This 6 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

We cap off our dumbbell only workout series with a 6 day workout split that utilizes nothing but dumbbells.

This workout is perfect for anyone who works out at home in their home gym, travels frequently and needs a go-to program they can do in limited hotel gyms, or anyone out there who prefers training with dumbbells over other implements.

This is the final program in this particular series. Each program was written as a progression from the previous program. The main form of progression being increasing the total volume of your workouts by increasing the number of training days each week.

Prior to performing this program, it is recommended to go through the following phases:

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6 Day Dumbbell Workout Split Overview

This workout can be performed for up to 12 weeks.

It follows a push/pull/legs workout scheme. As a result, you’ll train each muscle group at least twice per week. Some supporting muscle groups (especially the back and shoulders) are indirectly targeted even more than that.

The program is void of any ab work and cardio work. However, both can be easily added at a frequency that aligns with your goals.

The main goal of the program is to help you build lean muscle mass. It can also be used for those with fat loss goals as well. Both goals will heavily rely on whether or not you’re currently eating in a calorie surplus or deficit at the time of performing the workouts.

Keep rest periods between 45-60 seconds when performing each workout.

When selecting a weight, choose a weight that is challenging for each exercise. You should feel as though you have just 1 more rep left in the tank upon completing each set.

After you’ve finished this workout program’s recommended duration, you’re more than welcome to continue on with it if you are enjoying it and still seeing results from it. Alternatively, you can cycle through the other workouts in the series, attempting to get stronger at the lifts each time you perform them.

Day 1: Push Dumbbell Workout A

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 5 8-12
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 8-12
Seated Dumbbell Press 4 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Dumbbell Tricep Overhead Extension 3 8-12

Day 2: Pull Dumbbell Workout A

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bent Over Row 4 8-12
Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Pull Over 3 10-15
Rear Delt Fly 3 10-15
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 12-15
Zottman Curl 3 12-15

Day 3: Leg Dumbbell Workout A

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat 4 8-12
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 8-12
Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 8-12
Dumbbell Hip Thrust 4 8-12
Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 15-20

Day 4: Push Dumbbell Workout B

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 5 8-12
Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 8-12
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-12
Arnold Press 3 8-12
Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Dumbbell Skullcrusher 3 8-12

Day 5: Pull Dumbbell Workout B

Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Dumbbell Row 5 8-12
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Pullover 4 8-12
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 10-15
Reverse Curl 3 10-15

Day 6: Leg Dumbbell Workout B

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

If you have any questions about this 6 day dumbbell only workout program, please feel free to ask away in the comments section below!

629 Comments
Osiris
Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2024 - 20:41

Hi, I recently noticed that none of these exercises work traps
. I might be wrong so I wanted to ask as I have been doing this
Workout program for quite a while and I just want to know what
exercises on this routine work the traps muscle?? Thanks you

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2024 - 20:46

The rows and deadlifts will work the mid and lower traps, respectively, but there are no shrugs which are the primary exercise for that muscle group. Feel free to throw them in on any day with similar sets and reps.

James
Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2024 - 19:03

Hi Josh, just wanted to ask what the benefit is of including a floor press as well as a bench press? Isn't that the same exercise? What could I replace the floor press with once I get my bench?

Cheers

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:19

Hey James, the Floor Press will help minimize the shoulder involvement, making it more of a chest and tricep movement. Since the range of motion is limited, you also may be able to move more weight.

Michael
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 00:38

How could I add rowing on an erg to this 6 day PPL? Before starting this workout, I was using it for warm-up for 10 minutes/2,000 meters on upper body strength training days, and then 1 day as a stand-alone row for 20 minutes/4,000 meters. I enjoy the erg, but don’t want to undermine the push-pull balance or compromise recovery. Thank you.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:57

Switch it from before to after the weights, Michael. That is the only change I would make. Hope this helps!

