Two dumbbells and these five exercises to burn fat and build muscle all over

Lace up your best workout shoes for 20 minutes of work

Man and woman doing dumbbell HIIT workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for a time-efficient workout that'll boost your metabolism, help you burn fat, while still building muscle with minimal equipment, then this 20 minute HIIT workout can help you reach your goals. You just need two dumbbells, a good pair of workout shoes, a timer and you're good to go!

HIIT workouts burn lots of calories in a short amount of time, so they're a great style of training if you're looking to lose weight and live a busy lifestyle. Resistance training helps to build muscle and continues to keep your metabolism high for hours after you've trained. Combine the two forms of training together and you've got the best of both worlds in one workout.

For this 20 minute HIIT workout you're going to do five rounds of five different exercises. You'll do each exercise for 30 seconds and get a rest period in between each exercise, but here's the catch: it decreases with each workout round. This ups the intensity of the workout; your muscles will be forced to work harder, your heart rate will be raised further, meaning a higher calorific burn and more muscle growth. Ready to give it a go? Here's your workout:

Round 1: 20 seconds rest
Round 2: 15 seconds rest
Round 3: 10 seconds rest
Round 4: 5 seconds rest
Round 5: no rest

  • Front squat to a press
  • Reverse lunge to a bicep curl
  • Deadlift to a bent-over row
  • Dumbbell swing
  • Woodchops

There's lots of other workouts on T3 that can help you build muscle and lose fat: like this 20 minute full-body dumbbell workout, or if you need something a little quicker, this 15-minute kettlebell workout is great for beginners. Remember, if you don't have a pair of dumbbells, weight plates or two kettlebells can work too – and if you only have one, then just do the exercises on both sides of your body separately.

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.