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
Beginner
8 weeks
3
30 minutes
Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male & Female
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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.

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

1.8K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:48
Faisal

Hi, I am 15 years old. My question is that I have 2 kg dumbbells so what is your recommendation on the sets and reps since I do not feel any pain or change in my muscles.

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Posted Sun, 12/03/2017 - 06:47
Luciano

Hey, sup! To make your muscles grow you'll need heavier dumbbells, if you want to gain mass it is recommended that you use what you consider medium to heavy weights and less than 12-15 reps, combine that with 0:45 - 1:30 rest between sets and you're good to go

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Posted Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:54
Ben

Hi, been doing this programme for nearly 8 weeks now very happy with results! wondered what other programs you'd recommend to try next.

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Posted Sat, 10/28/2017 - 14:03
Rod

Hello, I really appreciate this template and have been doing it for quite a number of weeks now. I've upped the weight on my dumbbells too. I was wondering if there is a next level/more advanced workout that I can look at that is similar to this in the sense that it's an at home workout using primarily dumbbells? I feel like my body is getting conditioned to this workout pattern and it has started to diminish my gains. Thanks a lot for your help.

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Posted Fri, 10/27/2017 - 02:07
Evan Rahman

Hey man.. Just wanted to the food habit routine for this 2 months. i am 23 years old. I am 172.72 cm and 70 kg.

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Posted Wed, 10/25/2017 - 11:38
Dominic

Hi again.
If I want to add another 1 set after 4 weeks of training, should I add it for larger muscle groups only like chest, back and legs? (biceps, triceps, shoulders - 3, chest, back, legs and abs - 4)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

Yes, that is one way you could progress with this program. Determining how to progress with come down to your individual goals and capabilities. I think this would be a fine option for most lifters.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/14/2017 - 23:32
Michael

Hello. Do you have any suggestions for warm ups before the workouts or stretches after the workouts? Any answer is appreciated! Thanks for you help!

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Posted Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:58
JoshEngland
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Posted Tue, 10/10/2017 - 20:59
Nick Brown

This looks like a great workout plan. How much time is intended between each set?
How much between each exercise?
Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 10/11/2017 - 08:32
JoshEngland

Hi Nick,

Rest for 30-90 seconds after each set and exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 10/09/2017 - 15:56
Dominic

I've got a very important question. Can I increase the number of sets to 4 after 4-6 weeks or would it be too much?

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Posted Tue, 10/10/2017 - 09:08
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

That would be a great way to progress using this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 10/06/2017 - 16:42
Andy

Hi
Want to get my son doing this Dumbbell Full Workout Routine
He's 14 years old
What should he be doing Repetition Wise
Also am I correct in Saying not to heavy

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/10/2017 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi Andy,

Does your son want to begin working out? The only reason I ask is if not, I wouldn't suggest forcing anything on him.

With that said, at 14 focus on teaching your son the importance of proper rest, sleep, and nutrition. I'd also recommend on focusing on proper form with him. Don't worry about weight, but really hammer down proper execution of the lifts.

This program should be a fine starting point for him.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 10/06/2017 - 13:08
Dominic

Hi again, Josh.
Can I move Wide Grip Pull Up exercise to Wednesday as my 7th exercise and replace this exercise on Friday by One Arm Dumbbell Row/Bent Over Dumbbell Row or is it a bad idea? The reason I wanna do this is that it's so hard for me to pull up after biceps training and I just can't pull myself up more than 3 times.

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Posted Tue, 10/10/2017 - 09:03
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

Sure that should be a fine adaptation to this program.

If you struggle with pullups, you can also check out this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pull-up-progressions

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/28/2017 - 09:20
Elliot Smith

Hi,

Interested in building muscle mostly in my arms to start. Would I see results because I don’t see too many bicep and triceps workouts each day. I’m about 160lbs with skinny Arms. Don’t really need to lose weight. Maybe gain some with muscle.

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Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:54
Dominic

Hey Josh.
I've got another question. Can I replace dumbbell step up exercise on Wednesday with dumbbell squad just like on Monday? I don't feel a burn in my quads that much doing dumbbell step ups. I think that dumbbell squads work better for quad muscles but that's just my opinion after few workouts. What do you think?

