You only need two dumbbells and these four exercises to shed fat and gain muscle

Fire up your metabolism and build muscle with this 25 minute workout

Woman doing shoulder presses with a pair of dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you’re short on time and need a workout that you can fit in ASAP, or are trying to gain some lean muscle whilst burning fat, this strength circuit can help. It doesn’t require a trip down to the gym either, you just need a pair of dumbbells, or you could even use a single kettlebell, and taking no longer than 25 minutes you can have it done and dusted before dinner. 

Circuits aren’t just good for when you’re short on time, due to their fast-paced nature, the National Academy of Medicine says they can also produce the same anabolic signaling that regular resistance training does – meaning you don’t have to spend hours in the gym pumping iron. Studies have also shown that circuit training can lead to an average reduction of 4.3% body fat and boost cardiovascular fitness by an average of 6.3% — so, overall, it's pretty darn good!

This workout from fitness trainer Joey Bronston may only consist of five exercises but, don’t be fooled, as these compound movements will fire up all your body’s muscles. Once you’ve completed one exercise, rest for 30-45 seconds, before moving onto the next. Once you’ve completed all the exercises, take a 90-second rest before repeating the workout four more times. Here’s your workout: 

  • Alternating dumbbell snatches – 12 reps
  • Dumbbell suitcase squat – 15 reps each side
  • Renegade row into push-up – 10 reps
  • Romanian deadlift – 15 reps

Now, don’t forget to help your muscles replenish and repair with some protein (a whipping up a quick protein shake with some protein powder is ideal). Fancy some similar workouts? Here’s a 15-minute five-move dumbbell workout for those more hectic days when you need something that's a little more short and snappy. Alternatively, if you do have more time on your hands, this 25-minute HIIT dumbbell workout is great for burning fat and boosting strength. 

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.