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
12 weeks
45-70 minutes
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!

118 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 08/04/2020 - 09:19
Sameer Gupte

When do to cardio in 6 day schedule. My goals is reduce belly fat and gain muscle overall

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Posted Tue, 08/04/2020 - 09:56

Hey Sameer

Start with doing 10-15 minutes of cardio (light jog, stair-master) at the end of your workouts 2-3 times/week. As that get's easier you can go longer sessions after you finish your lifts, or up the intensity and do some interval training (30 second sprint, 30 second walk). Eventually add more cardio sessions throughout the week as your endurance grows.

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Posted Sun, 07/26/2020 - 21:54

How can I do this 6 day dumbells only workout to lose weight And burn fat

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Posted Tue, 08/04/2020 - 09:49

Hey Larry

Keep an eye on your rest times, keep them no longer than 60- 90 seconds between sets. Try to limit rests between exercises to less than 3 minutes. Keep your intensity up throughout the whole workout.

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Posted Thu, 04/30/2020 - 10:22
Richard O

Since most of us aren't in our gyms, I've been looking for a week split plans. I found this one today! With the stress of it all, I do want to workout most days of the week. I was fortunate to get dumbbells and an adjustable bench before lockdown. Josh, are there any updates to this plan, or given most of our situation you'd want us to consider. Thank you so much! Best - Rich in Washington, DC.

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Posted Mon, 04/27/2020 - 09:33

Thank you so much, this looks very straightforward. I am looking to build muscles and I feel like this is it. I will comment again in a month with my progress ;)

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:03

It's a solid routine. Look forward to hearing about your progress!

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Posted Sat, 04/25/2020 - 19:31
Noah Lippman

Hi Josh- are there any non pull-up substitutions for dumbbell pullovers

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Posted Wed, 04/08/2020 - 01:53
Afaq Khan

Hey Josh, I'm confused about the 6-day dumbbell workout plan and 5-day dumbbell workout plan. I'm 5'10'' and 124 lb trying to get some serious weight just with dumbbells, the research says that we need to train each muscle group twice a week, can you help to choose right dumbbell program to get serious mass gain, please.

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Posted Tue, 04/07/2020 - 20:28
tristen melvin

how could we progressive overload this?

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:34

I'm assuming you mean you have hit the max weight dumbbells you have at home. If so, try lowering the rep tempo to increase time under tension. Something like 2-1-2 should increase the intensity.

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Posted Tue, 04/07/2020 - 14:27

Hey Josh

Thanks for the workout, it looks great. I just wanted to ask how can i incorporate core workout and HIIT with this program. I was thinking about training my abs on push days, obliques on pull days and doing 15 min HIIT on legs day but my concern is that may be HIIT will be too exhausting on legs days. Hence wanted your expert opinion. Thanks for the help.

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Posted Sun, 04/05/2020 - 16:10

Hey Josh,

I really like this program and am thinking I will start as soon as possible, however I only have 25lb and 30lb dumbbells. I think I can manage most of it with those weights, but some exercises would either be too difficult or too easy with that weight, what do you recommend I do? Also, I have not done any of the previous 2 workouts in the series and was thinking of jumping right into this one (for reference I have experience weight lifting but am not the strongest and have not done much recently), do you think I could start this one right away?


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Posted Fri, 04/03/2020 - 09:23

Why call it a dumbbell only workout when it is not a dumbbell only workout as it requires a bench?

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Posted Thu, 05/28/2020 - 08:35

Use a coffee table or the arm of the sofa like I did.

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Posted Wed, 04/01/2020 - 03:55

This is my new coronavirus workout since the gym shut. So far so good. Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:24

Good luck - hopefully gyms will open in your area soon!

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Posted Sun, 03/29/2020 - 09:03

Hi Josh

Just wondering, im a 22 year old male weighing 60 kg (132 pounds). If im following this workout, is it okay to have my total protein intake to be 30%(140g) of my total caloric intake that is 2000 in order to build muscle? Thanks :).

