Upper Body – I Won’t Give Up Workout!

Mar 29, 2012 by

Circuit Training Upper Body Workout


Hi Everyone,

I am back to torture you some more :). Today’s workout was very simple but it will still be quite challenging. This routine will be focused on the upper body and it’s is a follow up routine to ” HIIT Bikini Ready Body Workout “.

Let me first begin by saying, OMG we filmed the workout outside and it was quite difficult to get a somewhat decent footage. The day started out by me starting my timer and beginning my workout inside, then our sweet little community gardeners 🙂 decided it was time go get back to cutting the trees and vacuuming the leaves ( I’m sure you know that noise ). Then our neighbors decided to start playing with their dog who wouldn’t stop barking for 10 minutes straight, of course when you add up 2 gardeners and a dog you can imagine the quality of that sound together.

But we didn’t give up there, we decided to drive to the near by part and just as we got comfy and ready to film, everyone came to play basketball and football, it almost seemed like they were waiting for us to appear. Then of course the plains put inn their two cents and just as we planned on shooting the full length workout, the all those noises of tennis ball, basketballs, screaming and airplanes, I just couldn’t put you through the torture of listening to that video – so I edited :). I know that was a long blah blah!

Anyways, the good news is that after we got home I was able to record workout explanation without interruptions :).

All I was using in this routine was a pair of dumbbells, my timer, and a brick that I have laying around the house ( I know what you’re thinking – who keeps a brick in their house? I do 🙂 ). Instead of a brick you can use a stack of books. When I got home I also did 3 sets of back lifts on a balance ball ( I went over that in the explanation video ).

Warm-up – Just Do It ( Check ).  Now I already know what you’re thinking, oh here we go she’s gonna talk about the proper form again :), and yes yes I will.  Proper Form – always keep it, form is always more important then speed!


I won’t give up workout video



Workout Explanation


This routine is a circuit training, there is 5 exercises with the 3 rounds total. Set your timer as a stopwatch.


  • Side Jump Push-Up & Oblique Knee Tucks – 20 reps
  • Triceps Kick Backs – 20 reps
  • Shuffle Push-Ups – 20 reps
  • Overhead Circle Shoulder Raises – 20 reps ( watch workout explanation for proper explanation of this exercise )
  • Outward Palms Push-Ups – 20 Reps

After I got home as I mentioned in the video I did 3 sets of back lifts 20 reps each, some moderate jump rope skipping 10 min. ( Moderate cardio after a good workout will help you burn extra fat ).


My time for this workout was 25 minutes and 42 seconds :). I know I was a turtle, I am sure you can beat my time!


Nutrition Tip

– Every time you eat a meal, make sure you have a serving of complete lean protein the size of your palm and a cup of raw veggies. Veggies combined with lean protein help repair muscle tissue faster.



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  • WorkItOutYourself

    Guess what I am going to do tomorrow 🙂 . I really really like that you put your workouts in upper body and lower body sections. Are you going to label all the previous workouts too ? ( please 🙂 ).

    • Hey Work It 🙂

      I’m slowly going to go over all of them and write the tags at the top.  Cause I looked into transferring them to sections and I found out it’s gonna take some kind of redirection plug in, i’m not sure how to use that yet.  But I will definitely tag all of them at the top.

    • Ohh I figured out how to do it, I am separating all of the workouts right now 🙂

      • WorkItOutYourself

        Yaaay ! Thank you, Tatianna !

  • Abi

    Hi Tatianna,
    Just recently found your site… I appreciate how you provide alternate methods for beginners.  That alone is very motivating.  I like your site… it’s peaceful here 🙂  Thanks!

    • Hi Abi, thank you very much I try my best to have all of the explanations.  Let me know if you ever have any questions 🙂

  • Mariasole Verdi

    hello tatianna. i just found your site. i really appreciate the importance you give to Warm up, proper form and explanation of exercise for all fitness level as well as stretching. you don t leave nothing behind. that really captures me a lot cause i feel its really complete in order to avoid injuries. i am following your advices. thanks. bye from italy.

    • Hi there, 

      Nice to meet you :).  Let me know if you ever have any questions.

