Grab Two Heavy Dumbbells and Get After This 30-Minute Workout

If you’re taking on these October workouts then you’ll know by now we’ve given you 17 different low-to-no equipment, 30-minute workouts. Hopefully, they’ve saved you time and energy at least once and given you a sweaty workout you can feel proud of in the middle (or beginning or end) of your busy day. In this 30-minute workout all you need is two dumbbells. Test your strength by going heavier than you normally do and you might surprise yourself with how strong you are and what you’re capable of.

Here’s what you do:

For each set, you’ll do 20 reps of the first exercise and then 5 reps of the second. Then you’ll immediately go back to the first exercise for 15 reps and 10 of the second. Then 10 of the first and 15 of the second. And finally 5 final reps of the first and 20 of the second.

You’ll use that same rep count for your second set of exercises and after two full sets of exercises, you’ll take a quick break from your rep-based work to do a timed set.

Your rep counts will come back for set 3 and 4, then you’ll do another timed set, followed by one last set of increasing and decreasing rep count moves and one last timed set of exercises.

These are the sets:

Set 1:

A. Goblet Squats
B. Deadlifts

Set 2:

A. Reclined chest fly
B. Bent-over row

Timed set: 3x through

30 seconds of push-ups
15 seconds of mountain climbers

Set 3:

A. Bicep curls
B. Squat thrusters

Set 4:

A. Russian twists
B. Leg lowers

Timed set: 3x through

30 seconds of burpees
15 seconds squat hold

Set 5:

A. Diamond push-ups
B. Triceps dips

Timed set: 3x through

30 seconds of squat of choice (goblet, squat thruster, air squat)
15 seconds low plank hold

Here’s are your exercises:

Goblet squats: Hold one or two heavy dumbbells at your chest. Squat and keep you chest lifted, using the weight to help you. Inhale down and exhale up, driving through your heels.

Deadlift: Hold two heavy dumbbells close to your thighs, standing in an upright position. Hinge forward, keeping the weights close to you and your back flat. Keep a slight bend in your knees and your core engaged. Only hinge as far as your hamstrings will safely allow you as you keep your back straight and shoulder blades pressed towards each other. Inhale to lower, exhale to rise.

Reclined chest fly: Lie flat on your back. Either bend your knees with feet on the ground, feet hovering, or extend your legs straight up (as pictured). Bring your dumbbells to your chest and extend them straight above your gaze. As you inhale, lower the weights out to the side but keep them in your peripheral vision. Lower down to your low point but keep a slight bend in your elbows. Exhale as you press the weights back above you. Note: I dropped down in weight on this one.

Bent-over row: From standing, hinge forward with the weights close to you, elbows close to your ribs and palms facing you. Exhale to draw your triceps back, elbows up to the ceiling. Pause for a moment and as you inhale lower back down.

Push-ups: From either knees or a full plank position and with elbows close to your ribs, inhale as you lower down to your low point (keeping your body as straight as possible). Exhale to press back up to your plank.

Mountain climbers: From a plank position, bring one knee into your chest, then switch quickly to the other knee into your chest. Repeat as quickly or slowly as you want, focusing on your core and keeping your shoulders lined up right over your wrists the whole time.

Bicep curl: Stand with feet hip-width apart, shoulders over your hips with a dumbbell in each hand. Curl both dumbbells up, palms facing out, until the weight is up by your shoulders. Inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up. Note: I dropped down in weight on this, but you can also alternate curls.

Squat thruster: Just as with a goblet squat, squat with one or two weights at your chest (or in the front rack position, as shown.) As you exhale, drive through your heels to stand and at the same time press the dumbbells overhead until arms are straight (all part of one long line of your body – wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, ankles in line.) Inhale as you simultaneously return the weights to your shoulders or chest and squat again.

Russian twist: Sit on your butt with your knees bent, with either your toes touching the ground or hovering in line with your knees. Hold one weight at center. Every time you exhale, twist your upper body from side to side, keeping your knees as level as possible.

Leg lowers: Lie flat on your back with your legs extended as straight overhead as possible. As you inhale, lower your legs to the point where you can still keep your entire low back on the ground. Exhale as you bring them back up.

Burpee: Squat down, touching the floor and jump back into a plank. Lower down to the floor, allowing your chest to touch the floor, staying in control. Push back up, jump forward into your squat position again and jump into the air, clapping overhead. asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee_1 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee2 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee3 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee4 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee5 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee6 asweatlife_cardiotimer_burpee7

Squat hold: Find the lowest point you can sit in a perfect-form squat for 15 seconds. Ideally this means your thigh bones are at least parallel to the ground and your chest is lifted.

Diamond push-up: Bring your thumb and index fingers to touch, forming a diamond in between them. Inhale as you lower down to your low point (on either knees or toes) and exhale as you press back up to your plank.


Triceps dips:  Start in a reverse tabletop position, fingertips facing towards your toes. Keep your chest open and lifted as you inhale and bend your elbows straight back, avoiding sagging your hips down. Exhale as you press up.


Low plank hold: Either hold a forearm plank or for more challenge (as pictured), find your lowest position from a push-up and hold for the full timer count. This means elbows stay wrapped in close to your ribs, your shoulders are right in line with your elbows and your entire body stays in one long line, crown of your head to your heels.

asweatlife_twodumbbells_lowplankhold                        asweatlife_twodumbbells_pushup1

(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.