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Dumbbell Only Home Or Gym Full Body Workout

Dumbbell Only Home Or Gym Full Body Workout

Average: 4.1 (797 votes)
4.1 5 797
Short on equipment? No worries! This dumbbell only workout can be used at home or in the gym for building muscle mass. You can also use this as a muscle shock workout to mix things up.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Full Body
Training Level:
Beginner
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

Stuck at home and only have dumbbells? Maybe you're in a rut and what to try something different?

The dumbbell only home or gym full body workout focuses on the use of heavy compound lifts, and allows you to maximize muscle gains with minimal equipment. This workout can be run for an extended period of time. As long as you are experiencing strength and muscle gains, stick with this routine! Here are some key elements to maximizing progress:

  1. Progression. Never waste a set. Always push for more reps on every set using good form. When you can hit the top level of the recommended rep range on your first set of an exercise, add weight! This means that if an exercise calls for 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps, and on your first set you can perform 12 reps, add more weight the next time you perform this exercise.
  2. Failure. Do NOT train to failure. Train to the point where you believe you might fail if you attempt another rep.
  3. Food. You MUST eat more then it takes to maintain your bodyweight to pack on muscle mass. If you do not do this, you may add strength, but it will be very difficult to add muscle.

A note for women: Women can perform this workout. Recommend rep range is 10 to 15 for most sets.

You will be working out 3 days per week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Do not add additional exercises into this workout. Cardio can be performed first thing in the morning, or post-resistance training.

Monday
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat 3 6-12
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6-12
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 6-12
Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 6-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 6-12
Sit Up 3 10-25
Wednesday
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Step Up 3 6-12
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 6-12
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 6-12
Standing One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 3 10-20
Dumbbell Shrug 3 10-15
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 10-15
Friday
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunge 3 6-12
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 6-12
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 6-12
Standing Hammer Curl 3 6-12
Lying Dumbbell Extension 3 6-12
Lying Floor Leg Raise 3 10-25

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    Average: 4.1 (797 votes)
  • About The Author
    Steve is a powerlifter who has also spent 20 years training in bodybuilding. He is a national level competitor training for an all-time over 50 raw world record.
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Comments (1,532)

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Ace
Posted Wed, 01/04/2012 - 06:07

in this videos, what is the standard weight of the dumbells(each)?

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Ahmed
Posted Fri, 01/06/2012 - 13:09

Hi steve

how long should i rest between sets?

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Dan H
Posted Sat, 01/07/2012 - 00:53

Hi Steve

I'm 34, 6'1, 230lbs. Im about to start working out for the first time. I have spent hours reading up on dif workouts on this site. I have a full set of dumbbells and a pullup/core working tower. I want to build strength and muscle mass. I have decided to start out with a begginer 3 day a week full body workout. My question is, what are the pro's and cons between your dumbbell only 3 day begginer workout and Frankoman's dumbbell only begginer 3 day workout split? I like the simplicity of your workout better. But i also like the split of frankomans workout giving me the full 3 days rest for the muscle groups to recover vs your full body every workout every other day mon-fri. Which routine do you recomend is best for me and why?

Thanks.

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Elmo
Posted Sat, 01/07/2012 - 10:14

Hi steve..i am a skinny little guy, i had work on the training for a month and and my muscle start to look.. for how long i must workout to get a great shape, at least do not look so skinny ?

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Jeshai
Posted Mon, 01/09/2012 - 00:22

Hi Steve,

Im starting to lift weights and also jogging daily, but I want to gain muscle. How much should I jog.Also, im 15 years old and should I be taking protein supplements.

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luis
Posted Mon, 01/09/2012 - 01:38

hey do u do 1 set and move on to the next exercise and repeat until u have finished all 3 exercises??or do you do the 3 sets of the 1st exercise before
moving on to the 2nd exercise??

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laurel
Posted Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:45

Is there a alternative exercise for Wide Grip Pull Up? I have only dumbbells and barbbell.

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John
Posted Tue, 01/10/2012 - 17:54

Steve,

I am having the hardest time deciding whether to bulk up or slim down. I am 6 ft 200lbs and abou 16pct body fat. I could lose a tad on the love handles but overall I am fairly slim. Any suggestions. I did do p90x for 60 days and got good results but I cannot dedicate an hour everyday for 6 days a week.

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Andrew
Posted Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:24

Hi Steve,

Could I replace the regular DB squat with Goblet or Plie squats? I have very long legs so I have to use a wider stance when squatting so I don't hurt my knees, when I do this it is very uncomfortable holding the DBs at my side. Would the Goblet or Plie squats be just as effective?

