Frankoman's Dumbbell Only Split

A dumbbell only workout for home or the gym that will pack on muscle mass. This routine design by Frankoman from the M&S forum.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Beginner
3
Dumbbells
Male & Female

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

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About The Author
M&S writers is a collection of all the other writers that have published content on Muscle and Strength.

957 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:19
Paul Blake

I have been doing this workout for a few weeks now and I am seeing benefits from it, it states it is a workout for beginners, could you make this same regimen advanced by increasing rep range / weight ??

MikeWines's picture
Posted Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:25
MikeWines

Paul,
You certainly could. You should always be focused on progressive overload in some form (weight, sets, reps, density, duration, etc.) but you could also increase the difficulty of this split simply by progressing each exercise on a continuum as found here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/train-like-an-athlete-look-li...

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Posted Mon, 07/13/2015 - 05:26
Paul Blake

The other question I have is I am looking to gain lean muscle mass, but is training each body part once per week enough to achieve this goal

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Posted Tue, 07/14/2015 - 09:57
MikeWines

Paul,
I think there are better options out there, yes.

If you're looking for a 4 day/week option, check out this program I wrote: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dup-muscle-growth-workout

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:17
MikeWines

Paul,
That depends on a variety of factors (nutrition, lifestyle factors, sleep, 'supplementation', training age, etc.). However, I would recommend training each body part a minimum of twice per week, if not more.

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Posted Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:52
Paul Blake

So this wouldn't be the best regimen to follow on the basis of training each muscle twice per week

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Posted Sun, 06/07/2015 - 13:20
Yetunde

Should we be lifting as much as we can with good for or a "manageable" weight that isn't too difficult but is still a challenge? I'm a female btw.

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 06/08/2015 - 09:10
MikeWines

You should be lifting a weight that is tough but controllable. However, over time that weight should be increasing. Adaptation within the body is built on the principle of progressive overload.

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Posted Sun, 05/03/2015 - 23:29
Jake

Can I workout Sunday-Tuesday-Friday?

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Posted Fri, 03/27/2015 - 08:27
Joe

I am really enjoying this routine. Solid workout week after week and keep making strength gains. Thanks for such a awesome website.

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Posted Mon, 03/23/2015 - 05:10
Tobias

Is it alright if I change the order of the exercises?
My legs are killing me if I do lunges, squats and then step ups or if I do incline dumbbell curl, standing dumbbell curl and then cross body hammer curl.

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Posted Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:18
Riley

But so we train chest on monday then on wedsnday we train chest again with the dumbbell pull over? (And triceps), chest and triceps won't have time to recover... Also, isn't the routine on friday a bit too much for someone who wants to build muscles? That'd last more than an hour with breaks.

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Posted Sat, 02/14/2015 - 07:07
Pete

Hello there, when doing the above sets (i.e. incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets), should they be done one after another? If so, how long to wait before doing another set? Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 01/18/2015 - 10:36
Mohammad Faiz

Since the above plan is for Mon,Wed and Fri, am i able to do ab workouts on my rest days?

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Posted Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:27
Just G

This may sound like an odd question, is it ok to run on my "rest" days? I'm still trying to boost my cardio.

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Posted Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:30
Riley

I'd say you can do cardio on rest days but not more than 30 minutes if you're looking to build muscles.

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Posted Tue, 12/30/2014 - 05:47
gregsamsa

I guess it's because the post is so old, but it appears that the demonstration links are dead. I don't think it's just me, as the demo links on other workouts on this site work just fine (e.g. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-barbell-mass-workout...)

I have been laid out for a long time because of multiple injury & health problems, but now I'm BACK! I'm looking for a dumbell-based workout to fight off the years of atrophy, but I'm not sure of what weight to work with, especially with the sets that go 12,10,10,8. Is that with the same weight? Increasing? Decreasing? What is the best way to determine what weight to start with? If I do 12 to failure, I'm not gonna be able to follow through with 10,10,8 with just a 2 minute rest.

Thanks for posting this regimen, though. This is exactly what I was looking for.

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Posted Fri, 12/12/2014 - 01:58
beingstill

how much weights of dumbbell for each can i have to build muscle
i'm man 28 years old

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Posted Mon, 12/01/2014 - 04:53
andrey

What about abs?Which day should be trained?

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Posted Thu, 11/06/2014 - 13:18
asdfghjklmnop

Hi, I was just wondering which metod is better to do this workout with... is it better to do all sets of one workout with 1 minute of pause in bettween, or to do 1 set of each workout and then repeat?

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Posted Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:20
Johnny Pickles

I am a pretty small guy trying to get into shape. I am 5'10 157lbs. I have been getting a lot of mixed reviews, is working each muscle group once a week going to be enough for a beginner trying to put on weight?

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Posted Fri, 10/17/2014 - 22:03
greg

45 years old. 15 years of inactivity. Recently recovering from rib/chest fracture 7 weeks ago... Wednesday Back/Bicept workout took 30 minutes. Used weight that was easy first few sets but ultimately fatigued the muscles to exhaustion by the end of set. Next day was fine. Thursday, 3 am woke up... couldn't straighten arms +pain. Is this normal for starting resistance training? Should I Lift through the pain, or wait another day until the pain/limited motion subsides?

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Posted Sun, 09/14/2014 - 06:14
LyNeil

i wonder how much calories can we burn with these exercise. does anybody know?

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Posted Thu, 08/21/2014 - 19:11
Bryan Dempsen

I have been doing this routine for 60 days now. I am starting to see results already. I am 40 years old this year and this is my first
Time doing extended weight training. I noticed this is a "beginner" routine. Should I look for something intermediate at some point or stay on this one forever. My goals are to build muscle to burn more at
Rest calories and to look better to woman.

