Two dumbbells, 30 minutes and this full-body workout to burn calories and build muscle

This high intensity resistance training workout boosts your cardiovascular fitness and muscle growth

woman doing dumbbell overhead press
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re in two minds about working out because you feel that you’re short on time, then this high intensity resistance training (HIRT) workout is for you. Not only will it stimulate all the muscles in your body, including your upper body, lower body and core, but it’ll only take you 30 minutes to complete. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, two large water bottles or even a pair of kettlebells will do – you choose!

While HIIT usually focuses on bodyweight exercises and cardio movements, HIRT incorporates free weights, like dumbbells or resistance bands. "HIRT maximizes energy expenditure, resulting in optimal calorie burn and cardiovascular output during your training sessions," says TRX Training. It's also a lot lower impact than HIIT too, as it doesn't involve high-impact cardio exercises, like burpees. It's therefore a good alternative if you suffer from joint pains, as you still get the cardiovascular benefits and weight training, without the high impact.

For this workout you've got seven exercises to get through and you'll do each one for 45 seconds of work, with a 15 seconds rest. Once you've completed one entire round, rest for 60 seconds, before repeating it two more times. Make sure you're wearing your best workout shoes too, to provide extra stability during each exercises. Here's your workout:

  • Curtsy squat with a bicep curl
  • Lunge with overhead Press
  • Squat with an overhead Press
  • Push-ups
  • Comandos
  • Sit-ups
  • Wall sit

If you enjoyed that workout, then we've got plenty of others for you to take a look at here on T3: like this full-body dumbbell workout that'll only take you 15 minutes and is great for building muscle. If, however, you're looking for a workout that doesn't require any equipment at all, then here's a five-move bodyweight workout, which only takes 20 minutes.

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.