Dumbbell Only Workout: 6 Day Dumbbell Workout Split

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

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
12 weeks
6
45-70 minutes
Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

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!

235 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 01/20/2021 - 12:32
Abdullah Aamir

The workout is great but can I do this at home with a few modifications? And also I dont see any traps isolation excercises, also my triceps and biceps are weak and there are nt much excercises for both of them so how should I overcome this plz respond .

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Posted Thu, 01/21/2021 - 08:42
Abigail_M&S

Hey Abdullah - your traps, biceps, and triceps should receive adequate stimulation with this workout. I recommend trying out this workout for 4-6 weeks and monitor your progress.

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Posted Tue, 01/19/2021 - 12:40
David

Wanted to stop by and say thanks for the great workout Josh. I started doing home/body workouts last Summer and started following this specific 6 day workout in November. Perfect fit with the boxflew 10-90 set and a bench! Going to keep going for another 2 months and see where it goes.

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Posted Wed, 01/06/2021 - 12:24
Mark

Hi, I don’t like doing legs during the week due to sometimes being sore when I’m working. Would it be okay to remove the leg day on day 3 and rotate between the A (day 3) legs exercises one week then the B day (6) exercises the next week? I also only have one set of 15kg dumbbells should I just change the number off reps done on some exercises if it is too easy/hard? Cheers

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Posted Thu, 01/07/2021 - 09:46
Abigail_M&S

Hey Mark - that will work. Keep an eye on your recovery for your upper body. Since you're only training with a single set of dumbbells, you can increase the sets and reps on some exercises. We recently published a workout centered around training with a single pair of dumbbells. The workout itself might not be what you're looking for, but the intro has some good information about modifying your training when you're training with a single set of dumbbells: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/single-pair-dumbbell-bodyweig...

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Posted Sat, 01/02/2021 - 17:34
Kishore

Hi,
I am planning to start 6 day workout program.But I have following questions
1)I now weigh 220 pounds ..my goal is weight loss.So am I choosing the right one?
2)This plan doesn't have warm-up and cool down as well as cardio..can you recommend some exercises for these?
3)I have only 3 dumbbell weights..so I can increase reps to have same impact of increased weights right?

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Posted Tue, 01/05/2021 - 12:34
Abigail_M&S

Hey Kishore - to answer your questions:
1) yes, this program will help with your goals. Remember that diet plays the largest role in losing weight. A solid diet paired with consistency in the gym will get you there!
2) Check out this guide on warming up: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies. For cardio, you can add in 30 minutes 2-3 days per week after your workouts.
3) We recently published a workout for those with access to only a single pair of dumbbells. The intro will provide you with a lot of info about training with limited weights: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/single-pair-dumbbell-bodyweig...

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Posted Thu, 12/31/2020 - 14:54
Drew Smith

Hi, I was working out 6 days a week (upper body, legs, abs) up until thanksgiving but then had a surgery that put me out for ~ 3 weeks. I am now back but experiencing some elbow pain when doing thse workouts. Would it be better for me to start with the 4 day routine or go right into the 6?

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Posted Tue, 01/05/2021 - 09:53
Abigail_M&S

Hey Drew - I would start back with the 3 or 4-day routine. Definitely don't want to push yourself too much when coming back from surgery.

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Posted Fri, 12/25/2020 - 22:18
Nathan

Hey i’m quite new to fitnessing, I however have a lot of free time at the moment and really want to get bigger asap (I’m pretty skinny and I know it will require a lot of hard work and that it will take time, but I’m ready to do so). Since I have the time, should I start with this 6 day program or would you still recommend me to start with for example the 4 day program? Thanks in advance!

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Posted Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:58
Abigail_M&S

Hey Nathan - since you're new, I'd start with the 4-day program and then progress up to the 6-day. Remember, diet plays the largest role in gaining muscle.

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Posted Sat, 12/19/2020 - 13:57
Ciaran

Is there a list of stretches you would recommend after each day of exercises

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Posted Mon, 12/21/2020 - 10:31
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Tue, 12/22/2020 - 10:01
RiceAndChikens

Please could you help me adapt the routines of 3 days, 4 days, 5 days and 6 days to be able to do them only with a barbell?

