EPIC ABS AND GLUTES – Dumbbell Workout, Hip Thrusts | EPIC III Day 3

EPIC Abs & Glutes is Day 3 in Caroline Girvan‘s EPIC III program. Caroline says in her write up under the video that this is one of the most intense glute workouts she has ever shared. She also says during the intro that it is her favorite glute workout. Having now done this workout this morning? It was brutal. Brutal. Sometimes I wonder what possesses me to torture myself like this! Oh, yeah! Great glutes! That’s why I do it. I was nervous about this workout for several reasons. The first reason is that circuit 1 is 9 minutes of core work with zero breaks. That didn’t end up being as unpleasant as I expected. The 3 exercises are varied enough that it wasn’t killer. It did work my abs well but that wasn’t the brutal part. The brutal part of this workout is circuit 2, the hip thrusts. I knew it would be super challenging after previewing this workout and it did not disappoint. Circuit 2 fried my glutes and hamstrings. The 3rd and final circuit should not have been brutal… except that Caroline just finished tearing your up your glutes and hamstrings so circuit 3 just continued to finish them off. Caroline clearly agreed because she had to keep taking personal breaks during circuit 3 to thaw her own legs out. I added a 10 minute lower body stretch to the end of this workout and my legs were so fatigued from this workout that the first half of the stretch felt like more work!

This workout consists of 3 circuits; one core circuit and two glute circuits. For the first core circuit, each exercise is done for 60 seconds with no rest/recoveries. When there is about 10 seconds left of an exercise, a video appears in the upper right hand corner, previewing the next exercise. For the two glute circuits, each exercise is done for 50 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Caroline previews the next exercise during the recovery. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen counting down your intervals. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.

EPIC Abs & Glutes is 46:27 minutes; 2:40 minute intro, no warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, booty band/resistance loop, a chair or bench and a fitness mat. Optional is a towel to protect your hips. Caroline is using one 25kg/55 pound dumbbell. I used one 40 pound dumbbell for the hip thrusts and one 50 pound dumbbell for the sumo deadlifts. I also used my weight bench for the hip thrusts.

Circuit 1: (each exercise is done for 60 seconds, no recoveries)

  1. Hollow bicycle crunch (lay on mat, hands behind head and legs extended straight but raised a few inches off the floor, from this position bring one knee into chest and tap with opposite elbow, alternate sides)
  2. Tuck (reverse crunch, lay on back, legs raised with knees bent at 90 degrees, bringing knees into chest raising hips)
  3. 3 point crunch (lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, crunch upper body and tap hands to knees then to heels then to knees again then lower head/shoulders to floor)
  4. Repeat #1-3 two more times

18 second rest (this isn’t really a rest since you need to quickly get into position for Circuit 2)

Circuit 2: (50/10 intervals) (I used one 40# DB)

  1. Hip thrusts with band (booty band is around thighs, lean back against your bench or chair, one heavy DB on hips, knees bent and open so there is tension on band, and feet on floor, raise and lower hips)
  2. 1/2 rep hip thrusts (same starting position as #1, raise hips but only lower halfway)
  3. Hamstring thrust (same basic exercise as #1, the only difference is you step your feet out farther and push into floor with heels)
  4. Hamstring hold (same position as #3 but hold isometrically at top of hip lift)
  5. Band only hip thrusts (set DB aside and repeat #1 w/out DB)
  6. Repeat #1-5 two more times

Circuit 3: (remove booty band) (I used one 50# DB)

  1. Sumo deadlift squat (hinge torso forward deadlift style while doing sumo squats)
  2. 1/2 rep sumo deadlift squat (lower to bottom of sumo deadlift but only raise halfway)
  3. Body weight 1/2 reps (repeat #2 w/out DB)
  4. Banded walk (put band around thighs above knees, lateral walks; Caroline walks 6-7 steps to each side)
  5. Banded 1/2 rep squats (band is still around thighs, open legs wide enough so there is tension on band and lower to bottom of squat but only lift halfway)
  6. Repeat #1-5 two more times

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


4 thoughts on “EPIC ABS AND GLUTES – Dumbbell Workout, Hip Thrusts | EPIC III Day 3

  1. I don’t think I’m stronger than you. We are probably about equal. You kick my butt with renegade rows and most cardio for sure. ☺️ I really enjoy your blog and reading about your take on the workouts. I really miss it when I go into a workout that you haven’t previewed because I have no idea what’s coming at me. (I rarely view the vids before doing them.)

    I’ll probably be doing 3 of the epic III workouts per week (1 UB, 1 LB, 1 cardio) and supplementing with Heather and nobadaddiction. It seems we have similar likes/dislikes so I’ll let you know which ones are really good, if you want. (I won’t be offended if you’d rather I not.)


  2. This one was so tough that I started whimpering! 😊 I used a 50 lb dumbbell for everything and started with my pink band but then I thought wow, this could be a little tougher so I pulled out my Cathe heavy band and did the 2nd/3rd set of circuit 2 and all of circuit 3 with it. I won’t lie, I had to pause the vid at times for extra recovery. My glutes were quite warm to the touch and 2 days later I’m still feeling some soreness. So yeah, very effective!

    One thing I do to make my rests more “restful” when I’m doing hip thrusts is that I take my mini step with 1 riser and place that below my butt. It’s high enough to perch on during the rests (so I can fully rest for every second) but low enough to be out of the way when I’m thrusting. It’s also easier on my back. Do you do something like that or go all the way to the ground to rest?

    Today I did the full body complexes (day 4 I think). Excellent workout and I liked it but I found it to be a bit TOO repetitive. I like it better when she has like 3 exercises per complex.

    Have a great day!


    1. You and Caroline are definitely far stronger than me. My 40 pound dumbbell was all I could manage for the hip thrusts in this workout. I use my yoga bolster to rest on. I set it right on the floor in front of my weight bench and I sit on it during the extremely short recoveries. It is actually the perfect height (for me). I don’t have any plans to do anymore EPIC 3 workouts right away. I will do them eventually. Right now I only have my workouts mapped out through October 2. I usually have them mapped out at least a month in advance but Naomi Joy took the entire month of September off and will start posting 2 workouts a week in October. I don’t really know anything about the workouts though so I don’t know how to plan for them. (Are they strength? Cardio? Short? Long?) I also want to return to some of Caroline’s workouts I’ve already done. So I am up in the air right now about what my October looks like.


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