T Nation

Dumbbell and Bodyweight Only Workout

Hi Coach!

I wont to ask you if it is possible to perform workout focused on athletism and muscle building (some kind of crossfit philosophy) only with dumbells and bodyweight stuf?

Having a problem with access to the gym I decided to build my onw in basement. Byt the basement is small so I have only pull ups bar and twoo dumbells with possibility of change weight. Could you give me some advice haw to structure the week workout schedule in this situation. I must also mention that I can now devote only 30 minutes dayli for training.

I know that I schould focus on DB snatch, DB cleans, DB thrusters, Split squats and oneleg deadlifts , some kind of db rows meybe one arm db high pulls? But I also wan’t to add some bodyweight stuff like HSPU (this is my priority becous at the moment I can;t do a single), pull ups(also proritage I can do only 3-4 reps), front levers and L-sits. Unfortunately I have no idea haw to combine exercise and rep schema could you give me some advice? Is possible to combine some exercise in supersets not to interfere with each other. I also planed to add loadded carry in place to schedule.

Please help becouse I’m confiused witch dumbbell only workout.


I am interested to see what Coach and other have to say on this question.


You can certainly get into great shape with just bodyweight exercises. When I first started working out many years ago, I did a program that was mostly agility ladder work, DB work, and lots of pushups/burpees. My aerobic capacity was great and I got very lean but I was certainly not as muscular, explosive or powerful as I could have been if I took that same amount of time and focused on strength training. The problem is at some point your body will adapt and you will stop making progress. Dumbbells, especially for any form of deadlifts, are hard to load effectively and you will quickly need either heavier dbs or a barbell to load these properly as your strength will go up quickly.

You could probably take CT’s look like a bodybuilder perform like an athlete program and substitute DB exercises using the same rep scheme and then supplement pullups/pushups but not sure how effective that would be because you will run into the same problem with needing heavier DB to progress at some point.

I would recommend you buy a weighted vest…you can get quite an upper body workout from just weighted pushups and weighted chins/pullups. If you have a back yard, sand bags, rocks, and other assorted heavy items might be option for loaded carries. Home gyms while convenient get expensive quick, if any gym becomes available I would use it. Good luck.

Thank you justme78 for your reaply. I reflected on this program but it seems to me that it will be difficult to grasp only with dumbbell.

CT I do not want to impose but is there any chance for your attention to this topic?


I know that this topic does not interest you, probably too much but if I can again ask for your help, at least in how to train the lower body to develop its power, sthreng and functionality only with dumbbell and bodyweight?