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Posted Wed, 12/23/2020 - 09:09
Abigail_M&S

Hey RiceAndChikens - check out this barbell only workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/4-day-barbell-only-workout

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Posted Thu, 12/17/2020 - 00:01
Morris

Started this 37 weeks ago starting with the 3 day and progressing through the 4 & 5 days workouts at 12 weeks each. Now into the 6 day workout. 37 weeks ago I was 260# all fat working a sedentary job in my 30’s. I am now 215 with nice gains, way less fat, and more energy than I’ve had since I was in my 20’s. This program has, without a doubt, been a life changer and life saver. I increased weight over time while keeping a clean diet high in protein and lower on the carbs which for me personally, let me lose weight while building muscle (which I was skeptical about at first) Just wanted to thank you Josh, M&S , and let other people that are new to this know that this program works if you are consistent and serious.

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Posted Tue, 12/15/2020 - 14:53
Johan

Please could someone help me to adapt the routines 3, 4, 5 and 6 days to be able to do them with a barbell with discs?

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Posted Wed, 12/16/2020 - 09:15
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Sun, 12/13/2020 - 13:50
How

How much cardio/an should o do alongside this

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Posted Mon, 12/14/2020 - 09:42
Abigail_M&S

Hey How - you can do 30-45 minutes of cardio 2-3 times per week after your workouts.

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Posted Wed, 12/09/2020 - 21:42
Rohan

Hi sir can you please suggest me something for abs and obliques along with it

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Posted Thu, 12/10/2020 - 09:20
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Wed, 12/09/2020 - 10:07
RiceAndChikens

Hi, I need help, could someone help me adapt the routines of 3,4,5 and 6 days to do them only with a barbell?

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2020 - 06:15
Nick

Can I do a pull or push with a leg on the same day?

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2020 - 08:08
Abigail_M&S

Hey Nick - it's recommended to follow the program as written

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Posted Thu, 12/03/2020 - 00:35
Tineshia

Am I able to continue the 6 day split after the 12 weeks are up and if not what other programs can I do ?

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Posted Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:46
Abigail_M&S

Hey Tineshia - yes, you can repeat the 6 day split after the 12 weeks are up.

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Posted Wed, 12/02/2020 - 01:00
Conor

I’ve been running through this routine adding cardio and bodyweight a couple days a week but would like to mix it up with some kettlebell exercises. Is there any thoughts to specific days you would recommend adding this in or just looking to say add two days a week for a couple exercises with it?

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Posted Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:17
Abigail_M&S

Hey Conor - The days will depend on what exercises you're wanting to include.

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Posted Sun, 11/29/2020 - 22:58
Charlie Morrison

For the 6 day dumbbell split program when do you recommend a rest day? If any?
Thank you

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Posted Mon, 11/30/2020 - 10:41
Abigail_M&S

Hey Charlie - day 7 will be your rest day.

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Posted Tue, 12/01/2020 - 06:02
Charlie Morrison

Thank you

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Posted Mon, 11/23/2020 - 16:20
Shane

Hi, I am super excited to be starting out on this program. I just finished the first 2 days. I had a couple questions I wonder if you can help me out with.

1. Weight. I am doing this program because gyms are closed down where I am. Before the shutdown, I was squatting 160, dead lifting 140, and benching 105. My goal is to bulk and build muscle, assuming my diet is correct, do you think I can accomplish this with a dumb bell collection that includes one pair each of 5, 15, 25, 35, and 50? Is it effective to bulk if I do more reps if I am at the top of my weight capability (2 x 50 pounders for squats) and it's feeling lighter than I am used to with barbell squats?

2. I do yoga on my recovery days. I am wondering if there is any room to put the occasional HIIT routine during the week? Or will that be counter-productive?

Thanks!

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Posted Tue, 11/24/2020 - 09:12
Abigail_M&S

Hey Shane - you can definitely put on mass with your dumbbell selection. Focus on tempo and time under tension. If you want to add in HIIT once per week, do so after your workout.

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Posted Sun, 11/15/2020 - 21:28
Keval

Hi there, thanks for this routine is seems really good! I just had a couple questions. I noticed that on the pull days there is only one tricep exercise with 3 sets, is that enough to stimulate muscle growth? Secondly do you think this PPL routine is better than doing a full body workout - eg split into seperate muscle groups?

Thanks!

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2020 - 12:48
Abigail_M&S

Hey Keval - triceps are also trained with all of the other push exercises so additional triceps are not needed. And PPL vs full body is fully dependent on your goals and routine.

