Holiday-proof arms and three new-to-me workouts

by Kim on December 4, 2013

Hey guys! I’m here with a quick post today just to share with you the arm workout I’ve been secretly doing for WEEKS and withholding from you only because I thought–in my utopian dream world–that I’d get a chance to take some pictures to go along with it.

You know how that story ended.

Also, I came to terms with the fact that the moves are basic/traditional enough to not need visuals, unlike some of my past workouts.

Or maybe I just decided that was going to be true?

At any rate, you can probably guess what inspired me to finally pull the trigger: PicMonkey HOLIDAY THEMES.

Holiday PROOF arms

This workout is killer and awesome for three reasons:

It incorporates stability training, so you’re secretly working muscles in the legs and core along with the arms. I love buy one, get one deals. Plus, as you know, stability training = more calories burned!

It incorporates superset training, where you pile exercises onto each other with no rest to really put the muscles on red alert. You might have to experiment with weights a little to find the poundage that’s heavy enough to be challenging without forcing you to tap out mid-circuit. I’ve been known to use 10 pounders for the first round and 5ers for the second.

Tip: If you do find yourself struggling mid-cycle, try just holding the weights in place for a few seconds to breathe and bring your heart rate down, rather than dropping them. Sometimes a mini-reset is enough to get you through to the end.

It builds strength and endurance at the same time. The idea is not to bust out your 2-pounders just because these circuits are a little longer. If you go slowly and BREATHE, pausing briefly along the way if you need to, you should be able to get through all 5 exercises with moderately heavy weights.

Tip: Remember that your muscles will adapt to whatever you expose them to. The first time I did this workout was 10x harder than even the 3rd time, and by the 5th time I was channeling Schwarzenegger. (Just kidding. Mostly.)

But the best part about this workout is that it’s holiday-proofing, which means you can safely consume massive quantities of peppermint bark and yule logs all month with zero repercussions! Right??

Ummm…well, let’s just take that title with a grain of salt, mmmk?

(P.S. If you’re looking for a holiday-themed workout that’s more full-body/bootcamp-style, check out this one from last year.)

Here are the descriptions of the moves…

Circuit 1 Moves:

Arm flies (carefully fly arms from the floor to meet over your chest)

Bench press (the standard one, but on the floor)

Single-arm punches to ceiling: Turn palms facing each other and take turns (slowly, steadily) punching up!

Tricep extensions to forehead (aka skull crushers)

Overhead flies: (slightly different because you’re laying down) Press dumbbells together, palms facing each other. Tap lightly onto the chest, then slowly fly dumbbells overhead and tap on the floor behind you.

Circuit 2 Moves:

Overhead shoulder press (lift up and over, dumbbells meeting over your head)

Lateral raises (raise almost-straight arms out to the sides)

Bicep curls (I like to do them with palms facing each other, aka thumbs-up!)

Upright rows (dumbbells to chin)

Tricep extensions (dumbbells up and over the head, small lifts behind the head)

In other life news…

I have THREE upcoming new-to-me workouts I’m pumped to try:

Pure Barre. We just got a Pure Barre studio in town, and I was offered a complimentary class in exchange for a review. Um, no brainer. I’m especially curious to see how it differs from BarreAmped, which I’ve tried several times and LOVED. Full review coming soon!


I am anticipating one gigantic problem with PB, though: I know for a fact that I’m going to love it (and then get depressed about how expensive it is). Life, right?

Pilates. I’ve never taken a real pilates class with the fancy equipment, like the pilates chair or reformer. (There’s a cool demo video on our local studio’s site if you’re not familiar with all that.) I follow my favorite-ever local yoga instructor on Facebook, and when she put out a call for volunteers to take a free private lesson with one of her new pilates instructor graduates, I jumped at the chance! I’ll let you know how it goes!


(Also, quick tip: follow your yoga instructors on Facebook!)

Pound. Have you heard of this?? Apparently, it combines cardio and strength training with DRUMMING. As in, holding drumsticks and air-playing a drum. Ha! It’s just wacky enough that it could be brilliant.


Anyway, my yoga studio just started offering the class and of course I HAD to try it.

Stay tuned for more on all of that!

In the meantime, here’s something to think about…



Have a great day!

xo K

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome December 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Great workout!
I haven’t tried any of those workouts and have never heard of pound. Sounds interestingly fun though!
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Ali December 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

Those workouts all look really fun. I’ve taken two barre classes in my life and loved them. They are all just so darn expensive! I went to physical therapy for a little bit and they used the fancy pilates equipment there. I also really liked doing that. I’m super interested in this pound class! Let us know.
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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate December 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Pound?! Sounds intriguing! I’m assuming this is on the west side of town since I live on the east side and we have NOTHING over here… Awesome workout btw, I pinned it for tomorrow, thanks!
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Kim December 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

Yeah, doesn’t it sound crazy?? I’ll let ya know what it’s all about. Yes, on the west side…I work on the east side, so I know what you mean about having nothing around. :)


Carrie @ Eight Crazy Soles December 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I have been loving my arms lately but always need to change up the workout once and awhile so I thank you for this!
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Kim December 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

You’re welcome!


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