I tried this intense full-body workout with 3.5-million views on Youtube – and it's bonkers

Get your dumbbells ready as we'll be building muscle today! Try this no-jump, neighbour-friendly workout for instant gains

Athletic women holding two dumbbells in a gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You should try full-body workouts if you want to lose belly fat and burn loads of calories. This type of exercise can get you fit in the shortest time possible – no wonder loads of people like follow-along Youtube videos such as the one below. This particular workout caught my attention because it uses dumbbells only and focuses on muscle building exercises. And, as an added bonus, it can be performed quietly without annoying the neighbours.

Adding dumbbells to a workout like this is a surefire way to build muscle and get strong at home. Better still, the exercises here are all compound movements; they burn tons of calories by activating a range of muscles. Just think about classic bodybuilding moves such as the bench press and the squat.

If you haven't got any home weights in your possession and thinking about investing in one, I'd recommend buying adjustable dumbbells. These home weights are even more versatile than regular dumbbells and can help you progress easier. Adjustable dumbbells can come in extra handy for this workout as you can switch weights quickly between exercises.

As for the workout, it's not the easiest but that's what makes it good! You can always use lighter weights or resistance bands if you ever find the exercises too challenging. I used heavier weights; I like my muscles to be completely exhausted by the end of the sets. Doing exercises for time instead of sets was also refreshing as it provides different stimuli which help build muscle more efficiently.

Caroline Girvan's 30-min full-body dumbbell home workout: How to do it

This is a follow-along workout that targets every muscle group with compound movement to "help you become stronger, build lean muscle, burn energy for hours after completing and basically leave you feeling awesome", Caroline says in the description of the video.

The split is straightforward: perform each exercise for 30 seconds then rest for another 30 seconds. Each exercise will be performed three times before moving on to the next one. Focus on slow, controlled movements; it's better to have fewer resp in each set, utilising the full range of motion of the limb than cranking out terrible 'half reps'.

The exercises in this workout are as follows:

  • High squats: Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height
  • Sumo deadlift squat: Arms hanging, feet wider apart pointing slightly outward
  • Static lunge (switch legs)
  • Romanian deadlift: Sometimes also called stiff-legged deadlift or RDL
  • Shoulder press: Try the overhead press if you're using heavier weights
  • Bent over row (switch arms): An awesome compound movement to work the bicep and the lats
  • Chest press: Needs no introduction
  • Dumbbell pullover: Works the chest, triceps and stretches the abs

Caroline has a few tips for those wanting to get the most out of this workout. She recommends switching legs (lunges) and arms (bent over rows) after each set. With the single-arm rows, let the arms drop completely and squeeze the shoulder blades at the top of the movement.

She also says that although she performs the shoulder press and Sumo deadlift with only a single dumbbell, feel free to use two if you want to go heavy (and you really do). Romanian deadlifts are probably the trickiest exercise in this workout for those who haven't tried them; Caroline recommends keeping the shoulder blades together, knees slightly bent, pushing the bum back and keeping the spine neutral (head in line with back).

Once you've finished with this workout, try what we think is the best full-body workout; it can be performed using only dumbbells but for the best results, have a barbell and some weight plates at hand. Similarly, the best full-body dumbbell workout uses only 5 moves and can get you fit at home.

And since we're building muscle here, don't forget to up your protein intake to aid recovery and growth. Having a protein powder shake, protein bar or mass gainer concoction can help you transform your efforts into real gains.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.