the squat to overhead press challenge

Welcome to the next challenge-of-the-month, once again set for us by our fantastic Health and Wellbeing Trainer, Sam. You will need speed, precision and a whole lot of grit. At first glance, you may dismiss it as too simple or too short (but you would be incorrect – once you are in the throes of this challenge, you will be wishing it would end…).

Lasting just one minute, this challenge is designed to push you to your absolute limit, with no time to coast. It expects you to give absolutely everything you have for those 60 seconds. And in return, you can expect an elevated heart-rate and that satisfying body after-burn.

Are you ready? Let’s go:

the challenge: complete as many ‘squat to overhead presses’ in 60 seconds as you can.

equipment requirements: dumbbell set (3kg), stopwatch (or a timer on your phone, oven etc.).
To make this exercise easier or if you do not have access to equipment, you can do this as a body-weight exercise without weights.


muscles being worked: it is important to know which muscle groups you are working, to ensure that you have correct form and body recovery.

  • Primary group muscles: side shoulders, rear shoulders, glute max, quads, hamstrings

  • Secondary muscles: triceps, biceps, lats (back), hip flexors


the squat to overhead press how-to:

  1. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height with feet planted shoulder-width apart.

  2. Push your hips back and lower into a squat, chest upright and knees going in the direction of your toes.

  3. Push through your heels and return to standing. (If you need advice with how to squat, check out our previous squat challenge blog or speak to a member of the Health and Wellbeing Team, who are always present in our gym).

  4. Press dumbbells up overhead and then lower weights to return to starting position.

This challenge is designed to be done multiple times, over different days and times – tou could even incorprate it into your workouts. By repeatedly challenging yourself to this minute-of-squats, you can start to gauge your own personal progress, each time looking back to your previous scores to see if and how you could better that performance.

The number of squats you complete is dependent on your own body. It is important to have realistic expectations for yourself and to ensure that you do not forget form when completing such a speed intensive challenge. Doing one rep correctly is better for your body and your training than one hundred done incorrectly. If you want to, let us know your personal best scores in a comment or on the whiteboard in the gym. Sharing your level and progress can inspire and build confidence in other people who are doing this same challenge too.

This challenge ran in our gym throughout March and into early April. A couple of our trainers have taken videos of themselves completing their one minute challenge to inspire you to join them and to demonstrate correct technique. We have shared the videos above.

If you are looking for more challenges, drop into our gym to see our new challenge up on The Whiteboard (gym, 4th floor) or try the 25 Day Squat Challenge from last month.

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