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Training Partner Challenges


I am sure some of you have heard of the Cosgrove Evil 8 which i generally like to do now and again if I have a short period of time to train in.

However, my friend and I came up with a workout which we challange eachother with, so, we would both start at the same time and see who can go doing this complex style move the longest without dropping the bar/dumbbells

DB Clean

Do it as many times as you can and whoever drops the weight first or gives up gets the beers/shakes/platter of meat from the butchers

Does anyone else have anything else to suggest for me and my colleague to keep the training/working away more interesting?


Just as an aside, it can be tricky to work isolation lifts (like curls) into complexes because they'll generally limit the weight you can use for the bigger movements, unless you do something like double the amount of reps with the bigger stuff or use some "body english" to move the curls.

I totally get that working curls with a partner is an awesome thing, but maybe swap it out of that complex for an upright row or high pull. (Just a suggestion)

"I go, you go" sessions where your only rest is during the other guy's set is always a killer and works great for really blasting any one exercise.

CT Fletcher's style of "keep the weight moving using any means/ugly form necessary, first to quit loses" has its merits, but is also an easy way to tweak something and open yourself up to injury.

Dan John has discussed a bunch of challenges in various articles.

Last year (and intending again this year), we did a little 365-rep challenge for New Year's. 365 total reps, combined from one upper body and one lower body move (180-185 total reps each). Maybe give that a go and see which guy finishes first.


I like challenges to be simple but brutal. My personal favourites (in no particular order) are:

Bodyweight squat for reps challenge (you can always do one more, seriously)

Every minute on the minute sets (personal favourite is one powerclean and 3 front squats at bodyweight but trap bar deadlifts are always good fun too)

Weighted carries for distance (or even walking lunges for distance if you're feeling especially Crossfit-ey)

100 reps (again, I like front squats). Add 5 pull-ups (or something that won't interfere with then main lift much) everytime you re-rack the bar.

There's a million different possible challenges, just remember not to let the novelty of them interfere with the main meat and potatoes of your training.


I like "death by..." rep schemes where you do 1 rep the first minute, 2 the second, 3 the third and so on. That way it keeps the challenge to somewhat of a time cap. For instance I did it with pullups and completed 17 minutes worth, Had some of my groups I teach do it with pushups once and the max in that group was 16 minutes.


I also love these. Again, with front squats from the floor. Never tried it with any other lifts though, sounds fun.


Big fan of the aforementioned "every minute on the minute" and "death by..." challenges with pull-ups and push-ups.

A favorite traveling workout (if there's no hotel gym or place to work out) is 10 perfect/strict push-ups EMOM until my form starts to deteriorate (I can usually last about 20 minutes). As a partner challenge this could be either both guys going together EMOM, or Chris Colucci's suggested I-go-you-go pattern would work too.

Ecchastang, I'm not so proficient as you are with pull-ups (read: I'm fatter than you are), so my version of that "death by" challenge (to get a few more sets in than I'd have been able to otherwise) was starting with 1 rep and counting upwards until failure, then changing the grip and starting over (i.e. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 regular chins, 1-2-3-4-5-6 neutral chins, 1-2-3-4 overhand pull-ups, something like that). I only max out around 12 pull-ups completely fresh, so this let me get a bit more volume in.


One of my favorites is picking 5 bodyweight exercises and doing 100 reps of each, and see who can do it the fastest. Do them in any order, and any number of reps per "set", as long as you get 100 reps on each.

Prisoner squats

My best time was just under 25:00. The burpees really make this suck.


Burpees make everything suck


I have done that with pullups, pushups, situps and squats. Did all 100 of one before moving to the next and took 16:48.


My training partner and I occasionally finish a workout off with some plate holds for time. We do three sets for time and the person who has the best total time wins. We use two bumper plates in each hand to make it a little more challenging. We've been using a 15lb and a 25lb plate in each hand but you could obviously use any combination depending on how long you want the holds to go on for.


Great feedback guys, thanks.

I'll take these on board next week. I used to do a lot of EMOM when i went to crossfit. But due to work i had to sack that off

Thanks again