Hollywood Trainer Don Saladino’s Full-Body Workout With Dumbbells Builds Muscle To Boost Your Metabolism In Just 20 Minutes

Dumbbell on gym floor
(Image credit: Wera Rodsawang / Getty Images)

Trainer Don Saladino has an enviable client list including Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Blake Lively and Emily Blunt and, if you follow his workout below, you can add your name to that A-list group.

Saladino is sharing his expertise in his role as ambassador for Lumen, a handheld breathalyzer which detects whether your body is using fats or carbohydrates for energy (our Lumen review goes into more detail).

It’s all about your metabolism, essentially, and working out is one way to improve it. “Strength training increases lean body mass,” says Saladino, “which is the primary tissue responsible for peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. An increase in lean body mass also increases mitochondrial density, which helps increase metabolic flexibility and essentially improves your metabolism drastically.”

Or, in layman’s terms, building muscle will increase the amount of energy your body burns at rest. 

“I like coupling these workouts with aerobic elements which help get your metabolism working,” Saladino says. Aerobic means cardio, so pick from our selection of treadmill workouts, exercise bike workouts, rowing machine workouts or even cardio workouts with weights. Or if you’re at home with only dumbbells to hand, try this dumbbell cardio workout

How To Do This Full-Body Workout With Dumbbells

Set a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes, depending on your fitness level. If you’re an experienced gym-goer and opt for 20 minutes, Saladino recommends performing as many rounds of the five-move circuit within the time allowed, resting as little as possible.

However, he has a different recommendation for beginners. “Take your time and break up the 10-minute workout into two rounds,” he says. This way, you have one minute to complete each exercise, taking any remaining seconds to rest before you move on to the next one. 

“My full-body training revolves around upper push, upper pull, a squat, a hinge and a core,” says Saladino. So if you keep coming back to this routine, you can swap in exercises with the same movement pattern to freshen things up. 

1 Push-up

Don Saladino demonstrates push-up

(Image credit: Lumen)

Reps 5-10

Start in a high plank position. Squeeze your glutes and lats, then bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Focus on moving your body as one unit, keeping a neutral spine. Once your chest is about an inch above the floor, push through your hands to return to the starting position. 

2 Bent-over dumbbell row

Don Saladino demonstrates bent-over row with dumbbells

(Image credit: Lumen)

Reps 10

Stand holding dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Hinge forward at your hips, keeping a neutral spine and a slight bend in your knees, so your torso is almost parallel with the floor. Pull the dumbbells to your shorts pockets, focusing on initiating the movement with your lats, then lower under control to the starting position. Avoid using momentum to move the dumbbells. 

3 Walking lunge

Don Saladino demonstrates a walking lunge with dumbbells

(Image credit: Lumen)

Reps 5-10 each side

Stand holding dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing you. Take a large step forward and bend both knees to lower until your back knee touches the floor. Push through your front foot and bring your rear foot through, stepping straight into another lunge.

4 Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Don Saladino demonstrates two positions of the Romanian deadlift with dumbbells

(Image credit: Lumen)

Reps 10

Stand holding dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. With a slight bend in your knees and keeping a neutral spine throughout, push your hips backward to lower the dumbbells, keeping them close to your legs. Once you have lowered the weights as far as your hamstring mobility allows, squeeze your glutes and reverse the move back to standing. 

5 Suitcase carry 

Don Saladino demonstrates the suitcase carry exercise with dumbbells

(Image credit: Lumen)

Reps 20 steps each side

Stand holding one dumbbell by your side with your palm facing you. Walk for 20 steps, switch arms, then walk another 20 steps. You will feel off-balance, but the instability makes it a great way to train your core.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.