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

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521 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 02/24/2020 - 12:15
Artur

Hi Josh, can i add 2 sets of a neck exercise, 3 sets of a ab exercise and 2 sets of calves on each day? would that be fine

And also do you have any article about ab work for me to take a read ?

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Posted Sun, 02/23/2020 - 15:05
Mario

Hi brother i wanted to ask you if it's fine if i use creatine for such workout ? If yes then tell me which creatine you recommend using to gain the most muscle.
I also use a nutrition powder called ensure and wanted to know your thoughts about using both :)

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Posted Mon, 02/24/2020 - 11:13
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

Supplementing with creatine can help with a number of goals. Personally, I go for a monohydrate because it is both cheap and effective. I'm not familiar with the supplement you're talking about and can't really provide any sort of additional knowledge on it. With any supplement, consult with your physician prior to use.

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Posted Fri, 02/21/2020 - 14:47
Tomás

I cant decide betwen this and frankoman split, i can only workout 3 days (2 in a row) what are the pros and cons of each workout taking on the circuntances ?

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Posted Fri, 02/21/2020 - 14:45
José

can i exchange the flies for pull over ?

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 08:02
enes

Hi josh. I want to gain weight. ım very thin. should I use this exercises?

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 09:34
JoshEngland

Hi enes,

A weight lifting routine will certainly help. So will a well thought out nutrition program that puts you in a calorie surplus.

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 09:52
enes

Thanks, so ım implementing this program, right?

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Posted Mon, 02/17/2020 - 06:48
Joe

Os this reccomended for a teenager or Will this have a negative impact on my growth, etc?

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Posted Tue, 02/18/2020 - 10:01
JoshEngland
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Posted Sun, 02/16/2020 - 19:16
Vasco

I would like to substitute the deadlift, should i substitute ir for the Pull Over with empashis on the lats or a row?

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Posted Sun, 02/16/2020 - 19:00
Júlio

Hello, i have some doubts about the substituions that i made

Stiff leg deadlift i substitued for hamstring curl on one day and hip thrust on other day and i also added 2 sets of calf raises on 2 days and 2 sets of shrugs on other day and i would like to know some exercise that could replace the deadlift, maybe pull over with emphasis on the lats, because on day two i also run and i think that doing deadlift would be too much for my legs

And also, is it fine to do day 2 and 3 on consecutive days or not ?

Thanks a bunch for this, your 4 day upper lower worked a lot for me, but unfornetely i can't work out 4 days anymore

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2020 - 22:47
Juan

Hi, what is the rest time between sets?
And what do I do before and after the program? stretching?

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Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 12:10
JoshEngland

Hi Juan,

I honestly never time my rest periods. If you want a time frame to keep you honest, shoot for 60 seconds in between sets.

For warm ups, start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

Stretching after your workout is fine.

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Posted Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:20
Melissa Molina

Hello I’m 5’’1 180 lbs female. I do cardio (cycling) 6 days. I’m trying to lose weight and tone up. I’ve done this program for about 2 months and I’ve gained weight. Is this program more for bulky up ? If so anything you recommend for toning and weight lost ?

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Posted Thu, 02/06/2020 - 21:57
Hihi

I'm new to lifting as working out as a whole, but I find it's better to do these to failure than a set amount considering it's widespread, plus adding a day to focus on abs and a little for the upper back.

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Posted Fri, 02/07/2020 - 14:13
JoshEngland

Hi Hihi,

Nice - these are simply templates so people are free to modify and experiment with their own personal preferences. Glad you've found something that works well for you.

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Posted Fri, 01/31/2020 - 13:57
Mario

Hi brother,i wanted to know if tou think it's a good idea to do calisthenic and dumbbell workouts ?(one week calisthenics only the other week dumbbells)

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Posted Fri, 01/31/2020 - 16:19
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

Depending on your goals and purpose for working out, that would be fine.

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Posted Fri, 01/24/2020 - 17:16
Tiago

How can i make this for 2 days a week, i play football and i feel tired and i do this on my off days that are 2 days, should i do more on the 2 days for example do: bench press, military, squat, stiff deadlift, row and biceps/triceps or should i just do the workout said and do on one week the 1st and 2nd workout and on the next week the 3rd and 1st workout ?

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2020 - 15:42
JoshEngland

Hi Tiago,

Rotate through them on the 2 days you designate as your training days.

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Posted Thu, 01/23/2020 - 14:35
Amy

Do you have advice for how to pick the right starting weight, and when to increase weight?

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Posted Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:26
JoshEngland

Hi Amy,

Pick a weight you think you can use for the prescribed reps. If too heavy, move down. If too light, move up. You should finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 reps left in the tank.

Once these weights get too easy, attempt to move up to a heavier weight.

