Between the strength training and the cardio intervals, this workout is a calorie burning powerhouse. Aside from the initial calorie burn, it’s an opportunity to build lean muscle, and with time and diligence, you can raise your resting metabolism. Many of the exercises engage a lot more than just the muscles of the upper body, though this routine focuses most intensely on the shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back. This workout is appropriate for both men and women.
Doing strength training supersets are an incredibly effective way to build lean muscle and burn fat without spending all day in the gym. This style of training comes in multiple different forms but the gist is that you drastically cut the down time between sets by pairing different muscle groups together so that one rests while the other works, and vice versa.
Supersets tend to yield a higher calorie burn in less time (since you’re essentially cutting down on the rest periods between lifting) but we took it up a notch by adding in cardio bursts in between upper body strength exercises.
Start off with some warm up cardio to get your body ready to work. We move directly into the strength training portion, which is 5 groups of two exercises. We do ten reps of each of the two exercises, followed by 1 minute of a bodyweight cardio exercise. Repeat that sequence before moving onto the next group. A quick cool down and stretch is included.
Warm Up Cardio – 30 Seconds Each
Jog in Place
Arm Swings Lateral
Arms Swings Ventral
Small Arm Circles – Forward
Small Arm Circles – Backwards
Big Arm Circles – Forward
Big Arm Circles - Backwards
Upper Body Strength Training Routine – 10 Reps each, twice through
Bicep Curls - Kelli is using 15 lbs (per hand)
Bentover Tricep Extensions - Kelli is using 9 lbs (per hand)
1 Minute Jumping Jacks
Chest Fly - Kelli is using 15 lbs (per hand)
Reverse Fly - Kelli is using 6 lbs (per hand)
1 Minute Burpees + High Kicks
Lateral Raises - Kelli is using 6 lbs (per hand)
Ventral Raises - Kelli is using 3 lbs (per hand)
1 Minute Lateral Jumps
Overhead Press - Kelli using 12 lbs (per hand)
Dumbbell Pullover - Kelli is using 12 lbs (total)
1 Minute Butt Kickers
Cool Down and Stretch – 20 Seconds Each
Jog in place
Shoulder Rolls, alternating
Big Arm Circles, alternating
Arm Cross Pull
Wall Chest Stretch
Overhead Tricep Stretch
Toe Touch + Shoulder Stretch
You can do this upper body toning workout 2-3 times a week, giving yourself at roughly 48 hours of rest each time - or even more than that if you're still sore from the last round.
The numbers we give are not meant to be a suggestion as to how much weight you should lift; strength levels vary greatly by individual and you should listen to your body. With that said, choose a weight that challenges your fitness level, but never sacrifice your form. Lifting a weight that pushes your own fitness level is a good way to end up landing on the higher end of our caloric estimations (just one of the variables we consider, along with bodyweight, gender, fitness level, exertion level, muscle mass, training type, interval length, etc).