Roys
Posted on: Sat, 12/23/2023 - 04:50

I was a noob to lifting at 47 at the start of the year, building to the 6 day workout….all from home with a set of dbs and a bench, using progression as my measure, a good diet and cardio…rarely skipped a day and I have never looked as good, at one point I was abbéd for the first time in my life.. so thank you greatly as most of that is learned from this site..My question for the new year I’m thinking of joining a gym to add some variety. I will use the same ppl 6 day as base. But wondered can I say swap exercises independently whether I’m at home or in the gym, eg db row at home, seated cable row at the gym. Or does the magic depend on the consistency..this question is so noob right, please crop if it’s too big!

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 21:11

Love the question, Roys. Thanks for reading M&S!

If you join a gym, simply replace a couple of the dumbbell exercises with machine versions to add variety into your program. At this stage of the game, variety could be the spice of your fitness life. Happy New Year and best of luck!

Rick
Posted on: Fri, 12/29/2023 - 01:54

Thanks!!!!

Rick
Posted on: Fri, 12/22/2023 - 15:44

I also like pull ups and chin ups. Which days should those be incorporated? Thank you for everything you do! Been using the five day plan since May and I’m down 30 pounds of fat and am lean muscle now. Thank you so much!

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 21:09

Glad you like the program and congrats on the results, Rick! Add pullups on any pull day and dips on any push day. I think you can simply put them in at the beginning if you like.

Hope this helps!

Shane
Posted on: Mon, 12/11/2023 - 07:26

Been doing this workout a year now with fantastic results for the first 9 months.
Now I’ve actually had to drop a little weight rather than add weights ever 6 weeks … why am I getting weaker? 52 years old

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 18:22

It's time for a break, Shane. If you've been restricting calories and not taking breaks every couple of months, then you need to take a week off training and add some calories back in to help fuel those muscles. It also may be time for you to change up the routine you're doing. Take that week off first, and if you don't notice any positive changes in a few weeks after that, look for a new program.

Shane
Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2024 - 12:18

Thankyou, i took a break and got a pull up machine and now am doing both, adding the pull ups on pull days. It’s really helped thank you

Julian
Posted on: Thu, 11/16/2023 - 09:22

If I’m short on time, can I split a days workout into two half sessions (morning) and evening)?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 11/27/2023 - 19:57

You can, but I don't suggest doing this on a regular basis because it may impact your recovery. Hope this helps!

Yumi
Posted on: Wed, 11/01/2023 - 02:22

Am I supposed to do set a and set b exercises or I can choose between a and b and do it for 6 days (with rest days)

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2023 - 09:42

You are supposed to do all the exercises on Workout A on one day and all the movements on B another day. Repeat with the remaining workouts the same way.

Hope this helps!

Surya
Posted on: Sat, 10/28/2023 - 12:37

Hi,
Can u suggest me which cardio workouts are best after performing this workouts ??

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 10/29/2023 - 15:38

Your goal to lose fat, and if so, what is your goal?

surya kiran
Posted on: Sun, 10/29/2023 - 15:56

My goal is to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/30/2023 - 18:05

And very few people can do both at the same time unless you're a beginner. If you can't see your abs, focus on fat loss. 20-30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training 3-4 days a week can help. Do those sessions either after weights or on off days.

Lelouch
Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2023 - 16:52

Hi, I have adjustable dumbbells up to 80 each. I am already maxing out on the goblet squat at 80. Is there an alternative I can add to my 6 day ppl split that only involves dumbbells?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2023 - 08:47

You could so with jump squats or pause squats. Other than that, you may have to find single leg alternatives until you get some bigger weights.

Mon
Posted on: Thu, 10/19/2023 - 06:21

Hello,
I think this workouts is very good to do,
But I want to train my pull-up in this
Program. Can I tran pull-up in this workout?
(Sorry for bad Eng)

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:46

English is fine. And yes, if you are able to do pullups, train them each day of the program if you want. The more reps, the better you'll get at them.

