Effective 3 Day Dumbbell Only Workout

Effective 3 Day Dumbbell Only Workout

If you’re looking for a 4 day dumbbell only routine, try this one.

If a dumbbell only workout sounds like your cup of tea, you’re at the right place.

This routine is designed for those who want to build some strength, build some muscle, and use only dumbbells.

So now you don’t have any more excuses to not make gains.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

You can beat your muscles down in the gym but the only way to recover (build) muscle is to fuel your body with quality food.

I try to stick to an 80/20 rule when I look at nutrition. This means that 80% of my meals are prepared by me and I make sure to get the best quality food that I can.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to get natural grass-fed free roaming cows who get messages every day and free range chickens who get to walk the beaches to benefit from eating whole foods.

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?

I’m going to provide some (affiliate) links to a few pieces of equipment that I’ve used or recommend using. This equipment will help you get the most out of training at home and using this routine at home.


There are a lot of adjustable dumbbell sets out there and from my experience I recommend a set like these.

These dumbbells are cost-effective and you can basically use as much weight you can put on them.

Cap Barbell Adjustable Dumbbells

What’s so great about these?

If you get too strong for the weight you have, you can go to a sporting good place like Dicks Sporting Goods and buy more weights.

What sucks about these?

The only thing that sucks about these is having to change the weights. If you’re used to going to the gym and having a full rack of dumbbells, this may be a bit of an inconvenience to you.

One pro tip that I learned when training in a basement gym was to buy a couple sets of the handles and plenty of plates to have multiple sets of weights.

This way you can set up a set for curls, a set for shrugs, and a set for 1 arm dumbbell rows without having to switch weights between each exercise.


“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. I’m not an affiliate (I don’t think they have a program) but I will tell you if I could sell their equipment I would. I plan on buying this equipment if I get another place that I can build a home gym again.

Anyways, check out the bench here. The site is definitely not award-winning and the lone picture definitely doesn’t show off what you would think a $200 bench would look like but if I could bench 500+ pounds I would trust that bench with my life.

It’s sturdy, wide, and perfect for anyone.

Again, I’m not telling you what to buy because I’ll make a buck, it’s because I stand by that product.

Workout Schedule

Here is a sample schedule:

  • Day 1: Workout 1
  • Day 2: OFF
  • Day 3: Workout 2
  • Day 4: OFF
  • Day 5: Workout 3
  • Day 6: OFF
  • Day 7: OFF

Ideally have at least 1 day of rest in between your days, I would highly recommend running the schedule like this.

Workout 1
Exercise Sets Reps
DB Squat 4 12
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8
DB Lunges 2 20
Concentration Curl 3 15
1 Arm Overhead Tricep Extensions 2 20
Weighted Sit Ups 2 AMAP
Workout 2
Exercise Sets Reps
DB Flat Bench 4 12
DB Incline Bench 3 8
Incline DB Flys 2 20
Bent Over Lateral Raise 3 20
Skull Crushers 3 12
DB Side Bend 3 12
Workout 3
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
DB Renegade Rows 3 12
Planks 3 60 seconds

Workout Tips

Strive to add weight or reps every workout.

Learn proper form so you can correctly do these exercises without having to break bad habits later on down the road.

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.

14 thoughts on “Effective 3 Day Dumbbell Only Workout”

  1. I just came across your article very good and knowledgeable, My question is im 5’7” 250 lbs and i want to loose the weight and build or tone muscles at the same time is your dumbbell workout plan good for loosing fat and building muscles thank you.

    1. Johnny, I recommend tightening up your diet, get plenty of protein, and increase your nutritious fat intake. Watching the calories will help you lose fat, and eating plenty of protein and fats will ensure muscle growth.

      Good luck!

  2. How long should we be in plank? The link to the video is saying to hold for 3 x 1 min sets, but you are saying 3 sets of 12. Just looking for clarity.



    1. Rhonda, thank you for asking. I am not sure why, I must have missed changing it to a time. 3 sets of 60 seconds will work.

      Thank you again.

  3. Just getting back “into it” after a 6 month hiatus. I found this article and it matches the advice that I received from a physician perfectly.

    I was previously using dumbells every day and was disappointed in my progress. This program provides the rest I was told my body needed.

    Thanks so much and I’ll be back!

    1. Joe, thank you for the kind words. I’m glad to hear your physician and I align in our methodologies. The problem with many physicians is that they don’t necessarily study kinesiology or anything that actually carries over to lifting weights.

      Good luck with your progress and be sure to check back.

  4. What if i dont have a “gym bed” to do exercizes that requires a “gym bed”, can j do them on floor ?
    And how does it will take me to see the result of the training ?

    1. However long it takes. It mostly depends on the conditioning of the lifter so there really isn’t a set rest period. 30-45 for small lifts and 1-3 minutes for big lifts if you absolutely need a time.

  5. is it intended to do each exercise full rep before moving on? Or cycle through them one at a time, or does not of that matter as long as I get through it?

    1. You could either do all of your sets and reps for one exercise and move onto the other, or you can do 1 set of an exercise and quickly switch to another – making a circuit.

      Both work well, but I prefer one exercise then once I’m done with all the sets to move onto another.

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