How To Do The Devil Press For Strength And Size


Dumbbell burpee AND a double dumbbell snatch…..sounds terrible. That must be why this combination is named the “Devil Press”. The Devil Press is a general back and shoulder workout aimed at increasing muscular endurance. It can be used for strength but it’s best left toward the end of your workout.

You’re going to want to grab two dumbbells at the same weight and perform a burpee then a dumbbell snatch at the top of the rep.

Begin with the dumbbells on the ground. Perform a burpee with your chest touching the floor. Now you’ll want to jump to your feet while still holding the dumbbells. At this point you can snatch or swing both of the dumbbells up. To finish the movement you want to lock out overhead with your hips, knees, shoulders and arms locked out. It’s important to note, you can swing the dumbbells.

While the Devil Press is a fantastic CrossFit movement, it can be used by physique competitor to build detail into their upper back and shoulders while increasing their calorie expenditure.

Here’s my 6 favorite Devil Press WODs from around the internet

Hands Up- 4 Rounds For Time
10 Devil Press (2x50 or 40 lbs)
20 meter dual dumbbell walking Lunges (2x50/40 lbs)
10 Toes To Bars

At Home Devil Press WOD- 3 Rounds For Time
20 dumbbell Deadlifts (2x50/35 lbs)
10 Dumbbell Cossack Squats (50/35 lbs)
10 Dumbbell Devil Press (2x50/35)

Row To Hell For Time
2,000 meter row
30 devil Presses (2x50/35 lbs)

AMRAP in 9 Minutes
Devil Press (2x50/35 lb)
Wall Balls (20/14 lbs)

Gut Check For Time
30 Devil Press (2x50/35 lbs)
60 Dumbbell Thrusters (2x 50/35 lb)
90 Burpees

12 Rounds For Time
5 Handstand Push Ups
7 Devil Press (2x22)
19 Weighted Squats
48 Double Unders

Be cautious when programming the devil press. I prefer to go lighter on the weight and use the movement as an accessory piece to heavier work as you can quickly get fatigued.

Can You Do The Devil Press With A Barbell? Yes

Up until now, most of the devil press workouts or training guides you find online have to do with dumbbells. For easy of use of course. While I imagine that you can conceive of a way to do the devil press with a barbell, I'd advise against it.

That's not to suggest that you should perform Devil Press + Barbell workouts in your routinely relatively regularly. Listen, nothing enhance muscle power as much as a heavy barbell.  As we've establish, the devil press can build functional muscle, increase shoulder endurance strength and pack a big cardio punch but do you know where it really earns its nickname?


When you pair it with a barbell! Here's four Devil Press Plus Barbell Workouts.

“Bandersnatch 569”

AMRAP (with a Partner) in 26 minutes
100 Kettlebell Swings (70/53 lb)
80 Toes-to-Bars
60 Shoulder-to-Overheads (135/95 lb)
40 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
20 Devil Presses (2x50/35 lb)

On a 26-minute clock, perform as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written. Only one athlete work at a time. Switch as necessary. No minimum work required for each athlete.

“Richard Galletly”

3 Rounds for Time
10 Power Cleans (55/40 kg)
6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
89 calorie Row/Ski/Air Bike (switch each round)
Cash-Out: 11 Devil Presses (22.5/15 kg)
Wear a Weight Vest (10/8 kg)

Perform the 89 calories on a rower for round 1, on a skierg for round 2, and on an air bike for round 3.

“Devil In, Devil Out”
• Buy in: 15 devil presses

• Then, 3 rounds of:
• 8 burpees
• 12 DB snatches
• 16 toes to bar

• Cash out: 15 devil presses


Can The Devil Press Increase Your Cardio And Endurance For Crossfit?

We've discussed a few times how the Devil Press can increase your aerobic endurance since its a full body routine that really challenges your lungs due to the drops in your levels. Considering the devil press is typically programmed with higher reps, you can see why it's a good cardio routine and can build an endurance base.

But what if the Devil Press was paired with the assault air bike or ski erg? If the entire point of your workout was simply to increase your aerobic capacity? Well the Devil Press can slot right in as a strength move when you're out of breath and trying to recover.

Here's three Devil Press WODS with the Assault Air Bike. The first one is my favorite.

Pedal With The Devil

• For Time:
• 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2
• Assault Bike Calories
• 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20
• Single Arm Devil Press (50/35#)

Score is your total time!
You will complete 20 calories on the assault bike and 2 alternating single arm devil press…then 18 calories and 4 devil press, 16 and 6, 14 and 8, and so on until you finish with 2 calories on the assault bike and 20 alternating single arm devil press


• For Time
• 15/10 calorie Echo Boke
• 13 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
• 9 Dumbbell Devil Presses (2x70/50 lb)
• 13 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
• 15/10 calorie Echo Bike

• Time Cap: 5 minutes
With a running clock, complete the prescribed work in the order written as fast as possible
Score is the time on the clock when the last calorie of the Echo Bike is completed.

• For Time
• 20/16 calorie Assault Bike
• 80 Double-Unders
• 40/32 calorie Assault Bike
• 120 Double-Unders
• 60/48 calorie Assault Bike
• 240 Double-Unders
• 24 Devil Presses (2x50/35 lb)

• Time Cap: 22 minutes