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:06

Hey Tom - what's important is you have a calorie surplus and you're consistent in both training and eating. To calculate your base level calorie requirements use the BMR Calculator too here and add 300-500 calories: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

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Posted Fri, 03/27/2020 - 20:19

Hey Josh, for the chest benches (both flat and incline) that have 5 sets, would you say to do all 5 sets at the highest weight? Or is this first a warmup set?

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:07

The 5 sets are working sets, ie they do not include warming up. You should use the maximum weight you can handle while completing the required reps.

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Posted Mon, 03/16/2020 - 10:06
jobey varghese

can u post ppl workout A and B for both barbell and dumbbells-6day and 5days ..please..

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Posted Mon, 03/16/2020 - 08:15

Hi Josh-

Would it be ok to replace one of the rows on each pull day with a pull-up exercise or should I consider replacing the dumbbell pullover with the pull up?



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Posted Wed, 02/12/2020 - 15:52

Hi Josh,
Is there any way I could turn this into a 2 a day 6 day split? Could I just do the same workout twice a day with an increased set range in the morning and decreased set range in the afternoon? Thanks a lot too for the routine it's help me a lot so far!

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Posted Thu, 02/13/2020 - 15:32

Hi Brenden,

I don't feel it is necessary.

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Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:30

They're completely different exercises hitting different muscle groups. See these 2 guides:

Pullover (back/lats):

Skullcrusher (triceps):

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Posted Mon, 02/24/2020 - 23:02

Please show me the difference between dumbbell pullover and dumbbell skullcrusher?
I see they are the same. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 02/04/2020 - 11:28

Hello Josh
I have performed all your suggested db workout. I just finished the 6 day one. Do you suggest that I start over with the 4 day upper/lower or repeat the 5 day and the 6 day. I want to continue to make progress. Also do you have any other db or BB workouts
Thank you in advance

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Posted Sun, 02/02/2020 - 16:31
Ryan Kelly

Hi, should cardio be done with this i.e HIIT or steady state after each workout or are the workouts enough?

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Posted Mon, 02/03/2020 - 15:05

Hi Ryan,

It depends on your goals and your own individual ability to recover. You can certainly add cardio to this program.

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Posted Thu, 01/30/2020 - 13:27

Hi Josh,
I have been working out for a while and started off at a 5 day program and now I am week 2 on this one. I have realised that even though I am doing more sets and reps than before that I no longer feel sore the next day. Is that a good thing or am I not pushing myself?

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Posted Fri, 01/31/2020 - 16:24

Hi Uday,

Soreness isn't a good indicator for effort or progress. Most people try to pick enough of a stimulus not to get sore. That means they're training with an appropriate volume to allow for recovery and progress.

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2020 - 15:20

Hey Josh,

For the Pullovers I have read that you can slightly adjust the movement to focus on either Chest or Lats,
which should I be focusing on for day 2? BTW thank you for all this free information, it has really been a massive help.

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2020 - 15:33

Hi Josh,

You'll hit both when performing them. The focus in this workout is to utilize them as a lat exercise.

You're welcome! Happy to hear you find it all useful.

Best of luck with the program!

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Posted Sun, 01/26/2020 - 19:15

Hope all is well Josh!

What’s your recommendation on the best way to resume the workout after missing days? If I happen to miss 1 day, I figure pick up where you left off.

What if you miss 2 or 3 days - With it being a 6-Day Workout split, would you recommend just continue on as normal? Or start over from Day 1? Do you have a different approach? Appreciate your time and knowledge, thanks!

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2020 - 14:51

Hi Tikki,

You can pick up where you left off, or start a new week altogether. Whichever approach works best for you and allows you to maintain consistency in the gym is the best approach to implement. Either works.

