Caroline Girvan Review: My Favorite At-Home Workouts

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As a busy mom who chooses to prioritize fitness, I love the convenience of at-home workouts. It should be noted I am not a fitness professional, just an at-home workout lover who has tried many different trainers over the past 15 years. My favorite trainer of all time is Caroline Girvan. This is a comprehensive Caroline Girvan review, because maybe her programs can help someone else as much as they helped me!

I discovered Caroline Girvan about 2.5 years ago, and I credit her for¬†getting me back into shape after my second child was born. My first program with her was Epic Endgame. Once I completed that program, I immediately canceled my Beachbody membership – and I haven’t looked back since.

Who Is Caroline Girvan?

Caroline Girvan is a Certified Personal Trainer born in Ireland. She started a YouTube channel a few years ago and has amassed over 2 million subscribers! Her fitness programs became so successful that she now has an app called CGX (about $100 annually, review below). However, she has many free programs still available on YouTube. 

A picture of Caroline Girvan

Also read: Heather Robertson Review.

What I Love About Her Programs

Caroline’s workouts are ideal if you’re someone who loves the challenge of weight lifting but want to do it in the comfort of your own home. However, she has structured weight-lifting programs that could be done at the gym as well. 

I love that her programs are super easy to follow and understand, even though she doesn’t talk throughout the entire workout. She previews the next move before the current move is completed – so you always know what to expect.  

Not only that, Caroline’s videos are high-quality with excellent production value – and her YouTube channel is very well-organized making it easy to find each program. They’re no-nonsense, with shorter breaks and no talking. 

And last but not least, Caroline focuses on changing your body without focusing on the scale! She recognizes that you might even gain weight from her programs, but overall body fat may be reduced. This also aligns with my beliefs as well and really helped with my post-partum fitness journey. 

List of workouts in the Iron Series; caroline girvan review

What Are Her Workouts Like?

Caroline has stated that these fitness routines are her real workouts, which means they aren’t for the faint of heart. I would even go as far to say most of her workouts are intermediate/advanced. However, there are easier programs than others that beginners could do.

As most programs are focused on weight lifting, you will need a variety of different weights to get the best results. Most of her programs have 5 days of work, with 2 days rest – one of those being an active rest day. Depending on the program, workouts can range from 30-60 minutes. 

Each workout starts off with a short explanation and overview of the workout by Caroline. After that, she doesn’t say a word but continues to provide non-verbal cues throughout the video. She often offers an encouraging thumbs-up or puts her pointer finger up to let us know “One more!”.

Equipment Needed

  • Adjustable Dumbbells or Multiple Sets of Weights: My favorite option are these Adjustable SelectTech Dumbbells, because they take up less room and range from 0-52 pounds.
  • Resistance Bands: These resistance bands are a great option because they aren’t made of that flimsy rubber (which I often break). They are non-slip (HUGE plus) and have four resistance levels.
  • You also will need a chair and either a set of dumbbells or squat wedge for some exercises.
A set of adjustable dumbbells next to resistance bands.

As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small compensation if a purchase is made -at no additional cost to you. 

What Could Be the Drawbacks?

While not necessarily my own beliefs, some people feel that the workouts in some of her programs can seem repetitive. 

Primarily focused on weight-lifting, those that prefer more cardio in their workout routines may crave a little more. I will say that her HIIT workouts are super intense, and I often take walks with my kids to get in a little more cardio during the week. 

Like I said earlier, she doesn’t provide verbal instruction for each move during the entire workout. If you’re someone who needs that encouragement and instruction, these workout programs might not be well-suited for you – or you may want to start with one of her beginner programs.

Their is mostly techno music playing throughout the video, and while you can turn it down – you might miss the beeps that signal when each move starts and begins. 

a detailed description of one of Caroline Girvan's workouts

Different Programs Available

Here we will go over a few of the different programs available and what you can expect from each one. That way, if you decide to try her programs, you might have a better idea which one to start! 

There is also a Epic Beginner program, as well as short ab workout videos to add on to her programs.

Epic 1

  • 50 day program
  • Ranges from 30-60 minutes; 30-minute HIIT workout and 60 minute full-body workout weekly
  • Has some trickier moves that may be hard for some

Epic II

  • 50 day program
  • Similar to Epic 1, with 30-minute HIIT workouts and 60-minute full-body workouts weekly
  • Very similar to Epic 1, but with better production value

Epic III

  • 50 day program
  • Most workouts are about 45 minutes long, with a 30-minute HIIT workout weekly
  • Has a one-minute burn-out finisher at the end of each workout
Calisthenic full body workout caroline girvan review

Epic Endgame

  • 50 day program
  • Similar to Epic III, with 45-minute long lifting workouts and a 30-minute HIIT workout weekly
  • The one-minute finisher is usually 100 reps of one move, which gets mixed reviews
Epic Endgame Finale caroline girvan review

Epic Heat

  • 28 day program
  • 30-40 minute workouts
  • Shorter rest periods; intense workout in a more compact amount of time
  • Some people complain it can seem “too rushed”

Iron

  • 30 day program
  • Short, 30-minute workouts – primarily weight-lifting with no HIIT workout
  • Relatively simple, ideal for beginners but short rest time in between moves
  • People compare this to a “back to basics” weight-lifting program- focused on progressive overload and increasing strength
30-minute Giant Leg Day; caroline girvan review

Fuel

  • 30 day program
  • Short, 30-minute workouts with cardio bursts in between weight-lifting to get your heart rate up
  • The focus is on increasing stamina, cardio endurance, and strength


Caroline Girvan App Review

OK, so I got tired of repeating her YouTube videos, caved, and bought the app. It is very similar to her YouTube channel, with similar programs. There are some workouts that recommend more equipment than just dumbbells (like a barbell).  Also, there are some additional videos that are not tied to a specific program.

I use my phone for the workouts, I don’t love that you can’t minimize the app without completely exiting out of it. I’m still getting used to the app, and I find that it isn’t the most user-friendly. I have to search for the program I want to do each day, then scroll to the day I am on – which can be a bit annoying. You can choose to schedule your workouts, but that just seems tedious.

Many people use an HDMI cord to cast to their TV screen but there have been complaints that the app pauses or there is just a black screen. Also, I have read many complaint in regards to Android phones.

Overall, I would recommend the app for more variety as she continues to add new programs! If you’re a long time follower of Caroline, it seems worth it. Plus, you get a free 14-day trial!

Caroline Girvan Review: Let Me KNow If You Try!

I write this post in hopes to inspire and encourage others – whether you’re a fitness newbie, a mom struggling to find her post-partum fitness journey, or someone looking to change up their workout routine.

Caroline’s programs provide a challenge while also being FUN and FREE! Did I mention they’re convenient, and can be done at home? There’s also a Caroline Girvan reddit forum and Facebook community if you want that camaraderie and accountability.

While I love Caroline, the best workout is the one that will work for you. Let me know if you try out her workouts! If you’re interested in more YouTube reviews, here’s my review of the top 6 best fitness YouTubers for women

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