I tried this "to the beat" workout and it actually helped me maintain my form

Lifting weights to a steady rhythm helped me nail my technique

dumbbells on a gym floor
(Image credit: Future)

Working out with music is a non-negotiable for me; I won't touch a dumbbell without a 10/10 playlist in my ears.

So when I came across this "to the beat" workout, I was intrigued. It's a full-body strength-building session that uses 20 dumbbell exercises to raise your heart rate and get your muscles pumping. The beat switches through the workout, getting you to lift your weights quickly at some points and at a more relaxed pace at others.

The routine was created by LA-based personal trainers Juice & Toya and it only requires a pair of dumbbells. Watch the video below if you want to try it for yourself, or keep scrolling if you want to read my verdict. 

How to do Juice & Toya's full body workout

Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest, meaning the entire routine takes less than 25 minutes to complete—perfect for when you want to get your body moving but don't have a whole lot of time (which I didn't this week).

Technically, you only need one set of dumbbells for the workout, but I found I needed to switch to lighter dumbbells for the challenging upper-body exercises and heavier dumbbells for the lower-body moves. If you need a little guidance on choosing a weight, we recommend you read our guide on what dumbbell weight you should choose before you get started.

What I thought of the workout

So, what did I think about this workout? The music was definitely a nice touch and I have to admit, moving to the beat of a song was very satisfying. 

I found that I was moving more efficiently and in a more regimented manner than during my normal workouts, mostly because I didn't want to fall out of step with the beat (almost as thought I was in one of those 90s synchronised exercise videos, sans lyrca and leg warmers). I believe this helped my form too; I wasn't rushing to get through movements quicker than I needed to and I wasn't taking slouch breaks halfway through. 

And pretty quickly I discovered I wasn't focusing so much on the act of exercising, but paying attention to the beat and trying to match it bang on. A useful distraction, if you're someone who doesn't really enjoy the feeling of exercise. 

There's research to back this up. One study published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal reported that you're 28 per cent more likely to enjoy your workout when listening to music. 

All in all, working out to a beat made for a really fun experience, one I'll definitely try again. 

If you're new to working out, you might find that this full-body blast results in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the next day. This is normal and is actually a sign that your muscles have been sufficiently challenged. Make sure you take a rest day following the workout and eat sufficient protein, to help your muscles repair. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.