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

1.9K Comments+ Post Comment

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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?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Prakhar,

Cause problems? It might depending on your experience level. It is completely unnecessary to increase training volume with this program. The 3xs per week is plenty.

You can follow the program for however many days you prefer. I'd give it at least 8 weeks to see results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2018 - 05:58
Ryan

Josh,
Thanks for this workout. What are your thoughts on cardio on the days inbetween workouts? Should I limit this? Or do you recommend cardio on the same days as lifting, just do it afterwards?

Best Regards

Ryan

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/10/2018 - 08:54
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

You could perform cardio every day of the week depending on the intensity you use. Personally, I'd recommend HIIT on your training days and low intensity walks as a form of active recovery on your off days.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 14:20
Lee

Love the look of this. I want to put on some muscle mass but first need to lose a good chunk of body fat. Would this plan suit a beginner with this purpose?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 15:59
JoshEngland

Hi Lee,

Yes, this would be a great option for someone with that experience level and those goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2018 - 20:25
Gauruv Arora

Hi Steve, thanks so much for posting this excellent workout. I'm 18 years old and I'm relatively new to lifting, as I have not done much strength wise in the past. Since I have dumbbells that are easily accessible to me, I'm going to start this workout next week, but do you suggest any supplements for a beginner? I saw the recommended supplements section of this post, but I was wondering if these would be fine using as a beginner. Also, what should I include in my diet? Thanks again! Since I'm new to lifting it means so much that you created such a straightforward program.

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Posted Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:05
Brett wallace

I’m loving this workout. Got a few questions. Can I do this work out into the weekends just one day. Not sure what one I should do because since we have a 7 day week it would over lape one day without a rest day. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/26/2018 - 10:15
JoshEngland

Hi Brett,

If you like, you can perform these workouts every other day and rotate through them. This will allow you to add in a weekend workout most weeks.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 21:39
Chris M

My job takes me away from home every other week, and sometimes I have access to a gym and sometimes not. I have a set of selectable dumbbells I travel with. I have a reasonable garage gym at home, and when I can use my gym or one on the road I do a 4 day split. Is this ok to use as a supplement, or should I just stick with the dumbbell workout everywhere for consistency?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

This is the perfect workout to use as a supplemental workout when needed.

Hope this helps!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Posted Sun, 04/01/2018 - 08:34
Wobbly Penguin

Thank you Josh!

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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!

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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!

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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)

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Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:18
liz

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

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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 :)

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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!

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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? ,,