Full Body Home Dumbbell Workout

full body home dumbbell workout

Today everyone is on the go. Husbands and wives both work, take care of kids and go back and forth to sporting events. So its no surprise to me that one of the biggest reasons so many people are held back from getting started on their journey towards health and fitness is that they simply don’t have the time!

Ask me five years ago and I might have said that these people were just making excuses to lay around and be lazy. But…

…I’ve experienced a lot and a lot has changed in these past five years.

Today I’m a husband, a father of two small boys who keep us both on our toes, a 6 day a week blue collar employee, full time fitness blogger and master chef. So when it comes to finding the time to spend working on my body and striving to become the best version of myself, I can completely understand why some people get overwhelmed!! I even went through a period after my second son was born that I became very inconsistent with my training and eating and got pretty far out of shape.

There comes a time however that you have to sit down and ask yourself how bad you really want to make your health a priority. If you want it bad enough you’ll do what it takes to get it, even if it feels like you don’t have any time in the world.

That’s where routines like my simple yet effective full body home dumbbell workout come into play! This routine is designed to get the most work done on your entire body in one session as quickly and effectively as possible, allowing for an intense workout before even leaving the house for the day. All you’ll need is a set of dumbbells, a little bit of space, and the drive to push yourself beyond what you thought you could do outside of the normal weight room setting.

The dumbbells I have at home are only 35 pounds, so whenever I have to miss the gym and go through a routine like this it’s important to slow down and really squeeze the muscle on the first set. When using light weights, you can make the sets as easy or as hard as they need to be for your goals. After that, it’s time to really crank up the intensity and knock out another couple sets in rest pause fashion.

For those of you who don’t know, rest pause is a technique where rather than resting 60-90 seconds between sets as you would on a typical strength building split, you’ll only rest 15-30 seconds before knocking out some more reps. While this isn’t ideal for building strength or even training in a way to boost testosterone levels in men (posts to come), with only light dumbbells I’m going strictly for the pump and aesthetics here.

I’ve also been becoming a fan as of late of training the whole body in each session. We have one body that works as a unit so why not, right? Steeve Reeves did it, Bruce Lee did it, Johndoebodybuilding promotes full body training in a few of his routines, the strongmen of old did it so I figured I’d give it a try too. It’s been a few weeks and I’m loving it.

Note: I used the 35s because that’s all I had available. Amazon has adjustable dumbbells that go all the way up to 100 pounds per arm! Looking to invest in these in the near future.

My full body home dumbbell workout:

  1. Push ups on dumbbells. Simple push ups elevated a bit with dumbbells! This allows for a bit of extra range of motion at the bottom. I like to do 15-20 reps slow and controlled followed by two more sets at a steady tempo focusing on higher reps with only 15-30 seconds of rest in between. My shoulders get achey from time to time so if they’re sore, I’ll opt for conventional push ups instead.
  2. Bent over dumbbell rows. The weights are light so be sure to really squeeze especially at the top of the movement! 12-15 slow reps followed up with two steady work sets rest pause style.
  3. Standing dumbbell military press or side lateral raises. If the dumbbells are light enough do some side lateral raises with the same rep scheme or even a set of 1234321s from my shoulder workout finishers article. If heavier dumbbells, a couple rest pause sets standing military presses will do great here!
  4. Dumbbell curls. 3 sets with a 15 second rest period. One simple movement is all you need
  5. Overhead dumbbell tricep extension. Single arm for lighter weights and both arms for a heavy weight. 3 sets with a 15 second rest.
  6. Dumbbell squats (briefcase deadlifts). I like to save my leg work for the end of the workout so I can go hard on them without tiring myself out too much for the rest of the workout. Hit them with the same rest pause, only with 5 sets rather 3 to get a little extra volume on the lower body.
  7. Stiff leg dumbbell deadlifts. Can’t forget the glutes and hammies!  A few rest pause sets and they’ll be done for.


The whole workout should be done in under 40 minutes. Quick, simple, and effective. I know it’s only 7 exercises, but with the intensity of rest pause training, its more than enough to get the job done!

If I was going to be out of the gym for a couple weeks or so, I’d do a routine similar to this 3 days a week or every other day. Exercises can be traded out of course, just done with the same intensity and rep scheme. I leave the ab work in this routine optional, so that they can be trained along with walking or jump roping for cardio on days off from training.

Post workout nutrition

While I don’t believe that the 45 minute anabolic window is AS crucial as some people say, a balanced post workout meal wouldn’t hurt especially if you’re trying to beef up! Remember, recovery is half the battle so it’s important to replenish what was lost during the workout.

Not sure what to eat? We’ve got you covered. Give one of our world famous Sweet Machine Fitness recipes a try! Some of our most popular recipes include:

Train hard! Be sure to share this workout with a friend.


Check with a physician or qualified healthcare provider before embarking on any changes made to lifestyle, training, supplementation, or eating.

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