4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine

Dumbbell workouts are nice because you don’t need a lot of equipment. Maybe you’re afraid of getting under the bar and would rather stick to something a little more manageable.

Whatever your reason, the best way to start this 4 day dumbbell workout routine is to just do it. Almost any gym or fitness center will have a rack of dumbbells for your all-you-can-eat gains buffet.

Don’t want to go the gym? That’s okay, too. Below will be a few links to some dumbbell sets that are affordable and would work perfect for this workout.

Before we jump into the workout, I’m going to go over some nutrition tips, recommended supplements if your nutrition is on point, links to some equipment, your cardio schedule, and of course the 4 day dumbbell workout routine.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

You can beat your muscles down in the gym but the only way to build muscle is to fuel your body with quality food. This is why it is so hard to build muscle while you are trying to cut weight — you are eating fewer calories than you burn, so what fuel do you have to build muscle?

When it comes to eating better, I try to implement an 80/20 rule. I aim to have 80% of my meals prepared by me, using the best quality food I can afford. Fresh and frozen meat, veggies, fruit, and rice are on my weekly grocery list. You don’t have to buy the natural grass-fed free-roaming hand-massaged beef and free range chickens that take strolls on the beach to benefit from eating whole foods.

Eating healthy isn’t as expensive as everyone makes it out to be. Think of it as an investment.

Learn to Cook

Cooking isn’t as hard as you may think. I never was allowed in the kitchen as a child so trust me when I say anyone can do this with some patience. The trick is learning technique and then going after the complex meals.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how to cook 5 course gourmet meals, but I have no problem eating enough varieties of a protein and vegetable to keep me happy. I made a pretty good meatloaf and lasagna once.

Long story short here is the sooner you learn to cook, the sooner you will notice changes in your performance and physique.

Recommended Supplements

Note: If you cannot get good foods into your mouth, this section is irrelevant. You really can’t out train and out supplement a crap diet.


MTS Nutrition Clash

I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.


MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs

This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.

Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.

So far I’ve had Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream. Both are A+.


MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel

Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.

I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.


Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Once you get your diet on point, taking a multi-vitamin is important as a strength athlete.

Get the most of your gains and life with this multi-vitamin.

Cardio and Conditioning Tips

I would recommend doing a short 20-30 minute cardio session post workout at least twice a week for optimum muscle growth and recovery.

If you are running low on time, a short 5-10 minute high intensity interval session at least twice per week will help with maximizing your progress.

Note: Some low intensity walking, hiking, bicycling, etc is helpful to improve your quality of life and recovery from your workouts.

Don’t Want to go to the Gym?

Maybe you don’t have time to go to the gym or you want to train at home… what next?

If you haven’t been following me, I started an eCommerce store called Strength Junkies and I sell home and commercial gym equipment.

I am an authorized dealer for Troy Barbell and BodyCraft and adding more manufacturers soon.

Below I will suggest a couple of different dumbbell sets you could buy that would work well with this routine.


Adjustable dumbbells make training easy at home because you don’t need to have a wall full of dumbbells to train anything you need.

There are a few sets and options I offer and I’ll go over their benefits and downsides below.

Before we get into the different sets, here are the threaded and regular handled dumbbell explanations.

Threaded Handles

  • Pros: Holds strong for exercises like goblet squats and overhead tricep extensions.
  • Cons: It sometimes comes a little loose when training and when changing weights it can be a pain.

Regular Handles

  • Pros: Easy to slide weights on (it’s just like the regular Olympic size).
  • Cons: Weights can slide and the collars could come loose after a while.


“You get what you pay for” is a saying that generally is true… especially with gym equipment.

You can get adjustable benches everywhere and if you aren’t too serious about training… I guess any bench would do.

If you are working on starting your own home gym or you really want a quality bench, York Barbell has some amazing products.

4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine

Everyone’s schedules are different. Quit making excuses and carve our four days for you to train. It’s ideal to get plenty of recovery between workouts — try to limit your workouts to two or three days in a row before taking a rest day.

