3-Day Dumbbell Workout Plan for Building Muscle & Strength

3-Day Dumbbell Workout Plan

Are you looking for an effective workout routine that will help you build muscle and increase strength, all from the comfort of your home? In that case, a 3-day dumbbell workout plan might be just what you need!

Join us as we walk you through our 3-day dumbbell exercise program that’s sure to target your various body muscles. This post also offers additional information on the different types of dumbbell workouts you can engage in and tips to help you get the best out of your workout sessions. We’ll start by briefly outlining why dumbbells are great for workouts.

Why Choose Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are a versatile piece of equipment that can be used to target all major muscle groups. They offer stability and control, allowing you to perform a wide range of exercises that engage multiple muscles at once. Whether you’re an amateur or a pro lifter, incorporating dumbbells into your workout routine can help you build muscle, increase strength, and improve your overall fitness level.

But what really makes the 3-day dumbbell exercise program exceptional and a go-to for many fitness enthusiasts? Let’s find out below!

The Benefits of a 3-Day Dumbbell Workout Routine

A 3-day dumbbell workout routine is a great option if you’re short on time or prefer to have rest days in between your workouts. This type of routine allows for adequate recovery time between sessions, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. By focusing on different muscle groups each day, you can ensure that you’re giving each area of your body the attention it needs to develop strength and form.

Still, is 3 days really enough to get the most out of dumbbell workouts? It certainly is, and we’ll show you just how in the next section.

Benefits of a 3-Day Dumbbell Workout

Our 3-Day Dumbbell Workout Plan for Fitness Enthusiasts

You can incorporate dumbbells into your 3-day workout routine with the following simple plan:

Day 1: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

ExerciseSets x Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press3 x 10–12
Dumbbell Flyes3 x 10–12
Dumbbell Shoulder Press3 x 10–12
Lateral Raises3 x 10–12
Tricep Dips3 x 10–12
Overhead Tricep Extension3 x 10–12

On day 1 of the workout plan, we’ll focus on targeting your chest, triceps, and shoulders.

  • Start with the dumbbell bench press — a compound exercise that targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Follow this with dumbbell flyes to further engage your chest muscles.
  • Move on to dumbbell shoulder press to target your shoulder muscles, and finish off with lateral raises to isolate your side delts.
  • Finally, perform tricep dips and overhead tricep extensions to target your triceps.

We recommend checking out our post on weight bench exercises for more inspiration. Also, our Hex Dumbbells + Bench bundle is excellent for most of the above workouts.

Day 2: Back, Biceps, and Legs

ExerciseSets x Reps
Bent Over Rows3 x 10–12
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows3 x 10–12
Goblet Squats3 x 10–12
Dumbbell Lunges3 x 10–12 (Each Leg)
Hamstring Curls3 x 10–12
Bicep Curls3 x 10–12
Hammer Curls3 x 10–12

On day 2, we’ll focus on targeting your back, biceps, and legs.

  • Start with bent-over rows to target your back muscles, followed by single arm dumbbell rows to further engage your lats.
  • Next, engage in goblet squats to target your quads and glutes, and perform dumbbell lunges to engage your leg muscles.
  • Finish off with hamstring curls to target your hamstrings, and perform bicep curls and hammer curls to target your biceps.

We recommend opting for a Hex Dumbbell Pair to get the most out of these workouts. And if you’re looking to have an organised gym space, check out the HyGYM Hex Dumbbells With Stand product line.

Day 3: Full Body Dumbbell Workout

ExerciseSets x Reps
Push-ups3 x 10–12
Goblet Squats3 x 10–12
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts3 x 10–12
Shoulder Press3 x 10–12
Bent Over Rows3 x 10–12
Bicep Curls3 x 10–12
Tricep Dips3 x 10–12

On day 3, we’ll perform a full body circuit that targets all major muscle groups; this is going to include dumbbell upper body workout and lower body dumbbell workout.

  • Start with push-ups to target your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Follow this with goblet squats to engage your legs, and perform dumbbell Romanian deadlifts to target your hamstrings and glutes.
  • Move on to shoulder presses to engage your shoulder muscles, and perform bent-over rows to target your back.
  • Finish off with bicep curls and tricep dips to target your arms.

The above workout plans will give you the muscle and strength you need within a limited time. Next, we’ll focus on outlining the various types of dumbbell workouts for targeting muscles in different parts of the body.

6 Major Types of Dumbbell Workouts to Engage In

If you want to focus on building specific muscles in your body, it’s important you familiarise yourself with the following dumbbell workouts. That way, you can easily modify your workout plan based on your fitness goals and level.

Major Types of Dumbbell Workouts

1. Beginners’ Dumbbell Workout

A beginner’s dumbbell workout is a strength training routine designed for individuals who are new to weightlifting or have limited experience with dumbbell exercises.

This workout typically focuses on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, such as:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Chest presses
  • Shoulder presses
  • Rows
  • Deadlifts

2. Chest Dumbbell Workout

A chest dumbbell workout is a routine that focuses on strengthening the muscles in your chest using dumbbells. Dumbbells provide a versatile and effective way to target your chest muscles as they allow for a greater range of motion and engage stabilising muscles.

