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!

After you've finished this workout program, move on to this 4 day dumbbell only workout program.

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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

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

696 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 10/22/2020 - 02:11
ramit

i like the 3 day workout split very much but do i have to switch it up after 8 weeks or can i just increase the weight and do the same sets...i am also a begginer in weighlifting

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Posted Tue, 10/13/2020 - 06:57
Filip

Great, simple workout! Is simplyfying it even more would bring good effects aswell?

I mean doing every other day the same exercises, mostly compound ones and covering the whole spectrum (deadlift, squat, bench/floor press, row, front/lateral raise, bicep curl, and some tricep exercise?

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Posted Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:01
Abigail_M&S

Hey Filip - what you're describing sounds like you're looking for a full body workout? Check out this one here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-strength-full-body-wor...

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Posted Wed, 10/14/2020 - 02:34
Filip

Tkanks, but this workout You've linked looks even more complicated and contains more gear :). The workout I was posting under (3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout) is also full body type and all three work-days have different exercices - I was wondering if it can be unified and person doing it can achieve the same/similar goals.

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Posted Wed, 10/14/2020 - 10:39
Abigail_M&S

Filip - it's best to follow the program as written

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 02:46
Filip

Thanks!

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Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 13:18
Robin Birk

I just completed my first week. I was able to complete all sets using 10 pound dumbbells. Should I up my weight for next week? Also, for the exercises that only use one arm, am I supposed to do 10 reps on each arm 3 times? Thanks!!!

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Posted Tue, 10/13/2020 - 08:59
Abigail_M&S

Hey Robin - If you're able to complete the reps with proper form, you can up the weight. For single-arm exercises, one set consists of 10 reps with your left arm and 10 reps with your right arm.

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Posted Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:09
Robin Birk

Thanks a bunch!!!

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Posted Sun, 10/11/2020 - 21:51
Dustin Longpre

Hey, looking at your 3 day, 4 day and 5 day dumbbell workouts. I've been doing stronglifts 5x5 but am dealing with some shoulder issues and was told to switch to dumbbells. As I've never done a lot of these exercises I'm not sure where to start out for weight. How do you recommend finding that ideal starting weight? I'm pretty new to the whole gym scene. Also, should I be starting on 3 day or does it matter? I was thinking about mixing in some cardio 5km runs as well on my non gym days.

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Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 09:20
Abigail_M&S

Hey Dustin - all great questions! Since you're dealing with some pain, I would start out with the 3-day workout. You should be using weights that are challenging but allow you to perform the movement safely and with correct form for the given number of reps. You can add in cardio 2ish times per week as long as you keep your recovery in check.

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Posted Sat, 10/10/2020 - 14:23
Azwad Ahnaf

I am not sweating or panting at all after these workouts am I doing something wrong?

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Posted Fri, 10/09/2020 - 19:12
Monster

Hello, this program is too easy for me ( expect the lateral raises and rows )

I’m kinda of a beginner, my full body workout has been :

Bent Dumbbells rows
Push ups
Clean and press
RDL
Dumbbells squats + lunges
dumbbells swings
Dumbbells curls
Skull crushers
Bicycle crunches

3 times weekly been doing it for maybe 2 months

I jumped into this for today and i said it was too wasy .. any comment on my situation??

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Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 09:10
Abigail_M&S

Hey Monster - you can make this workout more strenuous by upping your weight. You should be using weight that is challenging but still allows you to use correct form for the given number of reps.

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Posted Wed, 10/07/2020 - 14:30
Ryan Bahr

What would you do once you finish the 8 weeks?

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Posted Wed, 10/07/2020 - 14:44
Abigail_M&S

Hey Ryan - you can move on to our 4 Day program: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-upper-lower-wor...

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Posted Tue, 10/06/2020 - 11:13
stephen

Can i replace some of the workouts with barbell and cable? I like the program but some id like to do with barbells and cable, for example dumbbell squats with barbell and lateral raises/chest flys. Is this possible or does it take away from working your core and stabilizing muscles as the routine intended?

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Posted Tue, 10/06/2020 - 13:52
Abigail_M&S

Hey Stephen - yes you can switch them out. This workout Is written for people who only have access to dumbbells. Since you have access to other equipment, you can totally switch them out.

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Posted Tue, 10/06/2020 - 00:06
justin hayes

Bout to start this workout Wednesday, hopefully i can be consistent...the journey begins...

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Posted Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:15
Abigail_M&S

Hey Justin - You've got this!

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Posted Fri, 10/02/2020 - 21:05
Daniel

Love the program and that there are programs to follow it. I use adjustable plate loaded dumbbells and time my rest periods meticulously and don’t see how anyone could do this in 30 minutes. Today I did day 3 and if I had to change plates only took enough time to record what I did and drink water but it took me almost an hour. Am I doing something wrong?

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Posted Mon, 10/05/2020 - 09:35
Abigail_M&S

Hey Daniel - I'll add this workout to our list of ones to revise. An hour seems much more reasonable than 25-30 minutes for the number of exercises and sets programmed in this workout. Thanks for pointing this out!

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Posted Tue, 09/29/2020 - 17:25
JRRonSFP

Just wrapped this up over the weekend...took a little over 8 weeks as there were a couple of weeks where I could only get 2 sessions in, but defo felt and saw results. This has been a core (haha) part of my COVID Shelter-in-Place survival plan. Now...on the the 4-day/12-week plan...which I'll aim to complete in 13-14 weeks...great workouts, thank you for the resources!

