40 MINUTE UPPER BODY WORKOUT – Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back | Complex Series – Day 2

40 Minute Upper Body Workout – Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back is Day 2 in Caroline Girvan‘s Complex Series. This workout was exhausting. It is an endurance workout, like all of Caroline’s complex workouts, and this one totally and completely fatigued every upper body muscle group. I did not even try to keep pace with Caroline  so I was surprised that I actually did keep pace with her for most of the complexes without even trying. Another brutal and thorough upper body strength workout from Caroline.

This workout consists of complexes. What this means is you are doing 2 exercises with no rest between exercises (except for the final complex which contains 3 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 exercise 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 but if a complex is done on one side of the body then you will repeat it on the other side of the body, so my breakdown below makes it appear as if there are less than 12 complexes.

40 Minute Upper Body Workout – Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back is 47:56 minutes; 2:35 minute intro, no warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Optional: yoga block for renegade rows. Caroline is using 8kg/17.6 pound and 15kg/27.6 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

Complex 1:

  1. Bent over row, 10 reps (25# DBs)
  2. Push ups, 10 reps
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 2:

  1. Chest press, 15 reps (20# DBs)
  2. Pull overs, 15 reps (one 20# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 3:

  1. Single arm renegade row, 10 reps (non-working hand is on yoga block) (one 25# DB)
  2. Single arm bent over supine row, 10 reps (one 25# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 3 on other side of body

Complex 4:

  1. Arnold press, 10 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Alternating lateral raise, 10 reps (9# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 5:

  1. Chest flys, 10 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Diamond press, 10 reps (narrow chest press, DBs pressed together) (15# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 6:

  1. Single arm shoulder press, 5 reps (one 15# DB)
  2. Single arm bicep curl to overhead press, 5 reps (one 15# DB)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Repeat Complex 6 on other side of body

Complex 7:

  1. Skull crushers, 10 reps (10# DBs)
  2. Tricep press, 10 reps (narrow chest press) (10# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 8:

  1. Alternating hammer curls, 10 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Alternating hammer raises, 10 reps (straight arm front raises w/ palms facing each other) (9# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 9:

  1. Tricep push ups, 5 reps
  2. Cobra push ups, 5 reps
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 as many times as possible within 3 minutes

Complex 10:

  1. Shoulder press, 5 reps (15# DBs)
  2. Bent over row, 5 reps (25# DBs)
  3. Push ups, 5 reps
  4. Repeat #1-3 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 “40 MINUTE UPPER BODY WORKOUT – Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back | Complex Series – Day 2

  1. Oh yeah, I remember this one. It was very exhausting. By the time I got to #9 I was burning out!

    Speaking of being burned out … today I did super intense shoulder and arm workout (Epic III day 32). I don’t preview workouts and by the title I didn’t anticipate it being a complete UB workout, but it was. My chest and tris are quite sore from yesterday so it was hard to push through much of this workout. I had to lift lighter than usual for many of the exercises.

    Tomorrow I’m doing a couple short back workouts from Caroline. I wanted to target just back as much as possible to give the rest of my UB a breather. We will see how that goes.

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    1. Maybe you should give your upper body some rest? I always put 48 hours between working muscle groups. It sounds like you’re doing 3 days in a row of upper body strength workouts. It is impossible to isolate the chest and back since they are large muscle groups–which means you are also working your arms and shoulders when you do a chest or a back workout. Your upper body definitely needs a breather!

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      1. It’s funny you say that because I was just looking at my workouts for tomorrow and Saturday and searching for some substitutions … 😉☺️

        Thanks for looking out for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s why I plan my workouts out so far in advanced–I would do the same thing! Sometimes all I want to work is my posterior chain and I will overdo it if I don’t create balance on paper that I can see.

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