This 30-minute dumbbell workout builds muscle and boosts your metabolism

Work your whole body with this high-intensity routine for fat-burning, muscle-building results

Man doing a dumbbell press at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're finding it hard to make time in your schedule for an extended workout, you'll be on the lookout for an intense but time-efficient way to train. Helpfully, this high-intensity dumbbell routine is an excellent way to build muscle and burn fat in just 30 minutes.

All you need to get started is a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. These are an excellent option for exercising at home, as they combine several dumbbells in one, and you can quickly change the weight between exercises.

They're versatile, too, as you can use them for isolation exercises, where you focus on a single muscle like with bicep curls, or you can add them into intense workout routines to increase the resistance on your muscles.

This 30-minute routine from fitness YouTubers Tiff x Dan (opens in new tab) is a high-intensity way to train, packing in 16 sets of muscle-building exercises. These are arranged into tri-sets, where you perform three exercises back-to-back without a break.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science (opens in new tab), this is one of the most efficient training methods. Dan guides you through the routine, so you can follow along, perfect your form, and get the most from your training.

Watch Tiff x Dan's 30-minute dumbbell workout

You'll use two dumbbells for the first move in each tri-set, one weight for the second, and then do the third with your bodyweight alone. At the end of each set, you'll take a 30-second rest before moving on to the next set.

The workout is arranged around specific body areas—your lower body, your abs/core, and your upper body—for a full-body muscle-building, fat-burning session. It's intense, but as there's no repetition target, you can take things at your own pace.

Exercising like this keeps your heart rate high, and working your muscles hard helps burn energy throughout the routine. But larger muscles also require more energy, which increases your metabolism, so you burn more energy after your workout.

The middle round of activities is designed to target your core, a section of mid-body muscle that includes your rectus abdominis, otherwise known as the six-pack abs muscle, that plays a crucial role in your stability and posture. 

Using core strengthening exercises in your regular training routine can help improve your workout performance, enhance your balance, and promote circulation. But if you enjoy working with weights, there are other ways to train your core. 

If you have one of the best kettlebells to hand, you can learn how to do kettlebell swings for an effective core-strengthening session. This multi-muscle compound exercise works your whole body and helps boost your metabolism for fat-burning results. 

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.