Simple But Sweaty Free Weights Upper Body Circuit

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday! Soooo apparently I’m the only colorblind one! You guys know your hues much better than I do. I’m going to retake it on my Mac. The monitor I used the first time was old. It has to be wrong. ;)

Today I woke up at 5:30 AM, actually got out of bed instead of hitting snooze, had some hot water with lemon, and headed to the gym around 6. I warmed up on the elliptical for 5 minutes and did a lower body free weights circuit. A few of you asked about my upper body circuit that I did yesterday – it’s pretty simple but effective!

I used free weight dumbbells for all the moves, and unless indicated, the weight listed is the amount I held in each hand.  I did Set 1 for all the muscles groups, then started again with biceps on set 2, etc. —  i.e. I didn’t do 3 sets of biceps in a row.

On each set, I aimed to do 12-15 reps with a slow count – 2 counts to raise the weight and 2 counts to lower the weight or 1 count up, 3 counts to lower. I pushed as hard as I could and when I really started to feel the burn, I tried to do 2 more reps. I usually maxed out at 12-13 reps on each set.

I didn’t rest between each exercise, but moved from one to the next as quickly as possible to keep my heart rate up. I took a 60 second break at the end of each full set. At the end of Set 3, I held a 2 minute forearm plank and 45 seconds in a side plank on each side. I definitely worked up a sweat and the whole routine took about 25-30 minutes.

Like I said, they are all pretty basic moves but I challenge myself with the weight. Say it with me ladies: heavy weights will NOT bulk you up! They’ll build muscle and create tone.

At some point I’ll do a video to show you the moves, but a quick google search should show you what these look like if you don’t know what they are. Sorry I don’t have time to do that for you tonight!

At lunchtime, I came home from work and I had leftovers of last night’s Black Bean & Cilantro Brown Rice Salad and took Maizey on a 15 minute walk. After sitting at a desk all morning, it feels good to move a bit!

After work, I ran a couple errands that turned out to be unproductive. Irrgh. Hate that. But at least I was unproductive in style. I’ve been trying to wear a real outfit after work instead of putting on lounging clothes so I can actually wear my non-work clothes more often, so I threw on this little number. Super easy and just as comfortable as flannel pants. ;)

Dress: a tiny boutique in Soho, NYC; Sandals: Dolce Vita; locket necklace: J.Crew; Rose Gold Watch: Michael Kors; bracelet: J.Crew (here’s a similar one that’s still available); Earrings: antique store; “Perfect Top Knot”: A Cup of Jo; Dog Bowl: Pets Supplies Plus ;)

Now, I’m going to finish my glass of Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauv (thanks Bobby and Liz! I love it!) and try to head to bed soon. I’m going for two days in a row of a 5:30 AM wake-up call without hitting snooze for 1.5 hours. I aim high folks.  


14 comments // by Teri [a foodie stays fit]



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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen A. at

So cool that you woke up at 5:30am to work out. I’ve tried on many occasions but have not been successful. Do you have any advice on how to keep awake?

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2 Teri at

Ummm well I’m not *that* good…considering that I slept through the alarm this morning!

But to stay awake, I have to go to bed no later than 10, have a cup of coffee in the morning and get up and move around a lot at work – standing at my desk, standing during conference calls, etc. And drinking a lot of water seems to help!

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3 Meg at

Thanks for posting! I was definitely one of the ones who asked. :) I think part of my problem is that I only have 8 lb. weights hanging around the house. I think I’d better bite the bullet and get me some 15-20 lb ones. Like you say, can’t be scared of the heavy ones. :)

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4 Teri at

You’re welcome! Yes, definitely up your weights! You want to be really really struggling at the end of each muscle group set of 12-15. You’ll be amazed at the difference. :)

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5 Mrs Type A at

I need to take a cue from you and stop wearing lounging clothes around the house every day of my life!
Mrs Type A´s last blog post ..my summer bucket list

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6 Alexandria at

Holy 2-minute plank PLUS side plank! That’s awesome.

I’ve also been trying to look less slouchy after work. It’s tough in this heat!

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7 Teri at

I was totally shaking by the end of the planks!

Seriously, the heat makes it harder! But a dress is so comfy and cool!

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8 Trisha at

Love that arm workout! I’ll have to try it some time
Trisha´s last blog post ..Write It Out

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9 Teri at

I hope you like it when you try it!

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10 Christina at

Why do you drink hot water with lemon? (just curious!)

I also agree about the need to wear real clothes and not lounge clothes…I work from home, so wear lounge clothes all day long! But when I do actually get dressed, I feel so much better (and I’m sure my fiance appreciates it too, haha)

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11 Teri at

I find that hot water with lemon gets my digestive system, ahem, moving in the morning. :) I should do a post about it – that’s the main reason why, but I’ve also read that it’s good for detoxing too.

oooh, i want to wear lounge clothes to work and then dress up afterwards! Let’s switch ;)

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12 Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit at

This workout looks great. Definitely going to try. Thanks
Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit´s last blog post ..2 dinner ideas + a must do treadmill workout

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13 Teri at

I hope you like it!

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14 Meghan at

Cute dress, mamasita! Dresses are seriously the secret for looking put together with no effort. ESPECIALLY here in the summer. They really do end up being just as comfy as lounge pants!
Meghan´s last blog post ..High Five for Friday

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