Here’s a quick full-body workout you can do at home, at the gym, or anywhere else you find a set of dumbbells and about 15 minutes.
“We’re going to do a descending ladder,” says Ben Lauder-Dykes, an instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. “We’re going to pick three moves, and we’re going to start with 10 reps of each move. Then, when you come back to the start, we go nine, nine nine; eight, eight, eight; seven, seven, seven, until you finish the ladder at one rep.”
In other words, you’ll drop one rep from each set with each successive round of the circuit until you’ve completed your final round with just one rep of each exercise.
The exercises that Lauder-Dykes chose to include in this circuit are the lunge, the biceps curl, and the burpee, effectively making this a full-body workout. You’ll be hitting your legs, core, chest, traps, biceps, and triceps—all in under 15 minutes.
“The first few rounds are going to be hard,” Lauder-Dykes says. “Just focus on getting through the movements, and then, once you get to six reps or lower, you can start to speed up.”
Lauder-Dykes suggests timing yourself the first time you do this workout and then challenging yourself to complete it faster the next time.
A great thing about the descending ladder format is that you can plug in other exercises based on your fitness goals. For example, you could use it to easily create a challenging abs circuit by plugging in exercises like the dragon flag, bicycle, and plank up-down.
Remember, everyone has abs—you just need to burn enough fat to see them.
By Dean Stattmann