Get Fit with 10-pound Dumbbells

If you are anything like me, when you have to slow down from your normal fitness routine – be it a health related reason (my recent surgery has me on some restrictions), an injury, travel, or you are crunched for time, it can really throw you off. It’s so easy to think, “well I’ll just take off today, this week, this month, etc.” and get back to my routine when I am ready. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a full gym or hours to get fit. All you need is a set of 10-pound dumbbells and some motivation to  lose fat, build muscle and get strong. I think something really important to remember, and something I often tell my clients is that our bodies are responsive to the intensity of the exercise, not the time. A 30-minute workout can be just beneficial – if not more so – than an hour-long sweat session.

Before I dive into the workout, please make sure you have your doctor’s clearance to perform these exercises. My doctor cleared me to lift this amount of weight and to walk (e.g., no running or plyometrics for me). Thanks to the supersets and quick rest periods incorporated into this workout, I’ve knocked out my cardio and weightlifting session all at once. You should be finished this workout in 30-35 minutes depending on your rest periods.

Rather than explaining each exercise, I’ve provided YouTube links to each of these exercises in the event you aren’t familiar with them. And if ten pounds is too heavy, try 8, 5 or even 2-pound dumbbells and work your way up.

If you are new to weightlifting, please read this to familiarize yourself with the weightlifting lingo: 

  • Sets and Reps:  A rep, or repetition, is the number of times you perform a specific exercise, and a set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete. For example, suppose you complete 12 reps of a bicep curls. You would say you’ve completed “one set of 12 reps.”
    • You’ll see in the workout below, “4X12.” This means you are supposed to complete four sets of 12 reps.
  • Superset: A superset is when one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them. This is what keeps your heart rate up and should be getting you sweaty!
    • This entire workout is comprised of supersets, so there will always be two exercises performed back-to-back. Once you complete once superset, I’ll have your rest a maximum of 30 seconds before completing your next set, however rest upwards of 60-90 seconds in between completed exercises.

Okay, now that the lingo is out of the way, let’s get to the workout!

Superset One

A. 7, 7, 7 bicep workout (also commonly referred to as 21s)

  • Watch here for a how-to. 

B. Overhead tricep extensions. Perform 4X12

  • Watch here for a how-to. 

Superset Two

A. Tricep Kickbacks. Perform 4X15 

  • Watch here for a how-to. *You don’t need a bench, just get on all fours to complete this exercise.

B. Lateral flys. Perform  4X15

  • Watch here for a how-to.

Superset Three

A. Chest flys. Perform 4X20

  • Watch here for a how-to. *You don’t need a bench, just lay flat on the floor to complete this exercise.

B. Skill crushers. Perform  4X12

  • Watch here for a how-to. *You don’t need a bench, just lay flat on the floor to complete this exercise.

Superset Four

A. Close grip bench press. Perform 4X20 

  • Watch here for a how-to. *You don’t need a bench, just lay flat on the floor to complete this exercise.

B. Arnold press. Perform 4X15 standing

  • Watch here for a how-to.


Bicep burnout.  Complete as many as bicep curls as you can in one minute while maintaining proper form.

  • Watch here for a how-to on proper form.

You will have noodle arms by the end of this workout! This is a great workout to incorporate two to three times a week. You’ll have stronger arms and more definition in no time! Be on the lookout for more quick, efficient, yet effective workouts from me. 

If you have any questions, or would like one-on-one coaching, please e-mail me 🙂



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