Dumbbell Only Workout: 5 Day Dumbbell Workout Split

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

Build Muscle
12 weeks
45-60 minutes
Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

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
1. Dumbbell Bench Press 5 8-10
2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-10
3. Dumbbell Floor Press 3 8-12
4. Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-10
5. Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
6. Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 3 8-12

Day 2: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

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

Day 3: Back & Biceps Dumbbell Workout

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

Day 4: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

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

Day 5: Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. One Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 8-10 Each
2. Dumbbell Arnold Press 4 8-10
3. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-12
4. Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
5. Dumbbell Pinwheel Curl 2 8-12
6. Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension 3 8-12
7. 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

182 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 04/06/2020 - 07:28
John Daly

Hi, I was wondering if you think it is ok for me (14) to do this program. I am fit and play sports. I will be 15 in 3 months time. It won't stunt my growth will it ?

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Posted Mon, 04/06/2020 - 10:45

Hi John,

This program won't stunt your growth as it's designed to build muscle.

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Posted Sun, 03/15/2020 - 12:52

Hi there all gyms here are closed for weeks so this seemed a good workout to use. I do have my dumbbells and bench at home but not as heavy dumbbells then i was using for certain exercises. What should or can i adjust in this workout so i don't lose what i gained.

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Posted Mon, 03/02/2020 - 06:15

Your routine doesn't have any Exercise for building LATS.
Can I add some pull-ups to this program?
And If yes where and when do you suggest to add it?

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Posted Mon, 03/02/2020 - 06:08

Can I do some Abs workout every day alongside this routine?
And if yes Should I do it every day of the week or do it just in 5 days and keep two days for resting?

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Posted Tue, 02/18/2020 - 11:07

Hi, I was wondering if it's ok to swap the leg/core day with the back/biceps day. In other words, can I do back and biceps on day 2 and then legs/core on day 3?

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Posted Wed, 02/19/2020 - 11:25

Hi Jason,

That should be fine.

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2020 - 23:12

Hello, first of all I would like to say I’ve been on this program for about 3 weeks and I have to say it is way superior to the previous program I had. I do have a major concern in which there are only two exercises dedicated to triceps and I’m asking if this is a non-issue or I should add some more dedicated Tricep exercises as I don't want my triceps to be severely underdeveloped. Thx in advance

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Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 12:11

Hi Tiger,

Should be fine since there's plenty of indirect work in the other pressing movements. These are simply templates written for mass audiences. Everyone is different - if you feel you need more tricep work, add more tricep work.

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Posted Tue, 02/04/2020 - 10:21
Mostafa Gaber

Hi Josh, the is the second day with five days workout but I start with your program without training with 3 and 4 days programs, is that making a problem or not ? And I have started a low cal diet with this workout program to lose some weight, do you think it will be hard to build muscles with this diet?

And thanks for this amazing program.

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Posted Tue, 01/07/2020 - 19:43

Hello, just about to finish the 5 day 12 week dumbbell spit and I absolutely love it. Can you suggest any other workouts or should repeat the workout? Also, if I do repeat it, are there any exercises you could recommend that I could add. Thank you so much!!!

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Posted Wed, 01/08/2020 - 15:23

Hi Chris,

You can perform it again utilizing heavier weight than before or move onto the 6 day dumbbell only: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/6-day-dumbbell-only-workout

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Posted Tue, 01/07/2020 - 04:41
Christiaan Lips

Hi Josh,
me again, is it smart to use this porgram after first completi g the 4 day or does it really not matter that mutch? I want to build as mutch muscle as possible before summer but also do not want to rip anything or something like that.

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Posted Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:30

Hi Christiaan,

I'd recommend starting with the 3 day, moving to the 4 day, then performing this one.

