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

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.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout

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

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1K Comment
Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2021 - 10:39

Do we have to go till failure for each set of each exercise or have 1-2 reps in the tank

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 10:02

Hi, Marcel. If you want to focus on strength, then go to failure. If hypertrophy or fat loss is the goal, then you could stop with one rep left if you like. Just make sure each rep is with proper form.

Posted on: Thu, 08/19/2021 - 04:49

I m am thinking of buing dumbells for that workout, but I don't which ones to buy (in tems of weight). Any advise?
I'm 15 and a begginer.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 09:43

Hi, Ilan. Buy adjustable dumbbells that allow you to change the weight you're using. There are versions with plates that you should be able to find in most sporting goods stores. Hope that helps.

Stefan heria
Posted on: Wed, 08/18/2021 - 06:54

Hi, I am Stefan reading your blog it's really impressive and helpful you had put a good piece of information over there about 3 day full body dumbbell workout. I really appreciate the knowledge you shared with us. Keep updating such informative content.

Posted on: Sat, 08/07/2021 - 04:29

Can I go for 12 weeks with this program

Thank you

Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2021 - 18:16

What kind of warmup and stretching should I do for this workout

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:30
Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2021 - 14:03

Hi, if I only have an adjustable pair of dumbbells and some exercises are impossible with a certain charge, can I move the order of the exercises.
For example with day 1, I need to do squats and latteral raise with a lower charge, can I do both at the beggining or the end or do I need to follow the order?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 19:54

Hey Alex,

While adjustments can be made to accommodate any of your limitations, it's best to follow the program as written.

Danvir Singh
Posted on: Mon, 08/02/2021 - 17:25

Will I see results doing this program ?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:27

Danvir Singh

You should definitely be able to see results with this program. Remember - you also want to make sure your diet is supporting your goals! Check out some of our most popular diet plans, here:

Posted on: Sun, 08/01/2021 - 21:28

Hi, I have done this workout for a few days and I love it. I am wondering something many calories are burned in the average session (for example, day 2). I am 15, 168lbs, and I'm contemplating losing weight and building muscle. Thanks.

Posted on: Sun, 08/01/2021 - 21:14

Hi, I have tried this workout for a few days, and I love it. I was just many calories on average are burnt in total during one workout session (for example, Day 2) I’m 15, 168lbs, and I want to lose weight and build muscle simultaneously.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:26

Adam -

Total energy expenditure depends on a few things like lifestyle, performance, etc. Have you thought about using wearables that track calories?

Posted on: Thu, 08/05/2021 - 18:20

I haven’t necessarily thought about that. Because my area is in lockdown, it’s hard to move around, and I generally do this every alternate day, with some sort of cardio in the rest days, and a day or so of full rest. It would be appreciated if I am able to know the total calorie burn during the exercise and after (if applicable)

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2021 - 20:48

Just wanted to say that I am on week 6 and I am loving the results. I am definitely noticing an increase in both size and firmness of all my muscles. The only thing I have added is dips on one day and pull ups on the next etc etc. I am eating a caloric surplus and hitting all my macros and I am blown away at what is happening. I am also ensuring that I am doing progressive overload when I am able to complete all sets and reps. Now I am no Arnold and I am at the point where I am the only one noticing the changes but I feel like my body is about to explode with even more muscle any second.
With that being said I am planning on moving to the 4 day workout once finished this one. However I would like to squeeze as much as I can out of this 3 day first. I know it suggests 8 weeks but could I run this program for 12 weeks provided I continue with the progressive overload?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 20:24

Sean -

That's awesome to hear! Thanks so much for writing in and letting us know how this program is going for you. Pushing the plan out to 12 weeks is fine but definitely keep an eye on progressive overload. Let us know how it goes at the end of your 12 weeks. Keep crushing it!!

Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2021 - 00:26

Good day. Do you increase the weights each week or every 2 weeks?

Or is it the sets or the reps?

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2021 - 01:16

Hi Joel,
If I can do 3 sets of 10 reps then I increase the weight of each dumbbell by 2.5lbs. If I can’t complete all the sets and reps than I leave the weight as is until I can complete them.
Sometimes it takes a couple weeks.
Does that answer your question?

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2021 - 17:11

Why doesn't it have any ab workout? where's the ab workout? how to get ripped and shredded?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:23

David, we have tons of abdominal workouts available. Check them out here:

Posted on: Wed, 07/28/2021 - 18:25

For something like lunges, is one rep counted when I do a lunge for a single leg or is one rep counted once I do lunges on both legs?

