Frankoman's Dumbbell Only Split

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

Build Muscle
Split
Beginner
10 weeks
3
45 minutes
Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

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!

Daily Workout Schedule:

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

Tuesday - Rest Day

Wednesday - back and Biceps
Back
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
Biceps
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Cross Body Hammer Curl 2 10

Thursday - Rest Day

Friday - Legs and Shoulders
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunge 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Step Up 3 12
Dumbbell Squat 4 12,10,10,8
Hamstrings
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12,10,10,8
Calves
Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise 2 15,12
Dumbbell Standing Calf Raise 2 12,10
Shoulders
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

 Saturday and Sunday - Rest Days

1.1K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:44
Eli

Hello,

How do I warm up for this routine ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 15:35
JoshEngland
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Posted Sat, 05/12/2018 - 18:39
RP

Hey there! Thanks for posting this - I travel a lot, and most hotel gyms have dumbbells but no barbell, so this is SUPER helpful!

Quick q - on the exercises with decreasing reps, are you supposed to increase the weight with each set? Or keep it the same?
Ex: 12 reps of 25 lbs, 10 reps of 30 lbs, 8 reps of 35 lbs... vs. 12 reps of 30 lbs, 10 reps of 30 lbs, 8 reps 30 lbs...

Thanks, really appreciate it!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi RP,

Yes, as the reps decrease, increase the weight used.

Hope this helps! Thanks for giving the program a shot!

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 01:12
David Bradley

So I only have a 15, 25 (pair), 40 (pair) pound weights. Will that weight be enough to see some real gains?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 09:36
JoshEngland

Hi David,

It's a good place to start! You'll be able to notice some gains using those dumbbells if you're new to training, yes.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2018 - 18:33
David Bradley

Thank you. I'm also taking ON protein. So let's hope that helps as well.

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2018 - 11:52
Robert Collins

I want to add some core exercises ... Sit-ups, leg lifts etc... What day should I add them to???

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:16
JoshEngland

Hi Robert,

Go for it! You can add them in to any of the workout days.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2018 - 05:04
Dave

I have access to an EZ bar, would it be possible to substitute some exercises for the EZ bar variation such has Skull Crushers and was dumbbell curls?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:23
JoshEngland

Hi Dave,

yes, absolutely.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 03:20
James

Hi Nigel / Frankoman,

Firstly thanks for the routine, I have been following along for the past 3 months or so and have noticed considerable muscle gain / strength. As I have progressed I have also started some other movements that I have picked up here and there and have been increasing the weight / reps to keep it going.

I have however read a lot of recommendations that muscle groups are hit 2x per week, would this increased training amount be considered a more "advanced" routine and if so is there a routine accessible anywhere?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 08:41
JoshEngland

Hi James,

Increasing training frequency would be a solid option to progress from this workout.

Check out this program here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/11/2018 - 06:08
Nigel

Good day everyone, i got a question .
Monday and Thursday i got badminton session.

Can i run this program like Tuesday (chest,tri) continuously Wednesday (back,bi) then Friday (leg,shoulder) ? This is a big question for me... hopefully i got reply . Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/11/2018 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi Nigel,

Yes, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/10/2018 - 15:57
Nick

How much weight should be added per set/ per week assuming you're a beginner?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:23
JoshEngland

Hi Nick,

Add weight when you are capable of doing so without your form breaking down during the exercise. Progression will be highly individualized. As long as you are making progress over time, you'll see the results you are hoping for.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/25/2018 - 01:37
Angela

How odd that dumbbell pullover is listed as a back exercise here, but on the linked video page it's listed as a pecs exercise. Hmm...

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/26/2018 - 09:34
JoshEngland

Hi Angela,

Depending on how you do it, it can be both. Check out this video article:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/videos/dumbbell-pullover-back-or-chest...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:19
Kevin

Hi - so on a particular exercise when you are doing 4 sets with reps 12,10,10,8 do you increase the wait as the reps decrease? I have a Curl bar and bands as well to add into this workout. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:14
JoshEngland

Hi Kevin,

Yes, that is correct.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/04/2018 - 02:09
Nick

Hi, I was just wondering if maybe switching this up to a Mon, Tues, Wed, rest and repeat would be more beneficial when it comes to gaining faster? Also I was wondering what I could do to not plateau, because with the Incline bench and regular bench I have adjustable dumbbells and I’m at the max weight and it’s too easy. I looked at the higher weight ones and I currently don’t have $600 to get them. Should I add more sets or reps? Just looking for some advice on where to go next. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:02
JoshEngland

Hi Nick,

Adding 3 additional training days won't make you gain faster. Muscle growth takes time.