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Posted Wed, 01/22/2020 - 12:37
Pete

Thanks so much for this series of dumbbell only workouts! I'm a 38 yr old male been working out for several years but wanted to take this year to focus more on strength than the HIIT/cardio workouts I'm used to doing. I've got a home gym with bench, pullup bar and full dumbbell set and I'm really looking forward to putting them to use this year and following all 4 of these programs through. Thanks again!

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Posted Sat, 01/18/2020 - 10:08
Bruno Gomes

Any neck workout that you can reccomend me ?

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2020 - 10:13
JoshEngland

Hi Bruno,

I've never done a neck workout before. I wouldn't classify it as necessary personally.

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Posted Fri, 01/17/2020 - 20:24
Bruno Gomes

I cant do any deadlift, for the normal deadlift i am doing dumbell row, equal to the row with the bar and for the stiff leg deadlift, on One day i am doing leg curl with dumbbels and on the other hip thrust, is it ok?

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2020 - 10:16
JoshEngland

Hi Bruno,

Depends on the reasoning behind why you can't do deadlifts to determine if those are suitable alternatives.

If it's injury based - I don't recommend seeking help online. Visit someone who can help you in a hands on environment. Injuries require one to study your movement patterns to adequately suggest the best course of action.

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2020 - 18:05
Bruno Gomes

It's not injury i just dont feel confortable doing it

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Posted Fri, 01/17/2020 - 13:37
Alyssa

For the one arm dumbbell row on day 3, how should we be splitting that so we work out both arm?

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Posted Fri, 01/17/2020 - 16:19
JoshEngland

Hi Alyssa,

It's 10 per side.

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Posted Sat, 01/11/2020 - 17:19
Rachel

Thanks for this v.useful guide. Is it best to do HIIT or can I do any cardio after this e.g. 20 mins on rowing machine/treadmill (I only have 45 mins before work and don't like going in the evenings when the gym is so busy) and yoga / walking on days off?

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Posted Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:25
JoshEngland

Hi Rachel,

Yep! Adding those in (any cardio) would be a good addition based on what you've said in your comment.

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Posted Thu, 01/09/2020 - 11:32
Ernesto Sanchez

I am using somewhat of a progressive overload format for this. Once I feel comfortable with a weight that I’ve been using I jump up in weight. With that being said, if I stick with that do you still recommend switching to a 4 day routine After 8 weeks or stay on the overload until I plateau?
Thanks in advance

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Posted Thu, 01/09/2020 - 12:09
JoshEngland

Hi Ernesto,

It's not necessary so long as you are accomplishing progressive overload otherwise.

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:15
Sara

Hi, thank you for the workout program. I don't work out on my first days of periods. So causes a few days of stop on the program. Is it OK?

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:38
JoshEngland

Hi Sara,

That's fine - just try to be consistent throughout the rest of your cycle and try to progress your strength throughout the year.

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Posted Sun, 01/05/2020 - 09:36
Adi

will this work for a skinny fat teenager??

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:49
JoshEngland

Hi Adi,

Sure, but don't be so harsh. Use kinder language when describing bodies :)

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Posted Mon, 12/30/2019 - 10:24
Marice Phillips

Will it be okay for me to go for a run and punch and kick a bag on the off days?

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Posted Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:48
JoshEngland

Hi Marice,

That would be fine.

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Posted Fri, 12/27/2019 - 18:58
Jacob

2 questions

1. I run track should I run on workout days or off days
2. Do you have a website for a full core routine?

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2020 - 12:54
JoshEngland

Hi Jacob,

1. That should be fine but monitor your ability to recover.

2. We have some core workouts here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

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Posted Wed, 12/25/2019 - 19:25
Bruno

I can workout at mondays, thursdays and fridays, so 2 days in a row
which aproach would be better?
Doing 3 full boddy workout or any other that you can reccomend me?

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Posted Fri, 12/27/2019 - 10:46
JoshEngland

Hi Bruno,

That should be fine.

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Posted Sat, 01/18/2020 - 09:49
Bruno Gomes

on sunday i also play football on morning and sometimes i cycle on the afternoons, is that ok if i do cycle i only do isolation work for traps, forearms and calves?

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2020 - 10:14
JoshEngland

Hi Bruno,

Sure, you can spend your rest days however you see fit with this particular program.

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2019 - 19:01
Angelika Hahn

Is it ok to use a rowing machine on my off days

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Posted Tue, 12/24/2019 - 11:51
JoshEngland

Hi Angelika,

Yes, that should be fine.

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2019 - 17:08
DL

I really like the look of your 3 day dumbbell workout! I am a 60 year old female and have spent the last 40 years in office jobs, so there's been a lot of sitting. My knees are bone on bone and they pop and grind with squats and lunges. I can't go too far down with the squats not only because of the knee popping but I can't get back up without holding on to something. Just wondering if you have any recommendations for substitution to these two exercises or additional exercises to help with my issues.