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.
|Routine Type||Full-body, Upper/Lower Split, and PPL|
|Program Duration||Aim for 8-12 weeks for visible results|
|Frequency per week||3 Days|
|Program Goal||Build Strength and Muscle|
|Level||Beginner to Intermediate|
|Suitable For||Men and Women|
|Equipment Needed||Dumbbells and Workout Bench|
|Daily Session Duration||40-60 Minutes|
|Rest Days||After Each Workout Day|
|Preceding Workout Plan||2-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 Workout||Targeted Muscle||Reps|
|Standard Dumbbell Squat||Quad||12|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||Chest and Shoulder||12|
|Dumbbell Overhead Press||Shoulder||12|
|Incline Dumbbell I-Y-T Raises||Back and Shoulder||5|
|One-arm Dumbbell Rowing||Back||10/side|
|Dumbbell Wood Chop||Core||10/side|
Day 2 – Wednesday
|Dumbbell Workout||Targeted Muscle||Reps|
|Dumbbell Front Lunges||Quads and Hams||10|
|Dumbbell Bent-over Row||Back||12|
|Incline DB Rear Delt Fly||Back and Shoulder||10|
|Flat DB Bench Press||Chest||12|
|Dumbbell Pullover||Chest and Back||10|
|DB Romanian Deadlift||Hamstrings||8|
Day 3 – Friday
|Dumbbell Exercises||Targeted Muscle||Reps|
|Dumbbell Deadlift||Full Body||6|
|Dumbbell Hammer Curl||Biceps||20|
|Dumbbell Squat to Swing||Full Body||10|
|Dumbbell Glutes Bridge||Glutes||10|
|Incline Plank Dumbbell Row||Back and Core||10/arm|
|1-arm Overhead Tricep Extension||Triceps||10/arm|
The Upper Lower 3 Day Dumbbell Workout 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 Workout||Reps||Rest|
|Incline Bench Press||8-10 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Overhead Press||8-12 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raises||8-10 x 3||90-sec|
|1-arm Dumbbell Row||8-10 x 3||45-sec|
|Incline French Press||20 x 2||1-min|
|Concentration Curl||20 x 2||45-sec|
Day 2 – Quads, Hams, Glute, and Calves
|Lower Body Workout||Reps||Rest|
|Dumbbell Squat||15 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Step-up||8 x 2||1-min|
|Dumbbell Lunges||10 x 3||1-min|
|DB Romanian Deadlift||6-8 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Glutes Bridge||8-12 x 3||45-sec|
|Dumbbell Calf Raises||8-12 x 3||45-sec|
Day 3 – Back, Triceps, and Core
|Upper Body Workout||Reps||Rest|
|Dumbbell Bent-over Row||8-12 x 4||1-min|
|Flat Dumbbell Bench Press||8-10 x 4||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly||8-10 x 4||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Spider Curl||8-12 x 3||1-min|
|DB Triceps Kickback||8-10 x 3||1-min|
PPL 3 Day Dumbbell Workout Program to Build Muscle
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 Workout||Targeted Muscles||Reps||Rest|
|Dumbbell Bench Press||Chest||8-12 x 3||90-sec|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||Upper Chest||8-10 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Overhead Press||Front Delt||8-12 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raises||Side Delt||8-10 x 3||1-min|
|1-arm Overhead Tricep Extension||Triceps||8-12 x 3||45-sec|
Day 2 – Pull Workouts
|Pull Workout||Targeted Muscles||Reps||Rest|
|Dumbbell Deadlift||Back||4-6 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Bent-over Row||Back||8-12 x 3||90-sec|
|Single-arm Dumbbell Row||Back||8-10 x 2||45-sec|
|Reverse Dumbbell Fly||Rear Delt||8-12 x 3||1-min|
|Alternating Dumbbell Curl||Biceps||8-12 x 3||1-min|
|Hammer Curl||Biceps||8-12 x 2||1-min|
Day 3 – Legs Workouts
|Legs Workout||Targeted Muscles||Reps||Rest|
|Dumbbell Front Squat||Quadriceps||12-15 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Front Lunges||Quads, Hamstrings||8-10 x 3||1-min|
|Dumbbell RDL||Ham, Lower Back||6-8 x 3||90-sec|
|Dumbbell Leg Curl||Hamstring, Glutes||8-10 x 2||90-sec|
|Glutes Bridge||Glutes, Hamstring||8-12 x 3||1-min|
|Leaning 1-Leg Calf Raises||Calves||8-12 x 3||45-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.
- 1Ramos-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