The Complete Dumbbell Workout!

What really makes this routine great is that you don't need a gym. Learn how to do the complete dumbbell workout!

Here is a great exercise routine that I use, as I get closer to competitions. I came up with this routine one day at the gym. On this particular morning there were more than the average amount of people working out. The machines I needed to use were occupied so I grabbed a pair of 20lb dumbbells, found some floor and mirror space and began to loosen up with lunges. Once I completed a couple sets and realized that getting my hands on other equipment would be iffy, I picked up the dumbbells again and started doing dead lifts. From there I went to dumbbells curls and finished up with presses. A couple days later I decided to redo this routine but I added a few touches to it.

 Before I get into the actual routine I think I need to explain my philosophy. At the time I was about 4 weeks out from competition. I was already in my "lots of sets", "lots of reps" and "light weight" workout phase. I found that if you perform this routine with limited rest or to muscle failure then you will find by the end of the workout that you have really worked out aerobically and anaerobically. This workout is a real butt kicker! You can perform this routine by yourself or if you want to really spice it up you can have your workout partner decide which order to do the exercises while your performing them.

When you start to get tired, you will begin to lose concentration, but you will have to pay attention to what your partner tells you to do next. A workout of mind and muscle control!

What really makes this routine great is that you don't need a gym. You can run out to your local sporting goods store and pick up a set of 3, 5 and 8lb dumbbells and perform this routine in your bedroom or living room. If you have a stereo close by than by all means tune into your favorite station and turn the volume all the way up!

Let's list some exercises that you can do with a set of dumbbells. You can add whichever ones you want to your routine.

  • Lunges
  • Sumo Squats
  • Squats
  • Toe Raises
  • Dead Lifts
  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Kick-Backs (Triceps)
  • Shrugs
  • Front Raises
  • Side Raises
  • Presses
  • Arnold Presses

If you are new to lifting weights I suggest the following routine. Note: The routine should be performed with a weight that you can comfortably/easily do at least 12 or more bicep curls and overhead presses.

Beginner Routine - (*no rest between exercises)

  • Warm up/Stretch all muscle groups
  • 5 lunges (each leg)
  • 5 bicep curls (each arm)
  • 5 tricep kick-backs
  • 5 overhead presses
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Rest 1 minute

I recommend performing this routine 3 x's per week for at least 2 - 3 weeks. This routine should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Now, who says you need to find time to exercise?

Intermediate Routine

  • Warm up/Stretch all muscle groups
  • 10 lunges (each leg)
  • 10 bicep curls
  • 8 sumo squats
  • 8 hammer curls
  • 10 military presses
  • 5 side raises
  • 5 front raises
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • 10 tricep kick-backs
  • 10 toe raises
  • 10 dead lifts
  • 10 upright rows
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • 5 lunges (each leg)
  • 10 bicep curls
  • 10 side raises
  • 5 front raises
  • 10 shoulder shrugs
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • 5 military presses
  • 5 hammer curls
  • 5 front raises
  • 5 side raises
  • 5 upright rows
  • 5 sumo squats
  • 15 toe raises

 For fun and if you have a workout partner... You can do something like this. The partner not performing the exercise is responsible to call out random exercises to be performed. For example he or she would say... "10 toe raises (at around rep #8) he would randomly select the next exercise to follow... "10 military presses..." this would continue for a 2 to 3 minute time frame. Your rest would come when you switch roles.

Variations (sets, reps, exercises, rest periods, etc.) are limitless. It's a great routine for anyone who wants a real solid workout. And most importantly it doesn't require a gym membership! Always remember that you will only get back what you put in! Proper nutrition is a key element to any exercise program.

Before starting any exercise program - consult with your physician!

Best Success,