  • Dianna P

    Hi Tatianna. Just wanted to ask you if you knew anything about diastisis recti?  I think this may be something I have and could explain why I don’t see a change in my abs no matter how much I work out.
    I’m loving your easy recipes by the way 🙂

    • Hi Dianna, 

      I’ve never heard about  Diastisis Recti before, I’ve just now read a little about it.  Are you sure that is what you have?  How many times a week do you workout on your abs?

  • taltul73

    hey Tatainna, i sew your video on you-tube in Russian and its look like you giving some exercises for the back and talking about disc problems. can you do something like that in English??? i only know few words in Russian – my very good friend (few of them) are from Russia. 
    thank you .

    have a wonderful day.


    • Hi, Yes I was doing a video for disc problems and exercises that you can do for the back, cause some of my Russian subscribers requested it 🙂  I have a post about it here on the blog, here is the link http://www.lovingfit.com/fitness/herniated-disc-tips-and-how-i-healed-my-back/

      • taltul73

        thank you. as always. your great.

  • Pingback: Lower Body Workout - Shake Your Sexy Tail : @LovingFit()

  • WorkItOutYourself

    ay ay ay Tatianna… I wanted to do this one today and I only lasted through one round. My upper body strength is really low…. But so I wouldn’t give up, I just did other exercises ( something’s better than nothing ).

    • It’s good that you did other exercises and listened to your body, like you said its better then nothing.  In this routine the tough one for me was the palm outward push-up, cause its’ a new grip for me.  Try to practice push-ups and pull-ups when you have a minute in your day.  I have a pull-up bar in my office doorway, and through out the day I would hang on it and do a few pull-ups and leg lifts.  I use to do the same thing with push-up, and I built strength this way very fast.

      • WorkItOutYourself

        Those very many push ups got me really fast. The palm outward was out of my world :D. I do have a power tower in a very strategic position in the house and the whole reason i got it was to get better on my pull ups. But every time I try to work on them I somehow stir up my rotator cuff issues. I have done this so many times ( it takes me weeks to get back to normal after just one pull up sometimes )that I got to the point that I will no longer try the pull ups. I have to strengthen my shoulders and arms with other exercises. I will keep practicing the push ups though. These really help me , even for the recovery from the rotator cuff problems.

        • Hey Work It,

          It’s strange that you keep hurting your rotator cuff, do you do a good warm up before doing pull ups?  It could also be a problem that you had for a while and it keeps coming back up.  If it’s too hard on you then skip the pull-ups all together, just work on your push-ups only.

          • WorkItOutYourself

            oh yes, Tatianna, it’s an old problem that was diagnosed as ” too loose joints” by an orthopedic doctor. He told me that my muscles were not tight enough to hold everything in place properly. At first I thought he was nuts, but after I started  doing strength training my pains were gone. If I skip working out  too many days or ignore the upper body, I can definitely feel it. I only tried pull ups at the end of my workouts , when I was very warmed up :)). It’s no biggie, I just have to accept it and hope that one day I will be able to do pull ups without getting injured. I will keep doing my push ups, they’re kind to me :). 
            Thank you for replying, that’s really nice of you :).

          • C’mon Work It :), 

            You don’t have to thank me, we’re all friends here and I always love to reply to everyone.  

            You have to work on strengthening your joints first, you probably got that injury when you placed too much of a load for your fitness level.  Be very careful with it, use dumbbells and other upper body exercises to strengthen and recover that injury, it will take a while, but you can definitely do pull-ups in the future.

  • AlishisPhillips

    Round 1: 15:50…woah, im in for a rough time ahead 🙂  Ok, so 5 reps at a time I completed 2 rounds in 32:50.  My wrists are starting to hurt from the pushups, so I’ll complete the tricep kickbacks and the overhead circles shoulder raise, but skip out on the other pushup based movements.  I am reminded of how much I need to train my upper body…I won’t give up though 😉

    • Hey Alishis 🙂

      Did you try to modify it on your knees?  I do that sometimes when I feel like I can’t keep going.

      • AlishisPhillips

        Every pushup was from my knees 🙂
        I am getting better though. Once upon a time, I couldn’t even do a single pushup from my knees…
        Now I can get through 2 rounds of all those crazy pushups. I was going to go for round 3, and cut the reps down to 10, but I decided to listen to my wrists.

