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

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.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout

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!

Posted on: Sun, 05/15/2022 - 22:38

I have read through many of the first comments, and where are my women friends? But nice to hear from the guys, and I hope they will enjoy the program. My goal was to start a program that does a full-body workout three days a week. This looks amazing. I have downloaded the program and I will watch every video along the way. Thank you Josh England. I will update in 8 weeks.

Posted on: Tue, 05/10/2022 - 09:22

Hi. Great looking workout for a beginner such as myself. Should each exercise be completed (e.g. 3 sets) before going to the next exercise? Are there any options for supersets, or is it better to just do them in order. I saw one comment when you suggested the reader change the order because he was too tired to do some of the later exercises. Thanks!

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Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 21:40

Start out by doing all three sets before moving on, Joel. Once you get more familiar and you feel froggy, then give supersets a shot. I think it would be a good way to challenge and motivate yourself.

Posted on: Tue, 05/10/2022 - 05:14

Once I’ve done the first week, is it ok to push the last 3 exercises to 3 sets of 10 to increase the benefits?

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Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 21:39

If you got it in ya, Mitch, go for it. Do me a favor and let us know how you do on this program. Thanks!

Steve Z
Posted on: Fri, 05/06/2022 - 11:38

Will this exercise workout be efficient for 74 year old man with arthritis and joint issues?

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Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 21:10

Hi, Steve. Take this workout to your doctor and ask questions based on your medical issues. If a doctor says yes, then this is a good choice. That said, your doc overrides me as a random dude on the internet.

Posted on: Fri, 05/06/2022 - 07:48

Thanks a lot for these programs. Helping me a lot to do home workout!!

Posted on: Fri, 04/29/2022 - 12:39

How much do you rest between sets and then exercises? Can you perform this as a circuit?

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Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 21:11

45-60 seconds between sets, Kristen. You could do them as a circuit if you're able to. If you do, two minutes rest between circuits.

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2022 - 20:40

Hey, i noticed this plan does not include back exercises. Will my posture and physique not be damaged from only doing chest exercises with no back?

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Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:56

Hi, Bogdan. The dumbbell rows and deadlifts both benefit the back, but you can add pullovers if you like to get even more work in. Your posture and physique shouldn't suffer.

Posted on: Sun, 04/24/2022 - 22:13

How many days should I rest between workouts?

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Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:52

Don't go more than two in a row before taking a day off, Ensar. After a day off, feel free to pick up where you left off.

Posted on: Sat, 04/23/2022 - 06:04

Been doing this for 4 weeks so far now. It has been years since I've been weight lifting and really struggled to get back into it. I already have a lot more energy now and it has been excellent in helping me manage my hypermobility. Thankyouvso much for making this accessable.

Posted on: Sun, 05/15/2022 - 22:28

That's great to hear. I am starting this workout tomorrow and hope to feel the same. Good Luck

Posted on: Wed, 04/20/2022 - 03:51

Is it okay working out at night?

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Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:52

Sure is, Ohbie.

Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 21:26

Hi Roger, by the time I reach 'Bent Over Dumbbell Rows'my thighs and core shake like an earthquake even though I'm still not tired. Is this normal and how can I prevent it?

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Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:53

Hey there! If you're a beginner, then yes, it could be typical. I'd rather you be able to execute the rows properly, so switch the order so you do those first. Hope this helps you out!

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2022 - 21:28

Thank you for this workout! I needed to switch to working out from home and this has been perfect. I have been doing it for 8 weeks now, and am going to continue for a couple more b/c I spent the first few weeks dialing in weight amounts for each exercise. I plan to start the 4 day program you recommend next.
I have definitely gained strength in the last 2 months and I think my body composition has improved somewhat. But I still weigh the same as I did before I started.
I am new to consistent weight lifting. At what point would it be normal to start expecting to see weight gain? I am in no rush, but I also don't want to keep plugging on for months on end without gaining mass just because I never asked.
I am 36 yr. old, weigh 180 lb. and have a really fast metabolism. I also do construction for a living. In addition to my normal diet, which is clean and balanced, with this workout I have added whey shakes after each workout as well as casein shakes almost every night. I have been reluctant to track my macros, but know at some point that might be necessary.
Any insight you can give would be great! Thanks

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Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:56

What's up, Chase? Your active job combined with your fast metabolism is going to make your road a little harder, but you can still get there. Follow this guide to help you choose how to make your diet even better.

Also, make sure the water intake is high. Plenty of fluids will be necessary for the fibers to recover. Also, when you take a day off, try to coincide it with days off work so you can completely recover.

If you got any other questions, bring them on. May take a bit, but I will get back to you.

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2022 - 12:59

Hello, I’ve just found this workout program,I’ve got adjustable dumbbells, when should I start to increase the weight of them? I’ve only just started a couple of days ago

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Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 20:00

Hey Mark, when you can perform the entire set without reaching failure, it's time to go up. Hope this helps!

