Dumbbell Only Workout: 3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Dumbbell Only Workout: 3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout
This workout program only requires dumbbells, has just the right amount of volume to promote muscle growth, and is perfect to do at home or on the go.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
8 weeks
3
25-30 minutes
Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

The following workout is designed for those who only have access to a set of dumbbells.

It’s perfect for those who work out at home, travel and are on the road a lot, or beginners who are new to weight lifting.

It can be performed as a complete workout program for up to 8 weeks. At that point you may want to consider increasing the volume of the workouts or change up your routine to include more of a variety of equipment.

This program calls for you to work out 3 times a week. Since these workouts are full body workouts, it is best to have a rest day in between your work out days.

For example, you could perform this program on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This will give your body enough rest to recover in between workouts.

Be sure to track your rest periods during your workouts. The rest time in between sets for this program should be between 30-60 seconds.

Feel free to add cardio and ab specific training as you see fit. I’d recommend HIIT after your workouts on your work out days and a lower intensity form of cardio on your off/recovery days.

If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Squat 3 10
2. Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 3 10
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row 3 10
4. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
5. Lateral Raises 2 8
6. Standing Dumbbell Curl 2 8
7. Lying Dumbbell Extension 2 8
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Lunge 3 10
2. Dumbbell Hamstring Curl 3 10
3. Dumbbell Deadlift 3 10
4. Dumbbell Military Press 3 10
5. Dumbbell Flys 2 8
6. Hammer Curl 2 8
7. Seated Dumbbell Extension 2 8
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Step Up 3 10
2. Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 3 10
3. One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10
4. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press 3 10
5. Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly 2 8
6. Zottman Curl 2 8
7. Close Grip Dumbbell Press 2 8

34 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:22
Ta

Hey Josh,
Looks like just the workout I need. One question; are all the exercises done with the same weights, or should different weights be employed?

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Ta,

I'd recommend using different weights as you'll be stronger on certain lifts than others. However, if you only have one set of dumbbells, using the same weight until you can purchase a heavier set will work just fine too.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:32
Gabriel

Hello Josh,
I've noticed that on different days the same muscles are worked out but in different exercises, is it important to do it as the day 1,2 or 3 says or can I choose one exercise for the muscle and do it on each day? The only reason I'm asking is because I don't have a bench, so I cannot do some of the exercises.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:09
JoshEngland

Hi Gabriel,

You can sub in any exercise you have the equipment for so long as it works the same muscle group.

This program was designed to be a full body program, so every muscle gets worked every workout. I switched out the exercise just to slightly change the angles and movement pattern of the muscle being worked. But so long as you are training each muscle group 2-3x per week, you should see great results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/21/2017 - 22:42
Bakhti

Hi Josh,

I'm 26 years old male, 66 kg, and 168 cm. i have skinny fat body type with rather big belly.
i just started my gym workout for couple of months now. I'm currently doing full body workout, not this exercise tho, i'm doing 2 exercises/muscle group, my problem is i still don't see any difference with my body figure or my weight scale.

I wanna try this program and see if it works for me. do you have any tips before i start over about what i might did wrong from my previous training?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Bakhti,

Training wise it looks like you're on the right track.

But gaining muscle is much more than training. Make sure you are eating a diet consisting of mostly whole food groups. These are richer in micronutrients. Also make sure you are eating an appropriate calorie amount for your goals. To do that find your daily calorie needs here and add/subtract accordingly: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Lastly, make sure you are getting enough quality sleep at night. 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep ought to do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 11/20/2017 - 15:36
Faisal

Dear Josh,
I am 15 years old. I have 2 kg dumbbells. I did this workout but I did not feel any pain. What is your recommendation on this like, shall I increase the reps or do something else?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Faisal,

Thanks for trying out the program! If you feel the weight is too light, it might be worth investing in a heavier pair of dumbbells. Otherwise, you could look into challenging bodyweight workouts. I've provided a link below to all of our bodyweight workouts. You can check it out and see if you find one you'd like to try.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/bodyweight

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:27
Dr Sanjay Miglani

Dear Josh,
I am 41 and done with 4weeks of the program. I feel great and energetic. Do you recommend any specific diet with this program. I am on low carb diet to loose some extra pounds.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:49
JoshEngland

Hi Sanjay!

That is awesome! Congratulations on your progress and thank you for giving my workout a shot!

I don't recommend specific diets to people, because everyone is very individualized in what they enjoy and have access to.

Personally, I maintain a calorie balance that is dependent on my goals. Then, I get those calories in by consuming mostly whole food choices (lean meats, fruits, nuts, oils, vegetables, grains, rice, etc.)

Start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Then, to lose weight, subtract ~250 calories from the number that calculator gives you. Aim to eat that amount of calories consistently and you should see those lbs drop right off over the course of a couple weeks.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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Posted Mon, 11/20/2017 - 03:15
Dr Sanjay Miglani

Thanks a million josh for your kind reply. 2 more small queries:
1. Can I do this regime 6 days instead of 3 days a week.
2. What next after 8 weeks programme.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:51
JoshEngland

Hi Sanjay,

You're very welcome! More than happy to help!

1. I would not advise it. These are full body workouts, meaning every muscle group is trained. A key to progressing to your goal is recovering properly. And in most cases, you don't want to train the same muscle grouping without allowing them 48-72 hours in between workouts to fully recover (grant it, some recover quicker than others and could potentially be able to increase their workout frequency).

