Your Quick Guide to a Complete Arm Workout with Dumbbells for Women: ICE Chiseled Upper Body
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Do you have to have dumbbells to do Chiseled Upper Body from Cathe Friedrich’s ICE series?
Yes, yes you really do.
But adding strength-training to your exercise schedule is such a GREAT THING TO DO
Because you’ll see changes in your body when you lift weights.
It’s worth it to invest in a set of dumbbells.
I’d start with a pair of 3, 5, 8, and 10’s (if you’re just getting started with sculpting routines).
Read this article, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells, for more help.
This is what ICE Chiseled Upper Body looks like:
If you’re just getting started with adding dumbbells to your fitness routine, or if you’ve been doing Cathe Friedrich’s Strong and Sweaty routines (and need a little break from heavy lifting) then Chiseled Upper Body is a great place to be.
Let me tell you exactly what you’ll need and what you’ll see in every section of Chiseled Upper Body…
Equipment-dumbbells (DB’s)-3, 5, 8, and 10 lbs., and a mat*
*If you’re on a soft surface (like carpet) then you can get by without a mat
My rating- B
The Important Stuff about ICE Chiseled Upper Body
Remember the ICE series is designed for the intermediate fitness enthusiast. However, for the average person these routines will still be very challenging.
There are short stretches between many of the exercises. Cathe doesn’t do that often so it’s a nice break. Use that time to take a drink, too.
I love the on-screen prompts for every section. This information is very helpful.
The exercises in Chiseled Upper Body are creative and effective. I’d never done a few of these until I did this workout.
There are a total of 17 exercises.
ICE Chiseled Upper Body is a strength-training workout. Your heart rate might come up a little bit during each interval but this isn’t a cardio workout.
There are 12 premix routines (additional workouts) on the ICE Chiseled Upper Body video. Three of the premixes are shorter (timesaver) programs and the rest are all longer. My Favorite premix is Basic #2. It’s the entire workout plus a core segment (it’s 55 minutes long).
I’ve included images of the exercises in the routine that I think aren’t obvious from just reading the names. Read on for a description of the entire Chiseled Upper Body routine.
There’s a warm-up section like you’re used to and then there’s another warm-up section called Upper Body Warm-up that’s done with 3 lb. DB’s.
Both warm-ups combined is about 7 minutes long. That might seem a little long but Cathe takes you through several of the exercises using the light dumbbells that you’re going to be seeing again in a few minutes so it’s a valid use of time.
Main Workout (The Exercises in Chiseled Upper Body)
Swinging Military Press
5 lb. DB’s
You’ll swing both arms up in front of you (not quite over your head) and bring them down together into a military press at the top.
Triple Dead Row/Triple Upright Row/Shrug
10 lb. DB’s
The word ‘triple’ is a little misleading. There ARE 3 dead rows. But there are actually 4 upright rows in the first few sets. You don’t add the shrug until later in the set.
5 lb. DB’s
8 reps per side
Pay attention to which way your toes are supposed to be pointing. Cathe demonstrates proper technique before the first rep.
If you’ve done a lot of Cathe Friedrich routines then you might have seen this exercise in another video. It feels kind of strange. Go down in weight if you’re worried your form isn’t perfect.
I feel this mostly in my core and shoulders.
Hammer Curl/Clutch Curl
8 lb. DB’s
Alternating single rep hammer curls into a double arm clutch curl. The clutch curl is a double arm hammer and when you get halfway up you bring your palms together in front of you.
8 reps (switch lead arms halfway)
Cathe finishes this interval with some double arm rotational curls and static hold exercises for biceps.
Overhead Press/Overhead Extension
8 lb. DB’s
This is a compound exercise for shoulders and triceps.
You’ll do a single OH press with 3 overhead tricep extensions
There are 8 total sets.
Watch out for the tempo change after the first 6 sets.
Forward Tilt Bent Arm Lateral Raise
5 lb. DB’s
Listen to the form pointers before you start. This exercise targets the rhomboid muscles in your upper back.
