If the idea of another boring dumbbell circuit is getting you down, switch things up with this tempo-based muscle-builder. Working your shoulders, chest, back and arms, you’ll be alternating between slow, controlled reps, before breaking out into all-out efforts, engorging your muscles with nutrient-rich blood and putting every fibre on blast.
Complete the following circuit five times. "For your push presses and curls, focus on slowly lowering the weights while maintaining tension, taking up to five to six seconds to complete each rep," says Andrew Tracey, fitness editor at Men's Health.
"Once you move onto your push-ups and rows, open up the taps and go for it." Keep your form tight but aim to get the reps moving at an impressive clip, only stopping once you can no longer keep up the pace.
You should be aiming for at least 20-30 reps. Rest for 2 minutes at the end of each round, before going again.
5 ROUNDS OF:
1) Dumbbell Push Press x 10
Lift a pair of dumbbells onto your shoulders, palms facing in. Take a breath and brace your core (A). Dip at the knees and use your legs to help press both weights overhead to lockout (B). Lower under control, taking a 4 count to bring them down, fighting them all the way and repeat. Focus on keeping your head up and breathing – even if you’re blowing hard.
2) Push-Up x Max Reps
Drop onto your dumbbells and assume a long arm plank position, with your core tight and your hands below your shoulders (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively, immediately drop back to the deck and repeat, nailing 1-2 reps every second for as long as you can is your goal here.
3) Bicep Curl x 5 reps on each arm
Stand tall with a pair of dumbbells at your sides, your palms facing towards you (A). With minimal momentum, curl one of your dumbbells upwards, turning your palm in, until your little fingers are near your shoulders (B). Squeeze here and lower the weight under control taking a 4 count to bring them down. Alternate sides each rep.
4) Bent Over Row x Max Reps
After your final curl, lower your dumbbells and hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor, dumbbells hanging at your shins (A). Maintaining a flat back, row both dumbbells towards your torso (B), squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower under control to the start before repeating. Control the bells and avoid moving your torso but keep repping out in a piston like motion until you’re forced to slow down.
Rest 2 minutes between rounds and repeat for a total of 5 rounds
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