Dumbbell Only Workout: 3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Dumbbell Only Workout: 3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout
This workout program only requires dumbbells, has just the right amount of volume to promote muscle growth, and is perfect to do at home or on the go.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
8 weeks
3
25-30 minutes
Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

The following workout is designed for those who only have access to a set of dumbbells.

It’s perfect for those who work out at home, travel and are on the road a lot, or beginners who are new to weight lifting.

It can be performed as a complete workout program for up to 8 weeks. At that point you may want to consider increasing the volume of the workouts or change up your routine to include more of a variety of equipment.

This program calls for you to work out 3 times a week. Since these workouts are full body workouts, it is best to have a rest day in between your work out days.

For example, you could perform this program on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This will give your body enough rest to recover in between workouts.

Be sure to track your rest periods during your workouts. The rest time in between sets for this program should be between 30-60 seconds.

Feel free to add cardio and ab specific training as you see fit. I’d recommend HIIT after your workouts on your work out days and a lower intensity form of cardio on your off/recovery days.

If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!

After you've finished this workout program, move on to this 4 day dumbbell only workout program.

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Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Squat 3 10
2. Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 3 10
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row 3 10
4. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
5. Lateral Raises 2 8
6. Standing Dumbbell Curl 2 8
7. Lying Dumbbell Extension 2 8
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Lunge 3 10
2. Dumbbell Hamstring Curl 3 10
3. Dumbbell Deadlift 3 10
4. Dumbbell Military Press 3 10
5. Dumbbell Flys 2 8
6. Hammer Curl 2 8
7. Seated Dumbbell Extension 2 8
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Step Up 3 10
2. Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 3 10
3. One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10
4. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press 3 10
5. Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly 2 8
6. Zottman Curl 2 8
7. Close Grip Dumbbell Press 2 8

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

434 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 10/17/2019 - 16:04
Edub

This thing is fantastic. What a great all-around program. Very well-rounded! Thanks a bunch.

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Posted Thu, 10/10/2019 - 20:20
VERONICA M PATINO

If I follow this program, what would could I do immediately after for cardio? HIIT, MISS. or LISS
On may days offf?
HIIT, MISS, or LISS

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Posted Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:52
JoshEngland

Hi Veronica,

It depends on your goals and what you enjoy. Any of those can help... so can a combination of the 3 styles.

If you're looking for structure, you can try HIIT on your workout days and LISS on your "off" days from the gym.

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Posted Tue, 10/08/2019 - 16:05
Lenny T

Hello, i was wondering if i should be using dumbbells that are more heavyweight or lightweight for these reps, or should i just do what im comfortable with.

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Posted Thu, 10/10/2019 - 09:54
JoshEngland

Hi Lenny,

You should select a weight that is challenging for the rep ranges on each exercise. This may be different from exercise to exercise.

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Posted Sun, 09/29/2019 - 09:35
Hoang

Can I ask some question. What can I do when warm up before workout and stretches after ?
I mean I already know and have some warm up sets like 30%, 50%, 70%.But what can I do before and after them?

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Posted Mon, 09/30/2019 - 10:01
JoshEngland
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Posted Thu, 09/26/2019 - 16:54
Vanessa

Hi Josh are we doing all of the sets of one exercise before moving on to the next one? Also for exercises that are 2 sided is that total reps or per-side reps? Thanks!

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Posted Fri, 09/27/2019 - 14:53
JoshEngland

Hi Vanessa,

Yes, that is the preferred way to perform the workout. On exercises that are 2 sided, the reps are per side.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 09/27/2019 - 15:01
Vanessa

Cool thanks so much!

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Posted Fri, 09/27/2019 - 15:11
JoshEngland

You're welcome! Thanks for reading M&S!

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Posted Thu, 09/19/2019 - 07:59
Mario

Hi brother this time i only got one question
1 and only one : is the squat and the deadlift that i use in my workout enough for my legs ?

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Posted Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:51
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

Combined with the other leg movements listed, yes it's plenty.

