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: Wed, 01/25/2023 - 20:52

Thanks for the excellent routine! I've been following it for a couple weeks now, but the leg days are too high strain on my knee. Are there any good alternatives for leg day that won't strain my bad knees?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:52

Sorry for this answer, Ryan, but you need to see a doc about those knees. Would be irresponsible on my part to make suggestions without knowing what's going on. In the meantime, just back off on the movements that cause the most problems.

Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 12:56

Hi ,
I have apple body shape meaning upper body is bigger than my lower it possible to change the body shape with these exercises using lighter weight for upper body and heavier weights for lower body? I am also on caloric deficit for fat loss.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 01/26/2023 - 20:13

Depends on how experienced you are training. First and foremost, you should be using enough weight to challenge your muscles, regardless of the part you're training. Simply moving light weights that you can reach the rep goal easily with won't help you. You could train the legs more often to help bring them up.

Define caloric deficit. If it's slightly lower than your base level and you're doing cardio, then you'll see gradual results. If you're starving yourself or eating very little because your body will start holding onto every calorie you give it.

Posted on: Sun, 01/22/2023 - 19:14

I usually finish each workout in less than 40 mins. Does it mean I’m doing reps too fast? Is it better to do it slower?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 13:04

Slowing down is always a plus, but you may just be efficient at training. As long as you feel you're getting the work in properly, don't worry as much about the time.

Posted on: Fri, 01/20/2023 - 23:10

Hello all,
I just finished doing this program for 12 weeks (10/29/2022 – 1/19/2023) and I thought I would share my results.
First of all, some background, I used this program to cut, so I can’t speak on the effectiveness of the routine for an experienced lifter. I am 30 years old 5-11. I started this at a weight of about 240lbs, and 33% BF. These workouts were done entirely at home. I had 1 set of 2 adjustable dumbbells that ranged from 3-50lbs, a bench, and a small block I used for calf raises.
As for diet, it varied day to day, mostly around 1400-1700 calories, but sometimes more due to the Holidays. I was single for some of this, so I was free to go goblin mode on most of my meals, so they were usually some sort of marinated chicken lazily put into a low carb wrap or sat over rice plus a protein shake or smoothie. I did 20-4 fast for parts of it, mostly for a mental reset.
Finally, as for the results, I lost 21lbs, 6.2% BF (These numbers come from my Watch4/body scale, not an official DEXA scan). Compared to my first day of the week in the program, my total weight lifted per workout within the recommended set amounts went up 76% on chest day, 62% on leg day 1, 102% on Back/Biceps, 106% on Leg Day 2, and 132% on the Upper Body Day.
I didn’t really make any adjustments to the recommendations. If I was able to hit 13-14 reps within an exercise, a brought up the weight 5-10lbs the following week. Some days if I was short on time or feeling less motivated/distracted, I would super-set the final exercises together, especially the core exercises on leg day.
As for specific lifts, my bench went up 108%, Squat 99%, and I went from not being able to do lunges at all (There was a very sharp pain in my quad) to being able to do them while holding 2x20lbs.Speaking of legs, be careful if you’ve never done calf-raises, I legitimately could barely walk for 2 days after the first time.)
I unfortunately didn’t start body measurements until December. But during the final month I lost 2.2” around the waist
Overall this is a great routine and I’m really happy with the results. If anyone from M&S sees this, thank you!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2023 - 07:29

We saw it, Jay. And we thank you for sharing the results. Congrats on the improvements, and many thanks for reading M&S! Hopefully others get inspired by this and work to achieve similar results.

C. Gar
Posted on: Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:51

Would it be ok doing 2 days in one? Morning/evening?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/18/2023 - 21:30

Too much volume unless you're a very advanced trainer. Giving the body time to recover is best.

Bart M.
Posted on: Mon, 01/16/2023 - 22:40

Do you start with heavier weights at the beginning of each set or do you start lighter and work your way up through the sets? Or do you stay the same weight throughout all of them?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/18/2023 - 21:32

You can use the same weight for each set, or you can start light and work your way up.

Posted on: Mon, 01/16/2023 - 12:03

Should I be increasing the weight when going to the next set?
Example: if a workout says there are 5 sets required, am I to increase the weight when going from set 1 to set 2 and then increase again from set 2 to set 3? (And so forth)

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/18/2023 - 21:31

You don't have to, but you certainly can. This would help you warm up as well as offer you more time to feel the muscles working before you get to the final set.

Silvestor Collier
Posted on: Thu, 01/12/2023 - 15:08

This is my first week doing this workout and so far it's great but the only muscle group that doesn't feel challenged is my core. Should I add more core excercises to the legs and core days?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2023 - 10:57

You can! Go to our Exercises section and find abs exercises that you can do based on what you have. Add one or even two more if you feel it would provide the challenge you're looking for. Thanks for reading M&S!

Chris cogswell
Posted on: Sat, 01/07/2023 - 21:13

This program says only equipment needed is dumbells and bodyweight, first exercise requires a bench... so do others. A bench is equipment.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2023 - 10:56

You're correct. So, do the bench exercises on the floor if possible. If not, you can go to our Exercises section and find exercises you can do based on what you have.

