Awesome three-move workout + my fitness

Hi guys! This time next week, I’ll be waking up in Florida. But there’s one more regular week of business to take care of before Dave and I hop on a cross-country jet-plane.

I hope you had a great weekend. I taught group fitness classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, went out to a nice lunch and dinner with Dave and did some much-needed relaxing.

Before we get started into workouts and fitness, which is what we typically cover over here on A Lady Goes West every Monday to get the week kicked off right, I thought I’d share my favorite photos from the weekend.

Ashley and Dave at The FairmontBefore we went out to dinner on Saturday night, Dave and I walked up the hill to The Fairmont Hotel to check out the life-sized gingerbread house and take some photos in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree in the lobby. The tree was lovely, and boy, it spelled like a dream in that gingerbread house. I really had to hold myself back from licking the frosting. Like really had to hold myself back.

And now for the regularly scheduled programming …

Three-move total-body workout featuring the best move ever

Last week, during the dreaded power-outage and rain-storm in San Francisco, I popped down to the gym in my apartment building and put together a very short and very effective workout for you. And in the process, I discovered my new favorite weight-training move, which is the first one featured in this workout below. This little routine takes no longer than 15 minutes, will hit every major muscle group, and all you need is one heavy dumbbell. 

Disclaimer: This may not be right for you. It’s just an example of something that I do in the gym. Ask your trainer or doctor before proceeding with caution! Because even though I’m a personal trainer, I’m not your personal trainer.

  • Workout duration: 15 minutes 
  • Equipment needed: 1 heavy dumbbell, between 12-15 lbs., I used 15 lbs.
  • Focus: Total body strength

Three-move total-body one-dumbbell workout via A Lady Goes West

The three moves explained

Here are my coaching tips for each of the moves, as well as links to picture demonstrations.

  • Reverse lunge with single-arm overhead press — (My new favorite move!) This move targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, core, basically the whole body. It’s just so good. Start with your feet hip width apart. Chest up. Shoulders back. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand about level with your shoulder, elbow bent. Take a long step back with your right foot, dropping your right knee about one inch from the ground. When you are in the lunge position, press the dumbbell up and over your shoulder, straightening out your arm. Then return the dumbbell to the starting position. Push off your back leg and use your front leg to drive your body back up to the set position. Repeat seven times on the right leg. Then switch to the left leg, also switching the dumbbell to the left hand. Make sure to keep your front heel grounded at all times and push into the front heel to really activate your glutes. Keep your body square to the front and core tight as you press overhead, making sure your hips don’t push forward. Your torso should be perfectly upright throughout the entire move.
  • Bentover single-arm rowThis move targets the mid-back, biceps and shoulders. Find something to lean on, whether that is a weight-room bench, a chair or your couch. Place your right knee up in a kneeling position on that surface, and place your right hand flat on the surface, supporting your body. Hold the dumbbell in your left hand and let it hang off the side of the surface directly under your shoulder. Using your back muscles, pull your elbow back and up behind your body, brushing up against your rib cage and staying close to your side. At the top of the movement, squeeze your mid-back in and your shoulder blades back and down. Return the dumbbell to the starting position and repeat nine times on the left. Then change positions and complete 10 reps on the right. Make sure you keep your hips and shoulders square to the ground. 
  • Russian twistThis move targets the obliques, abs, lower back and hip flexors. Start in a seated position. Brace your core and lift your bent knees up to a 45-degree angle, which is like a modified boat pose for you yogis out there. While keeping your chest lifted, hold the dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Rotate from the waist and take the dumbbell to the left side of your body, then use your obliques muscles to rotate your body and take the dumbbell to the right side of your body. It’s a twisting motion, and you should feel the work coming from the sides of your abs. Make sure you keep your chest up, and try not to lead the movement with your upper body. It’s all about that waist. Go back-and-forth on each side 12 times.

