Day 8 of EPIC | Dumbbell Upper Body Workout

Dumbbell Upper Body Workout is Day 8 of Caroline Girvan‘s first EPIC program. I was particularly interested in this workout because she says this is a typical workout she would perform at the gym. She notes that even though people enjoy no repeat workouts, when you are strength training you need to embrace repetition. I totally agree with this. I enjoy a no repeat workout mainly to break things up but I prefer workouts with repetition. I feel like I get a much better strength workout. She also points out the majority of the exercises are compound exercises rather than isolation exercises. This means that the exercises are working multiple muscle groups. Which is why you do not see bicep curls or tricep specific exercises in this workout. Your biceps and triceps are worked in all of exercises.

Having done this workout, it is an excellent upper body workout. This will definitely be a workout I return to. Since you get a 30 second recovery between each exercise, you should be able to really push yourself to lift heavy to completely burn out the muscle by the 4th set. That was my goal anyway. The weights I used really challenged me. I feel like my upper body got an excellent workout. I felt pumped by the end.

This workout is done interval style: each exercise is done for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. There is a timer in the upper left hand corner of the screen counting down your intervals. During the recovery Caroline previews the next exercise. There is a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.

Dumbbell Upper Body Workout is 42:41 minutes; 2:25 minute intro, no warm up and 1 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Optional: chair. Caroline is using 10kg/22 pounds and 15kg/33 pounds dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. I also used a chair for the shoulder exercises. I used my weight bench for all of the lying down exercises. If you are also using a bench then you do not need your fitness mat.

  1. Seated shoulder press (16.5# DBs)
  2. Repeat #1 three more times
  3. Seated Arnold press (15# DBs)
  4. Repeat #2 three more times
  5. Push press (standing overhead press, using your leg strength to assist in pushing DBs overhead) (16.5# DBs)
  6. Repeat #5 three more times
  7. Chest press (20# DBs)
  8. Repeat #7 three more times
  9. Chest press (neutral position) (this looks like a chest fly but rather than keeping elbows only slightly bent, you bend elbows out to sides, palms are facing each other) (16.5# DBs)
  10. Repeat #9 three more times
  11. Iso hold press (single arm chest press, other arm is held isometrically at top of press) (16.5# DBs)
  12. Repeat #11 on other side of body
  13. Repeat #11 & 12
  14. Single arm bent over row (one 35# DB)
  15. Repeat #14 on other arm
  16. Repeat #14 & 15, but this time, no rest/recovery between sides
  17. Single arm bent over supine row (palm facing forward) (one 30# DB)
  18. Repeat #17 on other arm
  19. Repeat #17 & 18, but this time, no rest/recovery between sides
  20. Pullover (one 35# DB)
  21. Repeat #20 three more times
  22. Chest flys (16.5# DBs)
  23. Repeat #22
  24. Frontal raise (hold one DB in both hands and do a straight arm front raise) (one 15# DB)
  25. Repeat #24–but fast for burnout

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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