Blast calories and build strength with two dumbbells and these three exercises

This speedy workout packs a punch!

Woman doing dumbbell squat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some days time just isn't on our side for a full blown workout, but that doesn't mean you have to cancel out your session altogether. This AMRAP workout is just 12 minutes and will fire up your lower and upper body muscles, burning a good amount of calories whilst doing so. You just need a pair of dumbbells, something sturdy to step onto (like a box or coffee table) and a timer.

AMRAP stands for 'as many rounds as possible' or 'as many reps as possible' and it's a popular workout style used in CrossFit and HIIT workouts. It's where you have a set of exercises, then set a timer for a period of time and complete the sequence of exercises for as many rounds (or reps) within that time frame. Depending on the exercises included, AMRAP workouts can build muscle (as well as muscle endurance), strength and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Due to its high intensity, it's also a great way to burn lots of calories quickly.

This work has three exercises in total; you'll do each one for eight reps and you're aiming to complete as many rounds of these exercises as possible within three minutes. Once the three minutes is up, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the workout two more times. CrossFit athlete, Lauren Fisher, who created this workout says to find a steady pace that allows you to complete three to four rounds within your three minute time frame. This is very high intensity, so opt for a pair of light dumbbells and don't do it barefoot, wear workout shoes. Don't have dumbbells? You could use two kettlebells or water bottles instead. Here are your exercises:

  • Dumbbell push press
  • Dumbbell box step overs (step onto a box whilst holding the dumbbells then step off the opposite side)
  • Burpees

If you enjoy short, yet effective, workouts like this one then we've got plenty of others here on T3, like this four-move bodyweight workout. It's another great  session that'll burn lots of calories and only takes around 20 minutes. Plus, no equipment is involved, which is a bonus. If you're tight on time though and need something pretty speedy, give this 11 minute bodyweight workout a go, which will help you build up good base strength.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.