  • Anastasia

    This one was so tough! I couldn’t finish the 3d round and had to leave out the first and the last push up excercises for later today. Tatiana, I still think my arms are a bit chubby and tick compared to my body. Any tips on how to make them not very muscular but toned and thin? I am afraid I doo too many pushups but should focus instead more on the exercises for the back of my arms.

  • Anastasia

    This one was so tough! I couldn’t finish the 3d round and had to leave out the first and the last push up excercises for later today. Tatiana, I still think my arms are a bit chubby and tick compared to my body. Any tips on how to make them not very muscular but toned and thin? I am afraid I doo too many pushups but should focus instead more on the exercises for the back of my arms.

  • Jennifer James

    Hello Tatianna, well a tougher one but a good one. I could only do 2 rounds and I had to reduce the reps to 15 reps on the Side Jump Push-Up & Oblique Knee Tucks, Shuffle Push-Ups. I did not want to do the beginner ones so I reduce the reps. I am going to try again next week and see how I go! Thanks Tatianna.

    • :), that’s good that you did that, we all need to work at our own level so we can avoid injuries. 

  • sarroz21

    Hi Tatianna,
    I did two rounds of this with two minutes of planks after each round due to time constraints. the first round took me 11 mins and the second took me 934. Two rounds was still tough, my arms feel good now tho. I was wondering if you have to stop during the exercises or if you are such a machine that you can crank out the 20 reps w/o stopping? I finally got my fan for the garage, which helped a lot. I did have to break the push ups down into sets of 10 tho so i wasn’t just plowing thru to finish.

    • I can usually do 30 straight push-ups without stopping, if I have to do more than 30 then I take a few seconds break then keep going.  Sometimes I stop to wipe the sweat off cause I get so distracted when I do push-ups and sweat is dripping from my nose to the mat, LOL. Some workouts I can keep going without stopping like the one I posted today, and sometimes I struggle as well. 

      We are going to record more full workouts so you guys can see me workout the whole time, we just have to find the place where it’s not too noisy.  Cause sometimes when we start recording all kins of things going on around like planes, ice cream lady with her clown music, dogs barking and when I play it back it looks so funny.  When we recorded the last full Abs video, during there was an ambulance passing by you can actually hear it in the video I felt so embarrassed but we couldn’t stop cause we were half way through, so I just played it out with a joke.  If you see the video it’s quite funny. 

  • You are very welcome 🙂

  • Christian Gieldanowski

    This one was so brutal, instead of 20 rep i did 10 rep of 6 round so that i can do all the ex without stopping.
    Took me 29.04 Min . Followed by 5 Min leg elevated plank!
    Thanks for again for an awesome WO.

  • I decided on this workout today because I was planning to go out to a park to work out, but there wasn’t really a park nearby that didn’t have people in it for me to feel comfortable, so I just ended up doing it back at home. But this workout was great! I’m glad I dug back a little and did this. I loved all the push up variations–the first one is kind of fun, though it takes the longest. The one that I ended up loving that i thought i wouldn’t is the overhead circle shoulder raises. When I do pull ups I can tell that for one portion of the journey going up I put most of the work on the right hand side, so my left muscle inside the shoulder blade isn’t as strong. Well, this exercise was not only harder than it looked, but it really targeted that muscle and felt fantastic. 🙂

    It took me longer than you, so I must be a super turtle! 28:52 min. Finished with 10 min of cardio exercises and some abs.

    • You guys are all funny, our time is not as important as our form, form is the most important thing in workouts.

  • annebelwind

    Wow.. You call yourself a turtle? I did this in 40.06!!!! That’s a granny turtle! i wanted to do everything in proper form, so nothing on the knees.. and took as much weight with the tricep kick back and the shoulder circles as I could.. So had to stop many times for about 10 – 30 sec. Thanks for this on.. I was allready sore from my workout yesterday.. So not my best day eather.. 😀

    • It’s pretty darn great as long as you did it in proper form!

      • Esal1

        Hi Tati, we had the pleasure of Annebel sending us a recent pic. The last pics we exchanged on the site was almost 2months ago. Her progress has been amazing, so she is doing something right and my guess is form. We are proud of Annebel!

        • That is awesome!!! Where is the pic I wanna see ?

  • Hi Jilleen,

    If your goal is to strengthen your heart then you can do cardio anytime you like, but if your goal is to burn fat and build muscle then the best time for cardio is only after your strength training. I will write a blog post about this, or make a vlog about it to explain in more details why.

