Build the Best Dumbbell Only Workout and Make Serious Gains

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The concept of simplicity many times is forgotten. In a world of caramel, white mocha, chocolate chip frappucinos with 2 extra shots of espresso – shaken, not stirred – you’ll be lucky to find a simple black coffee option on the menu.

We are a society that strives for endless options. We become intrigued when we are presented with another choice that we didn’t have before. We want that option to ‘upgrade’ or ‘add additional items’ because many of us think NEW and MORE is better.

Related: 30 Minute Dumbbell Upper Body Workout

The same thing occurs within the realm of health and fitness. A new diet plan, a new exercise program, a new piece of equipment. For us fitness freaks we sometimes find ourselves looking for another option or the latest and greatest workout routine because we think adding more options into the equation is going to produce better results.

At times we may find ourselves forgetting about the basics of fitness and the true simplicity of it all. Rather than complicating things week after week, take a step back and take a look at your fitness journey as something simple.

If you wipe away the makeup that’s coating the face of fitness, you can get down to the simple basics of staying healthy and making gains in the gym: eating right and exercising consistently. It really is as easy as it sounds. If you are able to stay consistent with your diet and exercise you will get one step closer to your health and fitness goals each day.

That’s what this dumbbell-only workout split is all about. Simplicity.

With this workout we are keeping it simple. No bars. No machines. No plates. No complicated pieces of equipment that you may not feel comfortable using. This workout is all about you, a bench, and a set of dumbbells. If you have the ability to bend down and pick up a set of dumbbells then you possess the ability to crush this workout to your fullest potential.

This dumbbell-focused routine will help you build muscle from head to toe. This workout is great for the beginner lifter looking to build muscle in a simple, raw manner with minimal equipment. This split is also perfect for anyone who has a home gym, but doesn’t have an array of extravagant equipment.

Dumbbells

Building a Dumbbell Only Workout

Depending on the amount of time you have each week and your preferred training style, this dumbbell-only workout can be run as a full body routine, push-pull-legs hybrid, or as a full on bro split. You will use a rep goal style of training within this routine, aiming for 50 reps on each exercise.

By using a rep goal style of training the intensity is elevated and can help you sustain more focus within your workout by giving you a specific rep number to complete before moving on to the next workout.

How Much Weight?

For all of these exercises use a weight that you can perform 8-10 reps comfortably with. The short rest periods and rep goal system within this workout will make each set after the first more difficult, but stick with that weight and don’t move onto the next movement until you’ve finished your 50 reps.

Exercise Selection

Chest

  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Press
  • Dumbbell Flyes (Flat or Incline)
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Press
  • Weighted Push-Ups (dumbbell resting on your upper back)

Triceps

  • Dumbbell French Press
  • Dumbbell Skull Crushers
  • Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks
  • Weight Diamond Push-Ups (arms close with hands touching in a diamond position)

Dumbbell RowsBack

  • Two Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Dumbbell Deadlifts
  • Renegade Dumbbell Rows

Biceps

  • Standing Dumbbell Curls
  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls
  • Single-Arm Concentration Curls
  • Single-Arm Spider Curls

Shoulders

  • Dumbbell Military Press
  • Arnold Press
  • Side Lateral Raise
  • Bent Over Rear Dumbbell Flyes
  • Dumbbell Front Raises

Legs

  • Goblet Squats
  • Walking Lunges
  • Straight Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts
  • Lying Dumbbell Hamstring Curl
  • Standing Calf Raises (stand on the bench while holding the dumbbells in each hand)

Full-Body Dumbbell Only Split

  • Rep Goal: 50 Reps for each movement
  • Rest Time between sets: 60 seconds

Day 1

  • Two Chest Movements
  • One Triceps Movement
  • Two Shoulder Movements
  • One Back Movement
  • Two Leg Movements

Day 2

  • Two Back Movements
  • Two Bicep Movements
  • One Shoulder Movement
  • One Triceps Movement
  • One Leg Movement

Day 3

  • One Chest Movement
  • One Back Movement
  • One Bicep Movement
  • Two Leg Movements

Dumbbell Curls

Push-Pull-Legs Dumbbell Workout Hybrid

  • Rep Goal: 50 Reps for each movement
  • Rest Time between sets: 60 seconds

Day 1 – PUSH

  • 3 Chest Movements
  • 3 Triceps Movements

DAY 2 – PULL

  • 3 Back Movements
  • 3 Bicep Movements

DAY 3 – LEGS HYBRID

  • 3 Shoulder Movements
  • 3 Leg Movements

Dumbbell Only Bro Split

  • Rep Goal: 50 Reps for each movement
  • Rest Time between sets: 60 seconds

Day 1 – Chest

  • 4 Chest Movements

Day 2 – Back

  • 4 Back Movements

Day 3 – Arms

  • 3 Bicep Movements
  • 3 Triceps Movements

Day 4 – Shoulders

  • 4 Shoulder Movements

Day 5 – Legs

  • 4 Leg Movements

Serious Dumbbell Gains

Henry David Thoreau once stated,

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.”

This workout plan was designed with that outlook in mind, giving you the options to choose your exercises and workout plan, but keeping the equipment and rep style as simple as possible. Not a thousand different options, but simply two or three.

Choose your exercises, grab your dumbbells, hit your 50 reps and it’s on to the next one: As simple as that.

For more fitness and nutrition tips follow me on Instagram and subscribe to the MuscleMinds Youtube channel.

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Name: Brently Rousset

Bio: Born, raised, and currently residing in beautiful San Diego, CA, I've been around some form of fitness almost my entire life. My mom was an aerobics teacher at the local gym when I was in elementary school through middle school. My dad had a full home gym in the garage and raced mountain bikes professionally through my high school years. My parents engrained the importance of health and fitness into me from a young age. I started playing soccer in my elementary days only to leave it behind for my true loves of basketball and surfing.