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!

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

Finished this workout? Try the 4 Day Dumbbell Upper/Lower Workout

151 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 03:30
John

I want to lose stomach fat and gain a bit of muscle, if I do this and 1 run a week will this work?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi John,

Yes, if paired with a calorie deficit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 10:27
John

I'm fairly skinny now it's just a bit of stomach fat, my main goal is more so to tone/build a little bit of muscle.

Would a deficit help both of these?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:05
JoshEngland
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Posted Sat, 06/30/2018 - 00:54
Luiz Arthur

Josh, Thank you! I really appreciate your desire to give us knowledge. I'm a 14-15 year old boy. I’ve always made my health a priority. Since I was a little kid, I’ve been a soccer athlete. However, the fact I'm skinny makes me focus now in build lean muscle mass through a better nutrition and also a great workout, which, by the way it will be yours. Thus, I would like to know a few things before:

1. I’ve been reading articles in Muscle and Strength and one of them say that if you're new to the gym it's really beneficial to develop a sound strength base. So, does this program provide me with that?

2. The same article also says that from there, I can add some different goals. I have a goal to build an insane midsection, especially abs and core. Even tough these muscles are already worked indirectly through compound exercises such as squats, I would like to add few directly exercises and know, in your opinion, which program below would be best for me to achieve this goal.
(Core Exercises with Lean Mass Bulking Goals of:) https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/what-is-the-best-way-to-train... ]
or
(Stage 1of:) https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/freaky-abs-monster-guide-shre...

Josh, you’re helping me a lot. Be sure I'll be consistent with the program and do it with proper form. I’ve read several articles written by you and I would love to get your point of view regarding to it all. Please don’t worry about long answers. Actually, I would love to get as much knowledge as possible from you.
Measurements:
Weight: 50.3 Kg
Height: 1,72m

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:29
JoshEngland

Hi Luiz,

Thank you for your kind words. Happy that I've been able to help you out as you continue to learn about health and fitness. I think it's awesome that you've developed such a passion for learning about health and fitness at this point in your life.

At your age, yes I'd focus on building good movement patterns by learning perfect form and building a solid base for yourself as your body matures. Don't get too focused on aesthetic goals at this stage in your life. If you build a good base now, you're body will take care of that on it's own as you go through puberty.

This program is a great program to use to build good movement patterns and develop initial strength. Then, you can continue progressing with more specific goals as you get older.

I wouldn't worry too much on building a freaky midsection. As mentioned, this will come with age. If you're working out and eating right, you should have no problem accomplishing this goal in your late teens. For now, work on planks and other exercises that will teach you to stabilize your spine.

Hope this helps! Best of luck as you continue your fitness journey!

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Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 21:24
Alex

Hey man, shouldn’t I do more sets and reps for biceps or is 2 sets of 8-12 reps enough? Also, how long do you think till I start seeing a noticeable difference to my body? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/29/2018 - 08:45
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

2 sets 3 times per week - Yea, I think it's plenty.

Individual progress varies. You should start to notice some initial muscle growth for yourself within 4 weeks. However, fitness is a very much routine and lifestyle choice. The better question would be, "What can I do for myself to stay motivated myself to continue to workout for the rest of my life?"

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/29/2018 - 14:21
Alex

On my 2nd week, I’ll keep you updated with results. Thanks for the response!

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Posted Wed, 06/27/2018 - 20:16
Austin

Hey there, I am a skinny guy and have not gone to a gym in my entire life. Is this exercise good for skinny beginners ? My height is 5 '' 7 and my weight is 56 kg.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 10:25
JoshEngland

Hi Austin,

Yes, this is a good workout for beginners.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:49
Luiz Arthur

Hi, Josh. Thanks for the awesome article. I'm about to start it and would like to know:

1. Even though calves and abs are not worked directly, will they develop as much as everything else? I would like to make sure my whole body will be equally balanced in strength as well as aesthetically.

2. I have the same doubt regarding to the smaller number of repetitions on Biceps, Triceps, and Shoulder exercises.

Thanks,
Luiz

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/27/2018 - 09:39
JoshEngland

Hi Luiz,

1. Yes, you'll be fine. If you'd really like to you can add in isolation work if you feel it is needed.

2. These are smaller muscle groups. They don't need to be hit with as much volume to grow.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 17:51
Adam A

Can i add a few more exercises for example like pull ups,forearms and neck training?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/25/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Adam,

Sure! Go for it!

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Posted Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:33
Steph

Hey! I want to try this program but I don't want to become necessarily bigger like a body builder or a powerlifter. Will it work if I use 1 or 2 days of exercise following your plan with bigger weight and the other day use lower weight but do more reps? Like a mix of lean muscle and bulk muscle workout.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/25/2018 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Steph,

Sure, you could do that. But this program, as written, won't make you look like a bodybuilder unless you're taking hormones. The hormonal system of women doesn't allow them to add muscle mass quite like that.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:48
Joel

Sorry can i add extra excersice with dumbells

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:51
JoshEngland

Hi Joel,

Sure! Go for it.

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:38
Phillip

I’ve just started this new workout since I can’t afford going to the gym right now and I only have 25, 35, and 45lb sets of dumbbells so I’m using what I have for now. My question is after trying all 3 workouts the first week, I decided to go every other day rather than Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Is that still okay? Second question is after using all 3 workouts, i felt more from the first and second, so is it okay to rotate doing the first or second workouts or continue to do all 3 or does it matter?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:54
JoshEngland

Hi Phillip,

Yes, both of those alterations should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:25
Alex

Really excited to give this a try. Have 2 months till I go back to school and wanted to know if that is enough time to see results?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:33
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

Absolutely! Best of luck!

