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5x5x5 Pulse Workout: Upper Body Workout

23 Min • Upper Body
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type Barre, Low Impact, Toning
    • Equipment Dumbbell
    • Membership Free


    Another round of unique and effective torture in the form of a 5x5x5 Pulse Workout, this time for the upper body.

    Fitness Blender’s 5x5x5 Pulse structure works like this:
    5 Repetitions
    5 Pulses at the hardest range of the movement
    5 Times through

    Can you tell that we truly enjoy thinking of new & fun ways to give our beloved viewers sore muscles?

    Depending on your upper body strength, this workout can feel fairly challenging. You are always welcome to step it up a notch by lifting a weight that pushes your own limits, or to take it down a level of difficulty by taking quick rests when you need to or even doing some of the exercises without any extra resistance.

    These exercises target the pectorals, triceps, biceps, latissimus dorsi (lats), deltoids, rhomboids (upper back) and core. Even with just 5 exercises, this is a very thorough and comprehensive routine for the upper body.

    Workout Structure
    7 Minute Cardio Warm Up – Get your blood pumping and your muscles warmed with this short cardio intro, then jump straight into the upper body toning routine. All you need for this routine is a pair of dumbbells.

    Exercises in this routine:
    Push Ups – If a modified version from the knees is too easy for you, by all means do the 5x5x5 reps from a full push up position. You could even start from a full version and then move to the easier modification if and when your muscles start to give out. The pulse reps take place at the bottom of the motion, when you are hovering just above the ground.

    Pullovers – The pulsing occurs when your hands are straight out above your head, just above the ground.

    Tricep Extensions – The small pulsing motion happens at the point where your arms are fully extended over your head.

    Bicep Curls – The midpoint of a curl, when your forearms are roughly parallel to the ground, will be the midpoint of your pulsing movement.

    Overhead Presses – In between the full extension and the end of the rep when your elbows are tucked in back at your sides, this is when you will do the 5 pulses.

    Afraid to lift weights because you don’t want to bulk up? Don’t be.
    Women have a very hard time “bulking up”, and it takes a ton of discipline, some seriously heavy lifting, and more often than not supplementation to make it happen.

    If you do this routine with a weight that makes it difficult to complete the entire 5x5x5 structure, the only thing that is going to happen is that you are going to build some lean muscle that is going to help keep you at a healthy bodyweight – remember, muscle burns more calories than fat does. You are not going to get arms like a bodybuilder and you’re not going to develop arms that are bursting from your t-shirt sleeves.

    How many calories do I burn doing this?
    We estimate that a person can burn 156 – 220 calories doing this workout video. Remember that these are just estimations and exact figures will be specific to your body and your fitness level.

    The real benefit of a workout like this one lies in the lean muscle that you are building. More than the calories burned while you are actually doing this workout, you will expend energy at a higher rate even while you are resting if you increase your muscle content.

    If you are feeling energetic or your upper body is not too worn out when the video is over, you can always repeat a second round of the 5x5x5 exercises.

    Do this routine 2-3 times a week, giving sore muscles a chance to heal in between workouts. Remember to mix it up – even if you love one workout in particular, you can keep your exercise sessions more effective by frequently challenging your muscles with new variations of exercises and different training styles.