2. This will depend greatly on your goals. You don't necessary have to change the program after the 8 weeks, you just have to make it more difficult to ensure progressive overload. This can be done by adding weight, slowing rep tempo, or increasing reps/sets. However, some do enjoy spicing things up and switching their programs as a form of progression. In that case I've provided some links below. One is to our entire workouts database which you can browse to see if you find something you like. The other is a program comparable to this one that is slightly different to provide a new stimulus.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workout-routines

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-home-or-gym-ful...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:45
Ran

Hi josh ,
Should I focus on triceps or biceps more
Bcoz I want my arms
to look big

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:54
JoshEngland

Hi Ran,

There is plenty of direct and indirect arm work within this program to help you build muscle. Especially if you are just starting out.

With that said, everyone is different and has different goals. This workout is simply a template/starting point. Feel free to modify as you see fit so you can accomplish your individual goals.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:42
Samtesting

Hi Josh,
Is this a good plan for a female who wants to shed some pounds, gain lean muscle and increase overall strength? Should I be using lighter weights and increase the rep amount?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:39
JoshEngland

Hi Samtesting,

Yes, this is a great workout that females can perform. I wouldn't recommend using lighter weight and increasing the rep range. A challenging weight within the rep range provided should be perfect for someone looking to accomplish the goals you have mentioned.

Hope this helps! Let us know if you try the program!

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Posted Sun, 11/12/2017 - 15:04
Josh

I train in kickboxing 2 days per week 1 hour sessions with lots of bag work.
Will this program best suit me the 3 days or would 2 still give me decent muscle and strength?
I don't want to overtax my recovery.
Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:46
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

2 days a week is completely fine for full body workouts, especially taking into account your kickboxing training. You should still see the gains you want by performing these workouts just twice a week.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/24/2017 - 12:59
Blaze

Bro what should be the weight of the dumbbell. Any suggestions???

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:07
JoshEngland

Hi Blaze,

This will depend on your individual strength levels so it is hard to make a recommendation.

I'd suggest performing each exercise with a weight you feel comfortable performing the prescribed number of repetitions with. After each set you should feel as though you have just 1 more rep left in the tank.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 10/22/2017 - 13:16
Ezekiel Herrera

So Saturday & Sunday's is rest day also, and can I do more sets than 3. Thanks love the routine so far

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:05
JoshEngland

Hi Ezekiel,

Thank you! Glad you're enjoying the program! Yes that is correct and you're more than welcome to do more than 3 sets if you feel you're capable of doing so.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:11
Jaz G

Hello - Should the last set of reps be done till fa

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:25
JoshEngland

Hi Jaz G,

None of the sets should be performed to absolute muscle failure. Each set should be challenging, but you should feel as though you have one more rep left in the tank.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 09/19/2017 - 15:07
Ally

Hi Josh,

I've been looking for a good Dumbbell only' FB workout plan.
Your plan seems a great one and can't wait to start it.

I'm just wondering for the average 3 sets or 2 sets on this FB/3 day workout.
Would you recommend on the last set on each exercise to take this last set as a working set and go to failure on a heavier D/bell or just complete the rep count and slowly add weight as the full rep count is hit easy on the lifts?

Thanks

Ally.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:46
JoshEngland

Hi Ally,

Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoy the program and hope you see the results you are hoping for from it.

Personally, I'd focus on completing the rep counts and slowly add weight as the rep count is hit easily on the lifts.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 09/13/2017 - 20:28
Anthony

Is this a workout that you recommend to a high school student that is skinny?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 09/14/2017 - 08:36
JoshEngland

Hi Anthony,

Sure! You should be able to experience some solid gains by performing this program. Just be sure to pair it with an appropriate calorie surplus to gain weight and 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:12
Jimmy

what about calves?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:41
JoshEngland

Hi Jimmy,

You're more than welcome to add in a dumbbell standing calf raise to this program if you feel it will better help you accomplish your individual goals.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 08/15/2017 - 08:48
Marco

Hi - I'm trying this 8 week course out for the first time. I'm 45 and though physically active, I haven't done weights before.
My question is what weight should I be using? I'm starting out with 7Kg DBs on the first 4 exercises of each Day, and 4.5Kg DBs for the last 3 exercises. I don't want to overdo it as I'm just starting out, but neither do I want to go 8 weeks without some kind of gain.
Also, during the 8 week set, should I go heavier every few weeks, or maintain the same weights to completion?
Many thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/15/2017 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Marco,

It's tough to say what weight you should start off with. I'd recommend picking a weight you know you can perform the prescribed reps with. If it feels to easy, move up in weight. If it feels too heavy, go down in weight.

If you're just starting off, spend the first week or 2 finding the appropriate weight and then the next 6 progressing by trying to increase the weight you use as you're capable of doing so. Progressing is also very individual. Some may be able to increase weight weekly, while others bi-weekly.

Experiment a little (always erring on the side of caution), you'll find what works for you for the long-term. And I wouldn't worry too much about results. IF you're performing a solid resistance program (such as this one), eating right and sleeping enough at night, you should see some muscle gain.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:07
Marco

Thanks very much Josh, good sensible advice, I'll let you know how I got on! :)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:41
JoshEngland

Hi Marco,

You're welcome! Keep me posted! Best of luck!