IRON Series 30 Min Complete Upper Body Workout | 17

30 Min Complete Upper Body Workout is Day 17 in Caroline Girvan‘s Iron Series. Wow! This was an intense upper body strength workout. I am lifting heavier across the board in Caroline’s Iron Series workouts and I am definitely feeling it with every single workout. The staple exercise is 30 seconds of tricep dips which you do a total of 7 times in the course of the workout. Caroline is using dip bars but during the exercise interval, there is also a little video showing her doing the dips on a chair since many home exercisers do not have dip bars. Dip bars are clearly a much more advanced version of tricep dips than the chair version. Caroline hit failure at some point every single time she did the tricep dips using the bars. In fact, this workout was burning Caroline out, too. I didn’t feel so bad when I had to take a few mini breaks to thaw my muscles out. Now, I never burned out during tricep dips (I was using my weight bench–so the chair version) but those tricep dips done every 3rd exercise really increases the burn of all of the other exercises.

Most of the exercises in this workout are done interval style: 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. There is a staple exercise (tricep dips) that is done for 30 seconds rather than 60. Even after the 30 second staple, you still get 30 seconds of rest. 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.

30 Min Complete Upper Body Workout is 34:48 minutes; 2:17 minute intro, no warm up and 2:25 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, a chair or dip bars and fitness mat. Caroline is using 20kg/44.1 pound, 10kg/22 pound and 4kg/8.8 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Chest press (30# DBs)
  2. Repeat #1
  3. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  4. Pull overs (one 40# DB)
  5. Repeat #4
  6. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  7. Diamond press (hold one heavy DB in both hands above chest, push DB to ceiling) (one 40# DB)
  8. Repeat #7 (one 35# DB)
  9. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  10. Landmine row (hold one DB by bar with both hands, bend over and row DB underneath body) (one 55# DB)
  11. Repeat #10
  12. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  13. Arnold press (20# DBs)
  14. Repeat #13 (18# DBs)
  15. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  16. Lateral to frontal arcs (raise arms/DBs to sides in a T then rotate arms/DBs in front of chest keeping arms straight and at shoulder level, lower DBs to front of thighs, raise straight arms in front of you until they are in front of chest at shoulder level, rotate DBs to sides until arms are in a T then lower DBs back to sides of thighs) (8# DBs)
  17. Repeat #16
  18. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)
  19. Partial rear delt flys (bent over rear delt flys, but only raise DBs halfway) (8# DBs)
  20. Repeat #19
  21. Staple for 30 seconds: Tricep dips (using chair or dip bars)

Finisher: Around the world for 60 seconds (with palms facing forward and hands in front of thighs, keeping arms straight, raise DBs out to sides then overhead, lower DBs out to sides and back in front of thighs–you are drawing a circle w/ arms/DBs) (7# DBs)

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 “IRON Series 30 Min Complete Upper Body Workout | 17

  1. The hardest part of this workout was #2-#9 because it was triceps nonstop. 🌶🔥😁

    Today was a blockbuster workout for me. I don’t think I added up times properly. 🤨 I started with Fuel Day 6 quad focus LB. Great strength workout and with this series it’s quite metabolic, too. My legs still felt pretty good afterwards so I went forward with a Kickbox workout from Sydney. That one was a sweat fest but was quite complementary to Fuel so I was happy with the combo. Then, I finished with a 10 min lower ab segment from MadFit. Altogether with the warmup I was well over 1.5h. So I’m pretty tired. 😴

    Did you see that Heather is coming out with a glowup 2.0? I’m looking forward to that!


    1. Yes, I follow Heather on YouTube so I see all of her new workouts when they post. Plus at the beginning of each month I pull up her monthly workout calendar so I can get an idea of what new workouts she will be posting that month. I will definitely do most of her Glow Up 2.0 workouts at some point, but right now I don’t know when. I still haven’t decided what I’m doing once I finish my current rotation (Iron Series followed by Heather’s Fusion series followed by Jessica Smith’s new strength workouts).


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