Dumbbell Only Home Or Gym Full Body Workout

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

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
8 weeks
3
30 minutes
Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male
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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

1.9K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 09/17/2018 - 23:24
Brendan

Hello,

This workout looks great. I workout at home and also have a dip bar and a vertical leg press machine. Where could I incorporate these exercises into this workout routine?

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2018 - 16:30
Duffy

Great workout, I'm trying to lose around 2 stone and tone up. We have a pool.at our gym, will doing some lengths in the pool after the workout help.
Cheers

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/10/2018 - 08:51
JoshEngland

Hi Duffy,

Sure, you can add in some laps for additional cardio.

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 11:24
Mark Hyams

Hi I recently left a comment about the order of exercise,as mentioned I find that going through each exercise three times works for me , would doing each exercise three times before moving on to the next help build size and definition, or the previous way build more in definition.
thanks Mark

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:40
JoshEngland

Hi Mark,

Yes, that is a fine way to approach this workout program.

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:09
Vinod

Hi,

I would like to know if there is any alternative workout to the dumbbell step up?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:10
JoshEngland

Hi Vinod,

A dumbbell lunge variation should do the trick.

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Posted Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:54
Madval

It takes me about 1.5h to complete this workout with 2 min rest between sets. Am I doing something wrong when it says it takes 30 min to complete this workout. Is this excluding rests?

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Posted Tue, 07/24/2018 - 16:20
Siddhant

Can I do bulgarian split squat instead of dumbbell squat?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/25/2018 - 10:49
JoshEngland

Hi Siddhant,

Sure, that is fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:16
Michael

What should i do after i finish this 8 weeks program? Tnx!

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:09
Eemu

Wouldn't it be better to do incline bench presses instead of floor presses (If you have the option that is) on the Friday workout? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:05
JoshEngland

Hi Eemu,

That is a fine substitution.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 06:11
IVAN

Hello. Perhaps a silly question, but in what order do i do the workout? Do i do all 3 reps of one exercise then move to next or?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi IVAN,

Yes, perform all the sets for each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:32
Glenn

Probably a silly question but is that something i should do after 4 weeks of the workout? What size dumbbells do you think I should do? I’m wanting to lose weight and tone.

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:29
GMAN

Is there a workout plan/program that incorporates both gym and dumbbells at home? Im asking because i have bowflex dumbbells and a bench at home. But can only workout at the gym on the weekends. So wondering if there was a good program out there.

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:20
GMAN

3 questions..

is this a good program if your goal is to burn fat and tone the body?

how much cardio is allowed with this program?

How do you calculate your macros based off this routine?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 15:15
JoshEngland

Hi Gman,

1. Yep! Just make sure you're in a calorie deficit.

2. As much as you'd like so long as it doesn't inhibit your ability to recover.

3. Start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:37
GMAN

thanks for the answers. definitely good to read. Need your guidance. Looking to get a good program for working out at home and at the gym. When I mean at home, i have bowflex dumbbells and a bench at home. But can only workout at the gym on the weekends. So wondering if there was a good program out there.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:53
JoshEngland

Hi Gman,

You might like some of these workouts: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/home

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:17
Mohammed Arif

Hi,
What if one doesn't have bench at home. Is there a way to do those bench related workouts without a bench ?
Or, buying a bench is necessary ?
Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:48
JoshEngland

Hi Mohammed,

You could do them on the floor, however it will limit your range of motion. It might be worth investing in a bench over time. It'll open up a bunch of variations to basic exercises you can do at home.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:57
Mohammed Arif

Thanks JoshEngland.
Yes for now i am following Dumbbell floor press in place of Dumbbell bench press.

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:29
Ribert

My dumbbells are 88 pounds total. I'm currently trying to cut weight since I'm skinny fat. My question is: what's next after the 8 weeks? Can I use heavier weights and a caloric surplus with this program in order to continue it ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Ribert,

Sure! You're more than welcome to continue on with this program for however long you enjoy it and are seeing progress.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:29
Glenn

Thank you for this program. So needless to say I’m 5’8 237lbs. I’ve never really done weight training before. I have 10, 12 and 25lbs dumbbells. Are those ok for these workouts or do I need heavier dumbbells to get good results?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 09:01
JoshEngland

Hi Glenn,

That's completely fine to start out with. You may want to invest in heavier dumbbells as you get stronger.

