A 40-Min Functional Bodybuilding Session for Summer Strength

A 40-Min Functional Bodybuilding Session for Summer Strength

If swole before summer really kicks in is your goal, then functional bodybuilding is your express ticket. Fusing the pumpy goodness of isolation exercises with the metabolic conditioning elements from the CrossFit sphere, it keeps you moving, working and building throughout your session. Rather than sitting around resting all the time.

MH Elite coach and founder of Battle Cancer Scott Britton has teamed up with Battle Cancer team member and coach at Move Forward Gym Justine Kachaeva, to bring you an upper-body functional bodybuilding session that uses only a single dumbbell.

Scott and Justine have provided two levels of movements throughout. You can choose the one that best fits your experiences, or mix and match to work around any limitations.

You’re going to be doing 10 reps each of seven exercises, every five minutes for a total of 40 minutes. Aim for good reps over speed but then rest for any of the five minute window you have left, before starting a new round when the next five minutes rolls around. You tot up eight rounds of muscle-growing sweetness by the end.

Read on for Scott’s tips on hitting the workout right, watch him and Justine demo the movements, then find the two options below.

Warm up

You need your wrists and core nice and ready for this one. I suggest an easy 5-10-minute EMOM of down-ups and push-ups, with low numbers of reps. Focus on feeling the stretch through your wrists and shoulders. Squeeze your core to get that ready, too.


This is very much a functional bodybuilding workout, so the focus is on quality, not speed. The idea is you want good, clean reps. The burpees are in there just to keep your heart rate up, so you’ve got a bit of HIIT going on, too.


During the workout, try and progress the weight if you have more than one dumbbell available, upping it each round. Start you first couple of rounds at a really achievable weight but then build. You want to be really struggling to hit the 10 reps be the end.


Every 5 mins for 40 mins:

Level One

10 x Goblet Floor Press

10 x Bent Over Row (left)

10 x Goblet Shoulder-to-Overhead

10 x Down Up

10 x Goblet Floor Press

10 x Bent Over Row (right)

10 x 10 x Goblet Shoulder-to-Overhead

Level Two

10 x Floor Press (left)

10 x Renegade Row (left)

10 x Shoulder-to-Overhead (left)

10 x Burpee

10 x Floor Press (right)

10 x Renegade Row (right)

10 x Shoulder-to-Overhead (right)

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