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Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 13:37
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

Sure, that would be a fine substitution.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 09/22/2017 - 05:29
Dominic

Is Frankoman's dumbbell split workout a good idea for 10 weeks after this workout? Or maybe should I try a new workout 4 times a week instead of 3? Please, answer.

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Posted Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:40
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

That'd definitely be a good option to go to next. You're also more than welcome to ride this workout for as long as you see results (even if it is more than 10 weeks).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:46
Dominic

Can I change the order of exercises? I want to set seated dumbbell press for example as my first exercise on Wednesday. The rason is I can't increase the same amount of weight as in other exercises. The same case is with biceps training on Monday. Also can't add more weight for the last set. Can you answer to my question? It's very important for me.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/20/2017 - 16:52
JoshEngland

Hi Dominic,

Yes, that should be fine. This program is simply a template, you are more than welcome to alter it to better fit your needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 09/18/2017 - 22:42
MrsDan

Hi! I have a quick question. I originally started this after lots of searching because it said at-home/beginner/dumbbell only routine. That is exactly what I was looking for! However, Im on day 3 of my first week and in 3rd exercise is a wide grip pull up? Did I miss something or was this put on here by mistake? I only have dumbbells and am doing this at home, hence the reason I picked this plan :)
Sorry if there is an obvious substitution; Ive never done weights before and am a true "beginner".
Thanks so much!!

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Posted Tue, 09/19/2017 - 08:36
JoshEngland

Hi MrsDan,

I'd personally do a dumbbell row variation. Unless you have some sort of resistance bands or cable pulley, you're not going to be able to mimic the pull up movement pattern to target the lats. That said, I'd highly recommend buying a pull up bar. Pull ups are a versatile exercise that has a lot of real world application. Plus, home pull up bars are fairly inexpensive to purchase. Just a thought.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:19
Dominic

Can I add additional exercise for shoulders on Saturday + Wide Grip pull up on Sunday for example? It looks like there's only one exercise for shoulders on Wednesday, so would it be a good idea to train this body part twice a week just like biceps and triceps? Same with lats.

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Posted Wed, 09/13/2017 - 20:32
Anthony

I am looking for a good workout plan that can help me to gain muscle weight

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 09/14/2017 - 08:40
JoshEngland

Hi Anthony,

Both programs you've commented on are solid options. Just be sure you are eating enough calories each day to put yourself in a slight calorie surplus. The amount of calories you take in will inevitably determine the number on the scale.

Best of luck!

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Posted Wed, 08/30/2017 - 17:11
David

I currently have an adjustable bench with 3 sets of Dumbbells Pair: 15Lb, 20Lb, and 25Lb. Will these work? I' can get(buy) pairs of 30Lb, 35Lb. , 40Lb. I just need to select which weight dumbbells work best for me. I'm 5ft and 11 in tall, 44year old man about 174- 176 Lb. These home dumbbell routines will help me get back on track. I prefer a personal trainer/ gym to put me on program, but because of budget$$ restraints I have to go with this option.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi David,

Yes this is an excellent program to test out to begin with. The weight you'll need will depend on your individual capabilities. If you need heavier weight to make certain exercises challenging, then yes, you may need to look into purchasing those heavier sets of dumbbells. If not, you should be fine starting off with what you've got.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 08/22/2017 - 16:07
Phil

What do you think about replacing the floor press with incline DB press?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 08/23/2017 - 09:09
JoshEngland

Hi Phil,

Sure, you could do that.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:58
Cameron

Can i add in another day or 2 of ab work throughout this routine?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:30
JoshEngland

Hi Cameron,

Sure, I don't see why not.

