The Big Weekend Workout: Can You Defeat Our Dumbbell Ladder Challenge?

David Morton

From Men's Health

The 'ladder' workout format sees you working back-and-forth between two exercises, in this instance an unholy hybrid of the devil's press and thruster, coupled with bodyweight squats. The reps of the 'Devil's Own Thruster' start at 10 and decrease down to one - the squats start at 10 and go up to 20. And there endeth the session.

“Pace and breathe steadily through the hybrid movement," says Andrew Tracey, vile genius and Men's Health fitness editor. "Theres a lot of up and down but try to maintain tension to avoid getting the wind knocked out of you.”

The prisoner squats, unbelievably, are an opportunity to recover. The steadier you go here, the more capable you’ll be when you pick the weights up again.

“Try not to break any of the sets of thrusters. The minute you put that dumbbell down you’ve got to get it back up," warns Tracey. "If you need to stop, do it when the weight is on the ground.”

Offer up a prayer to your preferred higher power. Then prepare thyself for a little suffering.

1. Dumbbell Devil’s Press into Thruster x 10-1 (each side)

Holding the dumbbells or dumbbell by your side, drop down into a press-up position (A) and perform a burpee. As you begin to stand up from the burpee, use the momentum to swing the dumbbell between your legs explosively (B), then up directly overhead (C).

Lower the weight under control onto your shoulder, immediately squat down, keeping your back straight and your chest up, until your thighs are beyond parallel to the ground (A). Stand back up explosively and, in one motion, press the dumbbell overhead to full lockout (B). Now, reverse the movement and bring the dumbbell to the ground. This is one rep. Alternate arms until you have completed prescribed reps on BOTH sides (ie 10 left and 10 right= 10 reps). Remove a rep from each side each round.

2. Prisoner squats x 10-20 reps

Stand tall with your hands on the top of your head (A). Bend at your knees, maintaining an upright torso until the crease of your hips sinks below your knees (B). Stand up, then go again. Go steady and breathe - this is your 'rest', after all. Start at 10 reps and add an additional rep each round until you reach a final round of 20. Best of luck.

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