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Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:32
Glenn

Probably a silly question but is that something i should do after 4 weeks of the workout? What size dumbbells do you think I should do? I’m wanting to lose weight and tone.

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 10:14
Joris

Hello I have a question,

I really love endurance runing, however I would like to gain some musle. Is it posible to add a 20min/30min run after this workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 14:02
JoshEngland

Hi Joris,

Sure, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:13
Siddhant

hey, Im getting dumbells up to 100 kg(Im buying that much as I prefer using dbs), would this be as good as a barbell programme with that much weight? like If i ever were to reach the 100kg dumbell on a deadlift, wouldnt that be as good as a barbell programme?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:32
JoshEngland

Hi Siddhant,

Yes, you'll still build muscle performing a program with dumbbells as you would with barbells.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/13/2018 - 06:50
Prakhar sisodiya

Will doing this six days a week cause any problem? Nd for how many days will i have to do this if i follow a 3 day per week program?

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

Hi Prakhar,

Cause problems? It might depending on your experience level. It is completely unnecessary to increase training volume with this program. The 3xs per week is plenty.

You can follow the program for however many days you prefer. I'd give it at least 8 weeks to see results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2018 - 05:58
Ryan

Josh,
Thanks for this workout. What are your thoughts on cardio on the days inbetween workouts? Should I limit this? Or do you recommend cardio on the same days as lifting, just do it afterwards?

Best Regards

Ryan

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/10/2018 - 08:54
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

You could perform cardio every day of the week depending on the intensity you use. Personally, I'd recommend HIIT on your training days and low intensity walks as a form of active recovery on your off days.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 14:20
Lee

Love the look of this. I want to put on some muscle mass but first need to lose a good chunk of body fat. Would this plan suit a beginner with this purpose?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 15:59
JoshEngland

Hi Lee,

Yes, this would be a great option for someone with that experience level and those goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2018 - 20:25
Gauruv Arora

Hi Steve, thanks so much for posting this excellent workout. I'm 18 years old and I'm relatively new to lifting, as I have not done much strength wise in the past. Since I have dumbbells that are easily accessible to me, I'm going to start this workout next week, but do you suggest any supplements for a beginner? I saw the recommended supplements section of this post, but I was wondering if these would be fine using as a beginner. Also, what should I include in my diet? Thanks again! Since I'm new to lifting it means so much that you created such a straightforward program.

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Posted Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:05
Brett wallace

I’m loving this workout. Got a few questions. Can I do this work out into the weekends just one day. Not sure what one I should do because since we have a 7 day week it would over lape one day without a rest day. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/26/2018 - 10:15
JoshEngland

Hi Brett,

If you like, you can perform these workouts every other day and rotate through them. This will allow you to add in a weekend workout most weeks.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 21:39
Chris M

My job takes me away from home every other week, and sometimes I have access to a gym and sometimes not. I have a set of selectable dumbbells I travel with. I have a reasonable garage gym at home, and when I can use my gym or one on the road I do a 4 day split. Is this ok to use as a supplement, or should I just stick with the dumbbell workout everywhere for consistency?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

This is the perfect workout to use as a supplemental workout when needed.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 07:51
Jason J

I'm 35yrs old and nearing the end of a weight loss routine, 44lbs down with 15 or so to go, target of 175lbs at 5'9". I'm basically a weight lifting noob who's now "skinny fat" and I can feel the lower calorie diet has caused muscle weakness this past 6 months. Fully plan on embracing this workout as presented and increasing food intake. What sort of typical results could I expect at the end of the 8 weeks? Thanks for the workout plan and feedback!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 08:59
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Results will vary depending on a number of factors.

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Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:23
Jason J

Of course, hard to say, I understand. But overall I should see an increase in muscle strength and size given the program and length of time?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:26
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Yes, you can expect those kinds of results overall if performing consistently.

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Posted Sun, 04/22/2018 - 23:36
Bali Lali

Thanx for the workout, it’ll really help. And is the workout for Monday Wednesday and Friday set to be done for 8 weeks without changing it

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Bali,

Yes, that is correct! Hope you enjoy the program!