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Posted Tue, 08/22/2017 - 09:54
Cameron

Ok thanks josh, whats a good compound movement i could replace the wide grip pull up with? Dont have access to a pull up bar.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 08/23/2017 - 09:08
JoshEngland

Hi Cameron,

I'd personally do a row variation. Unless you have some sort of resistance bands or cable pulley, you're not going to be able to mimic the pull up movement pattern to target the lats. That said, I'd highly recommend buying a pull up bar. Pull ups are a versatile exercise that has a lot of real world application. Plus, home pull up bars are fairly inexpensive to purchase. Just a thought.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 08/19/2017 - 22:26
Phil

What would you change to make this an Intermediate program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:58
JoshEngland

Hi Phil,

There are several forms of progression you could take to make this program harder. You could increase the weight you use, the reps number you perform, the total number of sets, or you could slow down the tempo to create a longer time under tension.

You don't necessarily have to change the routine to make it an intermediate program, you simply have to make it more challenging for yourself than it already is.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:18
Phil

It does. Thanks Josh!

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:03
Esker

I asked you for only dumbbells workout and you told me this. I am doing this for two weeks. I recently came to know that my body fat % is about 30%. I am a thin guy with fat around my belly, chest, hips and thighs. I needed to know whether this program is enough or shall I add something to this or switch to some other program. Please guide.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:18
JoshEngland

Hi Esker,

The best way to lower your body fat is through proper nutrition. You must be in a calorie deficit to lower your body fat. To do this, you have to burn more calories than you take in.

Find your calorie needs here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Subtract ~250-500 calories from that number and aim to eat that number each day for a couple of weeks. Track your progress. If you don't lose any weight in that time period, try lowering your calories by another 100 cals and repeat the process.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:39
Esker

Ya this helps, but do I need to add some cardio or something else or this program is enough? If yes, what?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:36
JoshEngland

Cardio can be a helpful tool to use to increase the amount of calories you burn, but at the end of the day it all boils down to whether you are in a deficit or not.

There are other benefits to performing cardio outside of calorie expenditure. It helps keep your lungs and heart healthy, improves mood, as well as many other things. Personally, I like to perform some form of cardio 3-5 times a week for those benefits.

But if your goal is solely fat loss, it may not be necessary if you are in a calorie deficit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/30/2017 - 12:12
Richard

On Friday, why is there dumbbell floor press and lying dumbbell extension, both working triceps? I can get through the floor presses fine, but by the time I get to the extensions, I struggle to get through 6 reps, even at a much lower weight. Otherwise I am enjoying the workout, currently at week 6.

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Posted Thu, 07/27/2017 - 10:16
David

I'm currently weight 252 pounds/114 KG. i'm wondering will I loose weight and gain muscle by lifting weights and dieting correctly,

for example today's diet is as follows, as i worked out in the morning, I had water and banana preworkout then followed your guide,then post workout I had protein shake,water and 40grams of oats then an hour later I had

tuna with green veg (spinach, broccli, green beans, celery)mush rooms and rice.

next meal- 4 boiled eggs with lettuce and gerkins

snack- Banana and Liberte Greek Stylel 0% Fat Yoghurt

next meal- chicken with vegetables and protein pasta

snack-- chicken with small salad.

I'm wondering if I continue this and days when i'm not weigh lifting I reduce carbs intake, so i'm wondering if their is anything else i could add or help myself loose weight and gain muscle?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/28/2017 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi David,

Losing weight is all about putting yourself in a calorie deficit. That is, you've got to burn more calories then you take in. A workout program, especially one that incorporates weight training will help out a lot in creating that deficit, but inevitably it comes down to tracking the amount of calories you consume each day.

Find the calories you need here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Then subtract ~250-500 calories you put yourself in a deficit. It takes time, but being in a calorie deficit over time will lead you to your goal weight.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/28/2017 - 10:19
David

Thank you for your reply and i'm doing a calorie deficit, i'm taking control over my food and portions at the moment, I aim for around 2000 calories a day and I will be implementing cardio after the workouts as well.

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Posted Thu, 07/27/2017 - 00:11
James

Is there an alternative to dumbbell step up? No bench to step on

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/27/2017 - 09:26
JoshEngland

Hi James,

I'd go with a dumbbell lunge here. But you could sub in any quad focused dumbbell exercise you like.

Hope this helps!