Frankoman's Dumbbell Only Split

A dumbbell only workout for home or the gym that will pack on muscle mass. This routine was designed by Frankoman from team Muscle & Strength.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Beginner
10 weeks
3
45 minutes
Dumbbells
Male & Female
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Workout Description

Tired of looking for a dumbbell only routine to work out at home with? Don't want to buy any expensive equipment? Then here is a workout for you! All you need is an adjustable bench and some dumbbells. This is beginner - intermediate. If you have a pullup bar I highly suggest adding chinups or wide grip pullups to back day!

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Flys 3 12
Triceps
Dumbbell Skullcrusher 3 12
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 3 12
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 12

Tuesday - Rest Day

Wednesday - back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Dumbbell Row 5 12,10,10,8,6
Bent Over Dumbbell Row 5 12,10,10,8,6
Dumbbell Pullover 2 12,10
Biceps
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Cross Body Hammer Curl 2 10

Thursday - Rest Day

Friday - Legs and Shoulders
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunge 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Step Up 3 12
Dumbbell Squat 4 12,10,10,8
Hamstrings
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12,10,10,8
Calves
Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise 2 15,12
Dumbbell Standing Calf Raise 2 12,10
Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 12,10,10,8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12,10,10
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 12,10,10
Dumbbell Shrug 4 12,10,10,8

 Saturday and Sunday - Rest Days

1K Comment+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:51
Ahmet

i dont have the the bar to do the skullcrusher can i do another tricep exersize extra then doing skullcruhsers

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:43
JoshEngland

Hi Ahmet,

Yes, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:17
Yann

wanting to start this program. Probably a stupid question but I assume I should increase the dumbbell weight per new set? And throughout the weeks aim at always increasing the weight size I use?

Secondly what would you suggest would be a good workout plan to follow this program?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Yann,

Yes, you are correct.

In terms of next workout, it will depend on your individual goals and how frequently you'd like to go to the gym.

Below are a couple fan favorites that would be a suitable progression:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/fast-mass-program

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 12/08/2017 - 18:54
Traineee

From what I can see, the Dumbell Pullover is an exercise targeting the chest? Why is it on back day in this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Trainee,

The dumbbell pullover can be either a back exercise or a chest exercise depending on which part of the ROM you place emphasize on.

Personally, I've always felt it more in my back, but others here at M&S say they feel it more in their chest.

At the end of the day, you can perform the exercise on whichever day you feel best suits you.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:11
Brendan

I started this program a few weeks ago, enjoying it a lot so far. However, I'm finding the Friday workout to be very very taxing (in a bad way). Can I split it up and place shoulders on a separate day so that it would be a four day split, I guess? I just don't want an overlap in muscle rest that impedes recovery. If it's acceptable, what would be a good schedule?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/29/2017 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Brendan,

Sure, you can do that! Performing whichever body part you decide not to do Friday on Saturday will be your safest bet.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 11/26/2017 - 08:31
Rob

For exercises such as the One Arm Dumbbell Row, Dumbbell Lunge, Dumbbell Step Up, etc. where you only use one arm/leg, is a rep once you have done both sides or is doing one side a rep?

For example, for the one arm dumbell row - is the right arm a rep then left arm a separate rep or is it a rep only after you have done both sides?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:24
JoshEngland

Hi Rob,

Yes, the reps are per side.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 11/05/2017 - 09:33
Rorr

Just started this routine a month ago
so far so good
One question, is it better to adding weight or adding extra day to this routine.
Because i feel 3 days its not enough
Thanks for the help

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Rorr,

It depends on your goals. 3 days of weight training a week is plenty. I'd recommend adding other forms of activity to your days before more weight training, but if your goal is to attain more of a bodybuilding physique, then moving into a 4 day split may be beneficial.

Personally, I'd go with adding more weight, but that is just me :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/21/2017 - 11:01
Rorr

Thanks a lot!

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Posted Sun, 11/05/2017 - 06:58
Jeremy

is there other exercises that can be replace with incline dumbbell bench press? I dont have an inclined chair at home

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Hi Jeremy,

Any chest exercise will do the trick. If you're working out at home and want to mimic the incline bench as much as possible, I'd recommend performing pushups with your feet elevated.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:56
Jeremy

Well I've got an barbell (the long one) at home and a flat chair I'll replace it with that btw I'm 15 years old

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/06/2017 - 09:06
JoshEngland

That's awesome man! Keep it up and keep educating yourself on all things fitness!

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Posted Tue, 10/17/2017 - 15:43
Joe

Important question. Just started getting into strength training. Say I were to do a variation of starting strength with compound and isolation exercises 3 days a week. could I do this on my rest days? asking this because I can only go to the gym 3 times a week, and have dumbells to work with at home. I know rest time is big but I would like your opinion

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Joe,

3 days a week is fine for beginners. You should see plenty of progress towards your goals by training 3 times a week as long as your diet and sleep is on point.

You can add a 4th day, but it'd probably be best to add it as a progression to your current workout program. For instance, you could do your current program for 6-8 weeks, then add this on as a 4th day (so long as you're still giving the muscles worked 48-72hrs of rest).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 09/20/2017 - 17:22
Luke

Can I add some abs exercises to this plan? Which day would you recomend? Thanks

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Posted Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:28
Dominic

Is one day a week enough to build bigger muscles for one part? (biceps for example) or maybe is it better idea to add another 4th day for biceps?

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Posted Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:17
Ivan Drago

Do I really need the rest days in between the week? Can't I just do this program three days in a row, rest one day and repeat?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:31
JoshEngland

Hi Ivan,

Yes, depending on your experience level and your ability to recover, you could indeed do that.

