You don’t necessarily need access to the sort of equipment you’d only find in Mat Fraser’s garage to get the metabolic conditioning hit of a full-dose CrossFit WOD. In fact, as MH Elite coach Scott Britton consistently proves, with the right workout structure and a single dumbbell, you can push your body further than you thought you were capable of.
More than that, the founder and force behind Battle Cancer CrossFit Challenge, a global fitness fundraising event series, Scott is an expert in programming challenges that require more than endurance of muscle, or capacity of lung – they are a true test of your mental strength.
Because, as it is with a hypertrophy bro-down that bulks up your biceps, exposing your mind to resistance increases your mental brawn. After the last year, that is something certainly worth investing a little sweat into.
You’re going to be performing three dumbbell movements in an ascending ladder, going up in threes, with a 15-minute time cap. But the real test of your mettle begins after a 5-minute rest. You’re going to descend down the ladder in threes from where you finished in part one, culminating with a final set of three reps of each movement.
MAKE SURE YOU WARM UP
This is a long workout and requires your muscles, lungs and heart rate to be working properly. Try 2 x 3-minute warmups. This can be a small version of the workout itself or, even just 30 seconds of running with 30 seconds rest for 3 min sessions. Then break for a minute and repeat.
STICK ON SOME MUSIC
Running playlists are your best bet, as they are amazing at setting your pace and heart rate. Search for a mix that is over 140bpm – this is going to be the dream HR zone for this workout and that subconscious beat will help pace, survive and smash this workout.
TAKE A NOTE OF YOUR SPLITS
Aim to hit that reverse of the ladder hard and make yourself proud. Add some responsibility to that second part and set your own target, most people give up and slow down on individual workouts when there is no incentive. If you beat that time reward yourself with a pizza or the like. If you don’t quite beat the clock, do an extra 30 burpees at the end…
THINK ABOUT MOVEMENT
This workout is designed to fatigue you physically and challenge your mind. When you’re tired and the lactic acid is really kicking in, try and focus on how your body is moving, instead of the pain. Tweak your movements to make them more efficient and you will feel it less upstairs. If that’s your sort of mindfulness, then we’re on the same page.
Here’s the workout. You can perform the movements with two dumbbells, as per our instructions, or a single weight like Scott does. So no excuses for WFH warriors.
3-6-9-12-15-18 ascending of:
1) Dumbbell Burpee Deadlift
Start standing with your dumbbells at waist height, arms straight (A). Now drop into a burpee, keeping your hands on the handles, making sure your chest touches the floor at the bottom. Jump your feet back up towards your hands, then engage your glutes to perform a deadlift (B) as you come back to standing.
2) Dumbbell Lunge
Standing tall, hold your dumbbells with straight arms by your sides (A). Keeping your chest up at all times, take a long step forward with one leg, bending your front knee until the back knee touches the ground (B). Stand up explosively, pause, and repeat with the other leg,
3) Dumbbell Hang snatch
Hold your dumbbells at your sides, then hinge at the hips to lower them to your knees (A). Stand back up with a slight jump, using the momentum to pull the dumbbells up, keeping the close to your body before punching them straight overhead (B). Stand up straight, then lower under control to your sides and repeat.
Rest 5 minutes then start a descending ladder from where you finished, going down in threes until you reach 3 reps of each. Stay strong of mind and keep going. The rest of your day will feel infinitely easier afterwards.
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