Workout Details

  • Duration: 31 Minutes
  • Calorie Burn: 155-279
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Training Type: Low Impact, Strength Training, Toning
Body Focus Upper Body

Strong, Lean, Toned Arms, Chest and Shoulders Workout - Lift Like you Mean It!

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Between playing sports, coaching sports, training others and my own personal hobbies, I've been active all of my life, but strength training was not always a priority or interest of mine. 

I used to be a cardio junkie, and I would spend hours at the gym, usually sweating it out on a treadmill or elliptical, quietly rejoicing each calorie I had expended, according to the machine's calibrations. It was relatively miserable and definitely tedious work. In 2008 I began to incorporate lifting and ended up cutting back drastically on the cardio, and time spent working out. In fact, I went from spending an average of 90 minutes per session, 6-7 days a week, to roughly 30 minutes, 4-5 times a week. I stopped counting and tracking every calorie eaten and expended, gained strength I didn't know I had or needed, and I lost another 15 lbs (I used to be about 40 lbs heavier), even though I bumped up my calorie intake from an average 2200/day to 2700-3200 a day. Now I don't even have a gym membership, and I certainly don't need a calorie readout from a machine (that by the way, uses standard, one-size-fits-all equations to come up with those typically bogus numbers) to validate that I've had a great workout.

I credit strength training as a significant influencer in the long road I walked to move away from my old obsessive, unhealthy, counterproductive mindset and habits (more on that at another time, if you're interested). For this reason and all of the many health benefits it offers, I love lifting! If you haven't quite taken the leap into weight training, and lifting heavily, I strongly encourage you to try it. My hope is that you will give it a shot, and that you will experience a similar feeling of empowerment and improved health, mental and physical.

This upper body workout has everything you need; warm up, cool down, and killer exercises in between. All you're going to need is dumbbells, but if you don't have access to any equipment at all, feel free to get creative and use things around the house to add a little extra resistance. Turn on some music that motivates you, push play, and workout with me.

Workout Structure:
- Superset strength training for the arms, shoulders, chest and back
- 6 Exercises, 3 Groups
- 3 Sets, 8 Repetitions

Equipment:
- Dumbbells

Warmup/Cooldown:
-Both Included

Printable Upper Body Workout:  

Warm Up - 30 Seconds Each (low impact modifications in video)
Row Pulls
Ventral Pulls
Windmill Squats
Big Circles; forward and back
Fly Jacks
Up & Out Jacks

Strength
Close Press Bridge
Bentover Close Row

Lateral/Ventral Raise (alt)
Pullovers

Overhand Curl
Overhead Overhand Tricep Extension

Cool Down & Stretch

Talk to me!
What did you think of this workout? Have you made strength training part of your regular routine yet? If so, how long have you been lifting? What kinds of changes have you seen in your body and strength levels? If you haven't started yet, what's making you hesitant? Sign in & speak up below.