21-Day HIIT Ladder Challenge

Push your muscle endurance to the edge, making you stronger and more toned all over.

21-Day HIIT Ladder Challenge

Having trouble losing weight where it matters? HIIT workouts can help you create an amazing body due to their dual-action benefits. They not only burn cardio non-stop while you exercise, but they also promote lean muscle growth which helps burn fat even when you’re not working out. Combine these benefits with a ladder challenge that is meant to test your endurance, and you’ll be in for a unique workout plan. This 21-Day HIIT Ladder Challenge will push your muscle endurance to the edge, making you stronger and more toned all over.

Ladder workouts are essentially climbing to the top and then climbing back down, like you would on any ladder. The workouts start off easy because the idea of doing one of anything sounds simple. Eventually, as you climb up the ladder and increase your reps as you cycle through each exercise, your muscles will start to feel the fatigue. Once you hit the peak of your ladder reps, you’ll reverse the number of reps until the last, single rep you perform of each exercise becomes the toughest part of the entire workout!

We combined a ladder workout with a HIIT workout to test your mental and physical endurance. It will also reward you with a great body for all your hard work. No real rest or relief; just non-stop work to hit the top and make it back down!

21-Day HIIT Ladder Challenge

What to Do: 

Follow the workout challenge according to your fitness level as outlined below. Each day, you’ll start with a different exercise, but you’ll still follow the exercises in sequence until you’ve completed all six. Once you hit the target number for your fitness level, reverse the quantity until you’re back at one. The bad news is there is no rest between exercises. The good news is you only have to do this once! See the sample workout below for more details on how to perform the ladder.

What You’ll Need:

A yoga mat, an interval timer (available on most phones), and one set of medium-heavy dumbbells (see below for suggested weights).

Beginner Challenge: Climb up the ladder of exercises until you hit 9 reps, then reverse until you complete 1 rep of each exercise. Use 10-15 pound dumbbells.

Intermediate Challenge: Climb up the ladder of exercises until you hit 10 reps, then reverse until you complete 1 rep of each exercise. Use 15-20 pound dumbbells.

Advanced Challenge: Climb up the ladder of exercises until you hit 11 reps, then reverse until you complete 1 rep of each exercise.. Use 20-25 pound dumbbells.

  1. Burpees
  2. Bicep Curl
  3. Pushups
  4. Dumbbell Squat
  5. Tricep Kickback
  6. 2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge

Sample Workout Based on Beginner Level:

Cycle through 1 rep of Burpees, Bicep Curls, Pushups, Dumbbell Squats, Tricep Kickback, 2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge. Next, cycle through 2 reps of the same sequence. Continue up the ladder (3 reps, 4 reps, etc) until you complete 9 reps of each exercise. Then, reverse and climb down the ladder by completing 8 reps of the same sequence to start, and continue to decrease the reps (7 reps, 6 reps, etc) until you’re back at one.

Week One

Compliment this 21-day HIIT ladder challenge with our 28-Day Weight Watchers Meal Plan to make sure you’re refueling and energized for your next workout.

Day 1: Burpees
Day 2: Pushups
Rest Day 3
Day 4: Bicep Curls
Day 5: Burpees
Rest Day 6
Day 7: 2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge

Week Two

fat-burning workout

Now that the first week is over, bump your ladder number up one.

Day 8: Dumbbell Squat
Day 9: 
Rest Day 10
Day 11: Tricep Kickbacks
Rest Day 12
Day 13: 2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge
Day 14: Bicep Curls

Week Three

weight loss

The last week! Keep your same ladder number but perform the routine in reverse (e.g. Bicep curls, Burpees, etc).

Day 15: Bicep Curls
Day 16: Burpees
Rest Day 17
Day 18: Tricep Kickback
Day 19: 2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge
Rest Day 20
Day 21: Burpees



Bicep Curls


Dumbbell Squat

Tricep Kickback

2-Step Dumbbell Front Rack Lunge

Feeling accomplished after the 21-Day HIIT Ladder Challenge? Good, but the work doesn’t stop here! Jump into our 28-Day HIIT Bodyweight Workout Challenge to keep the HIIT benefits coming.

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Trainer Clifford

Clifford is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a lover of all things health, fitness, personal development, and community. When he's not cycling, hiking, or exploring new food recipes, he works to help others achieve personal growth.

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  1. Just looking for clarification.

    The first week you climb the ladder from one rep of each to nine reps and back from day one
    Or do you progress up to nine during the first week?

    1. Hi Jane!

      You would climb up from one rep of each exercise and continue until you hit nine reps and then back down to 1. That will count as a single workout. So just like your example: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.

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