The 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout

Posted On Mar 10, 2015 By Joe Vennare

The 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout

Here’s a question for you: How much time does it take to get fit?

For the most part, the answer to that will depend on who you ask. Different people have different fitness goals that require them to devote more or less time to achieving their goal. So, with that in mind, it’s probably a bad idea to compare your workout with someone else’s on the basis of time. Therefore your best bet would be to focus on achieving your personal goals in as little time, or with as much efficiency, as possible.

Doing More with Less

Efficiency is a great, but often overlooked way to approach exercise. Here’s how it works. Ask yourself, “What’s the least amount of time or effort I can devote to exercise, while still reaping maximum results?”

Don’t be confused. That statement does not mean that the workout is going to be easy. It’s just that the results you’re after probably don’t require as much time or effort as you might be thinking.

Let’s look at an example, focusing on equipment, time and exercises. Our goal: We’d like a total body workout, please. One that will build muscle and burn fat. Something that will help us turn mush into muscles, while also improving our overall fitness. Oh, and by the way, it can’t take all day.

Okay, great. No problem. How about three, 20-minute workouts each week? All you’ll need are some dumbbells and some determination. How does that sound?

No, it’s not too good to be true. It’s actually quite realistic. Here’s how: Complete three to four sets of the following workout, resting up to 90 seconds in between each set.

The 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout

Push-ups (x12)

Place your hands on the handles of the dumbbells, or skip the dumbbells and go straight to the ground.

Push Ups Positions 1 and 2


Bent-over rows (x12)

Hinge at the waist and row the dumbbells to your midsection.

Bent Over Rows Positions 1 and 2


Alternate lunges (x6, each leg)

Perform six lunges on each leg, alternating with each step, while holding the dumbbells at chest height.

Alternate Lunges Positions 1 and2


Biceps curls (x12)

Stand tall, contract your core, and perform these biceps curls without swinging the weight.

Biceps Curls Positions 1 and2


Thrusters (x12)

With the dumbbells at chest height, perform a squat. On the upward phase, use your legs to drive the dumbbells overhead to finish with a press.

Thrusters Positions 1 and 2


Weighted sit-ups (x24)

Lying on the ground, grip a dumbbell on both ends. Hold the weight at your chest and perform a sit-up.

Weighted Sit Ups Positions 1 and 2


Upping the intensity - If the workout is flying by and you’re not breaking a sweat, consider upping the dumbbell weight. Of course, focusing on form first is always the right move. There will come a time when the weight you’re using just isn’t enough. When that time comes, select a heavier weight that is challenging, but still allows you to execute each exercise without risking injury.