In terms of making your workouts more challenging without increasing the weight you use, check this article out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/4-ways-to-get-stronger-withou...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 01/31/2018 - 06:12
Ali

Hi
Can i do cardio on rest days for burning extra fat and can i add abs traing on off days with cardio

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/31/2018 - 15:06
JoshEngland

Hi Ali,

Sure that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:16
beefcake3000

Hi,
For the excercises with the same number of reps for each set, should I be decreasing, increasing, or maintain the same weight as I move through the sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:28
JoshEngland

Hi Beefcake,

It depends. I wouldn't recommend decreasing weight if reps remain the same unless you have to. Try to maintain or increase if possible.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 01/17/2018 - 15:36
JoeyMoey

Hello,
Im gonna start this program, but as a newbie I have few questions about weights. I have adjustable 2x20kg dumbbells. Im 26years old and now if I do 3x12 OFFSET-GRIP DUMBBELL CURL with 10kg it feels quite enough to me, but maybe I should try to do it with more weight or 10kg is enough for start?
Should I add more weight on certain exercises?
Last thing, I dont have a bench, could I somehow use chair/sofa and etc. instead of bench,or is it better to change exercises? But somehow I dont want to change exercises, because I think You did a great program, selected exercises to get best of workout with dumbbells , or it is not very bad to change few exercises?
I want to thank you for this program!
I'd be very happy if I get answers for my questions :) .
Thank you in advance :).

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:24
JoshEngland

Hi Joey,

Yes, you should add weight if you don't find the weight you are currently using challenging.

This workout is a template, you are more than welcome to alter it in whatever way you see fit to incorporate whatever pieces of equipment you do have access to.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Joey,

it depends on the build of the chair/sofa you're using. If it doesn't prohibit you from executing with perfect form, it should be fine. If it does, subbing the exercise out for another that targets the same muscle group without a bench would be the better option.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:42
JoeyMoey

It really helps! Thank you for your help :)
Thanks!

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Posted Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:47
JoeyMoey

Thanks you Josh for response and such fast :) .
How it's better , replace bench with chair/sofa :D , or change exercise for that particular muscle group which doesnt require bench?
Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:59
Sam

I’ve often heard that the best way to build muscle is high weight, low reps, but this routine seems to be more mid weight, mid reps. If my primary goal is building muscle is this routine sufficient for maximum muscle growth with the equipment I have at my disposal? Or could I do higher weight, lower reps, and possibly more sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:36
JoshEngland

Hi Sam,

We actually just published an article discussing this. Check it out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/should-you-use-high-volume-or...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:41
Mark

Thank you for this routine. However, I do not see core exercises in it. How would you integrate core exercises into this routine, and which exercises would you recommend?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:19
JoshEngland

Hi Mark,

Depending on your goals, ab isolation work may not be necessary. Check out this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/six-pack-science

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/11/2018 - 08:47
JoshEngland

Hi Mark,

Glad you found it helpful! Best of luck on accomplishing your goals! Feel free to reach out with any other questions.

Cheers!

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Posted Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:19
Mark

Josh,

Thanks for the response. That was an interesting article. I think I'll give this routine a try as is, but add a plank as a finisher.

Mark

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Posted Wed, 01/03/2018 - 10:15
Adam C Hartman

Hello,

I see the recommended time for this routine is 10 weeks. What would you recommend progressing to after the 10 weeks?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/04/2018 - 12:11
JoshEngland

Hi Adam,

It depends on your goals after the 10 week program is through, as well as the number of days you can commit to working out.

If you're still seeing progress from this program, you can always run another cycle of it.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:45
Kyle

Hi, great workout thanks. Just wondering would you suggest adding more weights or more reps to this plan as it is becoming a bit easy after a couple of weeks. And also can you add abs every day of the workout? Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 12/19/2017 - 15:13
JoshEngland

Hi Kyle,

Personally, I would go with adding more weight. However, progressions are highly individualized and will depend on the person.

Sure, you're more than welcome to include ab workouts to this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:51
Ahmet

i dont have the the bar to do the skullcrusher can i do another tricep exersize extra then doing skullcruhsers

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:43
JoshEngland

Hi Ahmet,

Yes, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:17
Yann

wanting to start this program. Probably a stupid question but I assume I should increase the dumbbell weight per new set? And throughout the weeks aim at always increasing the weight size I use?

Secondly what would you suggest would be a good workout plan to follow this program?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Yann,

Yes, you are correct.

In terms of next workout, it will depend on your individual goals and how frequently you'd like to go to the gym.

Below are a couple fan favorites that would be a suitable progression:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/fast-mass-program

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 12/08/2017 - 18:54
Traineee

From what I can see, the Dumbell Pullover is an exercise targeting the chest? Why is it on back day in this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Trainee,

The dumbbell pullover can be either a back exercise or a chest exercise depending on which part of the ROM you place emphasize on.

Personally, I've always felt it more in my back, but others here at M&S say they feel it more in their chest.

At the end of the day, you can perform the exercise on whichever day you feel best suits you.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:11
Brendan

I started this program a few weeks ago, enjoying it a lot so far. However, I'm finding the Friday workout to be very very taxing (in a bad way). Can I split it up and place shoulders on a separate day so that it would be a four day split, I guess? I just don't want an overlap in muscle rest that impedes recovery. If it's acceptable, what would be a good schedule?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/29/2017 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Brendan,

Sure, you can do that! Performing whichever body part you decide not to do Friday on Saturday will be your safest bet.

Hope this helps!