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
Split
Intermediate
12 weeks
5
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.

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

103 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2019 - 07:59
Josh

Hi Josh,

I was wondering when is best to incorporate cardio (ie running, rowing etc) into the program?

Thanks, Josh.

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:37
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

I'd recommend at another time of day from your weighted workouts (like morning/evening) and on whichever days you see fit... if that's not an option, post workout should be fine as well.

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 15:25
Robert Davies

How much rest period between each set . Is it 30 seconds

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Posted Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:24
JoshEngland

Hi Robert,

30-45 secs should do the trick.

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Posted Mon, 07/08/2019 - 17:41
Nadia

Hi, I had a question about how much weight should I be lifting? I am eating at a deficit and using this to strengthen and decrease body fat. Should I be actively aiming for exhaustion by the last rep? Or should it be doable and hard but not burning? For example, hammer curls- 15lbs I can do a full set, slow and good form. 17.5 there is some serious muscle burn towards the last rep. 20lbs and About half the reps are seriously burning.

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2019 - 15:37
JoshEngland

Hi Nadia,

Finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 reps still left in the tank on all exercises.

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Posted Wed, 07/03/2019 - 16:10
Ariana

Hi Josh,
I've been doing the 5 day workout routine, but I am more about my upper arm muscles not so much my legs and core. Do you have any workouts on just the upper arms that I can use. I'm trying to get bigger and toned muscles

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Posted Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:51
JoshEngland

Hi Ariana,

I'm not sure that we do for dumbbell only workouts. Most of our programs incorporate leg and core training, because even if they are strengths of yours it's still important to train them. The body is a unit. Neglecting any one body part will affect your overall shape in the long run.

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Posted Tue, 06/25/2019 - 08:52
Neil

I'm 60 and found this while looking for something to get me back in the 'fight'. I've completed a couple days of this and love it! One suggestion (or maybe it's just me being non-technical), It's nearly impossible to print out your PDF of this program because there are no page breaks and it reads as one long scroll. I had to screenshot each section and piece it together. Still doesn't look right. I know, life ain't perfect...lol.

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Posted Wed, 06/26/2019 - 15:23
JoshEngland

Hi Neil,

Thank you for the feedback! Most folks typically don't print the workouts out, they just download them to their smartphones which is why they're formatted that way. I'll look into seeing if there's anything we can do to fix that though for anyone who prefers to print.

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Posted Sat, 06/01/2019 - 14:53
Logan

So I haven't worked out in a looonngg time and I'm now on day 10 (2 rest days included) and I'm loving it so far. My question may be kinda dumb but should I be completely exhausted by the end each work out? Am I possibly trying to use too heavy of weight? Nothing hurts in a bad way besides being sore the next day, but was just curious. Im a pretty scrawny guy that's just trying to build up some muscle.

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Posted Mon, 06/03/2019 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi Logan,

I'd actually recommend utilizing the 3 day dumbbell workout linked on this page and progressing through the 4 day, and then performing this workout. That should help build the strength necessary so you're not completely exhausted.

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Posted Wed, 05/15/2019 - 23:23
Shivam kumar

Hi team,

First of all thank you for sharing the workout routine, i want to loose some fat and gain muscle shall i add cardio training along with these weight trainings.

Thanks in advance

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Posted Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:55
JoshEngland

Hi Shivam,

This routine is great for someone with fat loss goals. Sure, you can add in additional cardio if you'd like.

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Posted Thu, 05/09/2019 - 18:10
Joe

Hi Josh,

I was wondering if there's any way to incorporate HIIT into this workout plan too in order to increase fat loss? Or would it be better to perform a single day of HIIT alongside the 4 day dumbbell workout to achieve this increased fat loss?

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Posted Mon, 05/13/2019 - 16:30
JoshEngland

Hi Joe,

You can certainly incorporate HIIT training into this program if you wish. You could look to perform it after whichever training sessions you prefer. I personally hardly ever use HIIT. I find it too taxing on my body and prefer to take a longer process towards fat loss to avoid having to do it.

There's nothing inherently special about HIIT. Sure, it does allow you to burn calories in a shorter amount of time, but at the end of the day it comes down to calories in vs calories out.

True fat loss is a relatively slow process as well. Weight loss can be increased. However, fat loss takes a strategic approach to avoid muscle tissue loss.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/04/2019 - 05:26
Mohammed Samy

Hi josh,

I was wondering if this workout routine is appropriate for me

I am 13 years old
177 cm
I use two 5 KG dumbbells
I am still new to weight training, although I trained calisthenics for two months so I have somewhat of a foundation. I just started this routine the last Wednesday and I feel moderately sore.

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 11:36
JoshEngland

Hi Mohammed,

Give this a read, it should help you determine the best way to build a foundation at your age: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/teenage-bodybuilding

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Posted Mon, 04/29/2019 - 00:36
Cheryl

Bent over rows hurt my lower back. How can I adjust my form so they don’t hurt? Is there an alternative? I have very little core strength. Would that be why they hurt my lower back? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Posted Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:26
JoshEngland

Hi Cheryl,

It's a little tough to say not working with you in person and seeing your movement patterns to help determine the cause of pain. My honest recommendation would be to work with a professional in person to find exercises for your specific needs that you are comfortable performing.

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Posted Wed, 05/01/2019 - 10:18
Cheryl

Thank you!

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Posted Thu, 04/18/2019 - 12:49
Kaine

You state “After 12 weeks, you may want to consider increasing the volume within the workout, the weight of the dumbbells you are using”. Does that mean we stay at the same weight throughout the full 12 weeks or are we able to increase weight as exercises become to easier? Thanks for any clarification.

