Four exercises, 15 minutes and this pyramid workout to develop full-body strength

It's time to switch up your regular dumbbell routine

Woman doing dumbbell shoulder press
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A pair of dumbbells is one of the best and most versatile pieces of home gym equipment you can own. They build strength, muscle, reduce like likelihood of imbalances and can increase your overall stamina. But sometimes dumbbell workouts can get repetitive. If you're in need of a switch up, this pyramid workout mixes up your reps to progressively challenge your muscles and it’ll only take 15 minutes.

A pyramid workout may be a bit of a high school throwback, but this this style of training can deliver strength and muscle gains without taking up too much time. “Pyramid workouts are a great way to build muscular endurance on one side of the pyramid and strength on the other, as they encourage the muscle fibres to work harder with each set,” says Farren Morgan, Founder of The Tactical Athlete and serving PTI in the Coldstream Guards. “They can also help improve overall muscular growth and are a solution for those whose fitness has plateaued performing straight sets.”

Woman holding two dumbbells above her shoulders

(Image credit: Getty)

For Farren's pyramid workout you've got four exercises to get through. You're going to do three rounds in total, but with each round the reps are going to decrease. "Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets and remember to listen to your body," says Farren. "If you need more rest, take a minute or two before moving on. The goal is to allow your muscles to recover without going cold." Here's your workout:

Complete 12 reps of each exercise, then 10 and  then eight

  • Chest press
  • Bicep curls
  • Goblet squat
  • Shoulder press

We hope you enjoyed that! If you did, then we've got plenty of other high-intensity dumbbell workouts that you can try: like this eight-move dumbbell workout that consists of supersets, or this 20-minute dumbbell HIIT workout that reduces the amount of rest you get with each round – a tough one, but it delivers great results!

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.