16.5 pound dumbbells I ordered today will help me get over the hump. Maybe I will get back 17.5 or even my 18s. I lost so much strength with cancer treatment but fr the first time in a long time, thanks to Caroline’s workouts, I feel like there is the possibility of regaining my strength.

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  3. This looks like a winner!

    I did Caroline’s epic II full body tempo training today. I think it is her most fun strength workout I’ve done. I really enjoyed the way she ran through each superset. It wasn’t the hardest workout but definitely the most fun. I thought it would be up your alley as well. ☺️

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    1. That’s another one of her long ones. I actually have that one on my To Do list but not scheduled. I will do it at some point! She has so many workouts. And I can’t keep up! These new ones she is uploading this week look awesome, too!

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      1. Oh I know! I’ll have the week scheduled and then see her post a new one and go “dammit, I want to do that one too!” 🤨☺️

        Cathe posted videos of her boss band workouts. I’m actually excited for them to come now. I didn’t realize the bands are big ones like what Caroline used in her back/bicep workout, I’m curious how tough they are. The booty bands look like they really stay in place, and she has chosen a lot of great moves – some new to me!

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      2. I watched it. Oddly, I am just not that excited by Cathe’s stuff right now. I am going to do the workouts though and take them with me on my vacation. I hope the bands are strong. I prefer the cloth bands. My current large loop bands are rubber and I have to wear gloves with them. But they are also very strong. I hope at least one of Cathe’s large loops is very strong, too.

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      3. I’m guessing they aren’t terribly strong because on some of the exercises I noticed that they were using 2 bands simultaneously. But we shall see.

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      4. I ordered some bands from Amazon similar to what Cathe uses. They have different resistant levels. I plan to use them with her workouts when released. The reviews were good so hopefully they will last.

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      5. I’ve had Cathe’s bands snap in half on me and a ball burst while sitting on it. (That one hurt!) I’m waiting for the day when my trusty step – in all its teal and mauve glory purchased in 1993 – breaks in two! 😲

        Incidentally, I did Caroline’s epic II calisthenics full body workout today. At almost 70min it’s a long one that actually took me about 85 minutes to complete. Some of the moves are complex and require a lot of flexibility and balance. I’m not sure I’m up to her calisthenics workouts. They are SO grueling! I was just physically beat at the end.

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  4. I did see 16.5 lb dumbbells on Amazon. Of course dumbbells have gone way up in price since last year so they are pricey. I hope to try some of Caroline’s classes. I have been doing lots of Sydney’s classes but need to swap out and try Caroline.

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    1. THANK YOU!!!! I found a pair of 7.5kg/16.5 dumbbells at Walmart.com that was within my price range! The ones on Amazon I found were way out of my price range.

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      1. That is good. I should look there too. It’s crazy how much the price has increased in the last year. I’m still trying to add heavy dumbbells to my collection. I’m getting there slowly 🙂

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      2. It has taken years for me to accumulate all of my dumbbells and barbell plates. I always wait for Black Friday and get mine at Dicks Sporting Goods. Though recently I splurged and bought a 50 pound dumbbell. That’s due to Caroline Girvan. I thought 45s were all I needed but she has changed my mind! So now I am back to buying more weights.

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      3. Yes, I am up to 30 lb full sets now. I’m hoping to get to 40 or 45lb pairs eventually and add maybe a single 50 lb. It takes a while to get there but I guess we are doing better than a lot of people who got stuck at home with nothing last year. I have pretty much everything I need except for the extra dumbbells.

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