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!

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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


Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2021 - 13:41

I have been splitting shoulders into a separate day on Saturday. Keeps all workouts really short. I love this program overall though. I workout very intensely, so I was not recovering properly on the 3 day full body dumbell program here. Thank you for this program.

Ilham Maulana
Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 01:05

Can I corporate Push Up and Pull Up in this workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 16:16

Hi, Ilham. You can! Either start with them with the corresponding push and pull workouts or replace an exercise in the workout program with those choices instead.

Ilham Maulana
Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2021 - 02:25

Tysm for the reply :D

Rob P
Posted on: Mon, 08/23/2021 - 21:30

Just started the workout today, I know it says the program is intended to build muscle, but will it also help me lose unwanted fat and help me lose weight also? Thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 16:15

Hey Rob, it could help you lose fat if that is your goal. Make sure you check out our fat loss guide to help you make the most out of the commitment you're making.


Posted on: Thu, 08/19/2021 - 06:03

is it ok if we remove the shoulder section from day 3 and do it on day 4...
Monday – Chest & triceps
Wednesday – Back & biceps
Friday – Legs
Saturday – Shoulders
...sumthing like this

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 09:45

Hi, Marcel. Sure, you can make that adjustment if it suits you best. Let us know how it works for you going forward. Thanks!

Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2021 - 12:58

Can I add in cardio on a rowing machine on off days?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2021 - 13:10

Ulysses -

That's fine.

Posted on: Sun, 08/08/2021 - 01:49

33 sets on Friday is a lot to do in the 45mins

Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2021 - 19:42

what do you recommend in case of failure?
repeat from start? move on the next set? reduce weight etc..?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 12:04

Hey winter - you don't want to be reaching failure for any of the sets. If you do reach failure, you'll need to lower the weight.

Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2021 - 07:17

I just started this workout for two weeks and feel like the intensity isn't high enough even though I am progressively overloading, would it be possible for me to do PPLPPL then rest on sunday rather than resting inbetween the workout days? Would this hurt me or be more beneficial?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:03

Hey Dickson - yes, you can do that. Keep an eye on your recovery and how your body is feeling.

Posted on: Sat, 07/10/2021 - 08:32

So every set should increase weight?
3x12 [increase weight on 2, 3 sets]
12,10,10, 8 [increase weight on 2,3,4]

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:53

Hey Jungi - if the reps are consistent across all sets, you'll keep the weight the same for each set. If the reps increase each set, you'll decrease weight or keep the weight the same. If the reps decrease each set, you'll increase weight.

Posted on: Sun, 07/04/2021 - 15:57

Hi Abi,
How much rest time should I take between sets?
Paul UK

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:51

Hey Paul - rest can be anywhere from 30-60 seconds.

Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 15:10

Hello! I've finished the 10 weeks and I'm looking for another workout to start next week, dumbell only if possible. (I might get a bar shortly, so I could go that way too!). Would someone be so kind to recommend another muscle building workout?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/28/2021 - 09:46

Hey Juan - if you enjoyed this program, you can repeat it!

Posted on: Mon, 06/14/2021 - 00:43

Hi...the rep ranges are 12,10,10,8...so we have increase weight each set right..like 10 kgs for 12 reps..14 kgs for both sets of 10 and 16 kg for 8 reps..right?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/14/2021 - 10:38

Hey Marcel - correct. As the reps decrease, you'll increase weight.

Tanner Echols
Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 10:30

Is it OK to substitute upright rows for dumbbell shrugs? I've never felt confident doing shrugs

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:46

Hey Tanner - yes you can.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:34

How many sets and repetitions of fixed bar with open grip can I add in training so as not to exceed the ideal volume

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:42

Hey Caio - what exercise are you referring to? That'll help me give a better suggestion of if you should add in that exercise to this program.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 19:20

The exercise is chinups or wide grip pullups. (You suggested to add: "If you have a pullup bar I highly suggest adding chinups or wide grip pullups to back day!")

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:46

Ahhh gotcha! You can do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps for those.

Posted on: Sun, 05/30/2021 - 16:32

I don't quite understand drop sets and pyramid sets. Can I just perform 12 reps on each set instead of 12, 10, 10 and 8 in the exercises that require it, then apply progressive overload in weight with every session?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 10:33

Hey Newbie - yes you can do that.

Posted on: Sat, 05/29/2021 - 14:25

Do we have to go all out in each set?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 10:31

Hey Marcel - no, you don't want to reach failure on each set.

Posted on: Thu, 05/27/2021 - 10:21

do we need to apply progressive overload every week and how?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/28/2021 - 10:20

Hey gina - yes, you can. Check out this article to learn more about progressive overload: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/principle-progressive-overloa...

Posted on: Fri, 05/07/2021 - 15:33

On the lunges is it 12 reps on each leg?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/10/2021 - 10:15

Hey Troy - 12 reps on each leg

Lifting Noob
Posted on: Fri, 04/30/2021 - 19:51

Hi, for the alternating exercises, specifically step ups, my heart rate reaches max in the 190's with chest strap. The weight isn't an issue, but I'm finding myself too out of breath to continue. I count both sides as 1 rep for a total of 24 step ups per set. Should these exercises be done per leg separately with rests in between? Such as doing 12 with left leg, break, 12 with right, then set complete? Or is each side considered 1 rep instead of both, such as 6 left and 6 right? Same with lunges and other alternating. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2021 - 09:58

Hey there - for alternating exercises, the reps listed are per side.

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2021 - 20:30

Hi I had a question, when performing this routine for 10 weeks, is it okay for me to increase the amount of weight I am using as I get stronger?

Also, once I am finished performing this routine for 10 weeks, what do I do next? Am I allowed to re-do this routine with heavier dumbbells? Or is there another routine you guys would rather recommend? I was looking at the Dumbbell Only Workouts (The 4 Day, 5 Day and 6 Day Spilts) but was unsure if they were a proper choice of progression to move onto once i'm done with the Frankoman's Dumbbell Only Split routine.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 04/30/2021 - 09:40

Hey Snow_147 - yes, you can increase weight over the course of this program! After you finish this routine, you can repeat it if you want or you can move on to another workout. I particularly like the 4 dumbbell only program.

Posted on: Fri, 04/30/2021 - 09:44

Ty for answering Abigail_M&S, I appreticate it. I hope you have a good day :)

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2021 - 16:12

Can I add in pullups on back days and dips on chest days? Substitute some of the exercise or add them to the workout all together?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2021 - 09:44

Hey Aleksa - you can add those in addition to the other exercises.

Posted on: Sun, 04/25/2021 - 18:15

Is this fine for a 14 year old to do?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2021 - 11:30

Hey MrNibles - yes it is

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/2021 - 15:53

I'm trying to be in a lean bulk and gain a lot of muscle, would this be better or a full body workout. Also could I do this in a rotation and only rest on Sundays? I'm a teenager so I just wanna know what would be best.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/21/2021 - 09:13

Hey Peter - check out this workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2021 - 05:01

Been seeing some solid results with this program, have three more weeks left. I am planning to purchase a barbell and some heavier Dumbbells. Is there a program where I can build muscle while I'm cutting down my weight with a barbell, Dumbbell, and bench only. I plan to get more equipment over time, but would love of a nice routine with what I have, that's more intermediate.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2021 - 09:42
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