If you were going to choose just one exercise to build muscle, boost your metabolism and burn fat, it would be hard to beat power cleans. The muscles used in power cleans include most of the major muscle groups except those in your chest and the triceps; hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, lats, trapezius, deltoids, and biceps are all used when submitting to the pain of power cleans.

They will make you whimper with pain, and feel like you just got out of the ring with Brock Lesnar. The pain is worth it though. Because they involve so many muscle groups, you can get more done in less time when doing power cleans. You could actually work just about your entire body by doing power cleans, bench presses, and maybe a few sets of pull ups.

That means you could have a great fat burning and muscle building workout only once every 5 days or so. Keep the intensity up, and do 6- 8 sets of power cleans and 6 sets of dumbbell bench presses. You can get an entire workout in only 14 sets, every 5 days, depending on your age and how fast you can recover. Us old farts may get maximum benefit from such an intense workout only once a week.

If you combine a power clean and bench press workout with some high intensity cardio training 3 or 4 mornings a week, you could really look great and only work out 3 or 4 days per week. Since the cardio only lasts 25-30 minutes, you’ll only spend 2 hours a week doing cardio training.

At the rate of a power clean / bench press workout every 5 days, you’ll do 6 of them a month. One of those workouts should take no longer than 40 minutes or so. That’s 240 minutes for resistance training a month.

Combine that with the 480 minutes a month you spend doing the high intensity cardio sessions, and you’ll spend a total of 720 minutes a month for a super effective, fat burning, muscle building workout. Don’t let only 12 hours a month stand in the way of being lean and looking great. Remember your power cleans, one of the all time best fat burning, muscle building exercises. They’re old school, but they work.