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Felix
Posted Wed, 01/11/2012 - 23:37

Hi Steve,

I am 23 years old, 5'10 and 158 lbs.
I am just getting started in working out and I would like to add more muscles and get bulkier.

What would you recommend me to go for my meals and diet.
Is the 40g of protein every 2.5-3 hours a must?

Also do I use the same weights for every workout in the plan or I'm allowed to switch if I cant manage the weight on some of the workouts?

And do I run before or after the workout?

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thomas
Posted Thu, 01/12/2012 - 00:11

can i perform 30 minute cardio workouts on the days i dont perform the fullbody routine?

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thomas
Posted Thu, 01/12/2012 - 00:13

also how long does it take to complete one of these workouts?

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Jessica De Matos
Posted Thu, 01/12/2012 - 17:53

Hi Steve,

Instead of the Wide grip pull up, can i just do the pull down grip on my home gym?? If u get what i mean lol...

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Nick
Posted Sat, 01/14/2012 - 03:35

Well I came across this workout routine and was wondering if it helps with gaining muscle mass. I weigh around 130 pounds and currently taking BSN true mass before each session of lifting. I wanna start this routine and was wondering if anyone really could tell me what kid of workouts I need to do while taking this supp. Let me know so I can start improving my looks

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Devin
Posted Sat, 01/14/2012 - 21:51

Hey Steve. This is a great plan but what should i be eating while doing this? Please get back to me soon.

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Jake
Posted Sun, 01/15/2012 - 23:38

Hey steve,

Great workout. Haven't done any regular muscle building in ~18months due to a hernia. Looking forward to seeing results in the coming weeks.

2 questions:

1 - How long before I should see noticable results assuming I'm eating 4 100g cans of tuna a day on top of my regular meals?

2 - Im a full on kind of guy, I hate having "rest days", what can you suggest I do on Tuesdays and Thursdays?

Cheers,

Jake

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Rob
Posted Mon, 01/16/2012 - 14:10

Hey I am beginning to do your workout and I had a question. Would this workout have better results if I did it in a circuit style fast paced?

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Jordan
Posted Tue, 01/17/2012 - 11:07

What is the rest period between sets?

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Ashley
Posted Tue, 01/17/2012 - 14:53

Hi Steve, I was wondering if I could still run or do some other from of cardio on my off days with this workout?

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waleed
Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 13:39

im a skinny guy and im at uni with no time for gym due to certain requirements so for the time being i have brought a dumbbell with me (just one) so i can start slowly and maintain it throughout the year. but i need a routine and cant work any out could you advise and help? much appreciated

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Jenks
Posted Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:15

Hi Steve

I am a beginner and this sort of routine looks great, however as I play a fair amount of sport I am more than happy with my legs and don’t actually want to work on them. So could I follow the routine and simply miss out the leg exercises?

Doing this on Monday or Friday seems easy as there is only one leg exercise on these days however Wednesday seem quite ‘leg specific’ and this would only leave 3 exercises which don’t seem to really cover the upper body like the other two days do. Is this ok and will simply be a shorter day or should I add something else to that day?

Cheers

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Chris
Posted Tue, 01/24/2012 - 18:41

Hello. My name is Chris. I am 30 yrs old. Around a year ago I started the P90X program. Started out weighing 271 lbs, went down to 211 lbs and am now back up to 223 lbs (hopefully muscle:). Although it is a GREAT program, I feel I am never going to get the desired mass and bulk from it and was looking at starting this program soon.

My two questions are:

1) I still have quite a bit of unwanted belly fat, love handles and my chest still isn't near as firm as I would like it to be so I need to know what your recommendations are as far as cardio goes?

2) I still cannot get it through my thick head that it might be a better idea to have the rest day in between. Just feel like I'm not getting anywhere like that even though I've hears and read everywhere that I need 48 hrs. Any suggestions? No lifting at all? If my secondary goal is to burn fat I should definitely do cardio on those days, right? Thoughts?

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance

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Jenna
Posted Fri, 01/27/2012 - 11:45

Hi Steve,
Thank you so much for the wonderful fitness plans and tips!
I am so excited~ This is my first week 3rd day of workout and no joke, I feel like i am already getting a lot more fit than before.

One question though: how long can I continue this workout until I need to switch up to another workout plans (e.g. 5wk) ? I was told that it is not effective to repeat the same workout for a long time.

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John
Posted Tue, 01/31/2012 - 05:38

Hey Steve,

I am 5'7" and weigh around 140-145lbs (not sure since I haven't weighed myself in awhile). Your work out routine has inspired me to purchase a bench off Amazon. Also, I have two 20lb dumbbells that I plan on using for this work out.

