All dumbbells in this 3 round workout. We can choose our weight based off the bench press, as that will likely be the most difficult station. This should be a weight that athletes are capable of completing 25+ when fresh. The dumbbell carries are prescribed at 200 feet (not meters)… set up cones 40 ft apart throughout the gym, in the center of the floor for multiple stations as needed. You can measure based on rubber mats are 4×6. Also line benches up on the outside of the farmers carry area for easy transition to the benches (which you could even put inside the rigs). For a larger class start 3 different groups. One group on the carries, one on the benches, one on the deadlifts.
If low on benches, you may either wait on a bench or complete 20 DB pushups on the ground instead.
“The unwieldiness of two things brings all of the wonderful neurological dynamics that translate to increased strength.” – Greg Glassman. Looking to add in some “odd object” work during this Saturday session. The benefit of dumbbells is similar to that of the rings. The instability of the ring dip makes it a more challenging movement. Practicing the unstable movement makes the stable movement, a bar dip for example, much easier. Similarly, training with dumbbells will work to improve barbell movement and overall strength and body control.
4 Rounds for time of…
200ft Dumbbell Farmers Carry
20 Dumbbell Bench Press
200ft Dumbbell Front Rack Carry
20 Dumbbell Deadlifts
Picture the dumbbells as buckets of water. If the legs were straight and the body rocked side to side, the water would spill all over you and the ground. We want to keep the water in the bucket. A soft bend of the knees throughout keeps the torso upright and the buckets balanced. Taking short, quick steps with the feet also helps with balance and with getting from point A to point B quicker.
Another way to get from point A to point B efficiently is with a slight forward lean. Just like we do during our runs, a subtle lean forward at the ankles allows athletes to use some gravity to their advantage.
FRONT RACK CARRY
With the bells up on the front of the shoulders for the front rack carry, the demand on the midline will be greater. The more stacked the body is here, the easier it will be to support the weight. This means keeping the pelvis tucked under the shoulders. It may be tempting to overextend at the lower body in order to puff the chest out. While puffing the chest out creates a great rack position, we want to do so with a solid foundation. Stacked is supported.
The lower body focus from the farmers carry to the front rack carry remains the same. Keep the knees soft and feet moving quickly. The forward lean here may be a little more subtle than the farmers carry. If the lean is too aggressive, the bells may start to fall off the shoulders. Find that balance of lean and front rack positioning that works for you.
The positioning of the hands and feet changes a little bit moving from a traditional barbell to dumbbells. The feet will be significantly more narrow than with the barbell. This puts a greater focus on mechanics due to an increased range of motion. Like in a barbell deadlift, we still want the hands outside of the legs. We can adjust foot positioning to accomplish this.
Bell Contact: Between, Bottom Bells
Although we’re using dumbbells, the point of contact on the floor will remain constant. Touching the bells on the ground just outside the middle of the foot is ideal. Athletes only have to make one point of contact with the bell. This means they can hold higher up towards the top end of the dumbbell and touch the lower half to the floor.
The bench press is a tricky movement to teach, see, and correct when athletes are spread out through the room and laying down on their benches. To simplify this process, we’ll demonstrate the press from a standing position with a PVC pipe, moving through points of performance in order:
Body: Belly, butt, and quads tight with shoulder blades pinched together.
Hands: With arms in front, hands placed just outside of hip width.
**Elbows: **Elbows at a 45 degree angle off the body. Not too close, not too wide.
Chest Contact: Bells contact at the nipple line.
Bell Path: Bells tracking in a straight line forward and back.
After we get through the big points of performance, there are a few grip options on the dumbbells that we can consider. The first is a neutral grip, where the palms are facing each other. This grip allows athletes to keep the bells very close to the body, but does involve a little more triceps than chest. The second option is the more traditional grip where the palms face away from the head. This gets more chest involved, but the bells can be a little more tricky to control here. We’ll feel out both to give ourselves some options during the workout.
If athletes are going to break on the carries, it is best to do so at the 160 foot mark. This allows them to rest, pick up the bells, complete the last 40 feet, and go right into the next movement. Already holding on to the dumbbells makes it easier to knock out the first set of bench press or deadlifts.
There are a few options on the deadlifts and bench press to consider:
2 Sets: 10-10 or 12-8
3 Sets: 8-7-5
One little thing that can also help athletes minimize extra work is to save the last deadlift for the start of the farmers carry. Breaking at 19 reps and then completing the 20th deadlift on the start of the farmers carry is better than doing 21 deadlifts. Working hard and smart!