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
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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

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!

1.9K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 11/08/2018 - 06:09
David

Hi is this workout suitable for a 53 year old male

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Posted Mon, 11/05/2018 - 09:44
andrew cruz

Hi, good guide, but I have a question and sorry if this has been answer already or I missed it or something, but what is the recommended rest time between each set for this workout routine?

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Posted Fri, 10/26/2018 - 09:02
Chidambara Krishnan

Also is 3 days enough

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 10/26/2018 - 09:11
JoshEngland

Hi Chidambara,

Yes, 3 days is plenty enough for weight training.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:39
Chidambara Krishnan

what about ab workout in this routine

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 10/26/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Chidambara,

Sure, you can add in additional ab work to this routine.

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2018 - 07:36
Greg Lumpkin

I'm looking for an alternative to the Wide Grip Pull Up. All I have are dumbbells, and flat bench, and a bedroom with not a lot of room to spare. Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:42
JoshEngland

Hi Greg,

Give this program a try: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:53
Greg Lumpkin

Thank you!

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 19:29
Mark Mesina

Greetings, i am a 5'4", 202lbs and I have just finished my first week of this workout and I'm loving it. do you have some sample pictures of those before and after they took this workout? I just want to boost my morale. thanks!... :)

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 12:19
Shanny

Is there a dumbbell workout for cutting as well? And for someone who is skinny fat, would it be better to build muscle first (eat in a caloric surplus)?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:02
JoshEngland

Hi Shanny,

Those types of goals come down to how many calories you eat and your nutrition. If you're cutting, eat in a deficit. If you're bulking, eat in a surplus.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 10/07/2018 - 12:55
Frank

Hi

Weight loss and eventual muscle gain is a goal (or simultaneous). Will adding fasted cardio (2-3 mile run/jog) on Tuesday and Thursday negatively impact results, or would it be best to perform the fasted cardio on training days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:57
JoshEngland

Hi Frank,

You can add in fasted or fed cardio on whichever days you prefer and it shouldn't negatively affect your goals - if anything it'll help you burn calories to promote fat loss.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/29/2018 - 18:47
Matt

Steve,
I'm a skinny guy. went from physical job to not so physical job. looking to gain weight and muscle but have a hard time eating as much as I can. 5'9 140lbs would like to gain 10-20lbs what do I need to do????

thanks!

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Posted Tue, 09/25/2018 - 13:37
Liz

Steve -

THANK YOU for composing this workout and providing helpful guidance in the comments. I completed two 8 week rounds of this routine at home or at the gym (even worked while I traveled!) and saw the weights get heavier and my comfort level increase. My wedding was 3 weeks ago and I can’t tell you how many people commented on how strong and fit I looked (open back dress showed off those bent over rows!). Thank you again for making something approachable and well rounded. I complete 12 reps with supersets alternating sets between two exercises at a time. I’m typically able to complete in 30 minutes.

If I’m still feeling challenged and continuing to add weight, would you think it is fine to keep moving forward with more rounds of this workout? I pair with 1 cardio and 1 hiit session a week ... Sometimes I feel the dumbbells are too heavy for my grip but I’m working on that.

Thanks again!! Girls were also meant to lift heavy! :D

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Posted Mon, 09/17/2018 - 23:24
Brendan

Hello,

This workout looks great. I workout at home and also have a dip bar and a vertical leg press machine. Where could I incorporate these exercises into this workout routine?

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2018 - 16:30
Duffy

Great workout, I'm trying to lose around 2 stone and tone up. We have a pool.at our gym, will doing some lengths in the pool after the workout help.
Cheers

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/10/2018 - 08:51
JoshEngland

Hi Duffy,

Sure, you can add in some laps for additional cardio.

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 11:24
Mark Hyams

Hi I recently left a comment about the order of exercise,as mentioned I find that going through each exercise three times works for me , would doing each exercise three times before moving on to the next help build size and definition, or the previous way build more in definition.
thanks Mark

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:40
JoshEngland

Hi Mark,

Yes, that is a fine way to approach this workout program.

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:09
Vinod

Hi,

I would like to know if there is any alternative workout to the dumbbell step up?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:10
JoshEngland

Hi Vinod,

A dumbbell lunge variation should do the trick.

