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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544 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 05/05/2020 - 18:52
Aali Akmal

Hi Josh
How often should I increase the weight for each exercise. Does it have to be every workout? Week? 2 Weeks?

Best,
Aali Akmal

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Posted Wed, 05/06/2020 - 09:14
Daniel

Hey Aali - you should always use the maximum weight you can handle to complete the prescribed reps. If you have reps left in the tank at the end of your set, it's time to increase. Keep doing this until you plateau.

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Posted Fri, 04/24/2020 - 11:05
Nousher Ahmad

Hey can we increase volume while doing the workout ?

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Posted Wed, 05/06/2020 - 09:45
Daniel

Don't increase volume, increase weight.

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Posted Thu, 04/23/2020 - 18:26
Nate

What HIIT program would you recommend for workout days?

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Posted Thu, 04/23/2020 - 13:37
Pablo

Hey josh,

In my house, I have a bench, a pair of adjustable dumbells, and an AB-carves wheel (the little wheel for doing abs). So far I've been doing the same routine (of reps that I remembered from a long time ago) every other day that took me 1 hour or so for 8 weeks and I got bored (although I saw some improvements). My main goal its mostly losing my beer belly ( I don't mind making some muscle though). Two questions from this.

1.- It is recommended to combine this routine with my abs wheel? I also try to do 15 miles of biking every day. How I should combine these 3 things? (dumbells/abs wheel/biking)

2.- Do you have any advice on how to adjust the weight of the dumbells? I do not want to injure myself but also I don't want to lift light weights so the workout is not effective.

thank you very much

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Posted Wed, 04/22/2020 - 10:58
Nousher Ahmad

Hey can we increase volume while doing the workout....when we feel that the body has adapted with the current intensity and volume.

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Posted Fri, 04/17/2020 - 12:56
Joeval

hi, can this workout burn fat and build muscles.. i am skinny fat figure right now.

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Posted Mon, 04/13/2020 - 19:49
Nate

How soon after lifting would you do the HIIT training, and what routine would you recommend?

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Posted Fri, 04/10/2020 - 20:24
George

Is there any replacement for step ups that I could do?

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Posted Fri, 04/10/2020 - 20:22
George

Is there any alternative for step ups in this routine that I could replace it with?

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Posted Sun, 04/05/2020 - 15:13
Andrew Thoppil

Hey,
I was wondering what I can do for lagging shoulders, and howI can set it up? thanks

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Posted Mon, 03/30/2020 - 07:57
Question

Hello, I'm fairly new to weight training, and for some important exercises (for example the dumbbell bench press, lunges, squats), my forearms/wrists give in way before i feel the desired muscle. I've tried not bending my wrists, and holding the dumbbell as in line/straight with my arm as possible, but I literally struggle doing anything about 6kg with them.
What do you think I should do? Thanks man for the help:D

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Posted Fri, 03/27/2020 - 18:12
Bruno

First of all, i would like to thank you for this amazing workout i gained a lot of muscle just by doing this and i feel much better. but i also have 2 questions about my aproach and if i am doing this correctly:
1- I am training to failure/near failure is barely every set, is this right?
2- Can i do for example 20 reps if the weight that i use if i only have a light weight, for example i have dumbbels until 10 kg and its light for the bench press, can i do 20 reps instead of 10 for example ?

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Posted Thu, 03/26/2020 - 10:17
Daniel

Hello Josh
Starting the 3 day a week dumbbell workout and was wondering what's a good start weight and how often do you increase. Thanks

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Posted Sun, 03/22/2020 - 21:24
Andrew Thoppil

Hey, I noticed on the online plan it says, for the 3rd workout, "One arm row", but the pdf it says One arm Press. Which one is the right one to do? Also, my shoulders are lagging severely in relation to my other body parts. Is there a full body dumbbell routine that has some sort of shoulder emphasized movement every 3 days? I noticed that, the 3rd day has a rear delt exercise, but not any sort of pressing, or mid felt exercise. That is, unless you meant to put "one arm press" instead of "One arm row" on the 3rd day.

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Posted Sat, 03/21/2020 - 09:18
JP

At least 3 of the exercises here requires a bench in addition to dumbbells,
I don’t have a bench, or anything that could be substituted for one.
Can you either provide alternatives or take the words “dumbbell only” off this workout? I can’t search for what I need (an actual dumbbell only workout) because this clogs up the search results.

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Posted Tue, 03/10/2020 - 03:48
Dan

Hi mate,

I find that my forearms are giving out before my target muscles after doing dumbbell squats, deadlifts followed by bent over rows. Any thoughts?

Also do you need to add core workouts?

Thanks

D

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Posted Tue, 03/10/2020 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

I'd simply recommend staying at it. Your grip strength is a good indicator of what weight you should be using to avoid injury through your form breaking down.

If, however, pure strength is your goal, you could look into investing in straps.

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Posted Sun, 04/26/2020 - 14:23
Dennis Peters

I use straps, that wrap around my wrists and then the bar. Really helps, so my forearms and hand strength does not factor into failure. There are also clips with straps. Dickssportinggoods and Amazon have them, cheap also. My straps have extra padding. Great for shrugs, deadlifts, bar or dumbbell exercises.

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Posted Mon, 03/09/2020 - 22:26
Mario

Hey brother i wanted to know what you think about this routine>>>>>>
R::doing dumbbell workout with push ups(3 days) every other week and pull ups and ab exercises(3 days) in the week between.(sorry bad english)XD

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Posted Tue, 03/10/2020 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

Might be even better if you alternate the days you perform your push ups and pull ups instead of the weeks.

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Posted Mon, 03/02/2020 - 07:17
Daniel

Can i do normal bench press instead of reverse grip ?

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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?