Some popular chest dumbbell exercises include:

  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Dumbbell chest fly
  • Dumbbell Pullover

3. Dumbbell Upper Body Workout

A dumbbell upper body workout is a type of strength training routine that focuses on targeting the muscles in the upper body using dumbbells as the primary equipment. This workout engages various muscle groups, such as the chest, back, shoulders, and arms.

The following exercises are commonly included in a dumbbell upper body workout routine:

  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Dumbbell bent-over row
  • Dumbbell shoulder press
  • Dumbbell bicep curl

4. Lower-Body Dumbbell Workout

A lower-body dumbbell workout targets the muscles in your legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It’s an effective way to strengthen and tone your lower body.

A typical lower body dumbbell workout may include exercises like:

  • Dumbbell squats
  • Dumbbell lunges
  • Dumbbell deadlifts
  • Dumbbell calf raises

5. Dumbbell Triceps Workout

A dumbbell tricep workout is a strength training routine that specifically targets the triceps muscles using dumbbells.

It typically consists of exercises that involve extension of the elbow joint, such as:

  • Tricep extensions
  • Tricep kickbacks

These exercises help to strengthen and develop the triceps, which are the muscles located at the back of the upper arm.

6. Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

A full-body dumbbell workout is a comprehensive exercise routine that targets all major muscle groups in the body using dumbbells as the primary equipment. It involves a combination of back and bicep dumbbell workouts in addition to other home CrossFit workouts that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a well-rounded workout. This type of workout is ideal for individuals who want to build overall strength, improve muscle tone, and enhance their fitness levels.

Some common exercises included in a full-body dumbbell workout are:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Chest presses
  • Shoulder presses
  • Rows
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Core exercises

You can combine any of the above workouts into your 3-day workout plan. However, you need to be intentional about your dumbbell workout plan, taking actionable steps to ensure you see tangible results. Let’s expound on this below.

How to Progress in Your Dumbbell Workout

To continue seeing progress and increased muscle build with your dumbbell workout plan, challenge yourself and progressively overload your muscles. You can do this by increasing the weight you lift, increasing the number of sets and reps, or decreasing rest time between exercises.

Aim to increase the weight you lift by 5–10% every 2–4 weeks as you get stronger. Keep track of your progress in a workout journal to ensure you’re consistently pushing yourself to do better. With consistent practice, you’ll notice significant progress.

How to Progress in Your Dumbbell Workout

Workouts can only do so much without proper nutrition. To ensure you see good progress, it’s important you fuel your body and muscles with the right diet. Keep reading to learn dietary tips that can help you get the best out of your 3-day dumbbell workout plan.

Nutrition for Muscle Growth

In addition to a well-rounded workout routine, proper nutrition is crucial for muscle growth and recovery.

Here are 3 dietary tips to adhere to:

  • Make sure you’re consuming enough calories to support muscle growth and prioritise protein intake to aid in muscle repair. 
  • Aim for a daily protein intake of around 1.2 –1.7 g per kg of body weight, spreading it evenly throughout the day.
  • Consider incorporating protein supplements into your diet to help meet your protein needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a 3-day workout build muscle?

A 3-day workout split can build muscle effectively. With a strict workout routine and a proper diet, this type of workout plan is ideal for bulking and quickly adding mass. However, it may not be the best choice for cutting or shedding fat, as cutting typically involves incorporating cardiovascular exercises to burn fat. The key to success lies in adjusting the reps and weights to challenge the muscles and promote growth.

What is the 3 move dumbbell workout?

The 3-move dumbbell workout consists of thrusters, front squats, and dumbbell deadlifts.

  • To perform thrusters, clean a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders and then press them overhead for 3 reps.
  • After completing the presses, move on to front squats by dropping the dumbbells back down onto the front of your shoulders and performing 6 reps.
  • Finally, for dumbbell deadlifts, hold the dumbbells at your sides and hinge at the hips to lower them towards the ground. Do this while keeping your back straight, then stand back up for 9 reps.

This workout can be completed in just 15 minutes and provides a full-body burn.

What is the rule of 3 workouts?

The “rule of 3” workout routine is a simple and effective training plan that involves performing 3 exercises per workout, 3 times a week, for 3 weeks. After completing the 3-week cycle, you have a light week of training, after which you repeat the process.

This routine allows for a balanced and structured approach to your workouts, providing enough time for recovery while still challenging your muscles to promote growth and strength. It’s a great option for those looking for a straightforward and efficient workout program.

Can I get a full-body workout with just dumbbells?

Yes, you can get a full-body workout with just dumbbells. Using a single dumbbell for about 10 minutes can effectively train your entire body. By doing a sequence of exercises—like squats, lunges, bicep curls, shoulder presses, and planks—you can target and strengthen various muscle groups, including your legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and core.


With the right combination of exercises, diet, and dedication, a 3-day dumbbell workout routine can help you build muscle, increase strength, and improve your overall fitness level. Incorporate the exercises outlined in this post into your workout routine, and don’t forget to progressively overload your muscles for continued progress.

If you’re looking to purchase dumbbells or other home gym equipment, we recommend checking out our dumbbell catalogue. We offer a wide range of high-quality dumbbells, including Hex Dumbbell Pairs, Dumbbells + Bench bundles, and Dumbbell + Stand bundles. Visit our website to browse our selection and find the perfect equipment for your home gym.

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