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Posted Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:48
Max

Hi, I would like you to answer this:
1.-I delay in this training about 1 hour since I am not a beginner I lift about 100 pounds in rowing and on the bench about 85 pounds per dumbbell is justified what I delay in this training or should I try to delay the 30 minutes?
2.- Is it really useful if I am not a beginner or would you recommend another training?
3.-would it be necessary to add some trapezoid or calves?

Waiting for your response in advance thanks and thanks for this great training.

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Posted Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:22
JoshEngland

Hi Max,

1. I don't understand your question.
2. This program can be useful for any training experience. Those who are truly advanced know how to make their workouts more challenging without the use of gimmicks. The basics keep you safe and building muscle.
3. No, not necessarily. Maybe some Calves depending on your genetics.

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Posted Thu, 09/12/2019 - 17:14
sam

Hello. Can I do a boxing class on my rest days with this 3 day full body workout?

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Posted Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:16
JoshEngland

Hi Sam,

Yes, that is fine.

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Posted Thu, 09/12/2019 - 09:07
Michael

This can help weight loss too right? Is it okay if I do a Day 4 as well?

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Posted Thu, 09/12/2019 - 15:08
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Both this program and the 4 day can be used during fat loss phases. I wouldn't do them both simultaneously. Pick one or the other.

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Posted Wed, 09/11/2019 - 18:21
Mario

H brother i'm back with few more questions
1:do i need to change my workout plan like after a year ? cause i heard your body gets used to it so you have to change it in order to challenge muscles to change
2:you sure i can build a body like that using the same workout and only dumbbells
3:is it fine if i do calisthenics in rest days instead of nothing ? if yes is pull ups,push ups and sit ups enough ?
4:can you suggest an calisthenic workout plan ? also an ab workout ?
5:do i need ab workout or my workout does effect it ?
6:also suggest an workout for wrists and forearms
7:Love you brother i know i'm annoying but you get rid of me one day eventually

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Posted Thu, 09/12/2019 - 15:07
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

1. No, but you may need to increase your total number of sets, reps, or weight used. So long as you're moving more weight over time, you'll continue to see results.
2. Yes. Maybe not exactly, but you'll be able to develop your body to its own best potential.
3. I wouldn't recommend it. Focus on increase the weights you're using whenever possible instead and utilize your off days for rest and recovery.
4. Again, not necessary.
5. It's not necessary, but you can if you really want to.
6. It's not necessary.
7. You're welcome and I'm always happy to help!

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Posted Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:50
Sean

1 exercise per upper body muscle group??? Is that really enough, the triceps and biceps have multiple heads and one exercise is only going to hit one head. So how can you make gains from that?
Please correct me, i am a noob

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 11:50
JoshEngland

Hi Sean,

Beginners will see gains with that amount of volume. Plus the increased training frequency will allow you to elicit muscle protein synthesis via training more often.

You also hit certain muscle groups with more volume indirectly by performing compound exercises.

Be consistent and you'll see gains.

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Posted Mon, 09/09/2019 - 08:04
Sean

should I stretch or do some cardio post-workout or not?

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Posted Mon, 09/09/2019 - 11:05
JoshEngland

Hi Sean,

You definitely can, but you don't have to. Really depends on your goals. It wouldn't hurt to doi t if you have time to.

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Posted Sun, 09/01/2019 - 12:57
Ash Man

Looks like these exercise target all body parts each day. I read that we need to target specific body parts every day. Am i not understanding this correctly?

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 11:53
JoshEngland

Hi Ash Man,

Higher frequency training is usually better for beginners and most natural athletes as it optimizes training induced muscle protein synthesis (AKA the response needed to build muscle). Full body accomplishes this nicely.

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Posted Tue, 08/27/2019 - 00:51
Vance

What kind of warmup is recommended for this program?

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:31
JoshEngland

Hi Vance,

Warm ups can be highly individualized. A good warm up is anything that warms up the core, increases your body temperature and prepares you for the lifts you're about to do.

You can start here to get an idea of what you could be doing: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:51
Vance

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

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Posted Wed, 09/04/2019 - 10:59
JoshEngland

You're welcome!

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Posted Fri, 08/23/2019 - 17:30
Anup

Hi Josh,

I was wondering what warmup exercises would I need to do and for how long everyday in order to be able to perform these exercises safely?

