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
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.

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

1.9K Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 07:51
Jason J

I'm 35yrs old and nearing the end of a weight loss routine, 44lbs down with 15 or so to go, target of 175lbs at 5'9". I'm basically a weight lifting noob who's now "skinny fat" and I can feel the lower calorie diet has caused muscle weakness this past 6 months. Fully plan on embracing this workout as presented and increasing food intake. What sort of typical results could I expect at the end of the 8 weeks? Thanks for the workout plan and feedback!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 08:59
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Results will vary depending on a number of factors.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:23
Jason J

Of course, hard to say, I understand. But overall I should see an increase in muscle strength and size given the program and length of time?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:26
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Yes, you can expect those kinds of results overall if performing consistently.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 04/22/2018 - 23:36
Bali Lali

Thanx for the workout, it’ll really help. And is the workout for Monday Wednesday and Friday set to be done for 8 weeks without changing it

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Bali,

Yes, that is correct! Hope you enjoy the program!

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 18:48
vebjorn

probebly a dumb question but is this a good workout for loosing wight aswell?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Vebjorn,

Absolutely! This program can be used to aid in weight loss if paired with an appropriate diet for those goals.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:15
George

Can i do this program 2 times each per week with 1 day off on Thursday? i mean i do 6 days not 3!!!

i will see better results?or it will be worse?

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/17/2018 - 15:57
JoshEngland

Hi George,

I wouldn't recommend it. You need a day in between full body workouts to recover properly. if you want to increase your training frequency, cycle through the written workouts every other day instead of taking 2 rest days on the weekend.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 04/15/2018 - 08:30
Akis

I work out at home,thus I can't perform the wide grip pull up what would you suggest me to replace it with? Thanks in advance

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Akis,

Another row variation or pullover should do the trick.

That being said, pull up bars only run about $20 and they are well worth the investment for your home gym :)

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 04/14/2018 - 12:30
Liz

As a woman, the first week I completed all three workouts completing 15 reps for each with 30 second rests between sets. Each workout took about 50-60 minutes to complete. Week two - I didn’t do any because I got busier at work and chose not to workout because I thought an hour was too much time to give up

Week 3 - I completed supersets of every two exercises with10 reps each. Finished my Monday exercises in 27 minutes!! While perhaps I won’t gain muscle as fast if I’m not having full rests, done is better than perfect!

Thanks again for the recommendations and help with your comment replies.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi Liz,

That's awesome! Thank you for your feedback! Keep up the good work!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 16:53
Mert

"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." Does that means i should add more weight for next set or next workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Mert,

Add weight on the next workout.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 04/08/2018 - 10:38
Rao

Use same weight for alll exercises ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi Rao,

You can. I'd recommend using the appropriate weight that is challenging to you for each exercise if you have access to multiple dumbbells.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 13:39
Rodrigo

How much time should you wait in between sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 15:48
JoshEngland

Hi Rodrigo,

30-90 seconds should do the trick.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 03/31/2018 - 15:12
Johan

I was planning on adding additional exercises to this program, such as more bicep curls within the sets or doing pushups during rest days to reach my goal of larger arms and more weight lost, then I saw the warning you stated:
"Do not add additional exercises into this workout."

Why is that? Would it do more harm than good?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 09:43
JoshEngland

Hi Johan,

It's just not necessary. After a certain point, more exercises doesn't do much but add time onto your workouts. You'd be better off adding weight.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 19:37
Wobbly Penguin

I am a 60-year old ex-college footballer just wanting to build tone and shed fat. I have a home gym with 10-30 lb rack, so I really like this routine. However, it's getting a little stagnant. Any more dumbbells-only workouts available? If so, I could rotate the two with cycling, etc. year-round.
Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 09:42
JoshEngland

You're welcome!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 04/01/2018 - 08:34
Wobbly Penguin

Thank you Josh!

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 04:13
chekaari kamel

I can only go to the gym twice a week sometimes three times a week
Will it be okey if i do this workout on a two weeks cycle like two workout in week 1 and continue the third workout on week 2??
Will it slow my gains ??
And i will do my best to do it three times a week....

