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.

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

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

Dave Wheelis
Posted on: Sat, 05/21/2022 - 11:35

Week 4 of 5 day dumbbell done. Not bad for 61 love feeling spent. This weeks goal to ramp up cardio for weight loss and overall health.

Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 18:41

I wanted to ask if you can come up with a more advanced dumbell workout. I completed the 5 days and 6 days intermediate workouts and they are amazing. Wanted to see if an advanced one would help me go further

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Posted on: Mon, 05/23/2022 - 08:27

I will make the pitch to my editors, Alex, and perhaps we can do a future workout for advanced. In the meantime, what dumbbells do you have, and how heavy can you go? Perhaps I can throw a twist or two into this one to help you make some gains in the meantime.

Posted on: Wed, 05/18/2022 - 12:37

Officially half way done with this routine and love it. Down 7lbs with a cal deficit and adding cardio to upper body days. Building muscle and losing weight at a good rate. Can’t wait for final results.

Posted on: Wed, 05/18/2022 - 01:54

Do I do all sets befor moving on to the next type of work out for the day

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Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:45

Yes, Logan. Do all sets of the first exercise before moving onto the next.

Posted on: Tue, 05/17/2022 - 11:46

My wife and just finished our first 4 weeks and feeling great. Started out first workout 4/16, just finished week 4 yesterday 5/16. Seeing and feeling growth in my Tris, Bi's and chest. Thanks and looking forward to the next eight weeks!

Dave Matthew
Posted on: Mon, 05/16/2022 - 11:30

How long should each workout be? I feel like im rushing through it too much as ive been finishing it it under 40 minutes, i dont know if my weights are too light or if i'm pacing myself wrong.

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Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:45

Hey Dave, that is actually about right. If you're making the 40 minutes count, you're good to go.

Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2022 - 17:17

Probably a dumb question but do you do all the sets in a workout before moving to the next? For example would I do five sets of the bench press before moving onto the incline press etc... or do a set of each workout and repeat? Have seen it done both ways depending on the program so I'm confused lol. Thanks

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Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:43

Not a dumb question, Mark. That is how it works. This is designed to do all sets before you move onto the next exercise. If you want the unique challenge, do them the circuit way.

Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2022 - 03:29

I tweaked the schedule a bit and have found better recover by having a rest day after the third day switching the last two days. Any thoughts on the below routine?

M: chest, shoulders, and biceps
T: legs and core
W: back & biceps
T: Rest/Active
F: Full Body
S: legs & core
S: Rest/Active

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Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 21:15

If it works for you, roll with it, Frazh. Thanks for sharing it. Others may benefit from your experience.

Brooks Ward
Posted on: Wed, 05/04/2022 - 16:00

I’m fairly new to weightlifting. I’m doing this workout and pushing myself to lift as much as I can handle with each exercise. I take a minute break between sets. I am finishing each day in about 25 minutes. I time myself with a stopwatch to make sure I’m consistently resting. Am I doing something wrong? The instructions say I should be done between 45-60 minutes.

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Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 20:59

Hi, Brooks. You might be doing the reps too quickly. Are you concentrating on the negative or letting the weight drop? Also, on exercises like the tripod row, are you doing all sets on both sides? I actually estimated this as being done in around 35 minutes.

Joseph Morse
Posted on: Tue, 05/03/2022 - 10:01

I was just wondering if I have to do the full body on the 5th day? I only have 4 days to work with. I completed the 4 day dumbbell routine. Thank You in advance

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Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 20:56

The results may not be the exact same, Joseph, but no, you don't have to do the 5th day.

Posted on: Mon, 05/02/2022 - 10:36

We are two weeks into the program and really enjoying it. Curious to the difference between the Tripod Row and one arm row. Is the only difference that in the tripod you have your back more parallel to the floor as you are supporting yourself with the bench, and the one arm row is simply a bent over row but one arm at a time?

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Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:44

That is the difference, Brian. Small change, but it can make a difference for some people.

Tom Blackerby
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 15:32

I have been doing this program since February and I love it. My focus has been losing weight, which is definitely working, but somehow I have been putting on a very noticeable amount of muscle at the same time.

I have an opportunity to join a friend at the gym for some barbell lifts, but not for 3 weeks.

Is there another routine you would recommend in the interim? If not, I am going to make this a deload week and focus on my form.

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

Hi, Tom. I would actually say focus on the deload. It will serve you well once you get into the gym routine.

Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 11:01

If I wanted to work out twice per day, what would be the best way of doing that? Should I just do the same set of sets twice (once in the morning, once in the evening), or should I look for some different combination?

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Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 21:09

Hi, Chris. If you want to train twice a week, split the workouts in half so you're still doing the same workout in a day.

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Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 21:08

Recovery between the workouts, and less time in the gym for each session. Other than that, everything else is about equal.

Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 23:24

Is there any advantage to doing that over just doing the entire thing in one go?

