20 minutes, 10 moves, and a pair of dumbbells are all you need to build muscle all over

This superset routine works your whole body, raises your heart rate, and boosts your metabolism

Man working out with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don't need to spend hours at the gym to build muscle. Using a high-intensity workout focused on strength training exercises, you can work your whole body, boost your metabolism, and burn fat in just 20 minutes. 

To get started, all you need to do is roll out a yoga mat for under-foot support, and grab a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells so you can switch the weight up for different exercises with ease. 

This short, intense routine, developed by Joe Wicks (known as The Body Coach) makes good use of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) to give you a 10-move full-body workout that only takes 20 minutes to work your muscles and raise your heart rate. 

Like many other HIRT workouts, you'll exercise for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start the next move. But Wicks has also arranged this into a superset routine, where you perform two exercises back to back without rest to increase the intensity and efficiency. 

If you're new to this style of training or could use a refresher, Wicks demonstrates each exercise, so you can practice your technique, and even pause the workout for a moment while you perfect your form to get the most from your training and avoid injury.

Watch Joe Wicks’ 20-minute full-body dumbbell workout

The superset arrangement is partly why this routine is so effective in just 20 minutes. Some supersets target the same muscles in both exercises, but during this workout, you'll focus on several different areas with compound exercises, working out more muscles in less time. 

HIRT is quite a lot like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions, like a HIIT workout for fat loss, but using strength-building exercises with weights rather than cardio-based activities. However, both techniques raise your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and burn fat. 

If you're just starting weight training, it's important to learn how to lift weights properly so you can master the moves without hurting yourself, and then gradually increase the load in line with the progressive overload training technique

To help aid your recovery and reduce the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), be sure to load up on a tasty and refreshing protein-packed post-workout smoothie, blended with one of the best protein powders for weight loss to avoid extra sugars and fat. 

Becks Shepherd

Becks is a freelance journalist and writer with more than 7 years of experience in the field. She writes health and lifestyle content for a range of titles including Live Science, Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Stylist, The Independent, and more. She also ghostwrites for a number of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. 

Health has been a big part of Becks’ lifestyle since time began. When she’s not writing about the topic of health, she’s in the gym learning new compound exercises. And when she’s not in the gym, she’s most probably reading.