3 Day Dumbbell Workout with PDF (Full-Body/Split/PPL)

If you are looking for a well-crafted, easy-to-follow, and effective dumbbell workout program that can help you take your fitness to the next level by working out only three days a week, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ve shared multiple 3 Day dumbbell workout routines (full-body, upper-lower split, and push-pull-legs) to help you build muscle, promote cardiovascular health, and improve body composition. Depending on your fitness level, you can do one of them to improve your fitness.

I’ve also handed out a PDF file of these programs at the bottom of this article so that you can download and use it offline.

Program Summary

Routine TypeFull-body, Upper/Lower Split, and PPL
Program DurationAim for 8-12 weeks for visible results
Frequency per week3 Days
Program GoalBuild Strength and Muscle
LevelBeginner to Intermediate
Suitable ForMen and Women
Equipment NeededDumbbells and Workout Bench
Daily Session Duration40-60 Minutes
Rest DaysAfter Each Workout Day
Preceding Workout Plan2-day Dumbbell Split

I’ll suggest you begin with a full-body routine followed by upper-lower split and PPL.

Or the best thing you can do is to perform a full-body workout in your first week, a split routine in your second, and a push-pull-leg in the third week and repeat.

Those who want a dumbbell weight loss program can download this HIIT dumbbell workout.

3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout Routine

You’ll do a total of six exercises each day during this 3 day full body dumbbell workout routine. These exercises target every muscle group, from the upper to the lower body.

All exercises will be performed in a circuit. Circuit training is an efficient way to improve strength, body shape, and cardiovascular health – shown in a study published in the National Institute of Health Database.1 Ramos-Campo, Domingo Jesús et al. “Effects of Resistance Circuit-Based Training on Body Composition, Strength and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Biology vol. 10,5 377. 28 Apr. 2021, doi:10.3390/biology10050377

Take a short interval (30-45 sec) between exercises to keep your heart rate up and increase your cardiovascular health.

If you’re a beginner, complete two rounds and three rounds if you’re working out for a while.

Day 1 – Monday

Dumbbell WorkoutTargeted MuscleReps
Standard Dumbbell SquatQuad12
Incline Dumbbell Bench PressChest and Shoulder12
Dumbbell Overhead PressShoulder12
Incline Dumbbell I-Y-T RaisesBack and Shoulder5
One-arm Dumbbell RowingBack10/side
Dumbbell Wood ChopCore10/side

Day 2 – Wednesday

Dumbbell WorkoutTargeted MuscleReps
Dumbbell Front LungesQuads and Hams10
Dumbbell Bent-over RowBack12
Incline DB Rear Delt FlyBack and Shoulder10
Flat DB Bench PressChest12
Dumbbell PulloverChest and Back10
DB Romanian DeadliftHamstrings8

Day 3 – Friday

Dumbbell ExercisesTargeted MuscleReps
Dumbbell DeadliftFull Body6
Dumbbell Hammer CurlBiceps20
Dumbbell  Squat to SwingFull Body10
Dumbbell Glutes BridgeGlutes10
Incline Plank Dumbbell RowBack and Core10/arm
1-arm Overhead Tricep ExtensionTriceps10/arm

The Upper Lower 3 Day Dumbbell Workout Split

Dumbbell Workout 3 Day Split

This 3 day dumbbell split routine allows you to hit your upper body twice and lower body once a week.

Unlike the above routine, you’ll train your upper body and lower body on separate days during this plan.