Posted on: Fri, 04/15/2022 - 20:26

alternatives for db tríceps kickback pls?, is that with this exercise I do not feel that the triceps work much

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:01

Hi, Johan. Go to the Exercises section at the top of this page, and click the triceps section. You can find plenty of exercises that could suit you based on the equipment you have to work with.

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2022 - 13:16

I'm looking for a plan to do weekly along with bouldering. I go bouldering around 2-3 days a week, do you think I'd see good results just using days 1-3 of this plan or are there other modifications I should make? I only have 3 days for weight training in a week.

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:07

Hey Justin, if three days a week is all you got, then you picked the right ones to work with. Go for it!

Posted on: Tue, 04/12/2022 - 10:38

How long should the rest be in between each set and how long in between each exercise?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:01

60-90 seconds between sets and exercises, Merv.

Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2022 - 11:20

How will I know when to move up in weight with a limited set of dumbbells?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:02

Hi, Ros. When you can finish a set without approaching failure, it's time to move up. If you're at the top weight, then slow the reps down so you can make the exercise harder. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2022 - 05:23

Why do you have a chest exercise (pullover) on day 3; back and biceps?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:03

Hi, Frank. The pullover can actually be used for the chest or lats. If you focus on getting a deep stretch, pulling with the lats, and stopping when the weight is over your face, you'll work the lats more than the pecs.

Posted on: Wed, 04/06/2022 - 23:07

Can I substitute some of the exercise with using a barbell and bench. If so should I start off with a low weight for first set and increase each set or set one weight and do it for the whole exercise. Really wanting to build mass.

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:04

You can if you wish, Andy. Your approach of starting with low weight and increasing each set is a good one.

Posted on: Sun, 04/03/2022 - 20:00

By doing the routines of 3, 4, 5 and 6 days with their respective durations, with the same weight in all the exercises, will I progress? Or would it be a good idea to go in all the series of all the exercises to failure to make sure that I progress? Or would it be a better idea to go to failure in the first series of all the exercises and do the following series as they are in the routines to accumulate training volume?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 08:06

Hi, Johan. If your goal is to build muscle, then take the last set in each exercise to failure. Use the others to build up to that final one. I would actually use that same approach with all exercises.

Posted on: Fri, 04/01/2022 - 05:15

Would you suggest this workout for an ectomorph who's very underweight and Is trying to gain muscle

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Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2022 - 19:25

Sure would. If dumbbells are all you have to work with, then this is a great choice.

Posted on: Sun, 03/27/2022 - 18:51

Would you recommend this exercise plan to someone who is a complete beginner to dumbbell lifting and just weight lifting in general?

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Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:32

Hi, Arlen. If the beginner is yourself, then welcome to the world of fitness and lifting.

Yes, this program would be a great starter. My only suggestion would be to start by doing two sets of each workout for the first week or two. Then, bump it up to three sets for a week. After three weeks, you should be able to take the full program on.

If you need help with exercise form, check out the Exercises section at the top of the page. Also, don't be afraid to come on back with questions. Thanks for reading M&S, and let us know how it goes for you down the road.

Posted on: Sat, 03/26/2022 - 10:10

I'm looking at starting this routine I'm almost done with Sagi Kalevs Body Beast. Dumbbells work best for me since I have a shoulder replacement and I've gotta lift lighter on one side than the other for certain moves. I was wondering are all of these moves Single Sets? One set then 30 - 45 second break then repeat the same move? Then after you finish all the sets for one move you move on to the next move? Just wanna make sure. I like trying different programs. Doing the same thing all the time leads to boredom and Pleau toing.

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Posted on: Wed, 03/30/2022 - 20:42

That is how it works, Rivers! One set, rest, do the next. Agreed about trying new programs. Hope this one serves you well!

Posted on: Fri, 03/25/2022 - 11:48

This might be stupid question but can I add abs workout and 60 push up? Are they gonna be too much?. It takes me hour and almost 50 minutes to finish them all. I'm a lean guy and I'm weight around 130lbs(5.7). I rarely gain weight so I have no idea If this amount of workout will be too much for me. Should I just stick with this workout only and eat more in case of gaining muscle? Thanks for ur response :)

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Posted on: Tue, 03/29/2022 - 20:25

Hi, Bobby. I would focus more on eating more so you can build muscle instead of training more. Recovery is more important than training when it comes to getting bigger and stronger. Check out this guide, and if you have questions, ask them in the comment section of that article.

Posted on: Thu, 03/24/2022 - 05:16

If I have completely free schedule, how should i allocate the rest days ? And how could I make this into a "to failure" workout ? by doing less sets ? (sorry if my formulation is confusing english is not my native language)

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Posted on: Tue, 03/29/2022 - 20:05

Rest after two or no more than three straight days of training, Enki. Do the last set of each exercise to failure. Perform the first set as a warmup with lighter weight if you want to save your strength for that last set.

Posted on: Wed, 03/30/2022 - 03:18

Thank you very much !