A Pyramid Workout That Will Leave You Time for … Tabata!

When I make up my own workouts, I often have to trick myself into whatever series my brain drummed up. I have to play with time intervals on the treadmill and rep counts for simple strength drills or else I’ll get bored and find a way to get out of finishing it. This workout is the result of my attempt to trick my brain and body into sticking with a tough workout without realizing what’s coming for it. This 30-minute workout is a pyramid workout of reps, starting at one rep and increasing by 10 reps all the way up to 50, then back down to one (more or less).

All you need is a set of medium and heavy dumbbells.

Here’s how the next 30 minutes are going to go down:

  • Tabata round of burpees
  • 10 weighted squat cross-reaches
  • 20 flutter kicks
  • 30 1 arm dumb bell snatches (15 right, 15 left)
  • 40 Planks + reach around for ankle
  • 50 burpees
  • 40 weighted squat cross-reaches
  • 30 flutter kicks
  • 20 1 arm dumb bell snatches (10 right, 10 left)
  • 10 Planks + reach around for ankle
  • 1 Tabata round of favorite exercise of choice from the above

There are only 5 moves in the set. You’ll go through them all in the same order. First you’ll increasing reps by 10 then you’ll decreasing reps by 10. The only exceptions are the first and last sets. First, you’ll do one Tabata set (meaning eight rounds of :20 of work and :10 of rest) of burpees. On your last round, instead of burpees, pick a different move from the set for your Tabata finisher.

These are the moves:

Burpees: Squat down, touching the floor and jump back into a plank. Lower down to the floor, allowing your chest to touch the floor, staying in control. Push back up, jump forward into your squat position again and jump into the air, clapping overhead. asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee_1

Weighted squat cross-reaches: Hold two medium dumbbells at your chest. Squat down and as you stand, reach your right arm across and up diagonally as you rotate your hips slightly left and stretch through your right foot. Land back in a squat and then repeat on the left.
asweatlife_invertedworkout_squat4 asweatlife_invertedworkout_squat3 asweatlife_invertedworkout_squat2

Flutter kicks: Lie flat on your back. Either place your hands underneath your glutes to keep your low back protected or hands out to a T beside you for more core work. Keep your belly pulled towards your spine as you hover your feet six inches to one foot off the ground and switch kick your feet with control, slowly lifting one foot higher than the other and alternate.
asweatlife_invertedworkout_flutter3 asweatlife_invertedworkout_flutter2 asweatlife_invertedworkout_flutter1

Snatches: Start with one of your heavy dumbbells on the ground. Squat down and grab the weight. Pressing up quickly from your squat, create momentum using your legs and start to pull weight straight up along the body and overhead. Use momentum to get the weight overhead and bring your arm into a locked-out position with your shoulders stacked over hips. Bend your knees as the weight travels back down your body and you land back in your squat. Perform half the set on the right then switch arms.

There are a lot of intricacies to the dumb bell snatch, so if you’ve never done these before, watch this video.

Planks + reach around for ankle: From a plank position and keeping your butt as low as possible (avoid piking your hips up), bend your knees and reach your right hand to touch your right ankle or shin, then come back to your plank. Repeat on the left. Each reach for an ankle = 1 rep. (i.e. right = 1, left = 1).

(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.