30 Min Upper Body Circuits & Cluster Sets Workout is Day 2 in Caroline Girvan‘s Fuel Series. This is the first workout I have done in Caroline’s Fuel Series. I was a little nervous because these workouts not only look really hard but some of them also look like it will be difficult to lift as heavy as I am able to in her other workouts. It did not disappoint! It was a challenging workout! But it was more doable than I expected. I was conservative with some of my weight choices but that ended up being the right choice. The one exercise I wasn’t conservative on (Landmine row) really fried me. But in a good way. Though this is an upper body workout, I definitely felt like the back and triceps got the bulk of the work. But she does hit everything in some fashion. Your biceps are hit mostly as an accessory muscle group when doing other exercises. Caroline uses a dip bar for the tricep dips, but she also shows an alternative of using a chair/bench.
The intro to this workout is long because the structure of the workout is complicated. Caroline breaks it all down for you. In addition she shows a preview of most of the exercises. All of the exercises in this workout are done interval style but the intervals for the circuits are different from the intervals for the cluster sets. There is one circuit that is done twice. There are 5 exercises in the circuit; each exercise is done for 40 seconds with no rest/recovery between the exercises (3:20 minutes of work). At the end of the circuit you get 40 seconds of rest then you repeat it once before moving on to the Cluster sets. Cluster sets are done for 20 second intervals; 6 sets of 20 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. All of the cluster sets are done the same except for one (single arm push press) and the difference is described in the breakdown below. There is a timer in the upper right hand side of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recovery Caroline previews the next circuit or cluster. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.
30 Min Upper Body Circuits & Cluster Sets Workout is 37:28 minutes; 4:10 minute intro, no warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, 2 yoga blocks, chair or dip bar and fitness mat. Caroline is using 20kg/44.1 pounds, 10kg/22 pound and 4kg/8.8 pound dumbbells. She is also using the dip bar rather than a chair. The weights listed below are what I used.
Circuit 1: (each exercise is done for 40 seconds w/ no rest/recoveries between exercises)
- Deep push ups (arms are wide and each hand is elevated on a yoga block)
- Landmine row (one 55# DB)
- Push press (double arm overhead shoulder press, arms are in goalpost, use lower body to assist pushing DBs overhead) (18# DBs)
- Tricep dips (Caroline is using dip bar but I used a chair)
- Crouch to push up (do one push up, at top of push up when in straight arm plank, push glutes back to heels keeping knees elevated off mat)
- 40 second rest
- Repeat #1-6
Cluster Sets: (each exercise is done for 20 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest; each exercise is done for 6 sets before moving on to the next exercise)
- Landmine row (one 55# DB)
- Tricep push ups
- Tricpe dips on chair or bars
- Double arm lateral raise (8# DBs)
- Single arm push press (each arm gets 4 sets total, do one arm for 20 seconds immediately do the other arm for 20 seconds (no rest), repeat this (80 second of work) then you get 20 seconds of rest) (one 18# DB)
- Repeat #5
40 second rest
Finisher: (80 seconds; each exercise is done for 20 seconds w/ no rest/recoveries)
- Chest to floor sprawl (full burpee but w/out a jump the top and lowering body to floor)
- Cobra push ups
- Repeat #1 & 2