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Posted Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:19
Alex D

This is awesome man thank you for this.
I will do this routine for the amount of weeks you set in August when i get my dumbells,but im just wondering if after completing this can i get onto other exercises and make them into my own routine that i pick from youtubers i watch?Can you recommend a nice weekly split for biceps/tris/back/chest etc. after ive done this routine?
Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:47
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

I'd actually recommend the 4 day workout linked at the bottom of this workout page. It was designed to be the next step to this particular program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 13:05
Alex D

Alright man thanks ill do that then after the 3 week program but after that can i move onto my own routine yes?

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Posted Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:49
Matt

Hey Josh

Am I going up in weight on each of the 3 reps or pick a weight and do it for all 3 reps ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:09
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

You can do either or. Whichever you prefer :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:12
Martin

Hi there. I've seen you mention maybe doing cardio on rest days. I'm 6foot 2in and 154lb. I did a load of cardio for the past 6 months or so. Is cardio necessary with this 8 week programme or should I just stick with the ab workout I've been doing on 3 out of the 4 rest days?
Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:51
JoshEngland

Hi Martin,

No cardio is not necessary with this program. However, some cardio regularly is beneficial to remain heart healthy.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/03/2018 - 19:40
Sam

Hi Josh,
Due to my work schedule, I only have the time and energy to work out Monday through Thursday. Is it safe to do this workout Mon, Tues, Thurs and an ab workout on Wed (skipping one rest day and doing abs on the second), or can you recommend another 30-minute strength building workout that I can do on those days?
Thanks,
Sam

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:33
JoshEngland

Hi Sam,

It's not ideal, but that should be fine. If you notice an issue with your recovery, simply remove the weight training day on Tue and add it in with an alternative and less taxing activity.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:02
Kane

Hi Josh,

I'm thinking about starting this programme and was just wondering-
1- As these are full body workouts, if for any reason I miss 1 of the 3 workout days does it matter which one?? Not that I'm planning on doing this but just in case.
2- What weight dumbbells do you recommend for toning up and loosing a little extra belly fat? I'm quite skinning with a bit of fat over my stomach, and weigh about 75kg.

Many thanks, Kane

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 16:01
JoshEngland

Hi Kane,

1. It doesn't matter which one you miss. So long as you consistently perform one when you are able to, you'll be fine.

2. Tough to recommend a certain weight, and you might even notice you're stronger on some of the lifts than others. Pick weights you know you can accomplish the desired rep range with. If it's too easy, look to find a heavier pair of dumbbells. If it's too heavy, look to find a lighter pair.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/24/2018 - 14:32
Motul

Hi and good evening to you Josh. I have 2 questions : I'm a mesomorph and I want to try out this workout plan - 1) is this one right for me? I'm trying to grow muscle mass ; not to look like a professional body builder but just to move up 2 or 3 steps in weight and strength , without gaining fat. 2 ) Regarding supplementation, I use plant proteins but in small amounts becuase I heard that proteins of any sorts cause kideny failure and whey elevates LDL cholesterol if used regulary. Is that true ? If so what else can I use to help muscle growth ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:41
JoshEngland

Hi Motul,

1. Yes, this would be an excellent option for you to perform.

2. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on these subject matters. From what I understand, the kidney failure is a myth and whey protein is completely safe for consumption. I'd recommend searching a website such as PubMed with these types of questions for legit answers backed by science.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/20/2018 - 17:53
Alex

If the dumbbells you have are too light for 10 reps, do you suggest adding more reps or just taking the prescribed breaks and adding more sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:42
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

Either way works. Whichever you prefer doing. In the meantime, it might be worth investing in heavier dumbbells over time :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 10:43
Taylor

Hi, can you give some examples of HIIT workouts to do after these workouts?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 10:53
JoshEngland

Hi Taylor,

Sure! Give this one a shot! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hZpofIX_Do&t=127s

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Posted Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:12
Arnold Gutierrez

I go to a gym where there are Have machines. They are cybex and they work the body and they have machines to do isolation exercise. Do you have a routine for these machines.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Arnold,

This is the only machine only workout we currently have. We will work on uploading more in the future:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/machines-only-3-day-split

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2018 - 23:58
Nicolas Raffa

Hi, completed my 8 weeks, do you have any workout for ectomorph to gain weight using dumbbell and barbell?
was 54kg in january, followed 2 beginer programs of 8 weeks each now an 62kg. Should i go back the the workout from january or there are more advanced?
thanks a lot..

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Nicolas,

Give this one a go: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbar-supersets

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/27/2018 - 23:19
Leith

Hi Josh,

Can this be performed as a circuit instead of straight sets?

Thanks,

Leith

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Leith,

Sure, you can perform this program as a circuit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:25
Richard

Should I add cardio all my days off

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:59
JoshEngland

Hi Richard,

Sure! Go for it!

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Posted Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:55
Batman

Hi Josh,

Is this routine supposed be progressive? Like should I add reps/weight? Also how often and for how much at a time?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:58
JoshEngland

Hi Batman,

Try to increase the total amount of volume you move by the time you finish this program by utilzing heavier weight. Everyone will progress differently and at different rates so it's tough to make an exact recommendation on when to move up, but so long as you finish the program stronger than when you started, you'll see results.

Hope this helps!