Build full-body muscle in just 20 minutes with Chris Hemsworth's trainer's dumbbell workout

Luke Zocchi's short session works your whole body, boosts your metabolism and burns fat

Man exercising with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's not always easy to carve out time for a dedicated gym session, but a busy schedule doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your fitness goals. You can use this 20-minute workout from Chris Hemsworth's trainer to build full-body muscle, even when you're short on time. 

You don't need much equipment either, just a set of dumbbells. If you're looking for some weights for your home, the best adjustable dumbbells are a great option as you can change the weight as you get stronger, in line with the progressive overload technique. 

If you don't have a set of adjustable weights, fixed-load dumbbells will do; just be sure to choose a load that'll challenge your muscles to get through a set but won't affect your form. Then you're ready to take on Luke Zocchi's short routine. 

Zocchi is a trainer for Chris Hemsworth's workout app Centr and specializes in short, effective routines you can do at home or at the gym to develop strength, burn fat and boost your metabolism, which are the aims of this full-body session. 

The routine is arranged into supersets (two exercises performed back to back without a break between), so you'll do each for 20 seconds, then take a 20-second rest. Getting the technique right is important, so follow along with Zocchi's demonstrations to perfect your form. 

Watch Luke Zocchi's 20-minute full-body workout

It's an effective routine that packs a lot into a short amount of time thanks to the style of exercise; high-intensity resistance training (HIRT). The aim is to work out in short bursts with minimal rest, working your muscles hard and offering other benefits too. 

It also raises your heart rate, helping you burn more energy than during an equivalent steady-paced routine. Plus, sustaining a high heart rate throughout the session causes longer-term changes, like boosting your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn throughout the day). 

If this sounds similar to a HIIT workout for fat loss, it is, but with a focus on muscle-building exercises instead of cardio-based moves. Zocchi's routine blends both styles by pairing strength and cardio moves in a series of supersets, helping develop muscle and burn fat in a single session. 

It also helps that he includes several compound exercises, which work multiple muscles simultaneously. When we spoke to Zocchi, he said this was his preferred way to train as it's efficient and means you can see results even when you only have a little time. 

After your workout, you may feel a little sore. This is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), where your training has caused small tears in your muscle fibers that your body needs to repair to grow and strengthen your muscles. 

Protein helps your body through the recovery process, and while you can get protein from your diet, making a post-workout shake with the best protein powers for weight loss can ensure you're topped up to speed up your recovery and reduce DOMS. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.