Thanks a lot!

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:32
JoshEngland

Hi Anup,

Warm ups can be highly individualized. A good warm up is anything that warms up the core, increases your body temperature and prepares you for the lifts you're about to do.

You can start here to get an idea of what you could be doing: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

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Posted Sun, 08/11/2019 - 02:21
Amrit

Hey, I have a pair of 7.5kg dumbbells. Do you suggest to do all the workouts with these?

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Posted Mon, 08/12/2019 - 14:09
JoshEngland

Hi Amrit,

To start out with, yes - that is fine. Try to invest in a variety of dumbbells as time goes on if possible.

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Posted Tue, 08/06/2019 - 10:19
Chief

Hey, been doing this workout for three weeks almost, I’ve noticed some gains mainly on my biceps, but my forearm/wrist area hasn’t gotten any love. It’s very thin and small, should I add in some forearm exercises?

Excuse if it’s a dumb question, im a noob to this kinda stuff

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Posted Tue, 08/06/2019 - 11:57
JoshEngland

Hi Chief,

Give it time. I wouldn't recommend adding forearm exercises in quite yet. You're still very much a beginner. As time goes on and you get stronger they'll develop. From there, you can add in exercises based on your goals at the time and individual needs.

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Posted Sun, 08/04/2019 - 15:41
A

Thanks for putting together this workout. Is there any other exercise that can be done in place of the hamstring curl in Day 2? I have a hard time being able to do this one because of the shape of my dumbbells.

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Posted Mon, 08/05/2019 - 15:23
JoshEngland

Hi A,

My recommendation would be bodyweight hamstring curls if you have socks and hardwood floors. If not, additional dumbbell RDLs will do the trick.

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Posted Mon, 07/29/2019 - 15:05
Orion

Hey, I’ve been doing this for two weeks and I was just wondering, what should I pair this workout with? I’m not very athletic but I don’t feel like it’s enough honestly, I wanna add in some more dumbbell excercise because I wanna mainly build muscle on my arms. I already do about an hour of cardio at night, what do you suggest to add?

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Posted Mon, 07/29/2019 - 15:27
JoshEngland

Hi Orion,

Be consistent for longer than 2 weeks. Once you get to the 8-12 week mark, you can move onto the 4 day a week program.

It's not necessary to pair these workouts with anything. Long-term consistency will achieve greater results than a quick approach.

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Posted Thu, 07/25/2019 - 05:49
Arsalan

Will I be sure to come up with this app?

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Posted Wed, 07/24/2019 - 17:16
Gustavo Bermudez

Starting today with 25 pounds dumbbell, great help.

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Posted Thu, 07/25/2019 - 10:36
JoshEngland

Good luck!

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Posted Tue, 07/16/2019 - 09:43
Neer Malhotra

Hi.
I ve' gone through this program & completed 8 weeks doing so.
Amazing experience following this program.
My question is should I a take break of a week before starting 4 day dumbbells workout or directly start it

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Posted Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:38
JoshEngland

Hi Neer,

Do you feel you need a break? If yes, take one. If no, go straight into the 4 day :)

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Posted Sat, 07/20/2019 - 01:35
Neer Malhotra

Ok.
One more question is which ab workout should I combine with this 4 day dumbbells workout.
Thx

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Posted Mon, 07/22/2019 - 11:19
JoshEngland

Hi Neer,

Planks, Crunches, Side Planks and Lying Leg Raises should do the trick.

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:30
Mario

Hi brother i got a few questions as usual so here we go
1:are you sure the workout i showed you can give me the results like the dude in the video ? remember i'm a skinny dude.
2:The hell is wrong with people saying i only can build a body like that only in gym ? i mean i can get a body like that with this workout in 2 or 3 years with more eating right?
3:Love you as always brother also thx for keeping up with my bs if it was anybody else i would've been dead by now XD

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:39
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

1. Yes, I believe a body like that is very attainable through diet and exercise.

2. Perhaps, if you have fantastic genetics. For most, they'll need the stimulus provided from lifting weights to promote muscle growth.

3. Love you to brother - happy to help!