    But the main reason is this, it’s all about how our body uses the energy. When we first begin working out, our body uses muscle glycogen ( best energy source to build muscle ). After the muscle glycogen is used up, our body creates different pathways to make more energy. After about 20 minutes, our body starts tapping into the fat supply. So if we waste our muscle glycogen on cardio, then strength training can’t be done to it’s full potential.

    • Jilleen

      Thank you SOOO much for the information! I tried just a low jog/walk for 6 minutes to warm up, then did your 330 Workout, then 10 minutes of moderate cardio, and I did SO much better with reps and form then after 10 min of cardio first! Also, I am just starting to break up my workouts now to certain muscle groups (Mon – upper, Wed – Core, Friday – Lower, and then Tuesday and Thursday will be Full Body). Is that too much? I only get 1 hour to work out (during my lunch break) so I try to get as much bang for my time as I can! And my goal is to build muscle and tone, and maybe lose a little bit more of my fat in my mid section, but I am pretty much at the size I want to be, just need definition and strength. 🙂

  • Naomi

    Pre-workout I did the Abs Challenge Day 2. Still hard, but at least I could get my feet a little higher than yesterday. Then for the workout! I was wiped out after the 2nd round so I decided to leave it at that. Maybe I spent all my juice doing the abs challenge, but I am happy with the 2 rounds. Used 4+4 kg dumbbells and an unstable surface for the shuffle push-ups. I used 11 mins during the first round and 22 mins in total. You must be a machine Tati for managing 3 rounds in 25 mins. Anyway, this workout is definetely on my to-do-list for September. I want to push through it with less breaks!

    • I think it has to do with a really good pre-workout snack, I always make sure I have a really good one to give me that energy and drive, but sometimes I’m not as fast and my time can drag for a while.

      • Naomi

        Is it those mulberries again!? 🙂 I bought another pack today after having finished my previous one over the summer. I am gonna start eating a little handful before my workout and see if it makes a difference. Also bought some golden berries (physalis)!

        • Oh trust me you will notice the difference, 15-20 minutes prior, and you will feel it during your workout. Its’ pure healthy energy!

  • Two more days and the keys to the farm is ours. My jitters are gone and I love the farm just as much as I did the first time around ( no regret here on the decision to move). We’re now shopping for funiture…I’ve dragged by husband through very furniture/antique store from Halifax to Digby. Poor guy is out and snoring like a big old dog behind me. I’m so hyped from everything, I can’t sleep
    I did this routine this before the shopathon, thank goodness.
    Warm up: 10mins.
    Good body posture & Abs challenge: 3mins
    4 sets of elevated plank tucks 1 min each.
    It took 21:48 minutes for me to complete this routine. My time is fast because I didn’t use any weight.
    I did one set of 1minute plank, then finished with 10 minutes cool down & stretching.

  • Lovies

    This was a so hard workout but I LOVE IT!!! It took me 34 min do to it but after you know that you’ve done something cause it’s burning!!!! I did the inferno abs workout after and I had difficulties to do it cause my harms were so tired! BUT DID IT!!!

    • Nice! Glad you did it and didn’t give up!

  • Jos

    I was a super turtle…finished in 37:36 and did push ups on my knees for the 3rd round. Used a pair of 8lbs DB for the DB moves.
    *sigh* I need to improve my upper body :(((

    Then after I got home, I did some Sun Kissed Abs WO, didn’t remember exactly the moves but in the end I only missed the Froggie sit ups 😛

  • I did this one tonight again because I wanted to do one with lots of push ups! I love this workout. Very satisfying, hard but not completely ridiculous. I beat my old time by EXACTLY 1 minute: 27:52! I’m proud of that time since it is faster than a month ago, but I was very careful to keep very good form. I also was trying to really push out a couple more before my form gave away. Also, it’s very hot here right now–about 90 degrees during the day. That’s not hot compared to FL, I know, but it’s just so unexpected!

    After I did a combo of Perfect Abs Afterglow and Sun Kissed Core, like you mentioned! I would make some changes to this now that I’ve done it, but it was still great. So hard to leave exercises out, though, I must say. I did:
    30 slide and touch
    15ea diagonal reptile
    30 pulse up on bb
    30 rolling core
    30 slow leg lift and butt lift
    15ea side mill and plank

    Took 14:57. And…I’m done for the night.