I am not sure how many calories I should intake daily for my height/weight. Can you let me know? Also, you say to eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours to maximize muscle gains. Do I do this even on days I don't work out? Also, can I replace one of these small meals with a protein shake?

Thank you for being helpful with so many questions here.

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Rob
Posted Tue, 01/31/2012 - 12:55

HI guys, I've been doing this routine for around four months and have enjoying it, however, I stupidly measured my biceps a month ago and then measured again today and there's little if any increase in size.

This makes me wonder if I'm doing the exercises which target that area correctly.

I only recently started keeping my muscles tense when doing curls and am finding it much harder to hit the reps, will I see better gains by dropping the weight and ensuring I keep the muscle tense to hit the full count?

I know it's not all about size and I'm definitely getting stronger, but it would be a confidence boost if I'd actual gained a little.

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scott foster
Posted Tue, 01/31/2012 - 13:28

I lift dumbells 3 to 5 days a week at 20 to 25 lbs on each dumbell. I do several reps. 20 to 25 at different positions n also use medicine ball n ab roller. I eat boneless pork chops n chicken breasts n salads. What are some good positions to use my dumbells to gain muscle other than the ordinary curls?

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Luxus
Posted Wed, 02/01/2012 - 19:52

Is it ok to do this routine twice a week? So Mon = Thurs, Tues = Fri and Wed = Sat with a Sunday break?

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aly
Posted Fri, 02/03/2012 - 10:48

hi steve what about the rest periods between sets and between exercises how long should it be ??

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John
Posted Mon, 02/06/2012 - 12:31

Hi Steve:

Just started this workout to transition from p90x to heavy gym barbell lifting, with the ultimate goal of gaining mass. I just finished the insanity DVD workout series to cut some fat and love it.... it has some light/body weight resistance training-- push ups, squat jumps, etc-- will these excercises over train if I do them as my cardio on off days of the dumbell workout?

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Aj
Posted Wed, 02/08/2012 - 00:07

Can I do abb workouts on Tuesday and Thursday ?

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gabriel
Posted Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:29

Could you give me a clue so i can know how much i should eat so it is more than it takes to maintain my bodyweight? because in the moment i'm far to tiny.

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Tim
Posted Mon, 02/20/2012 - 18:25

Hi Steve,

I stumbled upon this workout while trying to find one that I can do with a busy schedule and at home. I like the sound of it and it fits my schedule. I have not worked out in a few years and want to get back to it. My goals are to:
1) Tone
2) Lose fat/weight (love handles, belly fat, and the man boobs)
3) Build strength/muscle

Is this a good workout for me to follow? Also, how long should you follow this routine? I'm not looking to get huge. Can this routine be used to maintain your body over time? Does this routine hit all of my goals and if not can you direct me to a different routine that will? Thanks.

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ben
Posted Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:44

Is a chest press machine a suitable substitute for the dumbbell bench press?

I don't have a workout bench at the moment or any decent substitute for one, but I do have a chest press machine that provides the same range of motion/weight.

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DKP
Posted Fri, 02/24/2012 - 02:25

Hi Steve, ok heres my deal, Im 37 yr old single father in school, Only bout 140-145 pounds, and want to gain more weight(if can get to 160-170 i would be happy) and on top of that all want to get "Cut & Toned".What would be best way for me to do this? And any additional comments from the readers would be helpful to.Thank You in advance.

Doug,
DKP

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sarva
Posted Thu, 03/01/2012 - 09:25

Doug,
as i have read,
to get a lean toned body, u have to have a good diet and a lot of cardio..

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MikeyG
Posted Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:08

hi steve,

just stumbles across you workout routines,

im a skinny 5ft 6 male wanting to gain tighter abs and bigger muscles.

what sort of drinks and diet would you recommend?

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Jose
Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:30

Is it bad working out so many differant parts of your body in just 1 day? I heard if can get you sick, i do not know if that is true..

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M. Weeks
Posted Tue, 02/28/2012 - 19:44

Should all reps for an exercise be completed before moving to the next exercise? Or, should you go from one exercise to the next until you complete 1 set for each exercise, then repeat two more times?
Thanks!

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lahiru appuhamy
Posted Wed, 02/29/2012 - 05:09

is it ok if i do them hall five days??

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tayler
Posted Wed, 02/29/2012 - 19:10

i want to build muscle and im only 14, would this workout be ok for teens?

