This 5 day dumbbell only workout program only requires dumbbells and is perfect for those looking to build lean muscle mass at home or on the go!
Workout Summary

Workout Description

So, you’ve completed the 3 day full body dumbbell only workout?

AND you’ve completed the 4 day upper/lower dumbbell only workout as a form of progression?

Well, you’ve asked for it and today I’m bringing you the next step in our dumbbell only workout series.

The following workout, for those who only have access to a set of dumbbells, is a 5 day per week program.

It can be performed by those who work out at home in their home gym, travel frequently and need a go-to program they can do at a hotel gym, or anyone really who prefers to use dumbbells over other implements at the gym.

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5 Day Dumbbell Workout Split Overview

The workout can be performed for up to 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks, you may want to consider increasing the volume within the workout, the weight of the dumbbells you are using, or look into facilities that offer more of a variety of weighted equipment.

The program calls for you to work out 5 days per week. What days you decide to work out on are completely up to you. Just ensure that you incorporate 2 rest/active recovery days into your weekly schedule.

The goal of the program is to help you build muscle. Of course, if you’d rather use it to help aid in fat loss, that is completely fine too. Just be sure to adjust your caloric intake accordingly.

Keep rest periods right around the 45 second mark for this workout program.

If you have any other questions about this 5 day dumbbell only workout program, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 5 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 8-12
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 3 8-12

Day 2: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 8-10
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 8-10
Dumbbell Rear Lunge 4 8-10 Each
Dumbbell Frog Squat 3 8-12
Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 20
Weighted Crunch 3 20
Side Planks 3 20 Secs Each

Day 3: Back & Biceps Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bent Over Row 4 8-12
Tripod Dumbbell Row 4 8-12 Each
Dumbbell Pullover 3 8-12
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 10-15
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 10-15

Day 4: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat 4 8-10
Dumbbell Deadlift 4 8-10
Dumbbell Split Squat 3 8-12 Each
Dumbbell Hip Thrust 4 10-15
Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 20
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 15 Each
Plank 3 20 Secs

Day 5: Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 8-10 Each
Dumbbell Arnold Press 4 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-12
Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
Dumbbell Pinwheel Curl 2 8-12
Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension 3 8-12
Dumbbell Shrug 3 12-15

We’d love to hear your results from using this program. Please be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments!

Next Workout: 6 Day Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Noah N
Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 22:40

1. How much cardio should I do along with the 5 day split?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:15

What is your goal, Noah? Are you looking to build muscle or burn fat. I know many pick both, but which would be the priority?

Eslam Osama
Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 05:05

Could we just use the bench press workout, as, I can't see any difference between bench press and floor press?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:14

Floor press helps minimize shoulder involvement so you can focus more on chest contractions and the triceps. That said, if you would rather just do extra bench presses, that would be okay. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 09/19/2023 - 17:12

Hi, I have completed the 3 day programme and started the 4 day programme. Although I have increased my calorific intake and upped my protein intake up to 1.5 g per pound I am not seeing much gain in muscle mass. My strength has increased but not as much as I would have expected. I dislocated my left shoulder just over a year ago and I had to start at 5kg for left arm exercises. I am now on 14 kg dumbells but I can't lift any heavier. As I am 69 years old and retired, is this the problem, despite having 6 to7 hours sleep ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2023 - 13:27

I would suggest following up with the doctor, Anthony. There's a good chance that you just hit a plateau where your body isn't responding as well, but with a medical issue like yours, I wouldn't feel comfortable confirming that without knowing the status of that shoulder.

Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2023 - 15:55

Hi, can I decrease the number of reps to 4-5 and increase the weigth to gain more muscle strength?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2023 - 13:26

You can, Adrian. Let us know how it works for you, and thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 08:18

Well it is better for me because I shock my muscles and I see weekly progress in strength.

Posted on: Thu, 09/14/2023 - 23:23

Hello, are we supposed to rest after each set or each individual exercise, or after we've done one set of all exercises (like a super set)?