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Posted Wed, 09/30/2020 - 09:10
Abigail_M&S

Hey there - congrats on completing the program and sticking with it even when you had weeks that didn't 100% fit the programming! So glad to hear you loved it! Keep us updated on your progress with the 4-day program.

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Posted Sat, 09/26/2020 - 09:46
ChrisUK

So I am just starting this and have 1 important question - how do you decide on the starting dumbbell weight for each movement?

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Posted Mon, 09/28/2020 - 13:13
Abigail_M&S

Hey Chris - Your weight should be something that you can move safely and with correct form for the given number of reps. Hope that helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/19/2020 - 15:43
Abul-Hassan Hannan

Hi guys,

I've been doing a lot of daily bodyweight and cardio workouts since March and have progressed well - with active rest days. At the moment my time is limited to around 50 mins a day.

I'd like to continue with HIIT a couple of times a week at least, but I see you recommend doing it after the dumbbell workouts. Timewise that's not going to work for me.

Can I do the HIIT workouts on 2 rest days during the week and then have two days off?

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Posted Tue, 09/22/2020 - 16:05
Abigail_M&S

Hey Abul - if you're able to work out on the weekends, I would suggest something along the lines of:
Monday: Day 1
Tuesday: Day 2
Wednesday: HIIT
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Day 3
Saturday: HIIT
Sunday: Rest

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Posted Fri, 09/18/2020 - 15:50
Omar

I've been looking for a program like this for weeks, something from beginner to advanced that you can perform at home. I could not find a workout program that includes a barbell since I have one at home, do you have something? I would not like to simply look for the substitution of dumbbell excersises with barbell excersises myself. Thank you

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Posted Tue, 09/22/2020 - 16:01
Abigail_M&S

Hey Omar - great to hear that you're loving the program! Maybe this workout is one that you'd like: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-power-muscle-burn

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Posted Thu, 09/17/2020 - 01:56
Stuthi

Hi. finished this but unable to move to a 4 day schedule suggested after. Is there another 3 day program to progress to from here. Newbie f48 :)

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Posted Tue, 09/22/2020 - 15:58
Abigail_M&S

Hey Stuthi - are you looking for another dumbbell-only workout or are you looking for a workout that uses more equipment?

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Posted Wed, 09/16/2020 - 19:29
Brandon

3 days in a row? Or alternate like Monday Wednesday Friday?

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Posted Wed, 09/16/2020 - 19:21
Brandon

Should we do 3 days in a row? Or skip in between? So Monday Wednesday Friday? Then start again Monday?

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Posted Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:23
Marina_M&S

Hey Brandon- since these workouts are full body workouts, you'll want to have at least 1 rest day between your work out days. Ideally. That would look like:

Monday: On
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: On
Thursday: Off
Friday: On

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Posted Wed, 09/16/2020 - 07:08
Yaz

Can you suggest an alternative to dumbbell hamstring curl please?

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Posted Tue, 09/22/2020 - 15:55
Abigail_M&S

Hey Yaz - do you have access to any machines or are you limited strictly to dumbbells?

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Posted Sun, 09/13/2020 - 21:07
nick lee

.

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Posted Sun, 09/13/2020 - 21:07
nick lee

I know that this is a dumbbell only work out but what about abs?

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Posted Mon, 09/14/2020 - 10:06
Marina_M&S

Nick - you can find some free ab workouts here;
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

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Posted Sat, 09/12/2020 - 23:00
Hanafi

Hi, im planning to follow your workout plan but quick question for some part of the workout that requires bench. Can i just do it on the floor or do i really need a bench ? Sorry for asking, im a real beginner when it comes to workout.

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Posted Tue, 09/22/2020 - 15:54
Abigail_M&S

Hey Hanafi - using a bench would be ideal. If you don't have access to one, you can perform those exercises from the floor.

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Posted Sat, 09/12/2020 - 08:16
Kaah

Are these exercise done as a circuit? Fit example in day 1 - do I do each exercise one after the other or do 3 sets of the dumbell squats then move on?

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Posted Mon, 09/14/2020 - 10:08
Marina_M&S

Kaah - these are not supposed to be done as a circuit. Complete each exercise for the specified number of sets and reps, then move on to the next exercise.

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Posted Thu, 09/10/2020 - 15:02
Paarth Rajpara

So I finished day one. It's been 24 hours but my body is on fire. It's in a lot of pain. Most pain is in the back and leg region. I'm deciding to work on my upper body while giving another day to my lower body.

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Posted Tue, 09/08/2020 - 01:33
HL

Should I be using the same weight for each exercise or is it ok to use different weights across the exercises?

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Posted Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:09
Marina_M&S

HL - you can do either. Just make sure you're aiming to complete the number of reps listed for each exercise.

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Posted Mon, 09/07/2020 - 09:10
James

Doing this for 6 weeks now and feeling great and strong. I’m skinny fat but I got stretch marks from getting big despite cutting and my weight slowly going down.

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Posted Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:10
Marina_M&S

Awesome!

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Posted Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:14
Radit

does this workout work for a skinny underweight guy like myself to bodybuild? Also, I've been doing these reps for a bit but I didn't sweat as much as I thought I would, should I follow a more serious workout program (a suggestion would be helpful) thank you