If you want to build muscle and get shredded fast, let me give you some great advice: Don’t waste your time in the gym. Every rep, every set, and every exercise must push you further toward your goal by stimulating your muscles, burning calories, and melting fat. Yet, in my years of working at gyms, I can tell you that this is where most gymgoers struggle. They waste their time doing exercises that do little of anything because they focus on such small movements or they only burn so few calories per minute. That’s why I’m sharing 10 of the best exercises to build bigger muscles and burn fat faster than ever before.

The reason these exercises work so well is that they have incredible bang for your buck; each rep hits many muscles at once, builds strength, boosts your conditioning, and much more. Don’t try these all at once; instead, add a few to your current workout program and then gradually substitute more. Also, start lighter, focus on the correct technique, and once you master it, you can add the weight to continue to challenge yourself to improve and grow.

Read on to learn all about the 10 best exercises to build bigger muscles and burn fat. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out the 5 Best Morning Workouts To Speed Up Weight Loss.

Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swingskettlebell swings

Start in a deadlift position with the kettlebell a few feet in front of you. Then, hike the kettlebell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. Imagine propelling the kettlebell to a target in front of you. Keep your arms relaxed. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.

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Goblet Squats

illustration of kettlebell goblet squatillustration of kettlebell goblet squat

Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands, and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart. Perform four to five sets of five reps.

Renegade Rows

dumbbell renegade rowdumbbell renegade row

Set two kettlebells about shoulder-width apart. Get into a pushup position with your hands grabbing the handles and your feet very wide. Perform a pushup. At the top, row one kettlebell, set it down, then do the other side. That’s one rep. Perform four to five sets of six reps per side.

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Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

illustration of single-leg romanian deadliftillustration of single-leg romanian deadlift

With dumbbells in your hand, slowly bend forward and pull one leg behind. Once the weights are below your knees, drive back up and squeeze with your glute. Don’t twist your hips to the side—keep them square and face forward. Complete four to five sets of six reps per side.

Lateral Squats

woman doing lateral lungeswoman doing lateral lunges

Start with a very wide stance and your feet straight. Sit back into one hip, and push that knee out. Repeat on the other side. Complete four to five sets of five reps per side.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Presses

Lie on a bench with your chest up, shoulders squeezed together, and feet flat on the ground. Start with the dumbbells fully extended over your chest. Keeping your shoulders back, lower one dumbbell, and then push it back up. Alternate sides, and repeat. Drive through your heels and keep your glutes on the bench. Perform four sets of six reps per side.

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Dumbbell Push Presses

push press exercisepush press exercise

Hold two dumbbells by your shoulders. Lower yourself into a very partial squat, and explode upward with your legs while driving your arms overhead. At the top, make sure your biceps are next to your ears and your wrists are flat, not bent backward. Carefully lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and repeat. Perform four sets of six reps.

Chest-Supported Dumbbell Rows

chest-supported rowchest-supported row

Set an adjustable bench to a short incline, and lie face down with a dumbbell in each hand. Start the movement by pulling your shoulder blades together and row. Don’t let your elbow pull past your ribcage. Perform four sets of eight reps.

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illustration of pull-ups exerciseillustration of pull-ups exercise

Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing away, and start by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pull yourself up, and lead with your chest. Perform four sets of six reps.

Airdyne Intervals

illustration of air bikeillustration of air bike

Get on an Airdyne bike, and go for the specified amount of time. If it tracks your speed, try to keep your speed the same with each rep—once it drops too far, finish your workout. Complete eight to 12 sets of 15 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest.

Anthony J. Yeung

Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony

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