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Posted Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:19
JoshEngland

Hi Kaine,

It really depends on what you have access to. If you can and want to increase the weight used during the program, feel free to do so.

If you have to purchase your own dumbbells, you can utilize the same weight throughout and purchase heavier ones once completed.

So long as you are increasing the weight over time in the long-term, you'll see results.

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Posted Mon, 04/22/2019 - 15:28
Kaine

Thank you for the quick reply. Love your articles.

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Posted Tue, 04/09/2019 - 07:54
Gg

Hi I notice there is only 1 exercise for calf the calf raises is that enough workout for your calfs or should you need more

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Posted Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:59
JoshEngland

Hi Gg,

Everyone will be different. If you feel you need additional Calf work, you're more than welcome to add it in.

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Posted Sun, 04/07/2019 - 16:58
Deazle

Josh i'm going to following your 3 day program and working at it till i can eventually do the 4-5 day program ultimately. My question is, i cycle from work to home everyday (10 miles about 45min-1hr) and when i get home i'll be doing your program. Is this going to hinder my results and progress to the 5 day program?

Should i increase the amount of reps/weight to compensate? Whats your opinion?

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Posted Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:25
JoshEngland

Hi Deazle,

Absolutely not. It shouldn't hinder your results at all.

The only thing you may want to consider is the total amount of calories you consume based on your activity level and overall goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2019 - 19:24
Tom

Sup Josh. When is it optimal to incorporate my rest days?

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Posted Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:34
JoshEngland

Hi Tom,

I would do Thurs and Sun.

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Posted Wed, 05/01/2019 - 15:29
Cheryl

If I choose Thursday/Sunday as rest days can I do 30 mins of Cardio Hiit these two days or should I do my two cardio Hiit days on days that I’m lifting? My legs are sore from day 2- a really good sore!)

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 14:00
JoshEngland

Hi Cheryl,

Sure, but I'd personally recommend LISS cardio over HIIT.

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 23:17
Cheryl

Thank you! It’s finally warm”ish” here and I’d love to be going for walks/hikes. I appreciate your knowledge and speedy responses!

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Posted Thu, 03/28/2019 - 14:30
David Clark

Hey man i have a question. If my legs are still sore from day 2's workout and today is legs again, do i just do core for today? Or do i do lighter weight with less intensity for my legs?

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Posted Fri, 03/29/2019 - 09:40
JoshEngland

Hi David,

It depends on the severity of muscle soreness. If you feel you're not recovered enough to perform the second workout, then yes - core work would be fine.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:23
Alex

Hey,
I would like to know if there is any alternative exercise to incline dumbbell bech press because at my home i dont have a bench to be able to do that exercise! Thanks in advance.

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Posted Tue, 03/19/2019 - 11:00
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

Additional dumbbell bench press would be fine. If you're interested in hitting the upper chest, I'd recommend decline push ups.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 02/26/2019 - 08:50
Danish Bokhari

Is it ok to increase weight with each preceeding set?? I.e. 2 to 3 kgs

Or doing with constant weight is more effective?

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Posted Tue, 02/26/2019 - 11:22
JoshEngland

Hi Danish,

Yes, that is completely ok to do.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/24/2019 - 21:47
Danish Bokhari

Or If you could suggest me any other program probably 5 days a week cause I am damn busy with my postgraduate studies

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Posted Sun, 02/24/2019 - 21:46
Danish Bokhari

I want to gain weight I am 70 kg and 6 feet height. Is this exercise well suited for me? I had been doing full training venom program since 8 weeks. And I have got cuts and lean muscles (body tonesd) but unfortunately haven’t gained weight. I have ordered a total mass matrix protein, before this I was taling a normal whey protein.

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 09:20
JoshEngland

Hi Danish,

Yes, this program can help you build muscle so long as you are in a calorie surplus and improving upon your workouts each week (i.e. increasing weight used).

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:10
Danish Bokhari

Yes thank you so much thats what I want. My aim is to reach around 78kg from 70!

Any diet plans you recommend?

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Posted Thu, 01/31/2019 - 19:00
Ryan Cherry

How can I adapt this split for a normal gym routine. I like the Push,Pull,Legs,Upper,Legs Hybrid. I prefer training 5 days. Have you all made a program like that yet? How would that alter volume, etc.

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Posted Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:48
JoshEngland
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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 16:47
Ryan

Sorry, what I meant to say is can I replace these exercises with normal gym equipment (barbells, dumbbells, machines, cables, etc.) and make this a normal gym routine instead of a home one? I don't have time for a 6-day push/pull/legs, so I like the idea of a 5 day hybrid like you all have set up here, but I do train in a commercial gym. Also, can I follow the split like this instead, or would this cause recovery issues? I will also be adding rear delt training.

Day 1: Push
Day 2: Pull (And rear delts)
Day 3: Legs A
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Upper
Day 6: Legs B
Day 7: Rest

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 16:58
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

I gotcha - yes all of that would be fine to do.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 17:35
Ryan Cherry

Thank you so much!

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Posted Sat, 01/26/2019 - 06:35
uptowntonybrown

I’m an expat living in a hotel for two years. I found both the 3- and 4-day routines to be a godsends as the hotel gym only has dumbbells and a cable machine. I just stared this plan and boy do I feel it. Any suggestions on how to use it in conjunction with a meal plan to drop the last and hardest five pounds of fat?