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No More Excuses: 4 Day Dumbbell Workout Routine

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.

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.

Pre-Workout

MTS Nutrition Clash

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

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.

Protein

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+.

BCAA

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.

Multi-Vitamin

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.

Dumbbells

There are a lot of adjustable dumbbell sets out there that I’ve used and I would like to showcase a couple of products that would work extremely well for this routine.

Strength Junkies Dumbbell Sets

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.

Dumbbell Sets I Offer

Troy Barbell 110lb Set $249.99 shipped

This set comes with 2 dumbbell handles, collars, and weights.

You have the option to buy regular handles or threaded handles and it comes with everything you need to get started.

This set will probably be the cheapest out of the bunch. Check out the next package before you make a decision.

Troy Barbell 160lb Set$279.99 shipped

This set is probably the best value because you get an additional 50lbs of weight for only $30 more.

Again, you have the option for regular handles or threaded and it comes with everything you need to get started.

If you’re more interested in building a set or buying just the handles, I’ve got those as well.

Troy Barbell Regular 1″ Handle Set$49.99 a pair shipped.

Uses spring lock collars and 1″ plates. The same handles that are in the sets above.

I will throw in a set of spring lock collars if you buy these dumbbell handles.

Troy Barbell Regular 1″ Threaded Handle Set$49.99 a pair shipped.

Uses spin lock collars and 1″ plates. This is also the same handles in the above sets.

Spin lock collars come with these dumbbell handles.

Troy Barbell Olympic Dumbbell Handle$69.99 a piece shipped.

These dumbbell handles are BEAST. These weigh 10 pounds without weights and they have a good medium knurling and it is a pretty good handle.

Use whatever Olympic weights you have – 25s are about the biggest I would try to use just because of how big the plate is.

Bench

“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: OFF
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Chest
  • Day 4: OFF
  • Day 5: Back
  • Day 6: Shoulders
  • Day 7: OFF

Ideally have at least 1 day of rest in between your 4 days, I would highly recommend running the schedule like this.

Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
DB Squat 3 8
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 12
DB Lunges 3 12
Concentration Curl 3 12

 

Chest
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

 

Back
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

 

Shoulders
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

 

If you decide to do this routine, be sure to know your limits. Performing the exercise correctly at a lower weight will build more muscle and strength than it will trying to push as much weight as possible. When you concentrate on every rep of every set of every exercise, you are making a better mind and muscle connection. With this power you can grow your muscles and create the physique you’ve always wanted.

Far too many people do not realize that you must add weight to each workout and progress so your body can adapt to the stress that is being put on it so always strive to add weight.

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 “No More Excuses: 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

    1. 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..

    1. 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!

    1. 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

    1. 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?

    1. 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!

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