First off, head to YouTube and search for the ‘multistage fitness test’ or just click here. It's more commonly known (and dreaded) in sports halls up and down the country as ‘The Bleep Test’ - a simple system devised to estimate your VO2 max.
In this workout challenge, you’re going to be subbing out the traditional cone-to-cone running shuttles for a multi-movement dumbbell complex. You'll be getting in a muscle-building, cardiovascular-conditioning blast with nothing more than a six-foot square of floor space. Crucially, you will also give yourself a tangible target to beat on your next attempt. As well as a bit of friendly competition with your friends, obviously.
"The test involves following an audio recording of a set of timed ‘beeps’, working each time the audio sounds - in this case performing one ‘round’ of our three-move complex," says Men's Health Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey. "The intervals between each beep grow progressively shorter - as soon as you can no longer perform the work before the next beep sounds, your test is over.:
The final beep you managed to successfully complete indicates your score. Let's get going.
1. Devil’s Press x 1
Holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides, 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 both of the dumbbells between your legs explosively (B), then up directly overhead (C). Lower the weights under control and repeat. If you’re working with a single bell, alternate sides each round.
2. Dumbbell Front Rack Squat x 1
After your devil’s press, lower the weight(s) onto your shoulders and take a deep breath (A). Now, drive your hips back and sink down into a squat, your thighs parallel to the floor (B). Drive upward explosively, and stand tall. Hold a single bell in the same position, alternating shoulders each round.
3. Dumbbell push press x 1
(A) Immediately after your squat, take a deep breath and brace your core. Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press both dumbbells overhead. Lower under control to the ground. (If you’re using a single ‘bell, swap arms each round.)
That is one compete ‘round'. Get ready for the next beep…
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