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Posted Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:54
Madval

It takes me about 1.5h to complete this workout with 2 min rest between sets. Am I doing something wrong when it says it takes 30 min to complete this workout. Is this excluding rests?

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Posted Tue, 07/24/2018 - 16:20
Siddhant

Can I do bulgarian split squat instead of dumbbell squat?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/25/2018 - 10:49
JoshEngland

Hi Siddhant,

Sure, that is fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:16
Michael

What should i do after i finish this 8 weeks program? Tnx!

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:09
Eemu

Wouldn't it be better to do incline bench presses instead of floor presses (If you have the option that is) on the Friday workout? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:05
JoshEngland

Hi Eemu,

That is a fine substitution.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 06:11
IVAN

Hello. Perhaps a silly question, but in what order do i do the workout? Do i do all 3 reps of one exercise then move to next or?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi IVAN,

Yes, perform all the sets for each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:32
Glenn

Probably a silly question but is that something i should do after 4 weeks of the workout? What size dumbbells do you think I should do? I’m wanting to lose weight and tone.

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:29
GMAN

Is there a workout plan/program that incorporates both gym and dumbbells at home? Im asking because i have bowflex dumbbells and a bench at home. But can only workout at the gym on the weekends. So wondering if there was a good program out there.

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:20
GMAN

3 questions..

is this a good program if your goal is to burn fat and tone the body?

how much cardio is allowed with this program?

How do you calculate your macros based off this routine?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 15:15
JoshEngland

Hi Gman,

1. Yep! Just make sure you're in a calorie deficit.

2. As much as you'd like so long as it doesn't inhibit your ability to recover.

3. Start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:37
GMAN

thanks for the answers. definitely good to read. Need your guidance. Looking to get a good program for working out at home and at the gym. When I mean at home, i have bowflex dumbbells and a bench at home. But can only workout at the gym on the weekends. So wondering if there was a good program out there.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:53
JoshEngland

Hi Gman,

You might like some of these workouts: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/home

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:17
Mohammed Arif

Hi,
What if one doesn't have bench at home. Is there a way to do those bench related workouts without a bench ?
Or, buying a bench is necessary ?
Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:48
JoshEngland

Hi Mohammed,

You could do them on the floor, however it will limit your range of motion. It might be worth investing in a bench over time. It'll open up a bunch of variations to basic exercises you can do at home.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:57
Mohammed Arif

Thanks JoshEngland.
Yes for now i am following Dumbbell floor press in place of Dumbbell bench press.

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:29
Ribert

My dumbbells are 88 pounds total. I'm currently trying to cut weight since I'm skinny fat. My question is: what's next after the 8 weeks? Can I use heavier weights and a caloric surplus with this program in order to continue it ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Ribert,

Sure! You're more than welcome to continue on with this program for however long you enjoy it and are seeing progress.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:29
Glenn

Thank you for this program. So needless to say I’m 5’8 237lbs. I’ve never really done weight training before. I have 10, 12 and 25lbs dumbbells. Are those ok for these workouts or do I need heavier dumbbells to get good results?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 09:01
JoshEngland

Hi Glenn,

That's completely fine to start out with. You may want to invest in heavier dumbbells as you get stronger.

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Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:32
Glenn

Probably a silly question but is that something i should do after 4 weeks of the workout? What size dumbbells do you think I should do? I’m wanting to lose weight and tone.

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 10:14
Joris

Hello I have a question,

I really love endurance runing, however I would like to gain some musle. Is it posible to add a 20min/30min run after this workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 14:02
JoshEngland

Hi Joris,

Sure, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:13
Siddhant

hey, Im getting dumbells up to 100 kg(Im buying that much as I prefer using dbs), would this be as good as a barbell programme with that much weight? like If i ever were to reach the 100kg dumbell on a deadlift, wouldnt that be as good as a barbell programme?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:32
JoshEngland

Hi Siddhant,

Yes, you'll still build muscle performing a program with dumbbells as you would with barbells.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/13/2018 - 06:50
Prakhar sisodiya

Will doing this six days a week cause any problem? Nd for how many days will i have to do this if i follow a 3 day per week program?