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Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2021 - 15:16

Ned -

You'll want to perform 10 lunges for each leg (right and left). However you choose to complete the lunges is up to you. For example, you can do all 10 lunges on your left leg before moving onto your right. Or you can complete the required amount of reps by alternating legs (i.e. walking lunges). Regardless you will just want to make sure you complete 10 lunges per leg.

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2021 - 02:10

Is there by any chance a spreadsheet that has been created that coincides with this program so that one can track progress? Willing to purchase if there is one available.

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 02:05

If I don’t have a workout bench, can I do the exercises that require one on the floor laying down?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 11:48

Hey Ned - yes you can.

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2021 - 07:34

Quick question, are we supposed to do all three sets for one exercise consecutively? Or do we do one set and then move onto the next exercise?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 11:49

Hey LD - you'll do all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

Posted on: Thu, 07/22/2021 - 22:45

Can this program be done twice per week? So it would be like this:
Monday: Day 1 workout
Tuesday: Day 2 workout
Wednesday: Day 3 workout
Thursday: Day 1 workout
Friday: Day 2 workout
Saturday: Day 3 workout
Sunday: rest

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/23/2021 - 09:48

Hey VC - that is not recommended. If you're wanting a 6-day dumbbell-only program, check out this one:

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/2021 - 11:53

Thank you!

Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 20:44

I'm 69 yrs. old and beginning weight training. Want to start with the 3 Day Dumbbell Full Body Workout. I'm concerned about three exercises in the plan, namely Deadlifts, StepUps. and Hamstring Curls.
1. Deadlifts:
I've never had back problems but don't want to create them now. All my life I've heard "lift with your legs" and I'm afraid of injuring myself with deadlifts.
2. StepUps"
The concern here again is safety because my balance isn't what it used to be. I've never fallen but stepping up that high with or without weight seems risky to me.
3. Hamstring curl:
Beyond the difficulty of gripping the dumbbell with my feet, the concern here is the fragility of my Bowflex adjustable dumbbells. I've already had to replace parts to repair one after only a 13" drop. Seriously doubt I can do this exercise without breaking the equipment again.

So can you recommend alternative exercises that train the same muscles without risking damage to me or my dumbbells?

Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 19:46

Hello, I’m 15 and have been enjoying this program. I was wondering if there is a program like this that is built around a single pair of dumbbells (so basically a single pair of dumbbells full body workout)

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Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:26
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 05:51

Can I do the 3/4/5 Dumbbell only workouts to lose weight instead of building muscle? I am thinking of joining this program but I would like to aim for weight loss instead.

The reason I haven't opted for the 4 Day Dumbbell and Bodyweight weight loss program is because I would like to maximize the usage of the dumbbells I have access to.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 09:48

Hey Adam - yes you can. Fat loss is highly reliant on your diet and eating in a caloric deficit.

Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:54

Great workouts so far! Quick question: can you mix up the order of exercises with the specific workout day?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 09:46

Hey Graeme - it's best to follow the program as written.

Posted on: Wed, 07/14/2021 - 06:46

Hiya, so having done bodyweight exercises 5 times a week for a little over a year now, I got myself a 50kg dumbbell and barbell set to start building more muscle. I have a few questions though. Would you recommend starting with the 3, 4 or 5 day workout split given my previous workout experience and what weight dumbbells should I start out with? I also do 3-4 5k runs a week. Would it be ok to continue doing that with these dumbbell workouts or would I need to rest after a leg day for example?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/14/2021 - 09:12

Hey Dan - I would start with the 4 day split. You can also keep up with your running, just make sure to keep an eye on your recovery. Running after leg day is personal preference. I don't enjoy it, but if you do, you can run after leg day. Make sure you have at least one complete rest day per week.

Posted on: Sun, 07/18/2021 - 12:35

Thank you that's very helpful, I very much appreciate it :)

Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 07:03

Can you do the Dumbbell Bench Press and the other bench required exercises without the bench? Like doing it on the floor instead

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Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:14

Hey Gustaf - yes you can

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 01:56

So your saying all the exercises in the program that require a bench can be done on the floor?

Chris Hill
Posted on: Sun, 07/04/2021 - 10:18

Love this program for getting back into the game. What’s your stance on 4 week intervals from the 3-day program to 4-day, 5-day, etc?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:23

Hey Chris - that would be interesting. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/2021 - 05:19

Hi, thanks for the programme. As a beginner, what weight should I use for my exercises? How do I figure out what works for me?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:22

Hey Danny - finding what weight to use is a game of trial and error. You should use a weight that is challenging but allows you to perform the movement safely and with proper form.

Cara Imperato
Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 23:14

Hi, Excited to start this program! I wanted to add some ab exercises and wondered if I should do them on the rest days or after this workout. Thanks!

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