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Improv Workout: Single Barbell and Dumbbell Workout

Stuck in a crowded gym or is equipment limited? Try the single barbell and dumbbell Improv Workout for a hard-hitting, full body session.

Editor's Note: Mike Simone

Improv Workouts is a series of workouts specifically geared for people stuck in jam-packed gyms or are faced with limited equipment such as a single barbell, kettlebell, 45 lb plate or a jump rope. Each week will highlight a unique workout. 


Toronta-based trainer, Lee Boyce provides a workout below that utilizes a single barbell and a pair of dumbbells for a total body workout.

Vertical Push/Pull Workout

A1. Barbell Deadlift – 10 reps

A2. Dumbbell Push Press – 10 reps
* Use dumbbells that represent your 8 to 10 rep max for a typical shoulder press, and thenuse the legs to drive momentum into your movement to create a push press.

>> Rest 2 minutes between supersets.

B1. Barbell Bentover Row – 10-12 reps

B2. Barbell Front Squat - 10 reps
* The “catch” here is that you will have no squat rack. This means the bar has to start from the floor. Clean the weight from the hang position and keep the bar “racked” on the shoulders to start your front squats. Remember to keep your elbows up!

>> Rest 2 minutes between supersets.

C1. Barbell Z Press – 10 reps

C2. Barbell High Pulls – 10 reps

>>Rest 2 minutes between supersets.

This workout should last around 40 minutes and serves as a great conditioning tool for the intermediate lifter who’s stuck with limited equipment or in a crowded space. 

About the Trainer: Lee Boyce

Lee Boyce, CPT is a strength coach based in Toronto, ON. A former Kinesiology Major, Lee competed as a sprinter and long jumper at the National level. His work has been featured in many major magazines including Men's Health, Musclemag, TNATION, and also on national television. For more on Lee, check him out at leeboycetraining.com, @coachleeboyce and Facebook.

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