Michael Davis
Posted on: Mon, 01/02/2023 - 09:40

I have been on this routine for a while and have seen great results. I'd love to incorporate a pull-up bar into this routine (mostly because I am about to max out my 52.5lbs adjustable dumbbells on several exercises). Which day(s) and what exercise(s) would you recommend?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2023 - 10:56

Add it to the back day and replace the tripod rows with the pullups. I think this would be a solid move.

Michael D
Posted on: Sat, 01/21/2023 - 13:58


Posted on: Wed, 12/21/2022 - 15:47

What would be the best workout days to add Kettlebell Marches, Kettlebell Around The World/Hips, Kettlebell Swings, and Farmers Carry exercises?

I have been doing them on the Legs/Core workout days since they are targeted as Core exercises, but they utilize arm muscles a lot.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/23/2022 - 12:37

Good question, Brian. Marches and swings on lower body workouts. The swings work the hamstrings and glutes as much as the shoulders.
ATW/Hips on core workouts.
Carries on upper body since the arms will be taxed by carring the weight.

Posted on: Tue, 12/20/2022 - 14:33

Will this also work my forearms?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/23/2022 - 12:35

There is no direct forearm exercises, but yes, your grip will be challenged, and your forearms will develop as a result.

Posted on: Tue, 12/20/2022 - 09:22

Is there a way to accurately figure out how many calories im burning in each workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/23/2022 - 12:34

The best bet is to use a personal calorie tracker and figure it out on your end. No calculator would be able to determine it accurately without knowing things like your size, metabolism, and how much weight you're using.

Posted on: Wed, 12/14/2022 - 15:06

Can I incorporate HIIT Tabata workouts in this program?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/23/2022 - 12:33

Hey Tony, go for it, and let us know how it works. I think it's a good idea.

Posted on: Wed, 12/07/2022 - 10:50

Can i doing running in the workout days ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 12/08/2022 - 07:16

As long as you're not running marathons, it should be fine, Adith.

Posted on: Tue, 12/06/2022 - 13:45

How do i eat? Low calorie food or high calorie food? I want to build as much as muscle as possible but without getting too fat!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/07/2022 - 06:41

This will help you with the nutrition, Mislav. Check this guide out. Thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Mon, 12/05/2022 - 13:14

Does it matter when I take my break day? Can I take them right after each other or do they need to be spread throughout the week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/06/2022 - 06:42

Spread throughout the week is best, but if taking them in a row helps you stay consistent, then do it.

Posted on: Tue, 11/29/2022 - 18:04

Will this build my arms significantly?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/02/2022 - 21:11

If you've never trained before, then you could notice muscle building throughout the whole body. If you've been training for a while and want to focus on your arms, then you would need a specific arm workout.

Cameron Wesson
Posted on: Wed, 11/23/2022 - 19:56

The dumbbell pullover is a god send after the lowerback leg day before my lower back is weak so stretching the back while doing the pullover feels phenomenal great split so far.

Posted on: Tue, 11/22/2022 - 11:34

Does it matter when I take my 2 rest days throughout the week as long as I get my 5 workouts in?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 11/25/2022 - 21:07

If you're a beginner, then yes. If you're advanced, then you can be more flexible.

Sameer sharma
Posted on: Wed, 11/16/2022 - 14:12

How much time gap should we take between sets

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/22/2022 - 08:58

Hi, Sameer. Shoot for 45-60 seconds between sets and exercises.

Posted on: Tue, 11/15/2022 - 02:38

Let's say i do this workout (or parts of it) for several weeks / months and it becomes too easy. What's the way forward?
1. Increase weight of dumbells
2. Increase number of reps in each set
3. Increase number of sets in each exercise



M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 11/20/2022 - 17:27

Go up in weight once you can do at least two more reps than what the set calls for.

If you max out in weight, and you don't have heavier dumbbells, go up in reps. Once you max out reps (double what the workout calls for), then add 1-2 more sets. After that, it's time to change programs.

Posted on: Mon, 11/21/2022 - 01:52

That's super useful. Thank you!

Posted on: Mon, 11/14/2022 - 22:01

Ive been looking everywhere for a work out plan similar to that of one I had in high school. Teh part I liked about it, is I cant remember how we got the proper weight we should start with, I think it was based on max. But it allowed you to move up weekly in the right increments. How do you know when to do more weight?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 11/20/2022 - 17:25

Hey Randy, if you don't have a structured schedule, then I suggest going up when you can do at least two more reps than those recommended with the weight you're working with.

Posted on: Wed, 11/02/2022 - 17:33

Is there an ab workout/plan that goes with this?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/08/2022 - 06:57

You can do this one in conjunction with the dumbbell workout, Tom.

Posted on: Tue, 11/08/2022 - 18:57

Thank you, for the 5 day split I start on Monday and rest on day 3(Wednesday) and Sunday. What days do you think I should combine the ab workout with? And should I do the ab workout at the beginning or at the end of that day's workout? Thank you again, in advance.