You’ll definitely want to take a little rest between each set, and you should spend some time stretching after you’ve completed all four sets. If you don’t have a heavy dumbbell, you can always do more reps per exercise with your lighter weight, but I sure enjoyed the heavier weight with the overhead pressing. Overall, this workout is hard in a good way, so you should keep this one in your back pocket for a rainy day.

If you like the looks of this short workout, check out a few others I’ve recently shared:

Other than this workout, I did a little bit more sweating over the course of the week, so let’s take a look …

Weekly Workouts from A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Tuesday – Taught one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Wednesday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP classes, foam rolling
  • Thursday – Completed 15-minute total-body dumbbell routine, 50 kettlebell swings and 10-minute Yogalosophy video at home via POPSUGAR
  • Friday –  Taught one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Saturday –  Taught one-hour BODYATTACK class
  • Sunday – Rest day

What was good about my week of workouts?

This was a great week for me in workouts. I pulled back the intensity a bit from last week, did an equal amount of cardio (BODYATTACK) and resistance (BODYPUMP) training and even fit in a short yoga session. I also spent a little time in the weight-room by myself, putting together the workout I shared above and also playing with a 35 lb. kettlebell. Kettlebells are absolutely awesome tools, although not exactly appropriate for a novice in the gym, because they can be tricky. (For a little bit more on kettlebells, check out my recap of getting certified by Kettlebell Athletics earlier this year.) Another good thing about this week for me in fitness is the fact that I took a full rest day on Sunday. Although I taught an outdoor bootcamp on that day, I only demoed the moves and didn’t participate in the workout. But at times I wished I was doing it, because it was pretty cold outside in the Bay Area for this Florida gal. Nonetheless, I made it through.

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

Ideally, I like to do a full-hour yoga class or session each week, but because of the crazy day of storms and closures, my yoga was abbreviated and had to be done in my living room. No big deal. I’d say I did everything I set out to do this week with workouts by teaching and also spending a little bit of time sweating outside of the group fitness room. 

Okey doke, friends. I hope you have a lovely Monday. Stay calm and enjoy the holiday season. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for something not fitness-related. Oh and by the way, did you know you could receive A Lady Goes West posts by email? Just look over to the right-hand side of the screen underneath my picture and put your email in the box marked “GET POSTS BY EMAIL.”

Questions of the day?

What was the highlight of your weekend? What has been your best workout lately? Do you have any more Christmas shopping to do?

Ashley signature

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  1. Hey Ashley! That looks like a great workout, pinning it! Also looks like you had a great a very busy teaching schedule last week. Do you teach all those classes at the same gym or are you hopping all over town as well? Hope your week is off to a great start!

    1. Hi Jenna! Oh I’m all over the place. I teach at several different gyms including the Bay Club and 24 Hour Fitness. So I move around the city, which keeps it interesting. Happy Monday to you:)

  2. Hey there, looks like you had a great weekend! Gonna try your workout there this week. Sometimes I just don’t want to haul it to the gym in the cold (Tom takes the car to work every day) on foot. I’d say the highlight of my weekend was baking some awesome chocolate chip cookies. I just bought all this stuff for cake pops and want to bust out some holiday-themed ones. Hoping they turn out OK. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi Diane! How festive of you to get into some baking. And cake pops sound like fun. Yes, we’re a one car household too and my hubby takes it to work everyday. Let me know if you try the workout. Happy Monday! 🙂

  3. That gingerbread house is very cool. Cute pics! I finished my Christmas shopping this weekend – thank goodness for online shopping. Looks like you had a really good week of workouts. I usually always make it to a yoga class, but would like to start doing some yoga in-between at home.

  4. I love quick and efficient workouts that work the entire body. This one looks awesome- I am a big fan of Russian Twists! We are all finished with Christmas shopping, which is great because we are celebrating with my family this weekend!