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Posted Wed, 01/22/2020 - 09:29

Hello Josh,
I think I might be one of the few here , I am 55 years old female looking to build muscle definition. I currently weight 190lbs with fat 39% and BMI 28.8. Beside working out I am not active during the day as I have a desk job. I have done your DB workout in sequence. I had no issues with the previous workout however the six day is though for me specially leg day.
What would you recommend for me to do to get my body fat down, BMI and lose weight while getting muscle definition.?
Thank you for you in advance I look forward to hear from you

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2020 - 16:42

Hello Josh,

I've been using this 6 day program for about two months now and I'm enjoying it. Recently my schedule changed and I'm really only available 4 days a week now. I don't want to decrease my training volume back down to the 4 day dumbbell plan you made (which I also used) and was wondering if it would be a good idea to split my leg days of this 6 day plan into the other 4 days. That way I'm lifting as much as I do with the 6 day plan, but still only going 4 days. What're your thoughts on this?

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Posted Tue, 01/21/2020 - 12:30

Hi Eddie,

If you are only able to train 4 days per week, I'd recommend the 4 day upper/lower. I realize that it's lower volume - but that means you'll have to prioritize getting stronger and moving up in weight to make up for the lesser volume and frequency.

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Posted Sat, 01/04/2020 - 11:52

Hello Josh,
I used this workout for the first week , that's a very impresve, I love it. I use it for fat loss and build lean muscle , but , I want to ask you , is this a good option for fat loss ? I'm using this with a caloric deficit , but I keep a good ratio of my macros.(I need to lose about , 10kg more, after 44kg lost just with deficit and a not good planed workout)
I want to ask you , if I need to include cardio to this workout and that if HIIT exercices are a good option before or after workout?
But , for the fat percentage , how I can change it? (16,7% now) I need to go on bulking? Or continue with a deficit? (18years, 183cm and 87,4kg from 131,8kg).
Thank you very much for this workout. Have a nice day!

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2020 - 22:36

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Josh! Hope it was great. Appreciate you for all you’ve done with answering questions and having these guides available - thank you!

Couple questions, don’t mean to bother.

1. Is it safe to say the one rest day is Day 7, after all 6 days have been completed in a row?

2. Any recommendation when to add any HIIT sessions? I ask in order to keep up the endurance/stamina. Or would HIIT not really be recommended with this plan due to the volume?

3. Currently no bench for incline or decline - I’m attempting to purchase a solid one ASAP. Any recommendations for alternative movements, if any?

Thanks again for taking the time out of your day to help everyone. Greatly appreciate it!

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Posted Fri, 01/03/2020 - 11:20

Hi Tikki,

Glad you find them helpful.

1. Yes, that would be a good day to schedule your rest day on.

2. I generally don't recommend HIIT to people. Cardio is highly dependent on preferences and needs. It'll depend on what your ultimate goal is and what kind of cardio you enjoy performing.

3. Check out the one in this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/7-pieces-of-equipment-for-you...

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2019 - 14:16
Justin Aubin

So I have been working out constantly since the 8th grade. I am no in the 10th grade and I decided to start these workouts, but I’m wondering if I can go directly to the six day work out without having to do the 3 day one and the 5 day one, although I have been doing the five day one for a month now

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2019 - 10:59

Hi Justin,

That could be fine. But, it's tough to say not knowing you and making a suggestion over the internet.

I would recommend giving this a read though - it'll give you an overview of what you should be prioritzing at your age:


Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 12/25/2019 - 13:44
Justin Aubin

Thank you very much!!!

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2019 - 07:48

Can i add 1 more exercise for arms per session ?

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2019 - 10:16

Hi Abdelrahim,

I wouldn't recommend it - but, ultimately, it's your call.

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2019 - 10:26

Hello Josh,

Why wouldn't you recommend it?

Thank you.

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2019 - 11:22

Hi Joe,

There is already plenty of volume both direct and indirect within the workout to elicit muscle growth without adding additional exercises. Additional exercises would become "junk volume" not necessary adding or subtracting to the workout itself.

Instead, I would perform the workout as written and work to get stronger with the current volume. This would be a more sustainable long-term approach when compared to adding more exercises and increasing the duration of the workout.

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2019 - 11:44

Great !! Thank you for the informative reply. Appreciated.