A dumbbell only workout for home or the gym that will pack on muscle mass. This routine was designed by Frankoman from team Muscle & Strength.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Tired of looking for a dumbbell only routine to work out at home with? Don't want to buy any expensive equipment? Then here is a workout for you! All you need is an adjustable bench and some dumbbells. This is beginner - intermediate. If you have a pullup bar I highly suggest adding chinups or wide grip pullups to back day!

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

Workout Schedule

This is a 3 day workout program. You'll want to have at least one rest day between your workout days. A sample schedule is:

  • Monday - Chest and Triceps
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - Back and Biceps
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - Legs and Shoulders
  • Saturday - Rest
  • Sunday - Rest

3 Day Dumbbell Workout Program

Monday - Chest and Triceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Flys 3 12
Dumbbell Skullcrusher 3 12
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 3 12
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 12

Wednesday - Back and Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Dumbbell Row 5 12,10,10,8,6
Bent Over Dumbbell Row 5 12,10,10,8,6
Dumbbell Pullover 2 12,10
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Cross Body Hammer Curl 2 10

Friday - Legs and Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunge 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Step Up 3 12
Dumbbell Squat 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12,10,10,8
Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise 2 15,12
Dumbbell Standing Calf Raise 2 12,10
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12,10,10
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 12,10,10
Dumbbell Shrug 4 12,10,10,8

 

1.3K Comments
Craig
Posted on: Mon, 07/25/2022 - 09:05

Hello, I am at week 9 and have seen good results. Do you recommend taking a break after the 10 weeks is completed for body recovery?

Also, should I continue with this or move on to another program? I only have dumbbells a bench and a pull-up bar. I don't have that much time daily to work out. So I have been doing this M-W-F and doing 30-45min of cardio on Tu-Thrs...any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2022 - 11:23

Hi, Craig. Thanks for choosing M&S, and congrats on your progress!

I suggest a week off after you finish this one up. After that, you can certainly go with this one again. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

John
Posted on: Sun, 07/24/2022 - 03:49

Any chance to add planks or other abs excercises to the routine?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2022 - 21:25

Sure, John. Go for it!

Dave
Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2022 - 06:13

Hey there, I was wondering: Are the rests I'm taking in between sets too long?

The time per workout listed here is 45 minutes but the Monday chest and triceps workout for example takes me around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The weights I lift usually put me within 1-4 reps of failure so my rests might be somewhere between like 2-3 minutes. Is that too long? Should i switch to lower weights and make my rests shorter?

Cheers,
Dave

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2022 - 21:24

Hey Dave, yeah, you need to cut the rest down to 1 minute or 90 seconds. If that means you need to lower the weights, do it. It will save time, and you can achieve better muscle contractions, which are most important for a program like this.

Nyol
Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2022 - 19:20

Hey i was wondering what is the difference between this program and this one https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout . Is Frankoman's more at an intermediate level ? I am only interested in 3 days programs. I have tried the program at the link above but i am still trying to figure out the differences with Frankoman's. Thabk you for your time!

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2022 - 21:02

Yes, Nyol. The one you linked in your question is more of a beginner level program.

Drew Laverty
Posted on: Sat, 07/16/2022 - 15:26

I see that in most of the workouts the sets and reps are the same number, so when it says, 4 sets, and then it lists four different rep patterns (12, 10, 10, 8) are we to do 4 sets of those four different rep counts, or are the reps listing the 4 different sets?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2022 - 19:22

Hi, Drew. I hope this will help.

Set #1 - 12 reps
Set #2 - 10 reps
Set #3 - 10 reps
Set #4 - 8 reps

Then you're done with that exercise.

Elijah
Posted on: Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:28

What do you recommend for how to handle progression and failure in this routine? The post doesn't really explain either.

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 07/22/2022 - 14:44

When you can do two reps more than you're supposed to with the weight you chose, it's time to go up. If you hit failure within 1-2 reps, stick with it. If you fail with 3 or more reps to go, fall back accordingly. Hope that helps!

jake
Posted on: Mon, 07/04/2022 - 03:11

The sets and reps for each exercise is following a pyramid structure. What's your opinion on changing it reverse pyramid structure instead or maybe alternate between the structures every week maybe?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 07/11/2022 - 22:52

As long as you're warmed up properly before you start with those low reps, you should be fine, Jake. I reverse pyramid occasionally myself, and it serves as a nice shock to the muscles. The endurance challenge is a nice bonus.

