Get Lean With This 20-Minute Dumbbell

We have a warning for you before you embark on this workout. It’s, er, a bit challenging. The good news, though, is that the reason it’s so hard is also the reason it’s so effective. Instead of using a sequence of exercises that target different muscle groups, this workout involves doing pairs of exercises that target the same muscle group.

You start with a pair that works your chest, then move on to a pair that works your back and finish with a pair of lower-body moves. That may not seem particularly difficult, but doing back-to-back exercises that work the same muscles combined with not having rest periods between those moves will provide a real test to both your lungs and your muscles.

But if you grind it out, you’ll see incredible levels of fat loss and size gains.

How to do the workout:

Do the six exercises in order, sticking to the reps detailed, without resting until you finish all the reps of the sixth and final move of the circuit. Rest for two minutes, then repeat the circuit. Do three circuits in total. As you progress you can add another circuit.

1. Incline bench press:

How to:

  • Lie on a bench set at a 30-45° incline holding dumbbells at chest height with your elbows below your wrists.
  • Press the weights directly overhead and squeeze your pecs at the top of the move, then lower back to the start.

Reps: 10 Rest: 0sec

2. Incline dumbbell flye:

How to:

  • Lie on a bench set at a 30-45° incline holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face with your arms straight.
  • Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights to the sides in an arc, then contract your pecs to raise them again.

Reps: 10 Rest: 0sec

3. Prone row:

How to:

  • Lie on a bench set at a 30-45° incline holding a dumbbell in each hand, allowing them to hang straight down.
  • Row the dumbbells up to your sides, leading with your elbows.
  • Squeeze your back muscles at the top of the move.

Reps: 10 Rest: 0sec

4. Prone reverse flye:

How to:

  • Lie on a bench set at a 30-45° incline holding a dumbbell in each hand, allowing them to hang straight down.
  • Without shrugging your shoulders, raise the weights out to the sides in an arc, keeping your arms straight.

Reps: 10 Rest: 0sec

5. Dumbbell squat:

How to:
  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the hips and knees simultaneously to lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor, then straighten up.

Reps: 10 Rest: 0sec

6. Split squat:

How to:

  • Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet in a staggered stance, approximately a metre apart.
  • Bend both knees simultaneously until your back knee is nearly touching the floor, then straighten back up.

Reps: 10 each side Rest: 2min