Fitness: Caroline Girvan IRON Series Week 1

Image credit: Caroline Girvan Facebook

Yep! Having finished Chloe Ting’s Get Toned Challenge yesterday, we are finishing up with Caroline Girvan’s IRON Series this week. This is going to be a shorter post because the rest of this week is only 3 workout days long. I’ve decided to amend her schedule a little to better suit my lifestyle. Caroline likes to have a rest day on Thursday and Saturday but, for me, a Friday/Sunday rest schedule works better so that’s what I’ll be going with.

I’ll also be switching some of the workouts depending on the day, because I don’t really want to do the quad workout. I don’t want to be growing my quads anymore to be honest. For now, my tentative schedule will look like this for the next few weeks:

Day 2Day 3Day 4Rest
Day 5Day 1Day 7Day 8RestDay 9Rest
Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13RestDay 14Rest

I already took Monday as an extra rest day this week, so we’ll finish up with just one more rest day. The schedule works out so that I still do CG’s full body workout between two rest days. I think Jacky will probably join me for my Saturday workouts as well, and this will be a good way to get us both moving.

Caroline is still in the process of releasing her IRON series but I’ll never catch up so I’m looking forward to following it. I know, what happened to re-doing her Beginner series? Well, she just so happened to launch a new weighted workout series that is reps/sets based and is only 30min long each day. It’s literally exactly what I was looking for, so we’re doing it haha.

Chloe’s new challenge will launch before this one ends so I’ll probably not complete this series, but I can always go back to it. Each workout seems pretty standalone. Without further ado, let’s go!

Week One

4/21 – Day 2: Completed 12:08.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, IRON Series Day 2, 5min Upper Body Cooldown.

First of all, I love the length of these workouts. I love that it’s just 30min and I still have plenty of time to do a decent warm up and cooldown. I like the pacing – 1min on, 30sec off gives a very good amount of time to recover.

That said, I don’t think I was doing the chest press movements properly. I started with 8lb dumbbells and feel like I was probably compensating or had incorrect form because I wasn’t really feeling it in my chest. I dropped down to 5lb dumbbells for flyes onward.

The pullovers I felt more in my left tricep, I think? My dumbbell was small so maybe the position of my hands weren’t ideal too. Another issue was my shoulders were clicking like crazy for the floor exercises. It was just uncomfortable to do some of the movements. Maybe I hadn’t stretched enough from the day before?

I used my 8lb dumbbells for the first set of shoulder presses and then dropped back down to 5lbs. And for the finisher, I used my 8lb dumbbells again. I appreciate that doing the sets of the same movement can really push your muscles to fatigue. For the standing exercises, my arms were absolutely shaking by the third set and I was crying out in pain lol.

The music was super fun too, I like the music Caroline used for this video a lot more than the songs she used for her Beginner series. It was interesting to see Caroline struggling and putting down her dumbbells part-way through some of the later sets as well. I am not sure if that was encouraging or discouraging.

Seeing her put down her dumbbells made me feel like it’s okay to put mine down too, but I feel that perhaps I just gave up too soon and could have kept going for a couple more reps before dropping them for a break; like maybe I only took the extra break time because I saw her doing it. So sometimes I kept my eyes shut so that I wouldn’t be distracted.

All in all, I enjoyed today’s workout. Not one of my best, but also not bad. It was a nice way to ease into a new workout series. I hope to see improvement over the next few weeks!

4/22 – Day 3: Completed 12:53.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, IRON Series Day 3.

Um, yeah, honestly I’m not sure if I’ll be able to workout tomorrow. Remember how I said I didn’t really feel it in my chest and arms yesterday? Yeah, I take that back. I take it all back — all of it. My left side is so sore it hurts to lift my arms. Thankfully today was a glute day but ohhh boy, I am genuinely not sure if I will be able to walk tomorrow.

I didn’t really feel my glute activated much at the beginning, and I think I was doing the hip thrusts wrong until half way through. But by the time Bulgarian split squats and single leg hip thrusts rolled around, I was feeling it. And the finisher? Oh. My. Gosh. It went on forever.

After every set of the finisher I was thinking surely, surely this is the final movement… and it wasn’t. My eyes were squeezed shut at this point, by the way, and my body was facing away from my TV screen. I had to take a short break in the middle of the finisher right before the last 30sec.

When I got back up, I swear the pain receptors on my glutes had just given up and called it a day because my butt just felt numb. Not sure that’s a good thing, but I very much collapsed on the floor without moving for a solid two minutes afterwards.

I used Chloe Ting’s medium resistance band for all the banded movements. I used a single 5lb dumbbell for the banded hip thrusts, an 8lb dumbbell for the regular and staggered hip thrusts with no bands. I didn’t feel much during these exercises but I think that was due to incorrect form as I didn’t use a full range of motion and likely had the dumbbell resting at the wrong place (my hip flexors, as opposed to my hips).

I grabbed my 10lb dumbbell for the sumo deadlift squats and loved those. I used 5lb dumbbells for the Bulgarian lunges and… I mean, ow? Just… ow? My left leg and glute was shaking. My right side could have completed more, but I stopped at the same number as my left side to help ease the imbalance.

For the bodyweight single leg hip thrusts, I finally had the right form and range of motion and my glutes promptly decided they hated me with a passion. I was almost crying by the time I finished them. I am pretty certain I got to failure on those, at least for my left leg.

Failure 100% happened for the finisher. Watching back my footage is kind of entertaining, especially when I turn to Caroline and yell, “Oh my gosh, are you friggen insane?!” In case you’re curious, this was the immediate aftermath of having completed the workout:


The music was absolutely banging and I loved this workout. Kinda wish I could do it again and improve my form for the full duration, but I definitely cannot do round 2 when I can barely lift my legs anymore. I trust that Caroline will have something similar or equally as effective later on so I’m looking forward to that. Otherwise, I can always just sub in this video again at some point.

Tomorrow’s workout looks like hell on a stick. Chest presses, lunges, and RDLs, after the past two days? Then renegade rows and pushups in the finisher? Mmmm… yeah… I mean… Uhhh… I can try. But I’ll prob use bodyweight for the entire thing. Gosh. Good luck me.

4/23 – Day 4: Completed 12:53.
Videos completed: 5min Warm Up, IRON Series Day 4.

Okay, I actually managed to do it. Wow. Jacky worked out with me today, which always makes it a bit more fun but also a little more complicated as we don’t have extra sets of dumbbells. I mostly stuck to 5lb weights, sometimes using 8lbs, and he mostly stuck to 10lb.

Most of it wasn’t too bad – the finisher was the hardest part by far though. But unfortunately it was only after I finished the workout that I realised my left calf is probably compensating too much for my left glute. I should have done all the workouts without weights. When will I learn?

Don’t get me wrong, at the end of the workout my left leg was basically vibrating lol. But I still want to be careful about compensating. At least for next week, I’ll try everything lower body using just bodyweight. My right leg/glute can certainly handle 5lb, but I want to build up strength and muscle in my left leg.

We both thought the workout was doable since you can control how heavy you want your weights to be. Plus, 30min is a fantastic duration. Jacky was very thankful it wasn’t a HIIT workout haha. I really like that we can do a workout together on the weekend, so I’m liking the schedule that I have right now!

Muchos love,


Fitness: Caroline Girvan IRON Series Week 2
Fitness: Get Toned Challenge - Week 4

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