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Posted Sat, 01/04/2020 - 08:03

Hi Josh,
I think I'm going to start this workout after doing Frankoman's dumbbell-only split (3 day per week) for the last few months. The only problem I have is fitting 5 workouts into a week with my work schedule. With Frankoman's, I tend to average 4 workouts a week, with fairly random rest days in between. Could that work with this routine? I'm assuming I'll need to see how my body reacts and adjust from there... I'm just wondering if there's a better option that you know of, or if this can be adapted to my needs. Regardless, great workout! Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:54

Hi Jake,

Sure that should be fine. Alternatively, you could use this 4 day program: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-upper-lower-wor...

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Posted Fri, 12/27/2019 - 17:07

I'm just about to start this after working my way through the 3 and 4 day workouts and I must say that they've helped me improve massively. I've gone from 2kg dumbbells up to 10, lost about 10 centimetres from my waistline and am slowly broadening. No joke, it's been life changing.

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Posted Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:58

Hi Nicholas,

This is what I love to hear! Keep it up!!!

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2019 - 10:59

Just 2 weeks shy before completing this program. Thank you for this. This program worked really well for me, and get me able to have more frequency. I will be moving to the 6 day one once I'm done.

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Posted Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:58

That's awesome, Kevin!!!!

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Posted Fri, 12/13/2019 - 23:30

Just finished my first week of this after progressing from the 4day. This was great and I'm smoked. My concern is that the next two days off might not be enough recovery. Thoughts?

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Posted Mon, 12/16/2019 - 09:55

Hi Travis,

If you need additional recovery days, you can take them. Aim to improve on the training frequency for the first couple of weeks - then start progressing in other ways after you're capable of performing all of the workouts.

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2019 - 14:03

I am so happy with these dumbbell workouts! I commented on the 4 day dumbbell workout when I was only a few weeks into it, and now I'm here about 6 months later to say Thank you! I finally see and feel the results I've always wanted with my body. I didn't know lifting weights is what I was missing. I spent about 3 months doing the 4 day dumbbell plan and progressed to this 5 day version about three months ago. I am 5 pounds down, but more importantly, the composition of my body in terms of muscle vs. fat has changed drastically. For a busy mom, it has been great. I can usually complete these in 30-45min. in my basement. Sometimes I use my children for weights. I'll let my 70lb daughter sit on my shoulders for squats and my 35 pounder sit on me for calf raises. They have fun while I get strong.

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Posted Wed, 12/11/2019 - 10:49

Hi Michelle,

That is so AWESOME! Congratulations on all your progress - makes me happy to know the programs are helping people out there. Keep up the good work!

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Posted Mon, 12/09/2019 - 20:13

Should the weight for the first set be the same weight as the last set of the exercise? Or start high and lower weight as needed? Thanks!

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2019 - 12:43

Hi Robert,

Either way will do the trick. I'd recommend doing whichever you feel most comfortable and pushing yourself to improve upon those numbers as time goes on.

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Posted Mon, 12/09/2019 - 13:38

Firstly, many thanks for these programmes, tips and instructions. All greatly received. My question is regarding doing Day 1 straight after Day 5 as we seem to be hitting chest and triceps hard 2 days in a row?

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2019 - 12:46

Hi Ryan,

You should be including a recovery day after Day 5.

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Posted Sat, 12/07/2019 - 11:27

Day 1 and day 5 both have incline bench press. Is this okay or should there be a rest day in between?Thanks

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Posted Mon, 12/09/2019 - 12:55

Hi Mark,

You should have a rest day between day 5 and day 1. So, it should be fine.

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Posted Thu, 12/05/2019 - 06:24

Hi Josh -
I have been doing an elevated push-up in lieu of the incline bench press because I don’t have a bench at home. Do you have any other recommendations for alternatives to that exercise for best targeting of that muscle group? Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 12/05/2019 - 10:22

Hi Josh,

That's percisely what I would've recommended. Keep progressing them by increasing the reps or investing in a weighted vest.