Cesar
Posted on: Mon, 06/20/2022 - 16:44

Hi, I just acquired a pair of 5lb, 10lb, 15lb,25lb, and 30Lb dumbbells as well as an adjustable bench, I noticed that you stated that as you decrease in reps you increase in weight.
So correct me if I’m wrong if a exercise says 12,10,10,8 and I start off with a 10 pound weight, do you recommend that I increase 5 pounds everytime the rep decreases? For example I do the 12 reps with the 10 pound, after that I do the 10 reps with a 15 pound and the 8 reps with a 20 pound?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:11

Congrats on getting the dumbbells and bench, Cesar! Yes, you have it exactly right.

Zee
Posted on: Mon, 06/20/2022 - 09:31

Is it best to do this workout program twice a week for 6 days?
Or is it better to do the “Dumbbell Only Workout: 6 Day Dumbbell Workout Split“ also on this site?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:06

They both work well, Zee. Run both for a week each and see which is best for you.

Bernie
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 07:44

Hi there - I was wondering if there's any way to incorporate or add push-ups to this? I need to keep my push-ups pretty consistent (for work/PT standards reasons). Thanks!!

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 12:52

Hey Bernie, add pushups to your first workout with sets and reps that match the other exercises. On the other two days, do one set to total failure.

Ranjan
Posted on: Sun, 06/12/2022 - 13:41

Hi,
With my current workout routine, after completing leg I feel like I've gone under truck. I pant and rest for 10 min before I can move . My current workout routine is - standard squat, rdl, sumo squat ( pulsing ), rear lunge, curtsy lunge and calf raises . So my point is can I do shoulder on chest day with this plan.
Plus I can't ommit curtsy lunge .

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 12:49

Hi, Ranjan. You can do shoulders on a fourth day, or if you have to stick to three days, you can split shoulders up between days 1 and 2.

mon
Posted on: Sun, 05/22/2022 - 09:34

Hello, if im not using bench for the chest workout *less rom (i tried the floor variation) can i increase the rep? or are there any subs for it?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 05/26/2022 - 21:02

Hey mon, what do you have access to? You can do more reps, but I'd like to try to help you find subs as well.

mon
Posted on: Sun, 05/29/2022 - 06:09

Hello, thx for replying to my msg. currently i only have my dumbbells and i tried to find something similar to bench( chair etc. but to no avail) i tried the floor variation and tbh i cant feel a thing on my chest (maybe my form is incorrect) except when i do the chest fly so is there any subs i can do for it?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 05/29/2022 - 08:53

I have a couple of suggestions for you. This is what I had to do before I got a bench in my home gym.

If you have a large blanket, fold it up longways and lie on it as you would a bench. The thickness of the blanket will help add range of motion to the press, which could activate the chest more than stopping on the floor.

Also, follow these cues to help activate the chest. Bring your shoulders back and stick your chest out as high as you can when you lie on the floor or blanket. When you lower the dumbbells, keep the elbows close to your body instead of letting them go out to the sides. Once you've reached the bottom portion of the exercise, flex the chest as hard as you can before bringing the weights up. This will take some time to master, but when you do, every other chest exercise will be more effective.

Hope these help.

Zach
Posted on: Tue, 05/03/2022 - 09:48

Thanks for posting this resource! After a hiatus of a couple years I’m getting back into weight training and feeling great so far.

My question is: I have a simple ceiling-mounted pulley and cable in my home gym that I can use for triceps press downs using the rope attachment. Is there an exercise on the chest and triceps routine I could replace with this one?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:49

Any of the triceps choices can be swapped out, Zach. Actually, if you feel like you can handle it, add it in without taking anything out. You could also do single arm pulldowns while sitting on the floor with that pulley. I made one for my home gym a few years ago, and I had to get creative.

Zach
Posted on: Mon, 06/13/2022 - 16:14

Thank you!

TitusTT
Posted on: Sat, 04/30/2022 - 08:42

Yo wassup Sir, How are u? Hope u are doing super well! i've been following this workout for around 6 to 7 months. i gotta say that i did some change here, i am able to lift heavy now. i can see some peak in biceps too! It really feels awesome u know. but i need help now regarding nutrition, first i wanna thank u for the content and providing us such good information. yea so the main problem with the diet m on is "soy products", just want to mention that i am a vegetarian. So, people here are saying that eating soy products (any like tofu, soy milk or anything made up of soy) more than 100g of serving in a day, is harmful for health, they say that it will increase ESTROGEN level in ur body, so because of that, i feel i cannot bulk, or shred properly, u need high protein diet when shreding, how m i going to do that if i have limitation with soy products. So i just wanted to know FROM U, I NEED UR ADVICE, UR THOUGHTS on eating SOY CHUNKS (by nutrella), can i eat around 200g of SOYA CHUNKS per day? or can i eat 200g of any soy product per day? u know soy chunks is really good source of portein for vegetarians, it contains 50g-52g of protein per 100g of soy chunks serving, if i could eat 200g soy chunks in my diet plan, then i will have 100g protein from soy chunks alone, it is really helpful, i can control my carbs perfectly due to that.....plz guide me thorugh this! i really need ur help this time plzz

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:47

Sorry for my delay in responding, TitusTT. I was locked out of the system for a bit.