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Posted Wed, 08/06/2014 - 02:56
Mohamed

If I do these exercise . It will help me to build muscle and loss some fat . And how many time it will takree to feel a result . My tall is 177 and my weight is 88 . And I want a program to help me in my eating .

At the end thank you for your help .

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Posted Mon, 08/04/2014 - 21:08
Oskars

Greetings!
This is my second week on this workout, and I wanted to ask a question about Day 1. I kinda fail to execute Skullcrusher properly (by fail I mean just cannot push out of me) for more than few reps with weights I can easily fulfill the rep count for Tricep kickback or Dumbbell extension. Am I doing something wrong, or is there a muscle/part of triceps that is radically weaker in my body, that I should pay special attention to?
Thanks.

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Posted Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:29
Max

Any particular diet for this?

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Posted Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:06
Michael

Are 10 pound dumbbells a good weight to use with this plan? I am pretty thin and that's all I have in my house.

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:28
Steven

No Michael. You will need progressive resistance, or the addition of weight over time, to maximize this program.

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Posted Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:33
Michael

Ok I understand. Is that a weight I can start at though?

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Posted Fri, 07/04/2014 - 10:39
loco33

The number of reps and sets seems a bit high. Does it mean I have to use low weight in order to complete all sets and reps?

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Posted Fri, 07/04/2014 - 10:24
Yannis

You have included a dumbbell pullover exercise on Wednesday for the back. I think this exercise is for the chest ...or not?

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Posted Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:47
Chrisy

How many weeks should i do this. Dont want my body getting used to this routine. Thanks email me back if you can

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Posted Mon, 04/28/2014 - 01:56
Derek Yew

I noticed that legs and shoulders share the same day, and I've seen video suggesting that legs should be on a day of its own. What are your thoughts on that?

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Posted Fri, 04/25/2014 - 10:25
Josephine Jones

Hello! I had a random question: is each set 12,10,10,8 (etc) a bulgarian or is it more one set is 12 reps, 2 10, etc adding weight? Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 04/14/2014 - 16:22
Sophie

I don't have a bench at home, could I use a physio-ball to also stimulate my core? If so, How do I adapt inclined exercises?

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Posted Sat, 04/12/2014 - 07:49
Rafiq

Wonderfull.......

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Posted Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:55
Justin

Question about the chest and bicep sequence of exercises. Is there a reason for doing inclined exercises first? I was under the impression your first exercise should be your heaviest and target the largest part of the muscle? Or is it designed to have incline first?

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Posted Mon, 04/07/2014 - 19:15
Jase

Do I do these exercises in the order listed as far as reps go. Like...all the incline dumbbell bench presses (12,10,10,8) then move along to the dumbbell bench press (12,10,10 8) and so forth? Or do I do one rep per exercise : Incline 12 Dumbbell 12 Flys 12 then go back to Incline 10 and so forth. Mayb a dumb question..but i'd like to know. Thanks

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Posted Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:00
Darin Clements

Tricep kickback is a horrible suggestion. It's a useless move that is limited by the light weights used. Better to use a close grip DB press, instead. More weight moved=more muscle.

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Posted Wed, 03/26/2014 - 06:11
mick

How do I know what names are what exercises?? Mick.

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Posted Tue, 03/25/2014 - 05:43
Robin P

Can i add dips for tricep day and chins for the back day?

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Posted Thu, 03/06/2014 - 04:49
Can Aydiner

Couldn't figure out why there is a chest exercise (Dumbbell Pullover) on the second day which is a back day? Any recommendations on what it could be replaced with?

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Posted Tue, 02/25/2014 - 15:55
ranjit

How can i substitute the incline dumbell bench press because i have no adjustable bench.
And can i use this while cutting?

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Posted Fri, 02/21/2014 - 11:26
ben

I don't have an incline bench...what can I sub for incline bench press, and incline bicep curls? Also can I sub barbell for dumbbell on some exercises?

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Posted Wed, 02/12/2014 - 16:19
Troy

Steve
is it ok if add some abs exercises to this workout for Monday, Wednesday, Friday. also should I do them before or after this Workout.
Lying Floor Leg Raise 3 set 12 rep
Dumbbell side bends 3 set 12 rep
sit ups 3 set 35,25,15
touch heels 3 set 12 rep.
also would this affect muscle growing.?

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Posted Tue, 02/11/2014 - 16:31
Rigoberto Delgado

Hello steve, can you please give me any advice on my situation. Thanks.Rigoberto DelgadoPosted Tue, 02/11/2014 - 00:27Hello. I been doing this workout for about 3 months and recently I add some more exercises for the abs. Some sit ups, heel touch and another 2 more exercises. I do all this extra exercises on top of my three workout days. My question is this. Would this extra exercises will affect anything on the musscle growing. Because I don't see my muscles growing. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 02/11/2014 - 16:01
Rigoberto Delgado

Hello. I been doing this workout for about 3 months and recently I add some more exercises for the abs. Some sit ups, heel touch and another 2 more exercises. I do all this extra exercises on top of my three workout days. My question is this. Would this extra exercises will affect anything on the musscle growing. Because I don't see my muscles growing. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:06
Rigoberto Delgado

That's what I been thinking, but since I don't have much experience I decide to post the question. What would you recommend me to do. Stop completely doing the abs exercises, or do them on my spare days.? Thank you very much.

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Posted Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:07
Rigoberto Delgado

Hello. I been doing this workout for about 3 months and recently I add some more exercises for the abs. Some sit ups, heel touch and another 2 more exercises. I do all this extra exercises on top of my three workout days. My question is this. Would this extra exercises will affect anything on the musscle growing. Because I don't see my muscles growing. Thanks