Be Well Workout of the Week: The Power Gauntlet

Work your body from head to toe with this week's killer sweat session.



This week’s workout is a test of your speed and power. Choose weights on the heavier side, and get ready to work your way down a repetition ladder, starting with 10 reps of each exercise, then eight reps, then six, then four, and finally two.

Move quickly between exercises, with little rest, but be sure to maintain good form. You have three different exercise circuits, so complete the entire rep ladder for Circuit 1 before moving on to Circuit 2. Between each repetition round, take a 30-second break. Between each circuit, take a one-minute break.

Here are your exercises. 

Be Well Workout of the Week: The Power Gauntlet

Repetition ladder sequence: 10-8-6-4-2

Circuit 1
Chest flies
Tricep extensions

Circuit 2
Dead lift
Reverse fly
Ski jumpers
Squat overhead press

Circuit 3
Weighted sit-ups
Lunge and press (*Do all reps on the right, then left.)
Plank row
Bicep curls

Explanation of exercises

Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Chest fly: Lying on your back (it’s easiest on a bench), hold a weight in each hand with arms up over your chest. Drop arms to the sides until they are straight out from your shoulders and raise them back up, contracting in your chest.

Tricep extensions: Holding a dumbbell with both hands, behind your head. Raise the dumbbell directly above your head, toward the ceiling. Return the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat.

Burpee: Just like an up-down in football. Put your hands on the ground, jump your feet out behind you so you’re in push-up position, lower to the ground, bring your feet back in, and stand up.

Deadlifts with dumbbells: Hold dumbbells with arms extended down so they’re resting on your thighs, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping shoulders back and abs tight (and without locking your knees), bend at the hips and let the weights lower towards the floor, going as far as you can without bending your knees too much. Drive your heels in to the floor and stand to return to the starting position.

Reverse fly: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the waist. Holding a weight in each hand (palms facing towards each other), keep your arms slightly bent and using your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting your hands to the side.

Ski jumpers: Start in a skier’s stance (like a squat, but bent forward at the waist slightly). Using your arms for momentum, jump up and to the left, landing on both feet. Jump to the right. Repeat.

Squat with overhead press: Hold free weights at your shoulders, and do a squat. As you stand back up, press the weights over your head.  Return them to your shoulders as you squat back down.

Weighted sit-up: Holding a weight across your chest, lie on your back with feet on the floor and knees bent. Put your hands behind your ears. Without pulling on your neck and using only your abs, lift your shoulders off the mat and come to a full sit-up position. Lie back down slowly.

Lunge with overhead press: Stand in a split position, left leg forward, holding a dumbbells in each hand at your shoulders, palms facing forward. Drop into a lunge, keeping your knee over the ankle and bending the left leg to 90 degrees. As you drop, press the weights up toward the ceiling. Pause when you’re full extended then return to the starting position. Do all reps with left leg forward, then switch to right leg forward and do all reps.

Plank row: In a push-up position with your hands on free weights, row one weight up and back, keeping your hips square to the floor and squeezing your shoulder blade. Lower and repeat on the other side.

Bicep curls: Hold dumbbells at your side with palms facing forward. Pretend your elbows are glued to your midsection and curl the weight toward your shoulders, keeping your upper arm still. Slowly return your weight to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

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