home gym deltoids workout

Dumbbell Workouts and Outdoor Training

This post is to document my outdoor and dumbbell training home gym workouts so I won’t post my usual gym workouts in this one.  I will in later posts.

The first week of shutdowns I was able to get my own workouts in at Burn in Santa Monica and Built Gym in Manhattan Beach.  Burn closed down Monday but I was able to train deltoids there first.  Built Gym didn’t close until Wednesday so I was able to train there Tuesday and Wednesday of Back and Chest respectively.

So after the gyms closed down I had to start getting creative in order to maintain my scheduled workouts.  I didn’t have a home gym of any sort to speak of.  Just a few things I’d accumulated and not gotten rid of.  Certainly not enough to be suitable for my style of training.  I did have light dumbbells and bands for female clients.  The only things I had that would close to adequate for me were 25 lb adjustable dumbbells, 2 suspension trainers (TRX) a superband, and a resistance band set with changeable handles.  That was it.

Now this is certainly not enough stuff for a herculean tank like myself to make do with.  I posted on facebook that I was looking for equipment and my awesome former client Gale got back to me and gave me a really solid adjustable bench.   (Thanks Gale!)

I decided to document the workouts, maybe someone with find them useful.  I posted some on instagram and facebook. I will likely pull the text down so the workout details will only be here on my blog.

Feel free to share this post with anyone you feel would like it!

🏋️ Workout 1: In my garage Monday 3/23/2020

Don Ross Shoulder Blast Dumbbell Workout

I got a great pump using just 25 lbs dumbbells (all I had at the time) from this deltoids giant set workout I learned from the late great Don Ross –
Don Ross’s Shoulder Blast (I added an additional rear delt movement and edited the rep scheme):

Set 1 – 15 reps

  • Bent over lateral
  • Front raise
  • Horizontal grip side raise
  • Bent over rear delt raise (arms swing back)
  • 90 degree bent arm raise
  • Upright row
  • Overhead press

Rest 3 minutes between giant sets.

  • Set 2: 12 reps
  • Set 3: 10 reps
  • Set 4: 8 reps

Result: Massive lactic acid burn and pump!

Workout 2: Tuesday 3/24/2020

Douglas Park Santa Monica

Back Workout with TRX

suspension trainer outdoor workout

  • TRX pull ups : 10 sets of 10 – I found a branch I could get to and put the TRX over it, but I will still too close to the ground so I did the pull ups in a seated position.
  • TRX High Rows: 4 sets of 15 – Feet against the trunk of the tree.
  • TRX Curls: 5 sets of 10-15 (varied reps per set)

I actually ran out of time so I didn’t do as much biceps as I wanted – I had to get home to do a virtual training session with a client.

I wasted a lot of time driving all over town looking for a pull up bar I could use.  Didn’t find it (yet).

Workout 3:  Thursday 3/26/2020

Muscle Beach Santa Monica Chest Workout

muscle beach Santa Monica
everybody was practicing social distancing. Didn’t matter. They closed it the next day. Probably because I was there.

A friend told me the beach had not yet been closed and the parallel dip bars and pull up bars were available.  The ropes, rings and chains were taken down but that was fine.  There were other avid exercisers there, all giving each other plenty of social distance.  I had done back using a TRX on a tree at Douglas park yesterday, not knowing I could have come here to do regular pull ups.  My plan was a lot of dips for chest.  25 lb dumbbells simply aren’t enough for me to do anything for chest.


  • Dips: 10 sets of 10
  • Pike Dips (upper chest): 10 sets of 10
  • TRX flyes: 70 reps in 4 sets

Honestly, I got carried away with the reps and this workout was too much.  Didn’t get sore due to overtraining.  Had I done less I would have gotten sore.  The next week and following weeks I was able to make much better chest workouts.

Since I’d done biceps with back and dips are a lot of triceps, I felt I’d done enough arms for the week.

Workout 4 Friday 3/28/2020

TRX Legs Workout

  • Lunge backwards 15 reps
  • Lunge to the side 15 reps
  • Squats 30 reps
  • Hip hinge (I call them seesaws) 20 reps
  • Front Squat (I call it Rocketman) 30 reps
  • Slideboard hip bridge and leg curl 15 reps

I don’t have photos or video of me doing this because I was alone (all these workouts are alone) so I’ll put up exercise demonstration videos.

Workout 5: Monday 3/30/2020

Home Gym Deltoids Dumbbell Workout

I did the same shoulder blast workout I did last week.  Just as good but you really aren’t supposed to do the shoulder blast every week – It’s supposed to be done occasionally.  But I still only had my 25s, so I did it again.  They’re too light for me to do a normal straight sets workout.  This is the day I took the photos posted above.

Workout 6: Tuesday 3/31/2020

Lincoln Middle School Track

We had walked by the track and saw people exercising there the day before.  I had never noticed before but there were 2 pull up bars next to the track – one normal height and one short.  I knew this wasn’t going to last so first thing Tuesday I headed down.  There gate was open and there were other people exercising in the field so I figured I was good.  I got myself set up and cleaned the bar with windex, put on my Versa Gripps and right then, a security guard came and said we all had to leave.  He did say that he left at 3:30 so I took that as a hint.  I went home and came back at 3:45.

I came back and there were more people than before.  I shared the pull-up bars with a couple other guys.  Kept the social distance and cleaned the bar before and after each set.

Pull ups Back Workout

  • Pull ups: 9 sets of 10 (quit there, elbow was getting crunchy)
  • TRX inverted row: 5 sets of 15
  • TRX Biceps Curls: 0

Before I could start with TRX biceps curls another security guard came and threw everyone else.  Less friendly than the guy earlier.  I suspected this would be it for this venue.

I was right.  The gate has been locked since then.  The city seemed to be determined to keep me from doing real pull ups.  Forgot to take photos.

Workout 7: Thursday 4/02/2020 in Mr. America’s Garage

My Home Chest Dumbbell Workout

I was able to get push up handles from Amazon and some more 5 lb plates from Big 5 (lucky to get those, no 10s) bringing my adjustable dumbbells up to 45 lb. Still light for me but much more useful than 25…
Using slow motion on the positive portion of my reps allowed me to increase intensity so I could reach near-failure.

home chest workout
building my home gym

Rotator cuff 15lbs 4 x 15

Pike push ups – slow motion reps*

Incline dumbbell press 45lbs – slow motion reps*

Mid-Chest push ups – slow motion reps* – hands parallel and at chest level, not shoulder level like standard push ups
12 (getting fatigued now)

Flat dumbbell press 45lbs – slow motion reps*

Flyes with ALL the bands slow motion reps*

Saving biceps and triceps for tomorrow 💪💪
Note: got a great pump and sore the next day from that one!

*slow motion reps are 5 seconds on the positive (lifting) portion of the rep.  Negative part of the rep is normal tempo, but you’ll end up going slower than normal on the negative too.

I will admit to skipping legs for a couple of weeks.  I normally have some limiting knee and back pain that I use the gym equipment to train around.  I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a lot of stress when I’m not able to work normally and have my regular routine.  This stress really increased my back and knee pain and I didn’t want to make it worse. Mistake?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Still kept up my cardio with the stationary bike and walking with my girlfriend.

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