This 5 day dumbbell only workout program only requires dumbbells and is perfect for those looking to build lean muscle mass at home or on the go!
Workout Summary

Workout Description

So, you’ve completed the 3 day full body dumbbell only workout?

AND you’ve completed the 4 day upper/lower dumbbell only workout as a form of progression?

Well, you’ve asked for it and today I’m bringing you the next step in our dumbbell only workout series.

The following workout, for those who only have access to a set of dumbbells, is a 5 day per week program.

It can be performed by those who work out at home in their home gym, travel frequently and need a go-to program they can do at a hotel gym, or anyone really who prefers to use dumbbells over other implements at the gym.

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

5 Day Dumbbell Workout Split Overview

The workout can be performed for up to 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks, you may want to consider increasing the volume within the workout, the weight of the dumbbells you are using, or look into facilities that offer more of a variety of weighted equipment.

The program calls for you to work out 5 days per week. What days you decide to work out on are completely up to you. Just ensure that you incorporate 2 rest/active recovery days into your weekly schedule.

The goal of the program is to help you build muscle. Of course, if you’d rather use it to help aid in fat loss, that is completely fine too. Just be sure to adjust your caloric intake accordingly.

Keep rest periods right around the 45 second mark for this workout program.

If you have any other questions about this 5 day dumbbell only workout program, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 5 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 8-12
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 3 8-12

Day 2: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 8-10
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 8-10
Dumbbell Rear Lunge 4 8-10 Each
Dumbbell Frog Squat 3 8-12
Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 20
Weighted Crunch 3 20
Side Planks 3 20 Secs Each

Day 3: Back & Biceps Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bent Over Row 4 8-12
Tripod Dumbbell Row 4 8-12 Each
Dumbbell Pullover 3 8-12
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 10-15
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 10-15

Day 4: Legs & Core Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat 4 8-10
Dumbbell Deadlift 4 8-10
Dumbbell Split Squat 3 8-12 Each
Dumbbell Hip Thrust 4 10-15
Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 20
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 15 Each
Plank 3 20 Secs

Day 5: Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 8-10 Each
Dumbbell Arnold Press 4 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-12
Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
Dumbbell Pinwheel Curl 2 8-12
Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension 3 8-12
Dumbbell Shrug 3 12-15

We’d love to hear your results from using this program. Please be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments!

Next Workout: 6 Day Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 14:02

I have worked through the 3 and 4-day routines and recently started the five day. What advice do you have if I’m also on a running plan. Trying to combine the two has been difficult for me.

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Posted on: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 10:44

Tell me about your running plan, Jason. That can help me help you. lol.

Posted on: Wed, 07/10/2024 - 07:29

Hello! Can we split this to 4 times per week or is there any similar program for 4 days? Thank you!

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Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 08:45

We have similar programs, Michalis, but you could simply take out Day 5 if you like.

Posted on: Tue, 07/02/2024 - 12:00

Does it change anything if we swap different exercises within the list of a certain day?
It is because I use different weights for some of them and it would be more practical to do the exercises according to the weight so that I don't have to change dumbbells every time

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Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2024 - 12:57

That makes sense, Tristan. After you warm-up, I would go from those you are strongest with to those that need the most improvement. You could also switch it up occasionally and reverse that order to help bring up weak points. Hope this helps!

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Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 08:06
Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2024 - 18:31

I usually dont warm up before exercising.... what would you suggest as a good warmup before starting each day of exercise?

Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2024 - 08:30


Is this a good follow-up routine after the Frankoman routine or should I stick with that or do something else? I still have a few weeks to go with it, but I wanted to start planning ahead.

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Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2024 - 12:24

I get planning ahead, and I think this would be a nice one to choose, Nathan. Let us know how you proceed, and we appreciate you reading M&S!

Posted on: Thu, 06/27/2024 - 23:06

Great workout so far. Im on week 3. Ive stopped getting sore, or at least, not nearly as sore as when I started. Is this a sign that I need to up the weight/reps? Or stay where I am? Thank you

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Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2024 - 04:58

Hey Jaymes, that means your body is getting accustomed to training, but soreness should not be a way to determine what you do. If you feel the weight or reps are no longer challenging, that is when it is time to make a shift.

Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2024 - 02:38

Hi thank you for this workout guide. My question is can you explain how to determine the appropriate dumbbell weight to use for each type of workout listed in the plan please?

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Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2024 - 06:32

Hi Derek, you should be reaching failure within two reps of the recommended rep range. So, after you warm up, choose a weight that you feel you can do. If it is too light, go up next time. If it is too heavy, back off. There is no universal number for everyone. So, trial and error is the best way to find your weights.

I hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 06/19/2024 - 20:26

If I only have 20lb dumbbell and no bench could I still do this? also how long should I rest between each set?

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Posted on: Thu, 06/20/2024 - 08:49

Hi Kevin, those 20s may be too light for some exercises. If so, you can do things like very slow negatives, longer contractions at the flexed position, and cutting your rest time down to make it more challenging. Of course, you can also do more reps.

If the weight will be too much on others, then you may have to just buy lighter weights or use something at home like a gallon jug with water (8 pounds) or cans of food.

As for rest time, 60 seconds would be a good starting point, but again, adjust as you need to so the workout serves you well.

Hope this helps!

Apoorv Shrivastava
Posted on: Tue, 06/18/2024 - 14:03


Could you please also suggest a meal plan for 5 day workout, I am vegetarian.


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Posted on: Thu, 06/20/2024 - 08:11
Jeffrey Hill
Posted on: Wed, 06/12/2024 - 22:58

Im up to 140 from 118 from March to now, I'm on week 9. Looking forward to the 6 day split soon.

Nisha pramod
Posted on: Wed, 06/12/2024 - 00:02

Do you have an intermediate full body dumbbell workout chart with sets and reps. Which one is better? Split workout or full body three days per week?

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Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2024 - 07:20

Hi Nisha, this one is listed as beginner, but I think it would be great for intermediates.

As for which is better, that depends on your goals and what you are training for. If you want to improve fitness for sports or overall health, then full body may be best. If strength or physique development is a priority, then a split would work very well.

Posted on: Tue, 06/11/2024 - 14:48

Hi, I have started working out again for the past 3 weeks, and I'm currently trying to lose about 25 lbs before the end of August. Do you think this will be a good fit? I also have a job that requires me to walk a lot, so about 25k to 40k steps a day.

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Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2024 - 07:16

Hi Lali, this can certainly get you in the right direction along with a sound nutrition plan. Please keep us posted on your progress. Best of luck!

Posted on: Tue, 06/11/2024 - 13:05

Hi, I am on week 13 of the 5-day workout plan...I decided to do an extra month before moving to the 6-day. I know Im getting stronger...because the weight size in some exercises have doubled or more....My average body weight has increased a few Lbs as well (im on the low end of the normal bmi scale...and can gain more than 20lbs and still be in the normal range). That being said..I dont see a noticeable difference in my size or physique...(I always had an athletic build, but expected to see a little more bulk and appear a bit more cut up) I also do not get as sore as I use to when I first started. Is this Normal? Note: I started with the 5-day...and did not try the 3 or 4 day first.

Anyway, love the workouts....Maybe I'll write again after a few months of the 6-day to give an update.

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Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2024 - 07:15

Hi Raymond, did you take photos of yourself or note any measurable metrics like clothes sizes or measurements of bodyparts? If you gained a few pounds, then you should have seen some form of improvement. That said, congrats on the strength progress. Also, did you eat and do cardio for fat loss? If not, then that may be a reason why you don't see yourself as leaner.

Regardless, I hope you provide further updates and see the results you are looking for. Hope this helps.

Posted on: Sat, 06/29/2024 - 19:38

Thanks for the reply. Good point on the before/after pictures. Didnt think to take them. Others who see me say they notice the difference and that I look like I go to the gym now....So I guess that is good enough. I plan to start running twice a week to see if I can lose any invisible fat(a 20min treadmill workout program)....I dont want to fall below the normal BMi range...but it does make sense, and this could be why I only have a 4-pack instead of 6. Im in week 15 more week to go and Ill switch to the 6-day.

Posted on: Wed, 06/05/2024 - 03:35


I have some questions about the weights.