Apologies if this is a silly question, my current workout is more like a super-set with rest after multiple exercises. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2023 - 13:18

Not silly at all, Rhys. Rest after each set. If you're advanced and feel like taking on a challenge, then you can do them in giant supersets, but it's not necessary. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 09/06/2023 - 01:10

I have been working out with only dumbells for some time now and I would do the same 3 sets of 9 reps of bicep curls, with the last one being 12 reps, 3 sets of 9 reps of hammer curls with the last one being 12 reps, 3 sets of 9 reps of concentrated bicep curls, with the last one being 12 everyday. All these workouts I would use 15 pound weights and I am only 15 years old weighing around 130 pounds. I feel like I am making progress with that workout but I know that working different muscle groups is more effective but I don’t think that I could do as many reps as is says. Should all exercises be done with the same weight? If so do you think that I should start with lower weights and work my up. These are also a lot more reps then I usually would do.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2023 - 13:17

No, exercises should not be done with the same weight. Start with lighter weight than you're capable of, and work up to a challenging weight for the final sets.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 11:37


Can I do this routine if I don't have a bench? For day one I see bench and floor press. Also inclune and supported dumbbell row.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:48

Hi, John. You can use a stack of blankets on the floor as a bench until you get one. Not the exact same, but it would help. As for the incline, you can find alternatives that you can do in our exercises section. Hard to replace an incline bench.

Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2023 - 14:59

Do I need to be doing barbell squat, deadlift, bench and strict press with this program as well? Or is the dumbbell program enough to build muscle?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2023 - 21:18

Programs like this were made for people that only had dumbbells to work with. If you have access to barbells or other equipment, you can certainly add them in, but the dumbbells should be enough on their own to help achieve improvement.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2023 - 15:00

Can I change the order of the exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2023 - 21:18

You can, but you mind if I ask why you want to?

Posted on: Mon, 08/07/2023 - 04:55

Sir thank you for this really well designed calendar. And it has links to almost every workout! What a great find, can't wait to try it. I really needed to switch things up. I've been doing some dumbbell stuff at home but nothing for core or legs because I hate it. ha

Posted on: Mon, 08/07/2023 - 00:37

Hey, what if I don't have any bench (equipment) for doing the inclined or bench press? Any alternative? Since I only have dumbbells at home :)

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:10

Hey Jason, we figured this out and wrote an article on alternatives, but I'll share it here as well. You can either use pillows to elevate your shoulders, use steps if you have them, or simply do flat on the floor. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 08/05/2023 - 16:15

I have a question, I cannot do the exercises that require a bench for support, for example bench presses, or incline ones. What can I do?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:10

You can either use pillows to elevate your shoulders, use steps if you have them, or simply do flat on the floor. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Fri, 08/04/2023 - 21:18

Hi, I just started working out. Is two 30lb dumbbells and a bench enough for workout plan or would I need more equipment? Also, any recommended warm-ups before starting?

Thanks again for all the guidance, really appreciate it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:11

You should be able to do this program with your equipment as is. As for warmups, do bodyweight exercises such as pushups, squats, and ab work to get prepared. Don't forget to stretch as well so you can improve flexibility and range of motion.

Posted on: Fri, 08/04/2023 - 02:59

I have always been advised to add progressive overload to my workouts. How do you do this over 12 weeks?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:12

More weight, slower reps, more reps, heavier weight, less time rest between sets, all of these ways can help. If you've already done this, do the best you can until you get heavier weights.

Posted on: Thu, 08/03/2023 - 00:52

Hi, I just started working out and plan on using this 5 day routine. I plan on doing it at home so would two 30LB dumbbells and a bench be enough or would I need to purchase more equipment?

Thank you for posting this workout, really appreciate it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:13

What you have should be enough.

Posted on: Mon, 07/31/2023 - 01:05

Hey there, pretty new to working out and have a quick question. I'm just about done my 4th week of this program and have been loving it so far. I have use these first few weeks as a baseline and was wondering if I should implement progressive overload into the routine to help build more muscle. If so, what would that look like? Apologies if the question has already been answered or if it's dumb to begin with. Thanks in advance!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2023 - 09:14

We have covered it in the comments, but no worries, and it's NOT a dumb question.

