Back & Biceps: A New (to me) Way to Workout

How about some adorable kitten pictures to start??

Curious kitties wondering what the landlord is working on


Sunshine kitties


So I should probably stop calling them “kittens” as they are now just so big!

If you take a look at my fitness page (which is in desperate need of a makeover) you will see that I really love circuit training style workouts. I like to keep my heart rate up and alternate between moves that work different parts of the body (I usually do a legs, upper body, core sequence). I like long workouts (2 hours sometimes) and short & sweet workouts (12 minutes, yes please).

Circuit training is a very effective tool for women looking to lose weight, made even better by throwing in some cardio if you have time. While it is circuit training that made me really love exercising, I’m looking to switch up the way I workout.

Instead of weight-loss, I now want to focus on muscle gain. I want to get stronger. I want to gain muscle definition (which I realize I will still need to burn fat in order to do). I want to look buff and more importantly I want to feel buff. But don’t worry…I’m not going for the “is that a woman or a man” kinda buff.

Winking smile 

I swear I’ve already started seeing a change in my body from going harder and upping my weights over the past couple of weeks.

If you squint really hard you can see the bicep…don’t blink or you’ll miss it!!

Please excuse my bedhead and claw hand.


I get excited and show my husband my “muscles” and he just says “well isn’t that cute.” Well he doesn’t actually say that but I know he’s thinking it. He is insanely slightly competitive so any time I try and flex (which for me is a workout in itself) he just does a quick muscle flex and wins. Every time.

I can’t compete with that…


For my circuit routines, I would always throw something together based on my favorite moves, moves I saw on a blog or in a video, or moves I learned when I had a personal trainer once upon a time. For this new (to me) way of working out I am putting my routines together from this book:

Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises


My husband can just go to the gym and wing it but I need to have something written out or I feel lost. Plus I like putting together workouts that I think will challenge me. For now, instead of having 2-3 days per week of circuit-style strength training, I am going to split my workouts up like this:

  • Monday – back & biceps + HIIT running
  • Tuesday – run & core
  • Wednesday – shoulders & legs + HIIT elliptical
  • Thursday – yoga & core
  • Friday – chest & triceps + HIIT running
  • Saturday – “long” run
  • Sunday – rest day

It may not be the same week-to-week but this is my workout schedule for this week. I will let you know what I think on Sunday!

Back & Biceps Workout

Warm-up with 10 minutes on elliptical (however you choose to warm-up…don’t skip this important step though!)

  • Alternating bent over dumbbell row
  • Single arm preacher curl on incline bench
  • Rear lateral raise
  • Alternating hammer curl
  • Lying dumbbell side raise
  • Cable bicep curl
  • Single arm cable row
  • Lat pulldowns


20 minute HIIT run on treadmill (switching between sprints at 9.0, jogging at 6.5 and walking at 4.0 with an incline)

I don’t have any soreness in my back today but I sure can feel my biceps. I realize there is a lot I need to learn and change in order to maximize the effectiveness of my workouts. I am considering doing a one time personal training meeting to get a professional opinion of what all I need to do (and also teach me how to use all of the machines, I’m so used to free weights only).

I also need to make sure to eat as cleanly as possible for my muscles to really show through. This means limited sugar (nnnnnooooooooo!) and lots of whole foods and extra protein (thank goodness for Sunwarrior Protein Powder). I need to focus on fresh veggies, fruits, grains, beans, etc. and make sure to drink plenty of water. It’s a process that’s for sure, but one I am looking forward to learning from. I will make sure to keep you updated on my new workouts and any progress I make!

What is your favorite way to workout?


7 thoughts on “Back & Biceps: A New (to me) Way to Workout

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