The BeWOW Breakdown: “Good Thing We Don’t Need Our Shoulders to Do Our Jobs”

Doing the BeWOW workout this weekend? Check out our fit testers' review first!

This Week’s Workout: Feel the Burn with Bigger Weights

The Breakdown
Total time commitment: 35-45 minutes
Difficulty (out of five): 5
Soreness factor: Good thing we don’t need our shoulders to do our jobs.
Overall grade (out of 5): 5

Our first impressions: 

We have been doing high-rep, low-weight workouts for so long that we were both excited and nervous for the opportunity to ramp up the weights and max out. Alon used the phrase “get swole” an unreasonable number of times. Seems like an appropriate time to mention that we’re runners so we don’t worry about building up big muscles, but we know that doing this kind of heavier-weight workout from time to time is a great way to get over a workout plateau.

How we felt afterwards: 

Well we definitely made it through the workout, but it wasn’t always pretty as we strained to keep our form tight while fighting with weights that we don’t usually even consider (40 lb. shoulder presses? Oh, my!). The low reps meant we made it through three sets of 15 exercises in around 40 minutes and that alone felt incredible. The biggest challenge we found was finding the right weight for the first set — it often felt like that first set was a bit too easy, but we’d be pumping out completely by the time we raised the weight for the last set of four reps. It would probably help to take notes on your weights on this workout and fine tune it over the course of a few weeks.

At the end of the workout, we were sore right away. We know we’ll be sore all day and we’ll most definitely be sore tomorrow, but we’re already thinking about incorporating these kind of heavy-weight workouts into our routines a few times a month.

About our testers: 

Rebecca Barber is the founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, a just-for-fun 50K run that follows Rocky Balboa’s footsteps in Rocky II. She’s a 16x marathoner and 14x ultra marathoner, having started running when she was a kid. She’s an active volunteer with Back on My Feet Philadelphia, where she works to help the homeless community use running as a means to better their lives and find stable employment and housing. When not running all the miles, she is the social media coordinator for The Wharton School.

Alon Abramson is the founder of the West Philly Runners, the creator of – a web resource for running in Philadelphia – and the organizer of a number of running events in Philly, including the annual 26×1 Mile Team Marathon Relay, Beat the Bus, and Beat the Commute. Running since high school, Alon is an on-again, off-again runner with ebbs and flows to his mileage and commitment. More recently however, he’s taken a new approach to training, emphasizing cross-training and speed work as much as building up mileage and this has dramatically improved his running performance. When he’s not organizing and running, Alon works as a research project manager at Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, studying energy efficiency best practices. He’s on a number of non-profit boards and works on his whole-home retrofit project whenever there’s free time.

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