Dumbbell Only Home Or Gym Full Body Workout

Short on equipment? No worries! This dumbbell only workout can be used at home or in the gym for building muscle mass. You can also use this as a muscle shock workout to mix things up.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
8 weeks
30 minutes
Bodyweight, Dumbbells
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

Stuck at home and only have dumbbells? Maybe you're in a rut and what to try something different?

The dumbbell only home or gym full body workout focuses on the use of heavy compound lifts, and allows you to maximize muscle gains with minimal equipment. This workout can be run for an extended period of time. As long as you are experiencing strength and muscle gains, stick with this routine! Here are some key elements to maximizing progress:

  1. Progression. Never waste a set. Always push for more reps on every set using good form. When you can hit the top level of the recommended rep range on your first set of an exercise, add weight! This means that if an exercise calls for 3 sets of 6 to 12 reps, and on your first set you can perform 12 reps, add more weight the next time you perform this exercise.
  2. Failure. Do NOT train to failure. Train to the point where you believe you might fail if you attempt another rep.
  3. Food. You MUST eat more then it takes to maintain your bodyweight to pack on muscle mass. If you do not do this, you may add strength, but it will be very difficult to add muscle.

A note for women: Women can perform this workout. Recommend rep range is 10 to 15 for most sets.

You will be working out 3 days per week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Do not add additional exercises into this workout. Cardio can be performed first thing in the morning, or post-resistance training.

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

Monday - Full Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat 3 6-12
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6-12
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 6-12
Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 6-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 6-12
Sit Up 3 10-25

Wednesday - Full Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Step Up 3 6-12
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 6-12
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 6-12
Standing One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 3 10-20
Dumbbell Shrug 3 10-15
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 10-15

Friday - Full Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunge 3 6-12
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 6-12
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 6-12
Standing Hammer Curl 3 6-12
Lying Dumbbell Extension 3 6-12
Lying Floor Leg Raise 3 10-25

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

2K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 05/08/2021 - 05:45
Fiebe Op de Beeck

Can I somehow go from 3 to 4/5/6 days a week using this program?

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Posted Mon, 05/10/2021 - 10:21

Hey Fiebe - it's best to follow the program as written.

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Posted Wed, 04/07/2021 - 11:04

When should I take if I want to consume the supplements like fish oil, multivitamins and others?
And what time is the best to do these workouts?

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Posted Wed, 04/07/2021 - 11:23

Hey Henry - fish oil and multivitamins can be taken in the morning. Protein can be taken after your workout. Timing of your workouts isn't really all that important so whenever works for you is the best time to do the workouts.

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Posted Wed, 04/07/2021 - 13:34

You means that I can take fish oils and multivitamins at the morning even though my workout time is in the evening? Right?
Then how should I choose the supplements that is best and suited to me?
Can I choose whatever I like in the kind of supplement?
Or should I choose by understanding the labels and instructions printed on the product?

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Posted Wed, 03/24/2021 - 15:48
Marco Dieguez

Will this help with losing weight as well?

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Posted Thu, 03/25/2021 - 09:31

Hey Marco - yes, as long as you're eating in a caloric deficit.

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Posted Sun, 03/21/2021 - 10:42

Hey What if you don’t have a pull-up bar to do the pullups? What can you replace the pull ups with? And why arms on twice a week? Thanks

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Posted Mon, 03/22/2021 - 09:33

Hey Steve - you can do single-arm dumbbell rows in place of pull ups.

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Posted Sat, 03/06/2021 - 21:41

The calve raises seem unnecessary for those of us who don't want to train them. Also I've noticed there is just one horizontal pulling exercise and two horizontal push which makes this un balanced. Would it be ok to do the pull ups on wednesday taking the place of the calf raises and placing double dumbbell/inverted rows in the place of the pull ups on friday?

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Posted Mon, 03/08/2021 - 11:01

Hey Chris - yes you can do that.

