I'm a Trainer, and This Strength Workout Will Boost Your Metabolism, Burn Fat, and Build Muscle

Nope, this isn't clickbait, just in case you were wondering. We know there are a lot of myths about boosting your metabolism: eating spicy foods and drinking water first thing in the morning are a few. It is possible to speed up your metabolism naturally, and it's actually rather easy to do. According to experts, you can and should begin to eat more high-protein foods and healthy fats because your body has to expend more energy (which means a greater caloric burn) to process them.

Another easy way to boost your metabolism is to begin lifting weights. Strength training will allow you to burn more calories and build more muscle. If you're wondering why you should do more strength training instead of Pilates (not that Pilates is bad), it's because you build muscle when you lift weights, and muscle is metabolically active. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body produces, which will increase your metabolic rate — your body's ability to burn calories.

Now that you've got the rundown on the importance of your metabolism, it's time to get ready to work. Here is one of the best metabolic workouts for women. The goal of this workout is to help you build muscle. You don't need to repeat it every day, but it's a good starting point to help you increase your metabolism. If you're looking for more workouts to follow, try this four-week beginner weightlifting plan.

The Metabolism-Boosting Workout

Equipment needed: You'll need at least one set of dumbbells. Since everyone has different strength levels, select a weight that you can lift with proper form for all the reps (here is a guide on how to choose the right weight). If you don't feel challenged after a couple of reps, increase the weight. I usually have a medium set of dumbbells for upper-body moves (10 to 20 pounds is a good starting point) and a heavier pair for lower-body exercises (15 to 30 pounds).

Directions: Complete this quick warmup. Then for each exercise, complete the listed sets and reps before moving on to the following exercise. Ideally, you should take no more than 30 seconds of rest in between each set and about 60 to 90 seconds of rest in between each exercise. If you need more rest, feel free to take it. Don't forget to cool down and stretch after your workout.

  • Dumbbell bench press: four sets of 12 reps
  • Bent-over row: four sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell squat: four sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell walking lunge: two sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell thruster: three sets of 12 reps
  • Romanian deadlift: four sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Bench Press
POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett

Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Grab a set of dumbbells, and sit on a flat workout bench.
  • With one dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs, lie back onto the bench.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your chest, shoulder-width apart, creating a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm. Palms should be facing forward.
  • Exhale as you push the dumbbells up, fully extending your arms. Hold for one second.
  • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest with control.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • Complete four sets of 12 reps.
Bent-Over Row
POPSUGAR Photography

Bent-Over Row

  • Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.
  • Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward. Don't arch your back.
  • Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Complete four sets of 12 reps.
Barbell Squat
POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett

Barbell Squat

  • Start with a loaded barbell; 75 pounds is a great starting point. Beginners should start with just the barbell and gradually add weight as they become familiar with the movement.
  • Position your hands about shoulder-width apart on the barbell, and lightly grip the bar with an overhand grip.
  • Step in front of the rack, and rest the bar on your trapezius muscles (the muscle closest to your neck/upper back).
  • With your feet about hip-distance apart, lift the barbell off the rack. Take one to two steps backwards.
  • Shift your weight back into your heels. Brace your abs as you begin to lower into a squat, keeping your head and spine in a neutral position. Your knees should be as close to 90 degrees as possible. Hold for one second.
  • With your core still braced, drive through your heels to stand back up. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat. That's one rep.
  • Complete four sets of 12 reps.
Dumbbell Walking Lunge
POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett

Dumbbell Walking Lunge

  • Stand upright, feet together, with 10-pound dumbbells at your side. Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Your back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over your ankle.
  • Press your left heel into the ground, and push off with your right foot to bring your right leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side. This completes one repetition.
  • Complete two sets of 10 reps.
Dumbbell Thruster
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyle Hartman

Dumbbell Thruster

  • Stand with your legs just slightly wider than hip-distance apart, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.
  • Bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair, keeping weight on your heels.
  • Press the dumbbells overhead as you straighten your knees to return to standing.
  • Complete three sets of 12 reps.
Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

  • Stand holding a pair of medium-weight dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides, with your knees slightly bent.
  • Keeping your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly bend at your hip joint (not your waist) and lower the weights as far as possible without rounding your back, which should remain straight.
  • Now squeeze your glutes to slowly pull yourself up (don't use your back). This counts as one rep.
  • Complete four sets 12 reps.