However, weight training 6 days per week can be a bit strenuous. Rest days are just as important as training days, because it gives your muscles the time they need to rebuild and grow.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:08
Jeff

Is it time to increase weight once you can complete all the reps in each set? Or should you increase weight as early as the first set if you can complete all the reps? I guess my general question is how to approach weight progression.

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Posted Thu, 08/17/2017 - 18:00
Steve

I apologize if this was asked already in the other comments but how much rest should there be in between each of these sets/exercises? 30 seconds, 60? Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:59
JoshEngland

Hi Steve,

Yes, that is correct. Rest should be kept between 30-60 seconds for these rep ranges. I tend to think of the 45 sec mark as the sweet spot :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/30/2017 - 05:40
Meeeee

Why the dumbell bent over rows and the dumbell one armed rows. What's the Difference?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:26
JoshEngland

Hi Meeeee,

1. To add more volume.
2. Unilateral vs bilateral movement. With unilateral movements you can put more focus on the muscle of the side of your body you are working.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/29/2017 - 20:45
DB3

I'm 17 and only weigh about 140, but I've lifted weights before. However, I had a shoulder injury that kept me out for a few months. What would be a good weight to start with on the first set if I want to increase weight once the number of reps decreases? I don't want to start with a weight too heavy or I won't be able to do 3-4 sets.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/30/2017 - 10:04
JoshEngland

Hi DB3,

The answer to this question is going to be highly individualized and I'm not sure someone will be able to provide you an answer over the internet.

Since you are coming off an injury and are unsure about certain aspects of lifting, I'd recommend seeking out the advice of a professional at your gym. By seeing you in person, they'll be able to provide a safer recommendation than someone could blindly do so over the internet.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/25/2017 - 15:51
Oliver

So...I have been doing this for a while and like it, comapred to other splits this is low volume..to increase further (with only dumbbells) should I do:

mondays: chest/tri
tuesdays: back/bis
wed: legs/shoulder
thurds: chest/tri
friday: back/bis
sat: legs
sun: rest

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/26/2017 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Oliver,

Sure that is one way to make a progression with this workout. You can also start off by adding slightly more volume by increasing the number of sets you do per exercise, number of reps you do per set, or even number of exercises you do with dumbbells in each workout day. If you don't want to increase volume at all you could even increase the amount of weight you use per exercise.

Jumping from 3 days a week to 6 days a week is not only a drastic increase in volume, but requires a lot of time commitment. Personally, I like to take a minimalist approach to fitness, get the most out of doing less in terms of volume. That's why I recommend one of the minor changes listed above.

Smaller changes over time will yield better and consistent results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 03/17/2017 - 18:44
Hunter

Should I use the same amount of weight for every rep? Or should I go up on weights with each rep?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi Hunter,

As the reps per set decrease, you'll want to increase the weight you use.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 03/15/2017 - 05:41
newb

probably a dumb question, but I'm new to working out so work with me.
When it says sets and reps does that mean I do 12 reps, then 10, then 10, then 8. and then do that whole process 3 more times?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/15/2017 - 09:16
JoshEngland

Hi newb,

No such thing as a dumb question (remember from school?) :)

No, you would do 4 sets. 1 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8 and then move on to the next exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 03/10/2017 - 07:09
Clebz

If I only have fix-weight dumbbells, should I replace all the 12-10-10-8 exercises by 12-12-12 ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/10/2017 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi Clebz,

Yes, that is one way you could modify the program to fit your needs.

You could also try altering the tempo of the reps as the number of reps decreases by slowing down the tempo. For example, for the 12 rep set perform with a 1 second lowering and raising tempo, 10 sets use a 2 seconds up and 2 second down tempo, 8 rep sets use a 3 sec tempo. This makes each rep tougher without having to purchase more weight.

Of course, the goal at some point is to get strong enough where you need to buy additional dumbbells :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 12/19/2016 - 03:48
Cfh

Rest time between sets ?
And can I add more sets for each route ?

Thanks in advance

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Posted Fri, 09/16/2016 - 11:04
Raj

Just one question. I haven't seen it answered as yet, but at what point do we do about exercises? This plan seems to be missing them out.

Can you please answer that for me. Thanks in advance :)

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Posted Thu, 07/28/2016 - 06:17
Sahil

I am 17 yrs old and skinny... what weights should i start with.. n also i dont have that bench in my home any substitute for that?..
Pls reply soon.
Thanks

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Posted Tue, 08/23/2016 - 12:10
Kyle

Go on Amazon and look up Olympic dumbbell sets. The kind where you also get plates you can add/remove from the sides. That will cost you anywhere from $100-200. You at least need a basic bench since some of the "stances" you take while doing these exercises relies on the shape of the bench itself. Try looking for a cheap, basic one on craigslist. I found a very simple bench for $30. Good luck
Kyle

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Posted Sat, 03/18/2017 - 01:47
Hunter

I started out doing calisthenics then moved to weights. You should do the same

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Posted Thu, 01/14/2016 - 20:13
G

Why is the leg/shoulder day 10 exercises and the two others only have 6 each?

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Posted Tue, 11/08/2016 - 16:28
bt3

Most likely to keep it to a 3 day workout week. I've seen similar routines at 4 days where the legs and shoulders are split out. The shoulder days also have traps exercises included.

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Posted Sat, 03/18/2017 - 01:48
Hunter

Because theres different parts of the leg you have to work out.

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Posted Sat, 01/02/2016 - 06:07
Lewis

How long should this take per day?

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Posted Wed, 11/18/2015 - 14:49
Joe

For Cross Body Hammer Curl, is 2 sets a typo? Or should it be 3?

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2015 - 09:02
Tim

Is 15 pounds ok for me ? I'm 14

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Posted Sat, 11/05/2016 - 05:01
rambo

Dude, dont do weights until you are 16. Just a friendly advice.