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Posted Mon, 02/15/2021 - 08:12
Jody Young

I really like this workout routine but do not have a bench or weights heavier than 30lb dumbbells. When I do bench my only option is the floor and I can bench my dumbbells 30 plus times each set. Is there a way to modify this with push-ups instead of or in addition to the dumbbell bench for better results? Thanks!

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Posted Tue, 02/16/2021 - 10:16

Hey Jody - check out this workout on training with light dumbbells: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/single-pair-dumbbell-bodyweig.... You don't have to follow that exact program, but there is helpful info about training with light dumbbells.

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Posted Sun, 03/21/2021 - 10:06

add exercise ball for simulated bench; inexpensive and doesnt take up much room

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Posted Tue, 01/05/2021 - 05:15

Hi, my lower back and butt easily aches with sit up. What exercise can i use to replace sit up?

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Posted Tue, 01/05/2021 - 12:45

Hey Joseph - that sounds like a form issue and you're not fully using your abs to sit up. You can try hanging leg/knee raises instead.

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Posted Sun, 12/13/2020 - 02:28

heyy i just have a set of 5 kg dumbell...and its written that u have to increase weight each set...what shud i do

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Posted Mon, 12/14/2020 - 09:46

Hey ramit - check out this workout designed around training with a single pair of light dumbbells: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/single-pair-dumbbell-bodyweig...

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Posted Thu, 11/26/2020 - 23:00
Christopher Thomas

Can I use one dumbbell size for all these exercises?
If not which body part do I go light, medium or heavy on like leg, chest & abs, back , shoulder & arms?

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Posted Mon, 11/30/2020 - 09:36

Hey Christopher - you'll likely need different weights for different exercises. The weights you choose to use should be ones that you can move safely and with correct form for the given number of reps.

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Posted Sun, 11/22/2020 - 22:09

Wide grip pull up in a dumbbell only workout ... how do you do that ?

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Posted Thu, 11/19/2020 - 21:46

I'm a 21 year old looking to put on some size. I've been inconsistently going to the gym for around 3 years or so. I'm usually consistent for about 3-6 months and then stop for about 4. Although, I've been really inconsistent I have seen progress from when I first started. When I do workout I workout for 5 days a weeks. I really think I'm in a position to workout consistently this time, but i'm not sure if I fit in the 'beginner' category. Should I be looking to do beginner programs like this one or should I jump to more intermediate programs? Thanks in advance.

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Posted Fri, 11/20/2020 - 09:37

Hey Cameron - beginner workouts can easily be made more challenging by pushing yourself on the weights and keeping your rest times short.

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2020 - 22:53

I'm a 15y old looking to build some muscle mass and lose some fat. I'm 80kg and 6'2". I have 7kg dumbells and 10kg dumbells at home so I motivated myself to build a considerably shredded and lean physique by the end of 2020. I still look pretty weak even tho I have the strength to lift 22lb dumbells. I've been training at home for about a year at home with 10lb dumbells but no results. Since going to gym is not an option these days, will this workout help me? I need to build a lean but good looking body. Appreciate if you reply me.

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 09:29

Hey Yasas - your diet is going to play a large role in reaching your goals. As far as this workout, yes it is a good one! Check out this bodyweight workout as well: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/body-god-complete-bodyweight-...

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Posted Fri, 11/06/2020 - 03:44

do we have to increase weight after every set?

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Posted Fri, 11/06/2020 - 09:06

Hey ramit - no you don't

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Posted Mon, 09/28/2020 - 15:25

Hi,I’m 58kg right now at 5 foot 10 how much calories should I contain a day along with this workout if I want to gain muscle and some fat.Also, how much kg can I realistically gain.

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Posted Mon, 09/28/2020 - 15:31

Hey James - check out our BMR calculator to figure out your daily caloric needs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

A good rule of thumb is to add 250-500 calories to that number if you're wanting to put on weight. Hope that helps!

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Posted Wed, 09/16/2020 - 11:33
Christian Gonzalez

Hello Steve, hope all is well and safe with you and your family.