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Posted Wed, 01/22/2020 - 13:30

I was going to ask the same question since I also don’t have an incline bench. Just wondering does an elevated push-up mean my feet or arms are elevated? I’ve seen both versions online. Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:47

Hi Jennifer,

The feet elevated would best mimic an incline dumbbell press. However, be aware of your own capabilities.

The programs online are simply training movement patterns - a push up or any of its variations will accomplish the same movement pattern and can be progressed to be more difficult over time.

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Posted Mon, 12/02/2019 - 18:27

Would like to do more work on biceps. Would you recommend adding to another day or just increase sets where they are now?

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Posted Tue, 12/03/2019 - 15:51

Hi Mark,

Personally, I would just increase the sets by 1-2.

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Posted Wed, 12/04/2019 - 21:33

Thanks very much for the reply. I will increase sets then as per your suggestion. I am recently retired and have lots of time to work out now. I am 55 years old and highly motivated to get back in shape. I have been reading lots on the subject of cardio versus building muscle. Information overload really. From what I understand too much cardio is not necessarily great for building muscle. How much cardio is adequate if you still want to build muscle? Is it okay to do cardio on the 2 off days or should they be days free from any activity? How many cardio activities per week would be okay? Really enjoying your 5 day and seeing gains after only a few weeks.

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Posted Mon, 12/02/2019 - 05:07

Can the workouts be combined as a superset where you do the first exercise set of Day 1, then immediately do the first exercise set of Day 2 with no rest? Then work through those 2 days for your workout that day. The next day work on cardio and abs. Then superset Days 3 & 4 followed by a cardio-ab day. Then finish with the regular Day 5 workout.
What would be the pros and cons?

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Posted Mon, 12/02/2019 - 15:09

Hi Mike,

I wouldn't recommend it. Way too much volume imo.

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Posted Thu, 11/28/2019 - 06:44

Hi Josh
I'm loving this workout, one of my favourite exercise is upright row that I don't see it here, do you think I could add it? on back and biceps or upper body day?

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Posted Fri, 11/29/2019 - 10:02

Hi Gian,

Glad you like it! Sure - I would add it to your upper body workout.

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Posted Sat, 11/23/2019 - 18:53
Juan R Sosa

What weight do you recommend to start with? Should I use the first week to see my numbers??
Thanks in advance!!

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Posted Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:52

Hi Juan,

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. You could definitely use the first week as an "introductory phase" to determine the weight needed to use.

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Posted Sun, 11/17/2019 - 16:04

Been getting lower back issues on day 3. Is this an issue with form?

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Posted Mon, 11/18/2019 - 16:13

Hi Satya,

Possibly, but it's tough to say without seeing you perform the movements. Might be worth taking a break from this routine and consulting with a personal trainer to ensure you get your form right and are performing a routine that is individualized to you based on your movement patterns and body structure.

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Posted Sun, 11/03/2019 - 09:12

Is there a good day to add HIIT training to this workout? I'm looking to gain muscle and burn some fat. Thanks!

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:12

Hi Colleen,

Potentially on a day 6. I'm more of a fan of giving it your all during your weight training sessions and performing LISS as a recovery method though. I rarely perform HIIT training even during fat loss phases. And if I do, it's a one-off IF I need to get in a quick workout due to unforeseen circumstances. But everyone's different.

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Posted Sat, 10/26/2019 - 01:47

Hello, how long should it take for me to see some gains here, assuming that I am up to date, perform well, rest enough, and at an intermediate stage?

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Posted Mon, 10/28/2019 - 09:11

Hi Dan,

Tough to say. Results will vary. Usually it takes 4ish weeks before you begin to notice the adaptations from a training program.

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Posted Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:02

Hey Josh, I am 27, 6'1 215 pounds. I'm looking to lose weight while building muscle. I'm currently dieting and watching my calories. My question is, is this workout designed to help lose bodyfat while gaining muscle or do you have a different suggestion for my goals.