To reap the muscle-building benefits of progressive overload you need to stick to your strength training plan, which means repeating the same workouts day after day, week after week. Let’s be honest: After a while that can start to feel a tad, well, repetitive, leading to boredom, mental fatigue and a sudden dip in motivation.
That’s when it can pay to have a few workout finishers in your back pocket to liven up your routine and provide a fresh challenge. Finishers are typically short workouts you can tack on to the end of a session to fire up your heart rate or target specific muscle groups.
This finisher was created by Gede Foster, personal trainer and director of fitness and performance for digital fitness platform Fiit, and is a straightforward metabolic conditioning workout. You’re probably familiar with most, if not all, of the moves and when combined they make for a tough but rewarding workout.
“This finisher is designed to target your anaerobic energy system, training your body to work without oxygen and build your tolerance to hard efforts,” says Foster. “Ideally, your beats per minute (bpm) should reach between 80-90% of your maximum heart rate.”
All you need is a pair of light to medium dumbbells. “This workout should be completed as fast as possible, so my advice would be to choose a moderate weight that allows you to work without stopping for each of the movements,” says Foster.
Take a look at the Instagram reel below, where Foster demonstrates each of the exercises.
A photo posted by on
Foster’s finisher uses a ladder format, meaning you’ll complete 10 reps of each exercise, then nine reps of each, then eight, seven, six, and so on until you hit one rep. Aim for a consistent pace throughout the workout so you don’t get too fatigued too early and have to take lots of rest.
The workout pairs well with a more traditional strength session, like this gym-based leg workout or a session from this gym workout routine. That’s because Foster’s finisher will help you build muscle, while also challenging your cardiovascular system, for double the gains in half the time.
Another benefit of finisher workouts like this is that they increase the amount of calories you burn, even after you finish exercising. “These high-intensity workouts boost your metabolism and promote excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, meaning you will continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after you finish,” Foster says.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.