LEG DAY Workout with Dumbbells | Complex Series – Day 1

Leg Day Workout with Dumbbells is Day 1 in Caroline Girvan‘s Complex Series. This is another tough, endurance level lower body strength workout. Caroline’s complex workouts always are. Because you are working non-stop for 3 minutes, you cannot lift as heavy as you normally would for most of the exercises. The heaviest weight I lifted was 25 pounds. Because you are moving constantly for 3 minutes this workout gets very metabolic. I burned 362 calories. Because of the way complexes are done (described below), you can go at your own pace. You do not have to keep pace with Caroline. Caroline does sometimes take short breaks in the midst of a complex. I did keep pace with her and I also took mini breaks with her–because I needed the breaks! You may not need them. When a complex is done on one side of the body, make sure you count how many rounds you got through and the reps of your final exercise. Caroline does not always do both sides of the body at the same pace so if you are not keeping track, one side of the body will get more work than the other side. Finally, on Complex 6, the graphics on the screen say you are doing 20 reps of each exercise but Caroline actually does 15 reps of each exercise.

This workout consists of complexes. What this means is you are doing 2-3 exercises with no rest between exercises. Each complex is done for 3 minutes then you get a 30 second rest before moving on to the next complex. The complex you are working through is listed in the lower left hand corner of the screen for your reference. It shows each exercises you are doing and the amount of reps you do for each exercise. This is especially useful if you cannot keep pace with Caroline then you can still keep track of your complex. There is a timer in the upper left hand corner of the screen, counting down your 3 minutes of work as well as your 30 seconds of rest. Caroline previews your next complex during the recovery. This workout is set to great music, no talking. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage. There is a graphic in the lower right hand side of the screen counting down your complexes. There are 12 complexes in this workout but if a complex is done on one side of the body, you repeat it on the other side of the body, so my breakdown below makes it appear as if there are less than 12 complexes.

Leg Day Workout with Dumbbells is 49:36 minutes; 2:30 minute intro, no warm up and 4 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, a yoga block and a fitness mat. Caroline is using 12.5kg/27.6 pounds dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. I elevated my heels using a set of 8 pound dumbbells and used my square step topper (4 inches) to elevate my front foot in Complex 3.

Complex 1:

  1. 1.5 rep squats, 10 reps (lower into full squat, raise halfway, lower into full squat, raise all the way) (25# DBs)
  2. 1.5 rep RDL (Romanian deadlifts), 10 reps (lower to bottom of deadlift, raise halfway, lower to bottom of deadlift then raise all the way) (25# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 2:

  1. Static lunge, 20 reps (20# DBs)
  2. Body weight pulses, 20 reps (set DBs on floor, lower to bottom of static/stationary lunge and pulse)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 3 on other side of body

Complex 3:

  1. Elevated squat, 10 reps (heels are elevated on yoga block and DBs are held at shoulders) (25# DBs)
  2. Calf raises, 10 reps (25# DBs)
  3. Calf pulses, 20 reps (pulse up at top of calf raise) (25# DBs)
  4. Repeat #1-3 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 4:

  1. Foot elevated lunge, 15 reps (static/stationary lunge w/ front foot elevated on yoga block) (16.5# DBs)
  2. Body weight rear step back lunge, 15 reps (reverse lunges with front foot still elevated on yoga block)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 4 on other side of body

Complex 5:

  1. Lateral lunge, 10 reps (hold one DB in both hands at chest, do side lunges) (one 25# DB)
  2. Curtsy lunge, 10 reps (rear cross-back lunge) (one 25# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 5 on other side of body

Complex 6: (on this complex the screen says you do 20 reps of each exercise but Caroline only does 15 reps)

  1. 1/2 rep staggered squat, 15 reps (single leg squat, back leg is in kickstand, hold one DB at shoulder of working leg, lower to bottom of squat but only raise halfway) (one 20# DB)
  2. 1/2 rep staggered RDL, 15 reps (single leg deadlift, back leg is in kickstand, lower to bottom of deadlift but only raise halfway) (one 20# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 6 on other side of body

Complex 7:

  1. Hamstring lift, 15 reps (lay on back with legs extended and knees slightly bent, heels are in mat, one heavy DB is on hips, raise and lower hips/glutes) (one 25# DB)
  2. Hamstring walk, 15 reps (starts in same position as #1, keep hips elevated and walk feet in close to glutes then back out to starting position) (one 25# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 8:

  1. Elevated 1/2 rep squat, 20 reps (body weight squats with heels elevated on yoga block, lower to bottom of squat but only raise halfway)
  2. Squat walk, 20 reps (remain in squat isometrically and lateral walk side to side the first time through, the second time through you squat walk forward and back)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

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 “LEG DAY Workout with Dumbbells | Complex Series – Day 1

  1. I did the glutes and upper body in this series and I’m doing the full body Saturday. I really enjoy Caroline’s complex workouts. They are my favorite!

    Today I did Epic III day 38 chest/tri supersets. She does a LOT of push-ups. You think you’re done with them with the chest section, but nope. 80% of the tricep section are tri push-up variations. So yeah, it was pretty exhausting. By the triceps I had to drop to my knees.

    I tacked on this RDL workout at the end (https://youtu.be/N9_11gKQGqM). This is a great add-on you should check out if you haven’t done it before. Nothing fancy but gets the job done for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Caroline’s RDL finisher. It is the perfect length and is one of my go-to finishers.

      I am doing upper body complexes tomorrow. I did the circuit glute workout back in July. I have the full body on my To Do list but who knows when I will get to it. After this week I don’t have plans to do any new-to-me Caroline workouts, but you never know. Sometimes she comes out with a workout I want to do so bad I swap it out with a similar workout. For now now though I have all my workouts scheduled into December.

      Like

      1. I have to giggle at your planning out to December. I can totally see your military background in that! ☺️

        Yesterday I managed to do 5 sets of 2 pull-ups (about 25s rest between sets). The last 2 were a struggle but I’m quite happy with that!

        Liked by 1 person

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