12 reps in the first set
6 reps in the second set
10 lb. DB’s
You’ll be tilted forward and doing a double arm row but notice how your arms rotate as they come up. Try not to arch your back.
Set One-16 reps (actually there are 18 reps but Cathe doesn’t count the first two you do)
Set Two-16 reps
5 lb. DB’s
This exercise is for the shoulders and core. I’d never seen it before I did this workout. It’s a fun one.
I think if I tried to explain how it’s done I’d only confuse you so I’m not going to do that. Just know that anyone can do the discus throw. My tip-Keep your core tight and keep control of the weight (it shouldn’t feel like you’re slinging it around).
There are 2 sets of 12 reps on each side.
3 Curls/1 Press
5 lb. DB’s, mat (if you’re on a hard surface)
You’ll be doing hammer curls in a c-sit hold position, so that you’re engaging your core while you work your biceps.
After every 3rd hammer curl you’ll do an overhead press (4 sets). Then you’ll transition into one rep of each (for 8 sets).
Tricep Pushup with Leg Lift
You won’t need any equipment for this exercise.
You’ll be doing tricep push-ups on your knees. When you go down in the push-up you’ll lift up one leg. Alternate which leg you lift which each rep. There are 16 reps.
Make sure your elbows stay in close to your sides so that you’re working your triceps.
I’m not a fan of this exercise but no one asked me.
To finish this interval you’ll do regular tricep push-ups on your knees (no leg lift). There’s one set of 8 and a final set of 4.
Rear Delt Raise with Leg Extension
5 lb. DB
Get on your hands and knees and place the DB beside one hand. That hand will do a side delt raise while you raise the opposite leg.
There are two sets of 12 reps per side.
The trick is keeping the DB and your foot from tapping the floor between reps. It’s tempting to let your foot drop into the floor with every rep. Try not to.
Chest Fly with Leg Extension
8 lb. DB’s
There are 16 reps in the first set and 12 in the second.
Alternate the leg you extend out with every rep
My tips-Keep your lower back pressed into the floor. Match Cathe’s tempo. Don’t try to beat her. There’s a reason she’s going slow.
5 lb. DB’s
This is the same exercise we just did with a chest fly, except this time you’ll do a one-arm pullover and extend the opposite leg at the same time.
There are 16 reps per side. Do all 16 on each side before switching leads.
Then there’s a set of 8 reps with the arms and legs together.
Bear Crawl Plank Walks
No equipment needed for this one.
Start in a squat position and walk your hands out into plank. Release one arm at a time into a low plank and then back up into high plank. Return where you came from (walk back from high plank into a squat). Then do the last part to this exercise, a shoulder ‘bear crawl’ press. Repeat.
This won’t be the most graceful move you’ve done today. Cathe walks you through the entire interval so you won’t miss any parts of it.
There are 8 sets (4 reps on each lead arm).
*The last 3 exercises are all variations on push-ups and blend all together (there’s no break between the exercises)
High Plank Descents/High Plank Descents Wide Arms/Knee Pushups
You go down like you’re doing a regular slow push-up (on your toes) and when your chest is a few centimeters from the floor your drop to your knees and push back into child’s pose. Then get back on your toes and repeat. There are 2 reps this way.
For the next 4 reps make your arms wider but keep everything else the same.
Finally, you’ll do 8 push-ups on your knees. Warning-there’s a LONG low-end hold at the end of the 8 reps.
The stretch is about 4 minutes long. Don’t skip the stretch. Your email can wait 4 more minutes.
If you’ve been doing Cathe’s regular routines for a while then ICE Chiseled Upper Body will be a step backwards. However, it’s a decent option if your body needs a break from more intense routines you do all week.
Also, ICE Chiseled Upper Body really is a great transition to the next level of upper body resistance training if you’re ready to move beyond the beginner level.
Where can you buy Chiseled Upper Body?
I access all of my Cathe Friedrich workouts these days with a membership to Cathe on Demand. If you love trying new and challenging workouts every day I recommend you look into it, too.
Check out Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand, for more information.
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“Life is complicated. Fitness doesn’t have to be.”