BUILD Back and Biceps Workout at Home / Dumbbells | EPIC II – Day 9

Build Back & Biceps is Day 9 of Caroline Girvan‘s EPIC II program and it is yet another incredible back workout. No one works my back (and my glutes!) like Caroline does and this is another major winner. I am not positive but this one might be my favorite of her back focused workouts. It’s so hard to choose a favorite though. 72% of this workout (31 minutes) is all back work. You start with dumbbells then you do body weight mat work. So Caroline thoroughly works every back muscle you possess. The final quarter of the workout is bicep work and she fried my biceps in a short amount of time. I tried to use my 16.5 pound dumbbells but I was hitting failure too frequently during the second exercise so I dropped to my 15s. I still burned out during the isometric holds but not as often. For an upper body workout this was pretty metabolic, too. I burned nearly 300 calories!

This workout is done interval style; for the back each exercise is done for 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of recovery and for the biceps portion each exercise is done for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recovery 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. This workout is done to music with plenty of visual cues as well as “dings” to keep you on track.

Build Back & Biceps is 48:18 minutes; 2 minute intro, no warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and fitness mat. Optional equipment: yoga block and chair/bench. Caroline is using 15kg/33 pounds and 8kg/17.5 pounds dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.


  1. Single arm bent over row (one 35# DB)
  2. Repeat #1 on other arm
  3. Row-hold-row (hold DB isometrically at top of row for approx 10 seconds) (one 35# DB)
  4. Repeat #3 on other arm
  5. Single arm supine row (palm is facing in front of you) (one 35# DB)
  6. Repeat #5 on other arm
  7. Supine row-hold-row (one 30# DB)
  8. Repeat #7 on other arm
  9. Deadstop row (do a full row but at bottom of row, set DB on floor and release grip briefly) (one 35# DB)
  10. Repeat #9 on other arm
  11. Deadstop row-hold-row (one 30# DB)
  12. Repeat #11 on other arm
  13. Landmine row (hold one DB by bar with both hands, hinge forward and row DB to chest) (one 50# DB)
  14. Single arm renegade row (one 25# DB)
  15. Repeat #14 on other arm
  16. Renegade row, alternate arms (25# DBs)
  17. Pull overs (one 35# DB)
  18. Pullovers, 1.5 reps (lower DB all the way, lift halfway, lower all the way the raise to top of move) (one 30# DB)
  19. Alternating bent over rows (done to a brisk pace) (25# DBs)
  20. Scapular push up (in straight arm plank, do scapular retractions, lowering chest while keeping arms straight and bringing shoulder blades together then rounding spine)
  21. Opp hand to foot reach (start in straight arm plank, lift one arm straight in front of you, place hand back on floor and push back into downward facing dog while reaching same hand that you just lifted toward opposite foot)
  22. Repeat #21 on other side of body
  23. Plank to hip raise (flow between elbow plank and dolphin pose)
  24. Alternating plank row (in straight arm plank, pull one elbow up as if doing a row with a DB and hold briefly, alternate arms)
  25. Reverse plank lift (sit on mat with legs extended straight in front of you and hands on mat about a foot behind hips, lift hips to ceiling, keeping legs and arms straight)
  26. Rear delt flys (lay on stomach, legs straight, arms are extended to sides in a T with palms facing floor, keep head lifted while raising and lowering arms)
  27. Repeat #26 but this time you hand position changes–alternate palms facing in front of you with palms facing behind you)
  28. Reverse snow angel (lay on stomach with arms extended in front of you, raise head and arms, keeping arms straight, arcing them out to sides until they are at hips, bring them to small of back with palms now facing the ceiling then reverse the arm motion)
  29. Lat pull down (lay on stomach with arms extended in front of you, raise head and arms, pull elbows back to hips then push arms forward)
  30. Lat sweeps (still laying on stomach, arms are extended close to body, palms are facing ceiling, head is raised, raise and lower arms)
  31. Superman


  1. Alternating supination curls (16.5# DBs)
  2. Cross body curl with hold (hold both DBs in front of chest, elbows bent and arms close to sides, lower one DB to side then raise back to start, other DB is held in place isometrically) (16.5# DBs)
  3. Repeat #2 on other side of body
  4. Hammer curl with hold (one arm does hammer curls while other arm holds DB isometrically at top of hammer curl) (15# DBs)
  5. Repeat #4 on other side of body
  6. Wide bicep curls (15# DBs)
  7. Kneeling isolation curl (get into kneeling lunge on floor, do a single arm concentration curl with back of the arm against front thigh) (one 15# DB)
  8. Repeat #7 on other arm
  9. Palms up curl w/ pause (do traditional double arm bicep curl, half way up pause briefly then continue curl, repeat on the way down, pausing briefly halfway down) (15# DBs)
  10. Hammer curl pulses (hold one DB in both hands in front of you with arms close to sides and elbows bent at 90 degrees, pulse DB up and down) (one 20# DB)
  11. Hammer top/bottom/full (still hold DB the same as #10, do a bicep curl lifting only halfway for 15 seconds, for the next 15 seconds start at top of raise and lower halfway, for final 15 seconds do a full range bicep curl) (one 20# DB)

Finisher: Row to hammer curl for 45 seconds (alternate one deadrow with one hammer curl) (16.5# DBs)

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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