  5. Great full body workout idea Ashley!! This is the type of thing I need, like right now when I am reading blogs and cutting into my gym time 😛 Sometimes, whether it’s weather or just life you gotta squeeze in what you can! I’d love to hear about more of your quick workouts 🙂

  6. The highlight of my weekend was finally moving into our house and not having to live out of a suitcase anymore! Love the workout you posted! I’m also trying to get in some yoga once a week, it’s so easy to push aside but feels so great when I do it! 🙂

    1. Hi Jessie! Good news is I will fill the week of with my usual stuff, and also throw in packing and some extra grooming appointments! Happy Monday to you:)

  7. I have alllllll my Christmas shopping to do still haha. But I’m not worried about it 🙂 It’ll all come together. I have been keeping my holiday workouts on point though so that’s a win! Thanks for sharing such a simple but effective workout! I love Reverse lunges with single-arm overhead presses as well — work multiple muscles at once because why not. That foam roller in the picture just reminded me that I should really do that….

    1. Hi Lauren! Yes you should hit that foam roller. And I like to do compound movements to get the most bang for the buck. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great Monday! 🙂

  8. We had a nice 9 hour power outage in Tahoe as well! However, it barely snowed 🙁 Great workout. After my workout this morning I realized I need more yoga in my life. Any suggestions for a 33 week pregnant lady?

    1. Hi Tiara! Nine hours is a long time with no power! Arg!! And you didn’t even get any snow.

      As far as exercise, well first of all, take it easy. You can do a lot of cat/cow poses on all fours. Those are very good for you. You can also do some standing poses, like chair and such, as long as you still feel comfortable.

      I wrote a post about pregnancy and exercise a while back that you may also want to reference:

      Happy Monday! 🙂

    1. Hi Lora! Thanks! I grew up in Southwest Florida (where I will be staying) and then spent the rest of my time in Gainesville and Orlando, so I’ve got a good handle on the state. What will you be doing for the holidays this year? My hubby and I are visiting friends in Orlando for a night then staying the rest of the time with my parents in brother. We usually hit up the beach on Christmas Day! ahhaha 🙂 Happy Monday!

  9. Yay for Florida!! It is GORGEOUS here right now (although I’m sure you know that…) and it’ll be a perfect Christmas break for you 🙂 Highlight of my weekend… being 100% totally done with Christmas/Hanukkah shopping. Wahoo! Now I am just waiting for one more item to come in the mail (hopefully today!) and then I can get everything shipped and out the door.

  10. That workout you shared looks really great! I love anything that requires minimal equipment. Great week of workouts also. I like to do an hour of yoga each week but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I’m hoping to make it to a class tonight!

  11. Oh my, I’m not sure I could be trusted with that gingerbread house, haha! My luck, I would take a little tiny taste and the whole thing would crumble to pieces.

    I’m loving the workout you came up with! Moves that work the entire body are always a plus in my book!

    1. Hi Annette! Yes, I’ve been teaching that double for a couple months, and it’s not that bad. I have a couple members that stay through both classes too. I change my shoes in between, but because there is no real time, I keep the same outfit. So I start BODYPUMP totally drenched heheheh.

  12. I heard about all of that flooding out there-hope all is ok now. You teach a lot of classes each week. We have body attack at our gym and I’ve been meaning to check it out. I do some kickboxing with my trainer and love it. Great 3 move workout up there -some of my favorite staples. Fun to discover your blog too!

  13. Love this workout!! I definitely could have used this last week when I was utterly lazy and cooped up at home 🙂 I love using kettle bells too!

    1. Hi Kaylin, Thanks. I’ll let him know you like the tie. He has a good tie collection because he wears them to work everyday. Let me know if you try the workout. Happy Monday! 🙂

    1. Hi Cassie! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you stayed dry today, it was nasty out in the Bay Area. I also love workouts that can be done anywhere. While all the big fancy equipment at the gym is great, sometimes it’s nice just to use your body and a dumbbell. Happy Monday night to you! 🙂

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