25-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout

Happy Hump Day, Hungry Readers! In keeping the Workout Wednesday tradition, I have a very special gift for you all in the form of a new 25-minute upper body #QuickLift workout. (See image above.)

Except for the first exercise (the lat pulldowns), all you need to complete this workout is a few pairs of dumbbells and a resistance band. If you don’t use or have access to a gym, simply substitute the lat pulldowns with a two dumbbell bent-over row.

25-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout

Before you start, a few things to note: 

  • The first two exercises, use HEAVY weights if you’re in the gym and have access to them. If you’re at home and only have lighter weight dumbbells, increase the number of reps to 15, 20, or even 25. Make sure your muscles are really burning by those last few reps!
  • Instead of 30 seconds rest between sets for the resistance band exercises, you’ll be doing some core work. If you can’t use a captain’s chair you can easily preform the leg lift exercise on the floor and replace the captain’s chair knee tuck exercises with a bicycle crunch.
  • The last three exercises are higher reps, so you can switch to slightly lighter weights. Light enough so that you can complete 15-20 reps, but heavy enough so that it burns by the end.

Got it? Good!

This workout is a complete upper-body routine targeting your back, chest, bicep, tricep, and shoulder muscles. Try including it in your routine 1-2 times a week (on non-consecutive days) to build upper-body strength and endurance.

Last week, on my Tumblr page, I was talking about how after weeks of struggling with 8 and 10 reps, I was finally able to press 30lb. dumbbells for 12 reps. It was amazing how I walked into the gym that day, picked up the weights, and they suddenly felt just a little bit lighter. It reminded me of the importance of staying focused and dedicated because even though it takes longer than we’d like, our hard work does pay off.

So, remember… Set measurable goals for yourself and then start chipping away at them, one step at a time. Never forget that it takes time and dedication. You have to be persistent and work at it every day. I know how easy it is to get discouraged when you don’t see or feel results after just one or two workouts. But that’s not how it works.

We all want instant gratification (and with working out you do get it a little bit because you will definitely ALWAYS feel AWESOME after a sweat sesh), but depending on what your goals are and where you’re starting out it might take weeks, months, or even years. Don’t let that discourage you though. Let it be your motivation, because the feeling of accomplishing what you set out to achieve is always worth it.


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