This program is suitable for beginners who want to build foundational strength and lean mass.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Day 1: Upper Body – Chest, Shoulder, and Biceps
  • Day 2: Lower Body – Quads, Hams, Glute, and Calves
  • Day 3: Upper Body – Back, Triceps, and Core

Day 1 – Chest, Shoulder, and Biceps

Upper Body WorkoutRepsRest
Incline Bench Press8-10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Overhead Press8-12 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-10 x 390-sec
1-arm Dumbbell Row8-10 x 345-sec
Incline French Press20 x 21-min
Concentration Curl20 x 245-sec

Day 2 – Quads, Hams, Glute, and Calves

Lower Body WorkoutRepsRest
Dumbbell Squat15 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Step-up8 x 21-min
Dumbbell Lunges10 x 31-min
DB Romanian Deadlift6-8 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Glutes Bridge8-12 x 345-sec
Dumbbell Calf Raises8-12 x 345-sec

Day 3 – Back, Triceps, and Core

Upper Body WorkoutRepsRest
Dumbbell Bent-over Row8-12 x 41-min
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press8-10 x 490-sec
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly8-10 x 490-sec
Dumbbell Spider Curl8-12 x 31-min
DB Triceps Kickback8-10 x 31-min

PPL 3 Day Dumbbell Workout Program to Build Muscle

PPL 3 Day Dumbbell Workout Program

PPL stands for push, pull, and legs. That means you’ll do push exercises on day one, pull workouts on day two, and leg workouts on day three.

Push workout involves training the front and lateral deltoids, triceps, and chest muscles; Pull day includes back, posterior deltoid, biceps, and forearms workout; and the leg workout involves the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves training.

The PPL is another effective workout routine that allows you to hit each muscle of the body effectively, increase strength and mass, and help you develop a better physique.

Here’s the summary of this plan.

  • Day 1 (Monday): Push Workouts
  • Day 2 (Wednesday): Pull Workouts
  • Day 3 (Friday): Legs Workouts

Day 1 – Push Workouts

Push WorkoutTargeted MusclesRepsRest
Dumbbell Bench PressChest8-12 x 390-sec
Incline Dumbbell Bench PressUpper Chest8-10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Overhead PressFront Delt8-12 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Lateral RaisesSide Delt8-10 x 31-min
1-arm Overhead Tricep ExtensionTriceps8-12 x 345-sec

Day 2 – Pull Workouts

Pull WorkoutTargeted MusclesRepsRest
Dumbbell DeadliftBack 4-6 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Bent-over RowBack8-12 x 390-sec
Single-arm Dumbbell RowBack8-10 x 245-sec
Reverse Dumbbell FlyRear Delt8-12 x 31-min
Alternating Dumbbell CurlBiceps8-12 x 31-min
Hammer CurlBiceps8-12 x 21-min

Day 3 – Legs Workouts

Legs WorkoutTargeted MusclesRepsRest
Dumbbell Front SquatQuadriceps12-15 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Front LungesQuads, Hamstrings8-10 x 31-min
Dumbbell RDLHam, Lower Back6-8 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Leg CurlHamstring, Glutes8-10 x 290-sec
Glutes BridgeGlutes, Hamstring8-12 x 31-min
Leaning 1-Leg Calf RaisesCalves8-12 x 345-sec

Download The 3 Day Dumbbell Workout Plan PDF

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is 3-Day Enough to Build Muscle with Dumbbells?

Three days are enough to build muscle and promote muscle growth if you’re a beginner. However, if you’ve been working out for a while, training four to six days a week is best.

How Long Will It Take to Build Muscles If I Follow this Program?

Growing muscles depends on several things, such as diet, lifestyle, and how your body responds to training. So if you work out consistently, consume high-protein foods, and sleep soundly, you’ll start seeing results after a couple of months.

Moreover, you’ll also need to increase the intensity and load over time to build muscles faster.

Can I Do This Routine to Lose Weight?

This program may not help you lose weight as it is designed for gaining lean mass. If you want to lose weight, I recommend following high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Plans to Follow Next:

Once you feel you should increase the workout frequency, here are the programs you can follow.

I’ve also designed an ultimate 72 days dumbbell workout routine for all fitness enthusiasts. This includes hundreds of exercises and high and low rep range sets. And the best thing is you can follow this program at your own pace. 


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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