Sample 4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine

  • Day 1: OFF
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Chest
  • Day 4: OFF
  • Day 5: Back
  • Day 6: Shoulders
  • Day 7: OFF
Exercise Sets Reps
DB Squat 3 8
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 12
DB Lunges 3 12
Concentration Curl 3 12
Exercise Sets Reps
DB Flat Bench 3 8
DB Incline Bench 3 8
Incline DB Flys 3 12
DB Side Bend 3 12
DB Tricep Kickback 3 12
Exercise Sets Reps
Single Leg DB Deadlift 3 8
Bent Over DB Row 3 8
DB Pullover 3 12
Cross Body DB Hammer Curl 3 12
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated DB Overhead Press 3 8
DB Shrugs 3 12
Standing Bent Over Laterals 3 12
Weighted Decline Bench Situp 3 12
1 Arm Seated DB Tricep Extension 3 12

4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine Tips

Performing exercises correctly is important for growth and lowering the risk of injury. Ego lifting can be fun sometimes, but it won’t build the consistent gains you are looking for.

Progressive overload is one of the most important things to focus on, just after consistency. If you consistently train and consistently add weight or reps to your exercises, you will make progress.

Nutrition is important. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat hamburgers and nachos, it means you have to start monitoring what you are eating. You can have a 1,200 calorie bacon cheeseburger and fries as long as the rest of your day is light. Try to apply the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of your calories should come from nutritious sources, while 20% of your calories can come from what you enjoy. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, you can essentially eat 400 calories of junk food as long as you eat 1,600 calories from nutritious sources. Log your food.

Know your goal. I made the mistake of wanting to get jacked while being very overweight. This slowed my weight loss progress. What is your goal? Do you want to lose weight and get fit? Are you skinny want want to build muscle? Trying to get as strong as possible? If you’re overweight and want to build muscle, I would invite you to lose fat and then slow bulk with nutritious foods.

Like the idea of a dumbbell only workout routine but need it to be a 3 day routine? Check out this 3 day powerlifting dumbbell routine.

As always, be sure to comment or ask any questions below, I would be happy to answer them. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for updates.

115 thoughts on “4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine”

  1. The routine looks great for me. I will using a small gym that does not have a lot of equipment but the dumbbells do go up to 25 kg (55 lbs). One thing I am interested in is the idea of giving the muscles a shock every now and then. What do you think about using something like this?

    Week 1 – 3 sets / 90 sec rest
    Week 2 – 3 sets / 60 sec rest
    Week 3 – 4 sets / 60 sec rest
    Week 4 – 4 sets / 60 sec rest + 3 reps

    During these four weeks the weight remains the same. Then I begin the next block of four weeks but raise the weight slightly. Is this reasonable, useful, or over complicating things?

    Thanks Cutty

    • I think it’s overcomplicating things a little, but would work. If you make sure to log and keep track of all of the weight and reps you do then I think you’ll be able to run with it.

  2. hi, i wighe 62, i’ve been working with no equipment at home, and yesterday i bought 20kb of dubbels for both of my hands..
    is it ok if i practice with that plan when i weigh 62 ?
    i hate to go to gym and i prefer to practice at home..

    • Training at home is great. In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing. This routine was designed for those who have minimal equipment or do not like going to the gym.

      Give this routine a try and let me know how you like it!

    • Sit ups create an overdevelopment of ab muscles which can cause back issues and other problems if you do not train your back enough. Add what you’d like to the program 🙂

  3. Hi Cutty,
    I’ve been lifting for years and took time off recently, just getting back into it a few months ago. I’m not a muscle head but do like a trim and tone body. I’m a mature female and looking to put some gains on. Use to be a personal trainer years ago. My current job is crazy and quite physical. Long story short I needed a routine at home (I have DB’s and flat bench) I could do that worked. This works! I like the 4 day split instead of a 3 day full body routine. I feel more focused on each muscle group. I’ve had to modify a few exercises due to pre-existing injuries, but other than that I like the routine. It takes me less than 30 minutes. Thanks!
    Aloha from Hawaii, Leilani G

    • Leilani,

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad that you’ve found a routine that works for you. Keep up the work and you’ll definitely start seeing some gains.