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Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 20:00

Hey Mark, when you can perform the entire set without reaching failure, it's time to go up. Hope this helps!

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Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:35

Pick up where you left off and start fresh the next week, Mark.

Posted on: Wed, 04/20/2022 - 17:54

That’s great thank you.

Shall I continue the workout if I missed a day? For example if I’m working out Wednesday but miss it shall I work out Thursday or just go onto Friday?

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2022 - 11:38

So are these workouts working legs as well or only arms

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Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 20:00

You're training the majority of the body in each workout, Brandon. So, upper body and legs will both be working each time you train.

Posted on: Sun, 04/03/2022 - 21:05

Is this workout reliable to work the entirety of my body? I am trying to lose fat while building a bit of muscle. I only have dumbbell ranging from 1-10kg but machines such as pec deck, cheat press, hamstring curl, less press, lat pulldown are also available, should I Use those? Could you tell me when?

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Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 19:59

Hi, Prajwal. What are your numbers now? How much do you weigh and how tall are you? Also, how much experience do you have training?

Posted on: Fri, 03/25/2022 - 12:07

Hello, I have had contact with dumbbells for 2-3 weeks, I used kettlebell before. I am 17 years old, about 190 cm tall and weighs 75 kg. I'm not a slim person, but I'm not fat either. In short, I have some weight on me. By summer I want to do the so-called sculpture or muscle mass. Will I achieve a certain percentage of muscle mass by exercising regularly with this plan?

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Posted on: Tue, 03/29/2022 - 20:29

There is no way to determine what percentage you would gain or lose. Each person is different. I am confident that this program will help you improve. The amount you improve is determined by how you eat, recover, sleep, etc.

Posted on: Sat, 03/19/2022 - 21:39

Thanks so much for making this... THe videos etc are awesome and to the point. Looking forward to trying this, setting up a small little home gym with olympic dumbbells and a bench cause I am finding it hard to make it to the gym and was looking for guidance and this was perfect.

Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 22:26

what will be the interval time per set and reps for each workout

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Posted on: Sun, 03/20/2022 - 20:42

If you are talking about rest, 60-90 seconds between sets would work.

Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 17:10

Looking forward to starting this program. I have some experience, but still learning. Little intimidated by the big compound exercises and lifts such as deadlifts, squats, and so on. I feel comfortable with dumbbells and this seems to fit with what I looking for when I go to the gym. I feel like can go into the gym now with confidence and have a plan. Did a 4 week beginner program that was ok. I lost 30 lbs. and got me going in the right direction. Really excited to start this, will post updates and progress as I get more into it. I have no doubt I will see results if I stick with it and put in maximum effort while at the gym.

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Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 19:36

Please keep us posted, Jared. You got this!

Posted on: Sat, 03/12/2022 - 21:17

Hi, Josh
I currently weigh 310 and looking to change my body composition. Already made some diet changes but in regards to weight training would this be a good plan to start with?

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Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 19:36

Speaking for Josh here, Diego. Yes, this would be a great choice to start with. Let us know how it goes for you.

Posted on: Tue, 03/08/2022 - 20:04

Hi, I want to try this workout plan as it looks really accessible and goodd for a beginner. However, I have noticed that the exercise guidance never explicitly mentions exercises for abs/core/lower back. As I have some back problems, could this become a problem for me or will the core/abs/back automatically be trained with the other exercises?
Thanks for putting this plan up!

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Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 19:38

Hard to answer without knowing what those back problems are, KK. So, I can't make any recommendations besides seeing a doctor. I can tell you that your core will have to stabilize the rest of your body for several of these exercises. So, you will get some work in.

Posted on: Mon, 03/07/2022 - 23:07

Hi, after I finish the 8-week program what's next?

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Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2022 - 19:36

What are your goals, Matthew? Also, how far are you in with this one?

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2022 - 07:54

Just started this plan. On off days I’ve been doing some sets of jumping jacks, body weight squats and push ups. Is that too much for off days?

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Posted on: Fri, 03/11/2022 - 21:17

I don't think so, Chris. As long as you're not doing an extreme amount of reps, you should be fine.

Ashley Byerly
Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2022 - 19:18

I completed day one of this and have been experiencing lots of pain in my upper forearm/elbow ditch area. I noticed that the laterals are very difficult for me to do since I have overextension in my elbows (commonly called double jointed elbows). Is there a modification to this I could make to keep from hurting myself?

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Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2022 - 19:23

Hi, Ashley. The best thing you could do is see a physician about the issue/injury and follow whatever is recommended.

Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2022 - 14:54

I'd like to use an iOS app to track reps/weights/routines/etc for this workout (rather than using paper). Does such an app exist for tracking this program on my iPhone? Thanks!

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Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2022 - 19:19

I'm not sure, Chris. Best bet would be to search your app store and see what is available.