Regardless if your goals are fat loss workouts, building muscle or conditioning, these goals can all be accomplished by owning only one piece of equipment – a pair of dumbbells. If you wish to gain lots of lean muscle mass and get shredded at the same time, you can do this with just dumbbells.
Many people are under the impression that they need a gym and access to heavy weights and barbells to gain lean muscle mass, but this isn’t necessarily true.
The Advantages of Dumbbells
- Dumbbells offer an advantage over barbells and machines in that they allow for both a greater range of motion and flexible plane of movement patterns based on our own individual body types, as well as promoting a greater degree of inter-muscular balance and coordination and stabilizing.|
- There is also the advantage of cost and portability when compared to machines and barbells. Compared to kettlebells, any kettlebell movement can also largely be done with dumbbells, the reverse of which isn’t always the case.
- There is also an argument to be made that dumbbells are the safest way to train, particularly when training alone (the safety of performing the bench press alone is a good example).
- Proper form is easier to teach with dumbbells.
- Unilateral exercise is too often neglected. While single-limb movements can be done with cables and some machines as well, nothing beats dumbbells in this regard. Particularly unilateral explosive movement, such as the one-arm dumbbell snatch. Also unilateral movements have the greatest carry-over to athletic activities since we jump off of or push off of one leg when jumping or sprinting, and throw off of or punch off of one arm etc. (Jeffrey M Patterson et al)
- Controlling and balancing two dumbbells makes it a more complex proprioceptive motor activity than barbells.
The government guidelines now even recommend performing resistance training at a minimum of twice a week to lessen the chance of heart attack or stroke. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated either, workouts as brief as 15-20 minutes can greatly improve your health, metabolism, and appearance.
Insofar as seeking general fitness and conditioning, it doesn’t make that much of a difference if you train your whole body in one session or split it up in different days.
For bodybuilding purposes, to maximize muscle growth, the latter is generally the more popular approach as it offers more volume per muscle group. But our focus here are simple and efficient workouts that anyone can do to provide a base level of fitness, conditioning, fat loss and muscle building.
Seven Simple Dumbbell-Based Workouts
Each of these workouts will hit all of the major muscles in your body in the same session, making it both a mechanically and metabolically intense way to train. Respectively, this makes it so that the muscles will grow from repair of contractile damage as well as increase their ability to store glycogen.
Given that there are only three exercises in each workout, you can add as much volume as you like, or increase the frequency and variability by cycling through the workouts.
I would opt to keep the repetition range between 10-15 reps per exercise. If you are going for a conditioning-based focus, you can cycle through each exercise with as little rest in between as you can handle.
Or alternately towards a strength-based focus, keep the weights fairly heavy and train in a straight sets manner completing one exercise before moving on to the next one.
1) 1 Arm Dumbbell Clean & Press
2) Dumbbell Deadlift
3) Dumbbell Floor Press
1) 1 Arm Dumbbell Row
2) Alternating Dumbbell Step Up
1) Racked Dumbbell Front Squat
2) Dumbbell Floor Press
1) Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Floor Press
2) Double Dumbbell Snatch
3) Dumbbell Jump Squats
1) Dumbbell Deadlift
3) One-Arm Dumbbell Floor Press
1) Dumbbell Clean & Press
2) Dumbbell Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat or Split Squat
3) Neutral-Grip Pull-Ups
1) Dumbbell Step Up
3) Dumbbell Pullovers