Weight training is often associated with building muscle, but many of my clients are surprised to learn that it’s also a powerful tool for burning calories and promoting fat loss. Incorporating high-intensity weight-training workouts into your routine can elevate your metabolism, leading to increased calorie expenditure both during and after your workout. These are the five weight-training workouts that burn the most calories. I highly recommend them for sculpting your ideal physique and effective fat-burning.

Get ready to see your fat loss skyrocket. Remember to prioritize proper form and technique, and consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program—especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Keep reading to learn all about my five weight-training workouts that burn the most calories. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out these 12 Essential Rules To Get Back Into Shape After a Long Break.

Workout #1: Full-Body Circuit Training

This list of weight-training workouts that burn the most calories kicks off with circuit training. Full-body circuit training is a dynamic workout that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, creating a high metabolic demand. This results in a significant calorie burn both during and after the workout, known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

1. Squat to Overhead Press

dumbbell squat to press thrusters, concept of workouts that burn the most calories
Shutterstock

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Perform a squat, then push through your heels to press the weights overhead. Repeat for three sets of 12 reps.

2. Lunge with Bicep Curls

Step forward into a lunge while simultaneously performing a bicep curl. Alternate legs, and repeat for three sets of 10 reps per leg.

3. Deadlift to Upright Row

Hold a barbell or set of dumbbells with an overhand grip, keeping the weight close to your body. Hinge at your hips, lowering the barbell (or dumbbells), then lift it to chest height in an upright row. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

4. Plank Rows

dumbbell renegade row
Shutterstock

Start in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand. Row one dumbbell toward your hip while maintaining a stable plank. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps per arm.

5. Jumping Jacks with Medicine Ball Slams

Perform jumping jacks while holding a medicine ball. Slam the medicine ball to the ground between each jumping jack. Aim for three sets of 20 reps.

Workout #2: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Weights

Combining high-intensity interval training with weights amplifies calorie burning. The alternating periods of intense effort and rest keep the heart rate elevated, leading to an extended calorie burn post-workout.

1. Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swings, concept of workouts that burn the most calories
Shutterstock

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands. Hinge at your hips, swing the kettlebell between your legs, then explosively swing it to shoulder height. Complete four sets of 20 reps.

2. Dumbbell Thrusters

dumbbell thrusters illustration, concept of workouts that burn the most calories
Shutterstock

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Perform a squat, then push the dumbbells overhead. Repeat for four sets of 15 reps.

3. Box Jumps

illustration of box jump exercises to avoid after 50
Shutterstock

Stand facing a sturdy box or bench. Jump onto the box, landing softly with your knees slightly bent. Step back down, and repeat for four sets of 12 reps.

4. Battle Ropes

woman doing battle ropes, concept of workouts that burn the most calories
Shutterstock

Hold one end of each battle rope in each hand. Perform waves or slams with the ropes for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat for four sets.

Workout #3: Tabata-Style Metabolic Conditioning

Tabata-style workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. This approach not only enhances cardiovascular fitness but also maximizes calorie burn, making it an efficient option for those with time constraints.

1. Barbell Squat Jumps

Hold a barbell across your upper back. Perform a squat, then explosively jump. Land softly, and repeat for four sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

2. Dumbbell Push Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Dip at the knees, then explosively push the dumbbells overhead. Complete four sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

3. Box Burpees

Perform a standard burpee, but add a box jump at the end. Complete four sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

4. Medicine Ball Slams

illustration of medicine ball slams
Shutterstock

Hold a medicine ball overhead, and slam it to the ground. Pick up the ball, and repeat for four sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

Workout #4: Complex Training with Dumbbells

Next up on our list of weight-training workouts that burn the most calories, get ready to grab your dumbbells once again for complex training. Complex training involves performing a series of exercises back-to-back without rest, combining strength and cardiovascular elements. This approach boosts calorie expenditure by keeping your heart rate elevated throughout the entire sequence.

1. Dumbbell Squats

dumbbell squat
Shutterstock

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Perform a squat with proper form. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

2. Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows

illustration of dumbbell bent-over row
Shutterstock

Holding the same dumbbells, hinge at the hips and row. Maintain a flat back, and repeat for three sets of 12 reps.

3. Dumbbell Lunges

illustration of man doing dumbbell lunges
Shutterstock

Step forward into a lunge with dumbbells in hand. Alternate legs, and repeat for three sets of 12 reps per leg.

4. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

illustration of dumbbell shoulder press
Shutterstock

Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height. Press the weights overhead, and repeat for three sets of 12 reps.

5. Dumbbell Deadlifts

illustration of dumbbell deadlifts free weight exercises for men to build muscle
Shutterstock

Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge at the hips, lowering the dumbbells. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

Workout #5: CrossFit-Inspired WOD (Workout of the Day)

CrossFit workouts are known for their intensity and calorie-burning capabilities. A well-structured WOD that combines various functional movements challenges the entire body, promoting a high calorie burn.

1. Double-Unders with Jump Rope

Perform two rotations of the jump rope per jump. Aim for three sets of one minute.

2. Kettlebell Swings

Use a kettlebell, and swing between your legs, then overhead. Complete four sets of 20 reps.

3. Box Jumps

Jump onto a box or platform, landing softly. Perform three sets of 15 reps.

4. Wall Balls

medicine ball chest pass
Shutterstock

Hold a medicine ball, squat, and throw it against a wall. Complete four sets of 15 reps.

You May Also Like

What Is the '2-2-2 Method' for Weight Loss?

If you want to switch up your diet, we’re here to share…

5 Workouts You Should Do Regularly in Your 40s — Eat This Not That

As you enter your 40s, maintaining an active lifestyle becomes increasingly crucial…

Strength or Balance Training: Which Is More Important as You Age?

As the years add up, so does our wisdom about what it…

8 Best Back Stretches for Your Back

Keeping your back flexible is essential for curbing muscle tightness and preventing…