Workout #2 is one of my all-time favorite formats, as it’s a strength and Tabata hybrid. During the strength sets, really challenge yourself with the weights. You should have to push yourself to complete the last two reps while maintaining proper form. If you notice your form start to suffer, decrease the weights. In between the strength sets, we’ll be doing 4 minutes of cardio, using the Tabata format. You’ll work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, recover for 10 seconds, and complete 8 rounds for 4 minutes total of work. The goal with Tabata is to work as hard as you can (breathless, high effort) for those 20 seconds. (For more info on Tabata training, check out my Focus On post here with the details of the study and the benefits of this type of training.)

Our cardio rounds are going to blast our heart rates, enable us to burn more calories during the strength sets, and accomplish a short, yet seriously effective workout.

Let’s do it.

Ssu2015 workout2

 Form cues and tips:

1) Squat to upright row. Start with your feet planted just outside your hips, holding your dumbbells. Sink down and back into your squat, keeping your core tight and chest proud, and as you rise, lift the weights into an upright row. For the upright row, your elbows should be the first thing rise, and the weights will stop at mid chest level. 

2) Bent-over wide row. Your feet will be just under your hips with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Lifting up from your elbows, bring them high and wide, engaging into your rear delts. Stop the elbows at shoulder height before carefully lowering back down.

3) Push-up. On knees or toes, keep your hips in line with your torso and your chin lifted (so your neck ins’t slumped down towards your chest). Press through your hands about shoulder-width, where it feels comfortable for you) and lower your chest towards the floor, stopping your chest in line with your elbows as they bend. Engage your chest to press back up towards starting position. 

Complete 3 rounds of exercises 1, 2 and 3. 

4) Tabata #1: alternate between squats and squat jumps. Complete as many squats as you can during the first 20 second interval. For the second round, squat again, this time jumping up as high as you can and landing with a soft knee. You’ll do 4 rounds of squats, 4 rounds of squat jumps (I like to alternate between the two to keep things exciting). To minimize impact, just do squats as quickly and efficiently as possible. It will still get your heart rate up!

5) Renegade row and extension. Start in a plank position, on your knees or toes, holding dumbbells in both hands. Lift one dumbbell up and squeeze your back to bend the elbow in towards your torso, keeping the slow close to you. Use your triceps to straighten your arm as much as possible before bending and lowering back down. Goal: keep your hips down as you do this.

6) Single arm chest press. Come onto your back in a supine position. If you are pregnant and are no longer comfortable on your back (ACOG guidelines are no supine exercises after 13 weeks of pregnancy), use an incline bench. Hold the dumbbell one hand and bring the elbow to a 90 degree angle. Press up into a chest press, almost straightening the arm before bending back down. Complete 12 reps on one side before switching to the other side. 

7) Matrix. Start on your knees with your knees directly under your hips. Press into your toes, lift your chest, drop your shoulders and brace your core. Keeping your torso in one straight line (do not bend at the hips) lean back as far as you can. Press into your toes and exhale to rise. Move slowly on this one, really feeling your quads and core working. Each time you come back, try to come a little farther if you can. 

Complete 3 rounds of exercises 5, 6 and 7. 

8) Tabata #2: Alternate between plie squat jumps and jumping lunges. 82 83 86 87 Start in a wide plie squat, and then exhale to jump as high as you can, reaching your arms up. For low impact, instead of jumping, rise onto your toes and reach your arms up. 

9) Squat press. Start off with feet just wider than your hips, and dumbbells held at your shoulders. Lower into a squat, and as you rise, press the weights up overhead. 15 reps.

10) Plank challenge: 

Basic plank: 30 seconds. Make sure to keep your hips down in line with your torso, core engaged, and chin lifted so your spine is straight. 

Side plank with leg tap and reach: 30 seconds each side. Check out the picture for modification! You’ll start in a side plank, exhale and lift your top leg up to hip height, tapping your leg with your top hand. Lower back down, then exhale, bringing that leg straight in front of you, reaching towards your shin. Lower back down.

Spider plank: 1 minute. Start in a plank position, and use your oblique to bend your knee towards your elbow. Slowly switch to the other side. 

Complete 3 rounds of exercises 9 and 10.

Leave a comment after you finish this workout, or better yet, send me a sweaty pic!! @fitnessista #summershapeup



  1. Liesl @Fitnessinthekitchen on June 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Wow, great workouts!!!! I can’t wait to do this week!

  2. Lauren on June 13, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I know I’m a little ahead of the game – but I did this workout this morning and loved it!!! (I over slept and missed my class at the gym and so I went to find a video online and was very excited when I saw your email in my inbox!)

  3. Sue on June 14, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Holy heavy breathing! A year and a half ago I could have done this with no problem….life happened and now I find myself starting over again. As I went through this workout I tried to talk myself out of reps and seconds but reminded myself what a personal trainer once told me. I would only be shorting myself so on I pushed. Thank you so much for taking time to put the summer shape up together and supporting me and others. I look forward to the next time I do workout 2 and kicking its butt!

  4. Kaitlin on June 15, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Finished! Great way to start off this rainy Monday

  5. Jessica C. on June 15, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Started SSU a day early due to a long busniess trip starting tomorrow. :/ Holy sweaty workout, Batman!

    I’m going to have to get really creative for the next 10 days so if you have suggestions, I’d appreciate them! I can’t plan a ton of meals, but I’m bringing healthy snacks and oats for breakfast. That’s something!

