Two dumbbells and this 12 minute AMRAP workout to build strength fast

This speedy strength workout will also build up your endurance too

Woman doing dumbbell lunges in the gym
(Image credit: Getty)

Building strength takes time, something we don’t all have. But just because you may not be able to dedicate an hour to a full-blown strength session, it doesn’t mean you should skimp on training altogether. In fact, you’re better off doing a little of something than nothing at all. This ‘AMRAP’ workout is perfect for when you’re stuck in this situation as it’ll only take you 12 minutes, but will help build up your full-body strength. All you need is a pair of dumbbells.

‘AMRAP’ stands for ‘as many rounds as possible’ and it’s a popular workout structure in CrossFit. It’s where you’re given a list of exercises and a set time with the aim to try and complete as many rounds within that time frame. Not only does it make for a quick and effective workout where you get a lot of bang for your buck, but it also minimises the amount of rest you take in between each exercise.

This workout is split into two sets of six minutes and within each set you’ll have two exercises two complete. As we explained above, the aim is to try and complete as many rounds of each exercise as you can within the set time frame. Although you want to try and complete more than one round (and you will) try not to go too fast, you still want good form and to complete each exercise correctly (a pair of the best workout shoes can help with this). Here’s your workout:

 First 6 minutes AMRAP

  • Overhead dumbbell step up for 8 reps 
  • Renegade rows 8 reps

Second 6 minutes AMRAP 

  • Cyclist Squat with a pulse for 10 reps (use one dumbbell to lean your heels against so they’re elevated, whilst holding the other)
  • Dumbbell floor press for 10 reps

If you need to have a 90 second rest between the first six minutes and the second six minutes, then do allow yourself this. We also advise grabbing an exercise mat, or at very least a yoga mat, as quite a few of these exercises are performed on the floor, so you’ll be more comfortable. If you're keen for a few more speedy strength sessions, then check out this three-move functional fitness workout, that'll also help with your stamina, or this superset full-body workout.

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.