      Hello from the frozen Midwest, Cutty 😀

  4. Cutty,
    I am in my late 50’s and haven’t worked out in about a year and a half because of eye surgeries. My doctor told me it was fine to start up again.
    In the past, I’ve lifted with machines and free weights and want to switch to dumbbells to build symmetry. My question is, first will this workout work for older men?

    • Sticking to a routine and having decent nutrition is what makes changes. Since you’re a little older, you won’t see the progress as a testosterone-filled 20 year old, but you will certainly notice changes in your physique as well as your overall quality of life. I can’t tell you how helpful it is being stronger, I’ve been humping around boxes full of paper at this job and it’s nothing… everyone else is struggling and unable to keep up!

  5. Good Evening,

    I like the look of this routine, but have not tried it yet. Have you found there to be enough arm focus in this, or should more be supplemented in?

    Thank You,

    • You can add in what you want. The workouts are designed to build overall muscle and not focus on glamor muscles. If you feel that you need to do endless curls like the other gym bros that aren’t making progress, go for it.

      You can add more in if you really want to, but it’s not needed.

      Good luck,


    • Thank you! I’m still learning some of these things and just didn’t know. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    • No problem Nate. If you still have energy leftover after your lifts you can certainly add in something if you don’t feel it’s been hit enough. Any pressing movement also works your triceps and any pulling and rowing movement hit your biceps.

      If you do a great selection of exercises, there’s no need to stand there and do curls. They don’t hurt to do but you definitely don’t need to do them 🙂

  6. Hi Cutty! I am so happy I discovered your site. I am going to start this workout tonight. Last night at the gym I decided I needed to go with a four day split. I am an experienced lifter and after being inconsistent the past several years, I have again joined a gym. I am + 50 years old and really fat. I need to drop 50 pounds. Seriously. Anything in addition to doing this workout I need to be doing to lose that much weight? Thanks! Dave

    • I think the increase in activity mixed with ditching unnecessary calories like sodas or other calorie drinks. Being mindful of those calories along with trying to eat a decent meal every once in a while will make some drastic changes. If you give it 4 weeks of consistent training and eating decent, you’ll need to start buying some new clothes.

  7. New mom here. I am looking to use this as a home workout because I just don’t have time for the gym. With a healthy diet will this workout promote weight loss and muscle build?

    • You would definitely see great progress if you cleaned up your diet and then worked this routine.

      Good luck, I also invite you to check out our sister site The Byrn.

  8. Hey Cutty, I’m new to weightlifting. Previously I was cutting lost about 150lbs went from 300 to 150lb I’m 6”1 23 yes old. I’m thinking of purchasing a pair of adjustable dumbbells aswell as a adjustable weight bench. I was wondering if I should start with 20lbs first ? And how long should I wait to add more weight on the dumbbells ? Do you think with proper nutrition, adequate rest, and overall strict diet I can build a phenomenal physique within 1 year following your 4 Day Dumbbell workout plan ?


    • If you can lose 150 you can build muscle. It just takes adjusting your intake.

      Getting an adjustable bench and dumbbells would be awesome. Check around on craigslist or another local sales market place – maybe even Facebook marketplace.

      Each exercise is different, rear delt lateral raises I only use 10-15, it doesn’t take a lot of weight, but I’d invite you to try to pick up more weights as you see a good deal.

      You won’t look like a professional bodybuilder but 1 year of solid consistent training like you did for losing weight will make you unrecognizable.

  9. Hey! Just started trying to lose weight and get in shape because me and a few buddies are getting back into paintball. Would you still recommend this for someone who is wanting to lose fat and get back in shape. I noticed it was about 5 years old (Atleast when the post was made) and was just curious.


    • Solid training foundations never change. This routine would be great for you. I would say add in some agility work and all-out exercises like sprints and box jumps. Add in some HIIT cardio and you got yourself a squad that will win.

    • Alright sounds good! My ignorance got the best of me last night. Went ahead and started it because I like some of the excercises on here compared to the last routine I was trying and it murdered my legs last night haha. Concentration curls are my new favorite right now!


    • Concentration curls I like better than preacher curls. I think it is easier – at least for me – to get a better contraction.

      You’ll see in a few weeks how much easier it is to be more athletic. Hit me up if you have any questions!

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