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Posted Sat, 11/14/2020 - 12:22
James

Hi
I am 14 years old, my height is 5’6 and I’m aiming to gain muscle and strength. I eat around 2000 calories a day and since may I have been doing a different 5 day dumbbell plan that has gained me a little muscle however not as much as it should. I realised this was because of my form so I have switched to this workout and have fixed my form. I also do your home an workout every week, only just started.

I just wanted to ask whether this workout would be suitable for me or would I have to do more and would I have to drink protein shakes. Most of the time 30% of my daily calorie intake is protein which is around 130g.

Would this be enough or would I have to do more?
Thanks, James

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2020 - 12:45
Abigail_M&S

Hey James - have you used our BMR calculator to figure out your caloric needs? https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

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Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 16:11
Josh

Hi! Have been so grateful for the progression of these dumbbell only workouts. I’ve progressed through the 3-4-6 day routines over the last year and have gained about 20lbs in lean muscle (165-185lbs). I just finished this routine after 12 weeks and feeling a little stuck on what I should be seeking to do next.

I’m curious what you’d recommend as a next step from these dumbbell only workouts? I need to change things up and still keep it challenging. Not sure what you’d recommend for next steps if I’m still trying to workout at home? And also maybe just next step (even if that means looking at a gym) for someone who’s not brand new to lifting but still got quite a bit to learn? Thanks for the content!!!

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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 09:19
Abigail_M&S

Hey Josh - you can repeat this program if you enjoyed it. What equipment do you have at home? Are you limited to just dumbbells or do you have a barbell as well?

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Posted Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:02
Josh

Yes just dumbbells currently (10, 20s, 25s) but would be open to exploring getting a barbell/additional equipment to continue to see results and progress from home. Is a barbell what you’d recommend?

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Posted Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:32
Abigail_M&S

If you want to stick to your dumbbells, I'd recommend repeating this program. Barbells are an awesome piece of equipment to have. If you do get one, you could try out this workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-barbell-mass-workout...

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Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 13:06
Hassan

Hi Josh and staff,

I really appreciate the videos and the great information along with the training splits laid out.
I had two questions. The bent over rows (no chest support) can be done at multiple angles depending on which part of the back you want to emphasize, so for the bent rows with chest support it says to do a 45 degree (although it encouraged us to experiment a little) but let’s assume I did them at a 45 degree angle. Would you then do the regular standing bent over rows at more of an angle (60 or 90 degrees/meaning more bent over) or would you less the angle so you’re still bent over but not as much?

I was just curious about the different squats. I had never heard of a few of them even though I have been training for a while. Would you say that the squats where you hold out the dumbbell in front (I saw there was 2 different ways to hold it in front Depending on the exercise) tend to focus more on the quads? I assume the “regular dumbbell squats with your hands by your sides holding weight focuses a little more in the hamstrings and glutes? If you could let me know about any of the squats I didn’t mention or add to/correct the squats I already mentioned. By adding I meant maybe in addition to this type of squat emphasizing on the front it also hits the inside or outside of the leg (forgetting the name). Thank you for your time and sorry about the long message!

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Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 05:03
Johan

Please could you do routines of 3, 4, 5 and 6 days but with only a barbell with discs?

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 09:58
Jillian

Hi quick question could I skip the push exercises and just do pull and legs making it 4 days a week? I dislocated my shoulder and trying not to lift anything above my head and using lighter weights for a few weeks.

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Posted Wed, 10/21/2020 - 09:47
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jillian - I would take a few weeks off to allow for your shoulder to recover. Even pulling movements might put too much pressure on your shoulder joint. As your shoulder starts to feel better, heres a link to some shoulder mobility and stability exercies: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/6-crucial-shoulder-exercises

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 03:48
Phil

Hi. Thanks for this program. Its been great for me since gyms closed here in ireland. I set up a little gym at home with dumbells. I am nearly finished this 6 week program is there another one to follow this or how do u recommend I change up. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 09:33
Abigail_M&S

Hey Phil - if you like the program, you can repeat it for another 6 weeks. We do have a selection of at-home workouts you can check out here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/home

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 20:27
sab

hey there. how do resistance bands factor into this? can i freely swap some workouts for bands? im finding that my hands hurt because of the material of my dumbbell handles when the weight is higher and I can not replace them at the moment. is 50 pounds resistance = to 50 pounds weight? thanks

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Posted Fri, 10/16/2020 - 08:40
Abigail_M&S

Hey sab - have you considered wearing lifting gloves? That's helped me in the past when I am in the process of building up callouses on my hands. You can replace some of the exercises with resistance bands. It'll probably be a process of trial and error on which resistance weight you use.