How to Boost Your Metabolism Using Just a Pair of Dumbbells

This inspired approach to intervals will have you racing for recovery time, so you'll really fire up your metabolism.

There's a no-fail way to light a fire under your reps: Make a game out of getting them done in record time. "It's hugely effective for hitting the intensity where you maximize fat burning and muscle firming," says trainer Go Green, a program director at Brick gym in New York City. (Must-read: Everything You Need to Know About Fat Burning and Building Muscle.) His formula has two parts: Jump-start your circuit with an EMOM (every minute on the minute) blast, then race to get in more reps of strength exercises with each of your subsequent firming rounds.

Unlike the average warm-up, an EMOM is five minutes performed at warp speed where, at the top of every minute, you complete a predetermined number of reps of a few body-weight exercises, then use the remainder of that time to recover before going at it again when the next minute hits. You probably want as much recovery time as possible, right? Well, then, you've got to haul ass.

As you go straight into your circuit of strength exercises-AMRAP style-count your reps. "Your goal is to beat what you did in the round before by at least one rep," Green says. By focusing on one round at a time, you can wrap your head around the small added challenge of cranking out another rep per exercise. "But when you're done, you'll have added at least 50 more total reps despite getting more fatigued with each round," Green says. Boom! You just pushed to your new personal best.

Intensity: Hard (RPE: an 8 or a 9 out of 10)

Total Time: 30 minutes

You'll Need: A set of 8- to 15-pound dumbbells

How it works: Start with the 5-minute EMOM warm-up. Next, do each strength exercise for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds in between. That's 1 round. Complete 5 rounds.

Calories Burned: 136 calories


Complete 6 elbow taps from plank position (lift one hand to tap opposite elbow, alternating hands), 8 air squats, and 10 tuck jumps in 1 minute. You should aim to finish in about 40 seconds, then rest for the remainder of the minute. That's 1 round. Complete 5 rounds, starting at the top of each minute.




Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees soft, holding a single dumbbell vertically by top end with both hands in front of hips.

B. Hinge forward from hips to lower torso to 45 degrees, bringing dumbbell behind you between legs.

C. Then immediately stand, thrusting hips forward and singing weight up to eye level, arms extended.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

Renegade Row

A. Start on floor in plank with arms extended and a weight in each hand. Do 1 push-up

B. Then pull left weight up to ribs, elbow tight to side. Switch sides; repeat.

Repeat for 30 seconds.Thruster

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand racked (one end resting lightly) on shoulders with elbows pointing forward.

B. Squat until hip crease drops below knees to start.

C. Then stand, powerfully pressing weights overhead (biceps will hug ears). Immediately return to start.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

Alternating Lunge

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms by sides.

B. Step right foot forward, bending legs 90 degrees. Return to start. Switch sides; repeat.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

Reverse Crunch

A. Lie faceup on floor to start, holding 1 weight horizontally by both ends behind head on floor with elbows bent out to sides.

B. Lifting extended legs together, curl hips, lower back, and then midback off floor until toes are just above eyes (into a sort of jackknife position). Slowly lower to start.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

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