I have a question. Should i add 20 minutes HIIT after fully body workout days or on rest days to burn fat and build muscle mass?

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Posted Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:26

Christian- since these are full body workouts, I'd suggest having at least 1 rest day in between workout days. So adding your HIIT cardio following your training would be ideal.

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Posted Sun, 08/16/2020 - 22:24
Jared Thornburg

I am on Keto, so taking supplements is not likely, will this hinder my progress? Also I do not have any equipment for pull-ups, any alternative?

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Posted Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:53

Hey Jared

Here's a link to multiple keto diets, and keto-friendly supplements.

If you can't get access to a pullup bar then I recommend performing bent-over dumbbell rows.

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Posted Mon, 04/27/2020 - 22:16

Hey there! Any issues adding 1 set to every movement? Working with limited weights and still want to see progress. Thanks!

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Posted Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:49

Hey Ryan

That's perfectly fine!

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Posted Thu, 04/23/2020 - 22:57

Workout looks great. Just wanted to know if there is a pdf. or chart on your site I can print with diagrams all of the exercises in 1? This would be the perfect addition to the workout download pdf's through the 3, 4, 5 day programs.

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Posted Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:46

Hey Steve

While there isn't a printable version with all of the exercise diagrams, you can save the PDF to your phone and all of the exercises are linked to videos. So you can click an exercise on the PDF and it will pull up the corresponding exercise video.

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Posted Sat, 03/14/2020 - 12:17

Thank you, I really need this. Can you combine it with bodyweight workout?

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Posted Sat, 02/22/2020 - 12:37

6-12 reps, but I thought less reps with higher weight was better for building mass?

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Posted Thu, 02/20/2020 - 13:06

I'm a interested begginer, novice.
I am Slim build, frame and underweight . due too medical issues / surgery ,. It is difficult for me too put on weight. I do have quite a appetite for a small bloke but I need more muscle. / Conditioning . I do cycle which has shown improvement do U recommend this program?

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Posted Fri, 09/11/2020 - 23:34

Strength training

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2020 - 01:24

What is the rest period between each set?

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Posted Wed, 01/15/2020 - 12:34
James McLean

Hi, I have finished the 3 day full body workout and I am currently doing the 4 day upper lower split. My issue is, I have started a boxing cardio class and I'm struggling for time, I only have 3 days to give to the program. So am I better doing upper lower upper one week followed by lower upper lower the next ect or revert back to the 3 day full body workout or find a new 3 day full body workout?
Cheers James.

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Posted Mon, 12/30/2019 - 13:30

I am training to maintain my muscles, and increase strength while trying to lose 25 to 30 lbs. Is this the right program for me?

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Posted Sat, 11/09/2019 - 13:32

It says dumbbell only workout, but you need a bench and a pull up bar. I wouldn't bother starting this as a beginner, this is for people with equipment.

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Posted Sun, 09/29/2019 - 09:40

Can I ask some question. What can I do when warm up before workout and stretches after ?
I mean I already know and have some warm up sets like 30%, 50%, 70%.But what can I do before and after them?

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Posted Mon, 08/19/2019 - 22:27

I have been doing this set up for a few years now with a few modifications to coincide with lower back issues. Such as seated military presses, Kneeling one arm rows and crunches rather than sit ups. Otherwise its been pretty safe and over the few years ive been able to up most exercises to 35-50lb dumbbells . While its clear my ability to lift heavier weights is there. The muscle hasn't exactly pilled on. I am curious if there is any rotations or suggestions for me to work on that. Or if its simply a fact that i have to keep upping the weight.

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Posted Fri, 07/26/2019 - 12:54

I'm not a beginner as I've been lifting for half my lifetime. I can only do a dumbbell workout for 30 minutes. What is the best workout for someone like me?

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Posted Sun, 07/14/2019 - 14:30

Can I turn this workout schedule to a Pull,Push,Leg ? If so how do you recommend me to do it ?

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:33