This Dumbbell Challenge Uses the 'Death By' Protocol for a Chest, Back and Shoulder Pump

Andrew Tracey
·2-min read
Photo credit: Marc Romanelli
Photo credit: Marc Romanelli

In this workout, you'll be using just two dumbbells and functional movements with a deceptive and ascending rep scheme to build strength and size across your chest, back and shoulders. You'll also be working on improving your stamina and steamrolling through calories for good measure.

You’re going to be utilising the grimly-named ‘Death By…’ protocol. Start a running clock and at the beginning of each new minute, perform one rep of each of the movements below. Easy as that.

There is a catch, obviously. Each new minute you’ll add an additional rep to the count for every movement. On minute one, you’ll perform a single rep of each move. On minute two, you’ll perform two of each and minute three is three of each until you run out of time. You get the picture.

The workout ends when you can no longer fit the prescribed number of reps into the minute. Or you give up. Whichever comes first is fine.

1) Push-Up on Dumbbells x 1,2,3,4, etc…

After your final row keep your hands on your bells and move straight into push-ups. Your wrists, elbows and shoulders should be directly above one another: think about creating a rigid frame from ankles to head (A). Flex at the elbow, lowering your body, and pause as your chest touches the floor (B). Push up explosively. Repeat.

2) Renegade Row x 1,2,3,4, etc…

After your final snatch, drop into a strong plank with one hand on your dumbbell (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control. Complete half of your set, then switch sides and finish with the other arm.

3) Dumbbell Hang Clean x 1,2,3,4, etc…

Grab your dumbbells, standing tall holding them at your sides, hinge at the hips to lower them to your knees (A). Stand back up explosively with a slight jump, using the momentum to pull the dumbbells on to your shoulders (B). Stand up straight, then lower under control to your sides and repeat

4) Push Press x 1,2,3,4, etc…

Clean your 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 (B) press your dumbbells overhead. Lower under control to your shoulders and dip straight into the next rep.

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