Have you seen this yet? It may help you out.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/making-the-vegan-diet-work.html

Rudy
Posted on: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 21:46

Do i have to do one chest exercise for chest one for tricep or al chest first then triceps and what is the rest time once completing between sets and reps ?

Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:46

Hi, Rudy. There are a couple chest exercises in the workout. Are you wanting to add more?

45-60 seconds rest between sets.

Chris
Posted on: Fri, 04/22/2022 - 22:27

Hello, i've been using this program for 5 weeks now and i love it, but is it possible to move the shoulder routines to one of the previous days, Mon or Wed?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 05/16/2022 - 09:17

That would be okay, Chris. Good luck with it, and let us know how you do with the program!

Ricky
Posted on: Wed, 03/16/2022 - 00:29

Hello, I'm sorry if this is a dumb question but I was wondering if you're supposed to adjust weights between exercises or if these were intended to be used with the same pound weight for every exercise

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 03/22/2022 - 18:38

This program works either way, Ricky. Do what you feel is best. If you decide to add weight each set, make sure your jumps are with weights that you feel confident you can handle without sacrificing form.

Seb
Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2022 - 12:07

Excellent workout and pretty intense for me at least.
Just a quick one regarding the Leg/Shoulder workout:

Do Lunge reps mean you do left leg, right leg for one rep? Or does each leg count as one rep already?

Because I did option A and the workout took me 1h30. Which in my opinion is too long!

What do you think?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 02/09/2022 - 19:48

Left leg and right leg is one rep, Seb. If you need to make cuts to save time for scheduling purposes, do one less set for each exercise.

Seb
Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2022 - 05:38

Ok thanks! And I guess it's the same for the Step up?
But no cutting, we grind!

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2022 - 20:57

Correct. Grind on!

Dom
Posted on: Mon, 01/10/2022 - 07:13

Hi! I want to add dumbbell hip thrusts on leg day, is there any exercise I could sub out?

Also, would you have any finisher workouts to recommend for pull day that works the back as well? I only have resistance bands and dumbbells.

Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 01/13/2022 - 16:46

Dom, you can either add them to the leg workout or swap out the step ups.

Finisher for back? Here you go.
Dumbbell Row - 20 reps with the left arm, followed by 20 with the right. No rest. Back to the left for 15 reps. Same with the right. Repeat with 10 reps each, then 5 each. Then go all-out to failure with each arm. That should finish the back and pull day off nicely!

Stoica Andrei-Iulian
Posted on: Sun, 12/26/2021 - 13:26

SO, i just bought my first dumbbell set domyos up to 10kg per dumbbell. I m 20 years old 173 cm tall and i weight only 62kg. i want to get bigger. What diet i should go for?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/27/2021 - 09:20
titusTT
Posted on: Thu, 12/23/2021 - 12:18

Hello Sir,
I am a complete beginner, I have never worked out in my life.
Sometimes a little bodyweight exercise, but i dont XD. Now i will work out for the first time so i want everything to be a little easier.I am going to perform this workout at home, i have a bench, dumbells 5kg,10kg,20kg, and barbell. i have total weight plates of 100kg.

I just want your advice regarding nutrition, like how much calorie do i need, and most important.....how much protein do i need to build muslce. I was trying a workout provided by your site, i thought it was too difficult for me so i didnt follow.

Now let me provide you some of my information so u can help me through:

My weight: 87kg (Lean body mass)
My height: 6'2
My age: 19 years old

Now the question is, do i really need to eat protein 1g per pound of bodyweight at this level of activity? I really dont have much muscle mass, cause u know i am just starting.... so do i need to eat 1g protein per pound of body weight? For example, 87kg is 191 pounds, that means 191g protein. Please tell me do i need that much protein or should i start from a lower amount, BECAUSE I AM NOT GOING GYM, ITS ONLY DUMBELLS WORKOUT, NOT A HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUT LIKE A FULL GYM WORKOUT. Thank You.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/23/2021 - 19:16

Hi, Titus. Yes, you definitely need that much protein. It's not only for recovering from the activity you did, but you want to build muscle. Those nutrients are necessary.

william
Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2021 - 18:35

is it okay to convert this program to push pull legs,ie doing it for 6 days a week?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/01/2021 - 21:19

That is a lot of volume you would be doing, William. You can start that way if you like, but I suggest monitoring how you feel when recovering. If you feel worn down or have trouble recovering, you should switch back to the original format.

Liam
Posted on: Sun, 11/28/2021 - 10:51

Hi. Is this program enough for forearm muscles? Or should i need to add forearm exercises?