How do I determine the right weight for each exercise? Should I use 60% of my one-rep max for each exercise, or just enough weight to reach failure? Also, do I need to train to failure for every set, or for the whole sets, because I only feel like I'm reaching failure on the last set.


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Posted on: Thu, 06/13/2024 - 06:41

Hi Max, thank you for reading M&S!

You can start with 60% of your 1RM, but it isn't necessary. My personal suggestion would be save failure for the last set. Use the others to both feel the muscles working and prepare you for that failure set.

Posted on: Sat, 06/01/2024 - 03:52

Hi, on the fourth day of leg exercises, has the dumbbell hip thrust exercise been removed. Should I do it or not?

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Posted on: Fri, 06/07/2024 - 13:30

We don't have a video guide for it, but yes, you should do it. If you need instruction on it, let me know.

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 11:48


Thanks for this workout.

Do I use the same weight for all the exercises? Or is there a ratio that I can apply?

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Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 18:50

Hi Paulo, the two most popular approaches are to use the same weight for each working set or to start light and add weight each set. Either way works well.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2024 - 02:22

Thanks. But my question was not in regards of the sets but the different exercises

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Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2024 - 08:46

Apologies. No, not the same weight for each exercise. You will use different weights for each movement unless you have similar strength for those movements.

Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2024 - 18:03

I haven't grown much, summer is coming and I basically want to build muscle and lose fat,( worked out 4 to 5 months) I only have dumbells and a bench, should I stay with this workout and go on a calorie deficit or could you recommend me a different plan?

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Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 08:36

Hey Alan, switch to this one and see if that helps you as you prepare for the summer.

Calorie deficit would certainly help as well. This guide can help with that.

Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 08:42

Will this plan make me gain a little mass, muscle and lose fat if do everything well? Also I've been invited to go to the gym on Thursdays and Friday, how should I do it?

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Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 09:11

The plan I recommended can help you with those goals. If you go to the gym, you can still do this workout. If you are training with someone else, share this plan with that person. I don't know if they are doing something different, so I can't share much more advice beyond this.

Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 09:17

Thank you, I was just questioning if I was better changing plans just for Thursday and Friday to take advantage of machines, but that would set everything off thanks

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Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 08:24

I would say try the machines and see how you like them and the gym before locking in on a plan either way. Good question, and I appreciate you reading M&S!

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 20:42

If I do go to the gym, should I use another plan just for Thursday and Friday and use the 6 day dumbell workout for the other remainder of the week? Any recommendations of plan for gym?

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Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2024 - 08:45

That would be a good move. As long as you have access to the machines, you might as well get some benefit from them. If it has most of the standard machines, then you could use a workout like this one. Use one leg workout and alternate the push and pull workouts each week.

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Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2024 - 06:53

The 10 week mass is a solid program, and it can help you build muscle for sure, but that would likely require going to the gym more than the two days a week to get the same effect. If that is not possible, then I would say ride this one out and pick another one in a few weeks.

Posted on: Mon, 06/03/2024 - 18:15

Well I've been stuck on bulking or cutting, I'm skinny fat but my friend says to try the 10 week mass, yet I want to achieve that aestheic look where I'm big but not massive yet athletic, I only have a bench and dumbells, just stick with this one or?

Posted on: Thu, 05/23/2024 - 17:00

My biceps feel like they don't grow much since I've been doing thus, but my friend told me to remove the last day for cardio, should I just do it all and not remove the last day?

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Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 08:38

Do extra biceps holds where you hold the weight in the flexed position for as long as possible. Do one at the end of each biceps set you do. This could help you with that biceps growth. Cardio should not be a factor in your biceps growth, but it can help improve the shape since you would be getting leaner.

Posted on: Sun, 05/19/2024 - 22:51

Finishing up week 5 today, minor weight gain, but strength is up!

Posted on: Sat, 05/18/2024 - 04:08

Hello, is it ok to combine this workout routine with morning 20 min jog a 2-3 times per week (or more?)?

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Posted on: Thu, 05/23/2024 - 08:56

Very solid idea, Thom. I would say start with 3 and then if you find you can do it for 4-5, go for it. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 05/15/2024 - 15:14

I’m looking for a dumbbell workout routine in the morning before work. I only have around 45 min including stretching/warmup. What would be the best adjustment to make this workout fit?