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sarva
Posted Thu, 03/01/2012 - 05:10

I cant buy weights..
can i increase the number of reps and number of sets ?
pl help

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Mark
Posted Sat, 03/03/2012 - 08:57

Steve...I do a full body workout, 3 days a week. My workout consists of;
Monday - Dumbell Pres (flat)- 3 sets of 12 using 65 lb dumbells
Dumbell Fly (decline) - 3 sets of 12 using 45 lb dumbbells
Bent Over Row - 3 sets of 12 using 70 lb dumbell
Seated reverse fly - 3 sets of 12 using 20 lb dumbbells
Lat Pull Down (close grip) - 3 sets of 15 using 120 lbs resistence
Skull Crushers - 3 sets of 12 using 75 lb barbell
Dips - 3 sets of 20 with 25 lb plate on lap
Standing Calf Raises - 3 sets of 25 using 10 lb ankle weights
Squats - 3 sets of 12 using 25 lb dumbells
Curls - 3 sets of 10 using 35 lb dumbells
Hammer Curls - 3 sets of 12 using 30 lb dumbells

Wednesday - Dumbell Pres (decline)- 3 sets of 12 using 65 lb dumbells
Dumbell Fly (flat) - 3 sets of 12 using 45 lb dumbbells
Front Raises - 3 sets of 10 using 15 lb dumbbells
Seated Dumbbell Press - 3 sets of 12 using 35 lb dumbbells
Lat Pull Down (wide grip) - 3 sets of 15 using 120 lbs resistence
Straight Arm Pushdown (machine) - 3 sets of 12 using 70 lbs
Dips - 3 sets of 20 with 25 lb plate on lap
Standing Calf Raises - 3 sets of 25 using 10 lb ankle weights
Lunges - 3 sets of 12 usibg 25 lb dumbells
Hammer Curls - 3 sets of 12 using 30 lb dumbells
Preacher Curls (machine) - 3 sets of 12 using 50 lbs resistence

Friday - Bench Press - 3 sets of 12 using 125 lbs
Dumbell Fly (incline) - 3 sets of 12 using 45 lb dumbbells
Shoulder Shrugs - 3 sets of 12 using 65 lb dumbells
Side Raises - 3 sets of 12 using 15 lb dumbells
Lat Pull Down (behind head) - 3 sets of 15 using 120 lbs resistence
Tri-Cep Kickback - 3 sets of 12 using 50 lb dumbbells
Dips - 3 sets of 20 with 25 lb plate on lap
Standing Calf Raises - 3 sets of 25 using 10 lb ankle weights
Dead Lift (machine) - 3 sets of 12 using 110 lbs resistence
Curls - 3 sets of 10 using 35 lb dumbbells
Concentration Curls - 3 sets of 12 using 20 lb dumbells

I have been doing this routine for about a year, increasing weights to this level, I have gained approx 2" on arms but have plateaued. Any suggestions?

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Max
Posted Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:00

What if i'm unable to do the wide grip pull up because I can't do it on my pull up bar. Is there another exercise that i can do in place of that one?

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Ed
Posted Mon, 03/05/2012 - 18:23

Just want to say really Good workout. Been looking for something like this for a while. Quick question tho...what would this workout be like while taking fat burners eg Grenade? Is it worth trying to up your metabolism to get rid of unwanted fat while trying to build muscle and taking on lots of protein?

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Terry
Posted Sun, 03/11/2012 - 00:32

Hi i have been looking for a good workout routine just like everybody else commenting and i find that there is no best routine they are all the same like it says do 3 sets of 6/12 reps etc but it really doesnt matter, you could do whatever you feel best.

truth is everybody is different and we all have our own individual pace that our body's function.

You would be better off creating your own workout routine from what you are comftable with, using all these ready made routine's only as an example :)

Tell me i'm wrong ;)

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/15/2012 - 16:07

Not really. For best results you really need to stick with something designed by an experienced lifter.

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Terry
Posted Sun, 03/11/2012 - 00:35

P.S to mark who has only gained 2" on his arm's after working out for a full year -- Your doing something wrong because it only took me about a month to acheive the same !!

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Sourabh Agarwal
Posted Mon, 03/12/2012 - 08:04

Hi Steve,

Great article and great routine explanation. I just wanted to ask about the routine applying to me. I have been working out since the last 3-4 months- doing dumbbell exercises, some compound exercises and cardio. Should I adopt this program as a change in routine or how else may I vary it accordingly to my progression. Thank You.

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Steve
Posted Thu, 03/15/2012 - 16:12

No need to worry about making changes. Focus on progression of weight first and foremost.

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Andrew
Posted Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:20

Hi Steve,

Could I replace the regular DB squat with Goblet or Plie squats? I have very long legs so I have to use a wider stance when squatting so I don't hurt my knees, when I do this it is very uncomfortable holding the DBs at my side. Would the Goblet or Plie squats be just as effective?

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