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Chekaari,

That will be fine to do. And you should still see some gains over time.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 12:39
Rene

Hi, can I do supersets with the first and second exercise and so on since its an diffrent muscle part

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 13:42
JoshEngland

Hi Rene,

Sure, you can do that.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:19
JoshEngland

Hi Liz,

Yes and absolutely! If you'd like to speed up your workouts, feel free to superset this program.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 00:58
liz

To confirm - are supersets where you alternate between the two different sets without breaking to either expedite and/or increase the workout intensity? Additionally, can that be done with the rest of the workout? I'm looking for efficiency (although 30 second rests are pretty efficient)

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:18
liz

awesome! thank you. I may be out of breath but it'll get done! :)

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:40
Shaikh Ullahansari

I would say that I'm an intermediate level in the weightlifting realm ( or fitness life )

However, my main trouble is just getting shredded. My diet is great, but for the past 1-2 months I've been stagnant. ( Previously I was on a split workout routine, however, I've just had a wrist injury and I'm trying to switch things up ).

Would this help me, or do you have any other reccomendations?

Thank you :)

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:45
Dan

I plan to do this program alongside a kettlebell program I am doing. I want to alternate every week between this dumbbell program and the kettlebell program. I am a skinny guy looking to bulk up a bit, not look huge but have more of an athletic look. Do you feel that alternating between this program and the kettlebell program would produce gains? I really enjoy the kettlebell for its endurance and flexibility aspect. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for putting together this awesome program.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:14
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

Yes absolutely. You'll see some solid gains with that set up for sure. It's all about enjoyment and consistency. You have those 2 things with your workout programs and you'll see awesome results.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:02
Brian Podobnik

I'm just getting into weight lifting and this is a fanatics introduction. Informative, simple and not overly intimidating. But u would also like to add stretches to my routine. Do you have any suggestions on stretching routines that would compliment this workout? ,,

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 09:45
Andy

I'm looking to try this at home. I have enough weight for most of the exercises, however I don't know how much I'll need for the squats and SLDL. At the gym I could lift about double the weight I can get on my home dumbells when I did conventional deadlifts and barbell squats. Will my equipment be adequate and if not, are there alternatives I can do which will require less weight?

Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:01
JoshEngland

Hi Andy,

You could try single leg alternatives such as split squat variations. Or you could focus on really slowing down your rep tempo to make the exercises more challenging that way.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 02/25/2018 - 20:48
Dante

Hi, is there any alternative for the wide grip pull up being as though all of the other workouts can be done at home with dumb bells? I currently don't have access to a pull up bar.

Much appreciated

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/26/2018 - 09:25
JoshEngland

Hi Dante,

I'd recommend a lat focused dumbbell pullover.

Alternatively, you could purchase an at home pull up bar. A lot of them are pretty sturdy, durable, and fairly reasonably priced.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:46
Josh

what is the difference between Steve Shaw's dumbbell program and John England's program? Do they target something specific in each one?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/26/2018 - 09:24
JoshEngland

Josh,

It's Josh England :)

Not much of a difference. The programs are for similar goals and for similar people, they just vary in volume and exercise selection. Both will help you accomplish your goals.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 02/11/2018 - 18:53
Richard

Hi -- Just started using this routine. I would like to add a forearm set at the end of one of these days? Which day would make the most sense to add in my forearm set please? Cheers, Rich

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Hi Richard,

I'd recommend farmer's walks, but you can simply pick any forearm exercise: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/forearms

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 02/11/2018 - 02:05
Austin

Hey SIr,
I am a skinny guy and have never gone to gym in my life.

This week, I bought a pair of dumbells, each 5 pounds. Now my question is if I do the above exercises will I get big and bulky and is this program actually for skinny guys like me ? Please help.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:51
JoshEngland

Hi Austin,

Yes, with time, patience, dedication, and implementing progressive overload (buying heavier weights over time), you'll see muscular gains performing this workout.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:56
Natanael Betanc...

Can you follow this program even if you are underage? 16 to be specific.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:50
JoshEngland

Hi Natanael,

Yes, this program is perfectly fine for 16 year olds to perform.

Hope this helps!