  6. RachelG on June 15, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I got in this workout during my lunch break. It was wonderful! I’m super sweaty and my thighs were quivering at the end, lol. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      so good 🙂

  7. Lori on June 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I did this outside this morning and I LOVED this workout! Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm


  8. Emma on June 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    wow- awesome workout! Just finished it, almost couldn’t get through that last round of planks (typing is so difficult right now….!). thanks Gina!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      great job!!

  9. Meaghen on June 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    FEWF!!! I did an hour of interval spin work, so skipped the tabata – but the strength is AWESOME! The Matrix is especially cool. Thank you, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      happy you liked it! xoxo

  10. Keri on June 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Sweating like a beast! Loved it!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      awesome! great job!

  11. Monica on June 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Whew!! Welp, I did my best. Definitely had to modify and used light weights. I guess I’ll look forward to seeing my ability to do this improve! Gonna be sooorrreeee tomorrow!

  12. Natalie on June 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Trying to follow summer shape up. Modifying this week to start Monday as I have a 10 k on Saturday. Did this workout with my two year old and 11 month old in the room. Made it thru round 1 of the planks before the baby totally melted down. Always interesting when your “rest” portion of intervals involves redirecting the baby away from cords and your push-ups have to be done with a 20 lb infant crawling on your legs. Regardless, a great full body workout I could do at home. Awesome!

  13. Hilda on June 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Awesome workout! I really liked how you split it up – repeating a few moves at a time made it seem much more manageable than having to repeat the entire workout from start to finish 3 times. But I’m pretty sure I’m still going to dread the tabata and plank burner the next time workout #2 is scheduled!

  14. Katie G on June 16, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Finished this workout today. It was great and VERY sweaty!

  15. Christina on June 16, 2015 at 4:06 am

    finished! thought the tabata’s were tough until i got to that plank series.. i was counting down the seconds!!

  16. Emily on June 16, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Wow! My shoulders! Challenging workout!

  17. Monica on June 16, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I did this today and my legs felt it. I know why Gina put a rest day yesterday 🙂 I taught a half barre, half zumba bursts class yesterday and afterwards did 30 minutes of speed training. I felt it today. My muscles needed some stretching so I did 30 minutes of pilates. I will try to do 10 or 15 minutes of yoga before bed. I won’t be able to follow this plan exactly as it is because I teach, but I will try to do what I can. I used this free online tabata timer
    Thanks, Gina.

    • Sarah T on June 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you for this awesome tabata timer!

  18. Hilary on June 16, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Just finished WO2 and it was tough! Thanks for keeping me on track and challenged!

  19. Ashley V on June 16, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I had to switch up the workout schedule so I did my hilly run today!

  20. Jenny McDaniel on June 16, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Without 2 done and it was killer!

  21. Sonya on June 16, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Awesome workout! As a momma with a 2 year old and an 11 week old, I loved that this was short and sweaty!

  22. Kristina E on June 16, 2015 at 8:28 am

    WOW! It looked so simple, but it kicked my butt! Feeling strong! Thank you for Summer Shape Up, Gina! My post baby body needs this! 🙂

  23. Megan A. on June 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Just finished Tuesdays workout, workout #2. I added a 5K run to the beginning of it mostly because I forgot about the workout and went for a run this morning before realizing it. I will certainly be sore tomorrow, but it hurt so good! Thanks, Gina!

  24. Tori L on June 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Completed! I’m a hot mess!

  25. Errign on June 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Finished. I did about half of the exercises as written and modified as necessary for what felt right for my pregnancy.

  26. Katie @ A Full Plate on June 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Workout #2 done! A great way to start off SSU!

  27. Haley C on June 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    That workout was legit….I’m a sweaty beast now!

  28. Eileen Thomas on June 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Wow I’m a sweaty mess! My dog wouldn’t stop licking me during the planks!

  29. Jenn on June 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Awesome start to SSU! I’m super sweatin right now, barely made it through the last plank sequence! I’ve never taken measurements before doing a SSU or WSU but decided to do it this time around just to see 🙂 Excited to see the tone that develops! I’m coming off of training for a distance run so am feeling a little bit of the runner flab that tends to happen when I’m too tired to strength train haha!

  30. Theresa C on June 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I’m going to love to hate those renegade rows. #ouch

  31. Sarah B on June 17, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Golly! It’s winter here so the fire is going in the sitting room. I’m a total mess now. thank you for the workouts and the inspiration. I will get fit for spring 🙂

  32. Margot on June 17, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Great kickoff to a summer workout routine! Completed this one last night and ready for Gina’s Wednesday workout.

  33. catherine c. on June 17, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Just finished! Sweaty mess!! (Off a day b/c of 12 hour night shifts at the hospital, ew!)

  34. Cara on June 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Completed workout 2 today! Holy smokes… That’s some seriously sweaty goodness right there!

  35. Crystal on June 17, 2015 at 11:04 am

    So hard. All the squats…….I had to sub and do different exercises for the tabata. I loved winter shape up but lost my momentum after so this time my goal is to keep going strong after the shape up is over.

  36. Sarah T on June 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Just did workout #2 today (couldn’t squeeze it in yesterday) and also walked to and from work (3 miles). I got so many compliments about looking toned after the Winter Shape Up last year, but I hit a slump these past couple of months. I’m really looking forward to the accountability of this group to build muscle and hopefully lose a few pounds!

  37. erin on June 20, 2015 at 7:00 am

    i’m doing a different program right now — but like having different workouts in my arsenal so i did workout 2 this morning. whoo that’s a kick butt workout!!!

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