Wednesday Workout: Upper Body Tabata Workout

As I’ve mentioned in a few posts lately, on days that I don’t have to teach, I’ve been focusing on upper body strength training- and really enjoying it! Up until the past 6 months or so (or, I guess once I started getting into teaching strength classes), I definitely categorized myself as a cardio junkie. Cardio, cardio, cardio. Machine cardio, running, kickboxing, Zumba- I literally couldn’t get enough of it. Now that I am focusing more on incorporating strength workouts into my schedule, I’m realizing how important it is to train evenly- meaning incorporate strength days, cardio days, HIIT days, lighter days, etc. throughout the week to avoid overuse and injury. I like the way my body looks so much more now that I have been lifting fairly regularly- strong is the new sexy, right?!


Anyway! I threw together this upper body Tabata workout to do at the gym after work one day a few weeks ago and it literally left me sore for a few days. I think it’s because I really focused on lifting heavy for the 20 second “work” periods, which is the whole point of Tabata training, right? Balls to the wall for 20 seconds (for a lack of better words), because you know you have 10 seconds of rest coming up. I really urged people in my classes to go heavy and kept giving them hints and reminders like “if you’re not feeling tired yet, you should increase your weight.” and “If your muscles aren’t feeling the burn at this point- go heavier! Make this worth your time.” to ensure that they were getting the most out of the workout. When I taught this in class, I added in lower body Tabata sets and cardio and abs, but I thought for the purposes of the blog, I thought I’d share just the upper body part in case anyone else is like me and craving upper body training.

Quick note about Tabata training: the “real” or traditional Tabata workout is doing just 1 exercise for the entire 8 sets (or 4 minutes), but there are many different variations of Tabata workouts, which is what this is. I chose 2 exercises per Tabata set, but I kept them within the same muscle group for the most part to make it a little more like a traditional Tabata set, while still keeping it more interesting for my members.

Upper Body Tabata Workout

My members always cringe at crab walks, but I swear they are one of the best tricep workouts you can do!

If you have any questions about any of these moves, just shoot me a comment or email and I can link you to helpful videos. Remember- go heavy (while still being safe and lifting with proper form- never sacrifice form to lift a heavier weight. Work your way up to it!) and challenge your muscles here- make them tired!

Questions for you: Do you prefer to train your upper or lower body? Are you a cardio junkie or do you prefer strength training?

Ps for all of you who are participating in Athena’s Fall into Fitness Challenge, don’t forget to do your “move of the day”! I think this is such a fun challenge because for me, I like being reminded of exercises that I may have forgotten 😉

Weekly Workouts: Outdoor Boot Camp

Hey there! Phew! What a weekend 🙂 I had my “housewarming” party on Saturday and it was an absolute blast! I’m very thankful for all of my friends and family who came.

Let’s talk workouts, though. Last week was an awesome week of workouts! I had my full teaching schedule (UXF Burn, SHRED and 2 Kickboxing classes) and got in some good workouts on my own, too.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I worked from home on Monday so I was able to start my workout earlier than normal (always a nice treat!). I went for a 3.5 mile run and then went to the East Boston YMCA and did an upper body superset workout. I picked two variations of exercises for the following muscle groups: biceps, triceps, back, shoulders and chest. I did 15 reps and 3 rounds of each superset before moving on to the next. It was a great workout!


  • Tuesday- I had errands to run after work so I got up early and did an at-home, no equipment cardio and core workout that I shared with you here. It wasn’t anything crazy hard, but it was perfect for what I wanted.

No weights, no problem workout

  • Wednesday- I did 22 minutes on the elliptical before teaching UXF Burn (22 because I didn’t have time to do any more!). The UXF Burn workout was hard, but I loved all the moves I chose!
  • Thursday- I taught the same Tabata workout in my SHRED class as I did the week before when I subbed Kate’s class. And again, it left me incredibly sore! Love that. It’s funny, though, because when I teach Tabata I think everyone hates it and is bored (it’s a lot of repetition), but after class I had multiple people tell me how much they enjoyed it. Weird. After SHRED I amped up my cardio and taught Cardio Kickboxing.
  • Friday- I rested 🙂 Well, I rested in terms of not working out, but I was very busy party-prepping!
  • Saturday- I taught kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA. Athena came, which is always a fun treat!
  • Sunday- Athena sent out an invite to some gym friends seeing if anyone wanted to go to a free, outdoor boot camp sponsored by City Sports. Obviously, I was all about that, as were a few other gym friends, so we did that yesterday morning. There was a great crowd and the instructor was hilarious. We ran about 3/4-1 mile to a park and from there, we did a circuit style workout consisting of a minute at each station with a cardio burst between stations. We did lunges with a bicep curl using bands, push ups, squats and “anything abs” (a core station where we could pick whatever core exercise we wanted). It wasn’t as hard as I was expecting, but it was still really fun to try something new and workout with friends (and not be the instructor). I contemplated buying new sneakers at City Sports after, but I was good and restrained.

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- My plan is to rest today besides my normal walking commute. Since last week was heavy on the workout front, and I am a little sore, I feel like I should take it easy. I may try to video some workouts for a fun post I have planned 🙂
  • Tuesday- I’ll probably run after work and do another strength workout at the EB YMCA.
  • Wednesday- Cardio and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- SHRED and Kickboxing
  • Friday- I’m not sure. Since I rested today, I may be up for a workout. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Saturday- I’m not teaching, so my thought is I’ll get up and go to BodyPump at the Wellington BSC.
  • Sunday- Not sure! If I rest again on Friday, I’ll probably be antsy for something on Sunday. My weekend is pretty open so I’ve got loads of time to workout!

Make this week awesome, friends!

Questions for you: Do you like outdoor boot camps? What was your favorite workout last week?