Want to boost your metabolism, burn fat, and build bigger muscles? Then you need to include compound, multi-joint barbell exercises in your exercise routine. There’s simply no better way to quickly gain lean muscle and shed flab than with barbell-intensive movements.

“Barbell exercises increase metabolism by engaging the most musculature at once, and that engagement costs energy,” says Mike Israetel, Ph.D., chief sport scientist/co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, U.S. Olympic sports nutrition consultant, and Team USA Weightlifting consultant.

Barbell exercises are also great for generating muscle damage (don’t worry, it’s the normal kind that comes with hard training) and torching your body’s internal energy sources—both of which ignite your metabolism.

“Other than using these exercises to train hard and train often, there’s nothing magical about their metabolism-elevating powers,” says Israetel. “Certainly none of these effects last any longer than during the exercise itself and in the 24 hours after.”

The bottom line: These multi-joint moves help you develop the most muscle mass, make you the most functionally strong, and help improve your balance. They also build bone mass, which is especially important for healthy aging.

The most effective metabolism-boosting barbell exercises incorporate the most muscle and can be done safely for high reps and lots of sets. Remember to ease into the weights and always use good technique, says Israetel: “Never get sloppy just to do more reps!”