Pratyush Upadhyay
Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2023 - 09:51

What about abs? What would you recommend to go with these excersises for abs? Like for example I'm a young guy trying to build a physique good to look at. Any ab workouts to recommend?

Yumi
Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2023 - 00:07

Can I add 2 band exercises in each program?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 10/20/2023 - 08:36

These were made for people that only had dumbbells. If you have bands as well, add them in for sure!

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 10/20/2023 - 08:37

Hey there, Yumi. Check out these ab workouts and feel free to add any of them you like to this program.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

Joshua
Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2023 - 21:24

Can I add 3 band exercises in each day of workout?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 10/20/2023 - 08:33

Absolutely, Joshua. These were made for people that only had dumbbells. If you have bands as well, add them in for sure!

Dameon
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:44

Hello, I’ve been following your program for 2.5 years now and have notice gains. However I’ve seem to have gotten to the point of plateauing. I’ve been switching it up between 5 days and 6 days workout. I can progressive overload very slowly for the first 2 or 3 compound exercises but I can’t seem to progressive overload on the last 2 or 3 isolated exercises because I’m giving it all I have to progressive overload on the compound exercises. Is this normal? Thanks in advance for the awesome program.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 20:39

That is normal to plateau and see this issue come up, Dameon. It may be time for a new program. Check this out and see if any of them interest you.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

Frogdr
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 07:10

Hi,

I have more time on Wednesdays, and less time on the weekends, could I fit another session in one day? That make the weekly program look something like the following:
Mony: Push A
Tue: Pull A
Wed: Leg A (morning), Push B (evening)
Thu: Pull B
Fri: Leg B
Sat/Sun: Light cardio sessions

Thanks for coming up with this awesome program!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 20:38

Taking one complete day off is recommended. So, if you took off Saturday or Sunday as a complete rest day, I would give this a thumbs up.

Aiden
Posted on: Fri, 09/15/2023 - 05:54

I've been using this workout for a while and the results are fantastic. I've recently invested in an Inspire FT2 functional trainer. Do you have a similar split that incorporates more cable exercises?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 20:37

I don't think we do, but that is not a bad idea, Aiden. I will make a pitch to my editor.

adam
Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2023 - 17:23

hi, wanted to ask 2 questions.
1- what is the reason for 5 sets at the begging of push a push b and pull b?
2- what do you mean by 8-12 EACH on dumbbell split squat

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 20:36

Can't explain the higher sets at the beginning, Adam. Perhaps the author felt the extra volume would help or it is counting warmup sets.

8-12 each means each leg.

Cole
Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2023 - 07:22

This looks great, thank you! I apologize if this has already been asked, but I currently only have a flat bench. If i'm already doing bent over rows, what would a good sub be for the chest supported rows? Wide bent over row, etc?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2023 - 11:03

Wide rows could be a good alternative, Cole. That would actually be my choice. Thanks for reading M&S!

Joe
Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2023 - 06:16

Its a good workout!!.I hope maybe you can make a dumbell workout plan without a bench.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2023 - 08:57

Hi, Joe. We have one in the works because we realized that it was needed.

In the meantime, use the floor for flat exercises, and you can lie on a stack of pillows or blankets to elevate your shoulders for incline. Not perfect, but it beats nothing. Hope this helps!

John
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 16:17

Is it ok to change the rep ranges to include some possible more strength? I.E instead of 8-12, 6-8? And could we replace some of the dumbbell exercises with barbell ones if we have it?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:55

Yes and Yes, John.

Lewis
Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2023 - 01:20

How much rest per set on each excersise?
Is it different for every excersise?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:56

60 seconds for all exercises. Hope this helps!

Jeff
Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2023 - 21:38

Also, is there a Dumbbell Pullover alternative? Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:56

If you're using dumbbell only, not really. Got any other equipment besides dumbbells, or can you do pullups?