On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a full body dumbbell workout to get ripped, crush body fat, and maximize the afterburn effect.
That’s right, we are going back inside the gym to complete another descending ladder training workout.
If you’re new to afterburn training, this will probably be a totally different style of training that you’ve never tried before.
This unique workout style works for both men and women.
The exercise combinations and rep ranges are awesome.
This is 1 of the 24 different workouts found in my original Live Lean Afterburn 1.0 workout program.
It’s called Descending Pyramid #1.
Once you own Live Lean Afterburn 1.0, you can simply pull up the workout on your phone to see all the exercises, reps, sets, and rest periods to complete the workout.
All right Live Lean Nation, it’s time to get ripped, so come hit the gym with me and Jess, and we’ll show you how to do it.
Here is today’s full body dumbbell workout to get ripped.
This full body dumbbell workout is specifically designed to challenge you and get you outside of your comfort zone.
So if you’re looking at this workout, and you think it is too hard, just do it.
Even if you’re not sure if you can complete it, you have to at least give it a shot.
To complete a descending ladder training workout, complete each set using a descending number of reps.
For example, for exercise A, you’ll perform 5 reps with your left leg, then 5 reps with your right leg.
Then immediately do 4 reps with your left leg, then 4 reps with your right leg, and so on until you finish with 1 rep per leg.
The purpose of descending ladder training is to extend the duration of the set, so you can keep tension on the muscle for a longer period of time, compared to a typical 30-40 second set.
After the ladder is complete, you get to rest.
See below for the exact number of sets to complete per exercise.
For most people, once they reach the 3rd rep of the ladder, they really start feeling it.
Don’t worry though.
At this point you may be moving a little slower and may need to take a few short breaks in between.
However, one of the reasons we love descending ladder workouts is because as the reps in the ladder decrease, it encourages you to keeping move faster, since the remaining reps continue to decrease from 3 reps left, to 2 reps, then to 1 rep.
This way you have no choice but to finish.
Following a descending ladder rep scheme acts as a mental trick to get you to do more than you would have done, if you were following a traditional high rep range.
So keep going to make sure you get to that last rep.
Once you do, you’re going to feel so accomplished.
Click the links below for a step-by-step exercise demonstration of each exercise from the workout.
Rest: 45 seconds
Notes: the first exercise we’re doing is the dumbbell forward lunge. Complete a total of 5 reps on the left leg first, then switch sides and complete 5 reps on the right leg. Since this is a descending ladder, once you complete 5 reps on both legs, immediately move on to complete 4 reps, then continue down to 1 rep.
Each set of this first descending ladder combo should take just over 1 minute to complete. Once you finish the set, put the weights down and take a quick 45 second rest break. Repeat this set 2 more times.
Coaching cues: to complete the dumbbell forward lunge correctly, make sure you’re lunging forward and landing with all the pressure on the entire platform of your foot, including your heel. Focus on feeling all the tension being created in the muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Also, ensure you are keeping your shoulders pulled back rather than rounding forward.
Rest: 0 seconds
Notes: the next exercise in this workout is the hand walkout. This simply means you will walk your hands out as far as you can, then back in again. This exercise is paired with push ups. So right after you’ve completed 6 reps of hand walkouts, you will immediately complete 6 reps of push ups, with no rest in between.
Coaching cues: if you really want to challenge yourself, rather than stopping in a straight arm plank position, try to go ever further with your arms extended like a superman position. This will put extra stress on your abs, legs, and arms. Then when you walk your hands back in, you can either touch your feet or behind your calves. This will ensure you’ve gone all the way. You’re going to feel this all over your whole body. It’s a tough exercise, but a good one.
Rest: 45 seconds
Notes: after completing 6 reps of hand walkouts, immediately complete 6 reps of push ups. Remember, this is a descending ladder, meaning all the reps are completed within one set. After completing 6 reps of push ups, move right back into completing 5 reps of hand walkouts, then 5 reps of push ups, then 4, 3, 2, and 1. Once you do this, your set is done. After finishing the last rep of each exercise, take your well deserved 45 second break, before completing this set one more time.
Rest: 0 seconds
Notes: let’s move on to our 3rd circuit which consists of 3 exercises. Since this is a descending ladder, you’ll start off by completing 5 reps of dumbbell deadlifts. In the video, I mistakenly was completing a dumbbell squat.
Since there is no break between exercises within the circuit, it is important to select one set of dumbbells that you can complete for every exercise. For me, I selected a pair of 30 pound dumbbells. Although that’s not much weight for the dumbbell deadlift, it is a good amount of weight for the next exercise, which is the standing dumbbell bicep curl, as well as the third exercise, the standing dumbbell shoulder press.
Make sure you choose a weight that is heavy enough that you can still complete the most difficult exercise, but not too heavy so you can’t perform is with proper form.
Rest: 0 seconds
Rest: 45 seconds
Notes: After completing 5 reps of each exercise within circuit C, move on to complete 4 reps, down to 3 reps, down to 2 reps, then down to 1 rep. Keep pushing. As you probably have noticed, you never actually drop the weight from your hands when transitioning from exercise to exercise. This means we’re keeping constant tension on our shoulders and forearms the entire time.
This is going to burn so you may want to stop. But if you can, keep going as long as you can, while using proper form. Remember to keep it safe, but ensure you are pushing yourself. After finishing the set, take your well earned 45 second break, then repeat this circuit one more time.
Rest: 0 seconds
Notes: all right Live Leaners, we are now on the home stretch and so close to the end of this workout. This final circuit acts as the workout finisher burnout. You’ll complete 7 reps of jump squats followed by split jump lunges for 7 reps per leg, then keep it going by continuing down the descending ladder to 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 rep.
Coaching cues: make sure you are using full range of motion with good form. Try to keep each rep as clean as possible, even the last few ones. Even though your legs will be tired, and you will be feeling the burn, make sure you continue to do it anyway.
Rest: 0 seconds
Notes: Get yourself a workout buddy because it really makes it more motivating to keep up with each other at a fast pace. But if you don’t have a workout buddy, just do this by yourself. At this point you should be motivated because you are almost at the end of the workout. So use up that last bit of energy and burn those final calories to set yourself up for that great extended afterburn that you’re going to experience right after this workout. Just one set of this is all it takes. You have just ignited the afterburn.
There you go, in approximately 40 minutes, I burned 505 calories.
Once you try it, you will know know why people get so ripped doing my Live Lean Afterburn 1.0 program.
If this workout was too hard the first time, you can use modifications, go slower, or take some extra breaks in between exercises.
Do whatever you have to do, but remember it’s important to push yourself.
Every time you tackle this descending ladder workout, keep trying to get a little bit better than you were at last time.
This is the style of workouts that will get you ripped and lean.
This is no joke people, we are sweating for real.
To get all 24 workouts, check out my Live Lean Afterburn 1.0 workout program here.
It’s time to program your body to burn fat while you sleep with our Live Lean Afterburn 1.0 workout and nutrition program.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.