    • I did this insane lower body workout that I was testing out and loved it :), I had another workout planned to film on Thursday but gosh this one is too good to wait for the next week 🙂

      • Can’t wait! I am holding off on your new workouts until next week because they look super hard, and I think I’ll handle it next week better. 🙂

  • Hey Jos, your not alone and so glad you posted your time…..I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. Sadly I only managed to do 2 sets (mainly due to time constraints, I am usually pretty close to Tati when it comes to times so I thought I could finish this workout in sub 30 min.) and it took me a whopping 30 minutes. I must admit my warm up was lack luster and perhaps that could have something to do with it. My arms were also still a bit sore from a weights workout I did on Sunday but still my time is way out there. I guess the most important thing is that I felt it and kept good form, now next time I need to remember to put forth the same effort into warming up!!!! Definitely going to do this one in a few weeks to see what time I can get with 3 sets completed.

  • Tatianna, I did it, I did, it, I did it!!!!!!!!!!!! My first upper body workout, omg, I made only 2 rounds with midifications and the 3 back lifts sets, no cardio cause I’m dead from yesterday’s lower body, it hurts to walk but I love it lol. It took me 33 minutes. Omg I’m exhausted 😀

    Thanks for your workout Tati!

  • Mary Lou

    Well, 4 rounds of 10 each flattened me in 27:17. I wanted to have something left to do Real Time Cardio #2, but it was still very shaky. TOUGH!

  • great workouttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • oberlee

    Third time doing this one. It’s really great. I wanted one that would be tough, fun and had NO PULLUPS. I love pull ups, but I like to have a pullup free workout every now and then. 😉 I used my medicine ball for the shuffle push ups, which made it a bit tougher, and I put the 20 back lifts in at the end of every round. I came in at 31 min…still kind of slow considering last time, but that’s okay…I didn’t take extravagant breaks or anything…I like to think I just took my time and had good form. 🙂

  • Cassidy

    I’m doing this one tomorrow. I’m so excited for the outward palm push-ups. >:D
    Tati, I just want to say *thank you* for posting these workouts! I have compulsive exercise disorder and have really run my body into the ground by doing too much in the past. But you’re teaching me how to work hard WITH rest. I’m loving the way I feel…not unmotivated and sore, but energized and vibrant! Thank you so much! <3

  • Cassidy

    Eeek, 33:36. I feel like I was so slow…but I worked out in a fasted state for the first time, so that might have had something to do with it. I’ll be faster next time! ^_^

  • I started with the basic warm up routine and some dynamic stretches. This is an excellent upper body routine…second time doing this…time time I was using an 8lbs dumbbell on #2 & #4…total time 27:34.

    I took a 5 minutes break then did 5th Elements Abs. I completed part 2 in 19:09.

    Finished with 10 minutes of stretching.

  • its funny because this old workouts dont look that hard but they always kill me!!! i used 3 kg dumbells (6,6 lbs each) . I went to ny and didnt workout for about 9 days so my strenght probably suffered a bit.

    3 rounds took me 38:21 min, in the last round i started doing some of the side jump push ups on my knees.. and in all rounds i did some of the outward palm push ups on my knees aswell. I pushed reaaaally hard, it was quite intense actually! the “easiest” exercise for me were the tricep kick backs.

    and then i did 3 sets of 20 back lifts, but just on the floor cuz i dont have a balance ball…

    thanksss for the workouttt!!

  • Cassidy

    I remember this workout being super tough, so I wanted to give it another try. I thought I was going to improve on my time…nope. Five minute increase at 38:04. Like I’ve said in other comments, my form has improved since working out with you, Tati. So I think that’s why I took longer…any breaks I took were short, and I *needed* them. My arms started to feel burnt out by round two. XD

    I used 13 lbs. towards the beginning and decreased to 10 lbs. exclusively by round three. The hardest exercise was that circle overhead press thing. OW. My shoulders were hating/loving that. 😛

    Onto back lifts!

  • Cassidy

    35:40~! With 13 lbs. the whole way through! 😀 I didn’t expect that sort of strength at all, because I felt so low-energy today! Seeing that improved score perked me right up, though. <3