You can and should implement progressive overload. You can either get heavier dumbbells, slow the reps down, do more reps, or cut rest between sets.

Posted on: Mon, 07/24/2023 - 19:11

Today is my 3rd day doing this program. Yesterday I worked out my legs for the first time in my life and everything is super sore. I didn't know I was this weak haha. Thanks for making this program available to everyone I hope it helps me achieve my goals!

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2023 - 05:28

On what days should I do my cardio? Combine it with the leg days?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 07/22/2023 - 12:51

Hey Thomas, I would actually suggest doing it with upper body days. Training the legs hard should be enough for that day and recovery would be better.

Posted on: Mon, 07/17/2023 - 02:36

Can I do this for more than 12 weeks to keep getting bigger?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 07/22/2023 - 12:50

You sure can, Darren. How has it been going for you so far?

Posted on: Fri, 07/14/2023 - 16:05

When I am doing dumbbells rows I am not really feeling it working the muscle in my back. What am I doing wrong?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 07/22/2023 - 12:49

Hi, Jack. Hard to pinpoint this without watching you do it, but in many cases, people focus on pulling with their arms instead of dropping their shoulder and using the lats to pull the dumbbell back. That may be it.

Posted on: Sat, 07/08/2023 - 16:43

I am keeping these workouts in order but due to my schedule there will be times that I do one in the evening and the next one the following morning. For example Day 1 on Monday evening and day 2 Tuesday morning. Will that be enough rest? I am assuming it will be okay considering it is a different muscle group

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 07/22/2023 - 12:48

You should be fine, Sean. As long as you can stay consistent and you don't feel sluggish or exhausted, go for it!

Posted on: Thu, 07/06/2023 - 17:33

Is there a specific benefit to training the same muscle group in back to back exercises? For example, on day 1 the chest is trained in back to back exercises and so are the shoulders. Is this the best order to do the exercises or would it be better to space them out more (do a chest exercise then a shoulder exercise then a tricep exercise etc.).

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/18/2023 - 07:55

Hi, Hugo. Good question. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but for training the same muscle group back-to-back, you can work the muscle effectively since it's already warm and prepared for training. Yes, you could separate them out, but by the time you get to train chest again, you would need to warm the area up again to get the most benefit. I hope this helps, and thanks for reading M&S.

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2023 - 10:28

I have been training for the last couple of years using mostly dumbbells and bodyweight exercises but I've been stalling for a while now mostly because the routines I've been using are time based rather than set/rep based. I was wondering whether this program would still be worth pursuing considering that I have only 2 20lbs dumbbells and 1 30lbs dumbbells. Also would it be worth adding bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups or dips? Thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/05/2023 - 08:10

Hey Alex, first off, yes, bodyweight exercises are great to add into this.

Hi, Alex. You can still use this with your 20's and 30's, but you may need to get creative with how to make the workouts more challenging. You can add holds, longer negatives, and shorter rest periods to make the exercises more challenging. If you've already been doing this, and the weight still isn't enough, then it's time to either add more dumbbells or find other ways to train such as with resistance bands or going to a gym.

Thanks for reading M&S, regardless of how you train, we're here to help.

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 03:24

I want to include dumbbell snatch and cleans in my routine. When is the best day to do that? And will it replace anything in the routine? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 07:57

Replace the Arnold Presses in the final workout, Gandalf. That would be the perfect swap!

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 08:21

Thank you Roger. Will update how's it going. BTW, thanks for this great workout

Lucas R.
Posted on: Mon, 06/26/2023 - 09:42

Can you also change the workout on different days, what I meant to say by that is as example doing day 3 than day 1, than day 4 and day 2 and as last day 5? So you get 3, 1, rest day, 4, 2, rest day, 5.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/26/2023 - 11:07

If that helps you stay consistent, then go for it. As long as you get them all done and you feel like you're recovering, that is what's most important.