20 Minute Upper Body Workout via amym4gic.com

20 Minute Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Good morning!

I hope your week is going well so far. This is my second to last week working at the gym, so I’m enjoying my relaxed work schedule while I still can. And by that I mean I am spending every free moment packing up our house and preparing to move.

Did I mention that I’ve got a workout for you today? This is the workout I stuck around to complete after my shift at the gym yesterday. You’ll need one set of 5-15lb dumbbells; whatever weight you feel comfortable with but is still challenging. I used a couple of 10lb-ers and I am sore today.

You’ll complete 10 repetitions of each exercise, in order, and then repeat the entire circuit 3 times through. Make sure to listen to your body and rest as needed. The first two exercises are seated, the next three are standing, and the last two are performed in a bent over position. You’ll hit the chest, biceps, shoulders, triceps, and all of the tiny little stabilizers in between. Ready? Go!


20 Minute Upper Body Workout via amym4gic.com


Chest presses – Start by laying on your back, either on the floor or on a bench, dumbbells in both hands and arms at a 90 degree angle at chest level. Exhale as you press the weights up over the chest, and on the inhale lower back to a 90 degree angle.

Chest flies – Start by laying on your back, either on the floor or on a bench, dumbbells in both hands, arms raised in front of your chest. On the inhale, maintain a slight bend at the elbows as you slowly lower arms out to the side until they are in line with (but not past) your torso. On the exhale, bring the arms back together in the starting position in front of your chest.

Biceps curls – Start in a standing position with dumbbells in hands, arms extended down by your sides. Keep your shoulders down, elbows close to your torso, and palms rotated forward. As you exhale, use your biceps to lift the weights up into a curl position, and on the inhale slowly lower back down to the starting position.

Hammer curls – Just like the biceps curls, only with your wrists rotated in toward the body.

Overhead presses – Starting in a standing position, hold the dumbbells in each hand with arms at shoulder level bent with hands above the head. On the exhale, straighten arms and lift weights to meet above the head. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and core engaged the entire time. Slowly bend the elbows and lower to the starting position on the inhale.

Bent over rows – Starting in a bent over position, feet shoulder width apart and a flat back, slowly lift the weights until your bent arms become parallel with your spine. Slowly lower weight back to the starting position to complete one repetition.

Triceps extensions – Start in a bent over position with a flat back, arms bent at 90 degrees with upper arms parallel to the floor. Exhale as you “kick back” the weights in each hand, hinging at the elbow, until the arms are straight. Keep your shoulders down and core engaged.


lafayette resevoir

Summer Training Lower Body Workout

Andrew and I have a busy summer ahead of us, and one of the things I’m looking forward to most is a camping trip we’re taking in July. The campsite where we’re staying is in a pretty spectacular location, but the price of entry is a fairly serious 10 mile hike in 100 degree weather to reach it. Needless to say, our training starts now (well technically, it started Sunday).

For the next month, Andrew and I will be training our endurance with daily cardio and lower body strength with additional leg days at the gym. The Baldwin Hills stair hike that we did this past weekend was a perfect combination of endurance and strength training, so we’re planning to knock that particular hike/climb out several more times before our trip.


Yesterday’s Workout

After yesterday’s shift at the gym, I stuck around to complete the following lower body circuit 3 full times, and ran some sprints on the treadmill afterward to round it out.


Summer Training (Lower Body) Workout


Form Cues

Deadlifts – Stand with feet shoulders-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Holding your weight of choice with straight arms, bend at the waist to lower to weight to the ground, maintaining a flat back the entire time. Squeeze your glutes (butt) to return to a standing position.

Squats – Starting with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and lower your butt back into a sitting position with your chest lifted. Your knees should be in line with your second and third toes, and not extend forward past the tips of your toes. Keep your weight in your heels and you return to a standing position.

Walking Lunges – Take a big step forward and lunge down (front knee should not bend past your front toes and back knee should be a few inches from the floor). Push off the back leg to come to a standing position and then use that same leg to step forward into another lunge to complete one full repetition.

Calf raises – Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes straight ahead, shoulders down, neutral spine (no arch in your back) and hands on hips. Slowly raise up on onto the balls of your feet and lower back down. That’s one repetition.


Call me crazy, but I think it’s fun to be in training mode. I feel like there is a greater purpose behind each of my workouts.

…Even if that purpose is simply the fear of falling into the Grand Canyon.



Question: What are you training for right now?