Okay it’s Friday. You’ve (hopefully) had a whole week of healthy eating, training and working and now you’re looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend to recover before it all starts again. Instead of the usual Friday gym session, why not try this challenging workout to keep your muscles guessing and earn that extra few hours in bed?

Friday ladder session… Bring plenty of water!

This is a challenging workout session I used to do every week in the Marines, and also still do with the GB Paracanoe team. Not only does it increase muscular strength and endurance but it also keeps the heart working at a high rate throughout.

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The session involves 4 exercises performed as a circuit. 3 compound exercises (working more than one joint) and 1 core exercise. You can choose any that you like but below are my 4 that I believe produce the best results. This can be done on your own but I love competing against a group, or against a partner, the loser buys the coffees!

Earn your relaxed weekend with a challenging workout.

The challenging workout session

Deadlift x 10, 9, 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Pull-up x 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Bench-press x 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Weighted sit-up x 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

Do 10 reps of each exercise with minimal rest in between then straight back to the beginning for 9 reps, and so on….

The only rest you get should be a quick sip of water in between each set. Time how long it takes to perform the 10 sets of decreasing reps (That works out as 55 reps in total for each exercise). Your training partner should spot you throughout, decreasing the weights as you need it, correcting bad technique and always encouraging you!
And speaking of weight, you should start with a weight that you can comfortably do 10 reps of, believe me it will get a lot harder as you go through the sets!

This is a really fun, challenging workout that will test you but give you that big endorphin release to start the weekend on a high. Remember to warm up before with 5 minutes of cardio and dynamic stretching, and cool down afterwards with some static stretching, and gradually bring your heart rate down to its pre-exercise state.
And if you’re competing against a friend, log the exercises you do and the times you get, then you have something to beat next time you do the session.

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