UPPER BODY WORKOUT with Dumbbells – Muscle Building | Circuit Series Day 2

Upper Body Workout with Dumbbells – Muscle Building is Day 2 in Caroline Girvan‘s Circuit Series. This workout was so much harder than I expected it to be. It was a test of my endurance. I felt strong during the first circuit but it went downhill from there. I had to drop to lighter weights during Circuits 2 & 3. Each circuit is done 3 times. During Circuits 2 & 3 I would grab my normal weight for the exercise and the first time through the circuit I was struggling so much by the end of the interval that I dropped to a lighter weight the next time through the circuit. And those lighter weights did not make it easier–I just didn’t struggle as much to complete the interval. I was even afraid a few times that I would have to drop to an even lighter weight the third time through the circuit! I am again astounded at the amount of weight Caroline can lift. Yes, she was burning out a lot but still, she stuck with the same weights throughout and kept perfect form. She is so impressive. This is an excellent and thorough upper body workout that will completely burn out your upper body and test your endurance. 10 seconds is not a lot of time between exercises. My biceps and triceps are feeling very fatigued. I am expecting some DOMS tomorrow.

Each circuit contains 5 exercises. You will do each circuit 3 times. Then you get a one minute recovery before moving on to the next circuit. Each exercise is done for 40 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. 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.

Upper Body Workout with Dumbbells – Muscle Building is 46:03 minutes; 2:50 minute intro, no warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Caroline is using 8kg/17.6 pound and 15kg/33 pound dumbbells. I used my workout bench for all of the laying down exercises. The weights listed below are what I used.

Circuit 1:

  1. Double arm bent over row (30# DBs)
  2. Chest press (20# DBs)
  3. Pullovers (one 35# DB)
  4. Alternating renegade rows (25# DBs)
  5. Push ups
  6. Repeat #1-5 two more times

60 second rest

Circuit 2:

  1. 1.5 rep shoulder press (arms are in goal post, raise DBs halfway to top of press, lower back to goal post, raise to top of press, arms return to goalpost) (16.5# DBs first circuit, 15# DBs 2nd & 3rd circuit)
  2. Alternating shoulder press (arms are in goalpost) (16.5# DBs first circuit, 13# DBs 2nd & 3rd circuit)
  3. Frontal then lateral raise (alternate double arm straight arm front raise with double arm straight arm lateral raise) (8# DBs)
  4. Partial lateral raise (lift straight arms to the side but only half way to top of lateral raise then lower) (8# DBs)
  5. Partial rear delt fly (hinge forward at waist, lift arms out to side in a delt fly but only raise halfway to top of move then lower) (8# DBs)
  6. Repeat 1-5 two more times

60 second rest

Circuit 3:

  1. Skull crushers (12# DBs first circuit, 10# DBs 2nd & 3rd circuit)
  2. Shoulder crusher (similar to skull crushers but you bring heads of DBs to shoulders) (10# DBs first circuit, 8# DBs 2nd & 3rd circuits)
  3. Diamond press (do a narrow chest press with DBs pressed together) (15# DBs)
  4. x5 pulses then x1 curl (raise DBs halfway into bicep curl and hold isometrically while pulsing 5x then do one full bicep curl) (13# DBs)
  5. Alternating hold to hammer curl (alternating hammer curls, the arm that is not performing the curl is raised halfway into curl and held isometrically) (13# DBs)
  6. Repeat #1-5 two more times

Finisher: one minute of tricep presses (narrow chest press) (15# 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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