T Nation

Size and Strength Using Dumbbells

Hi,
I’m looking to increase my size and strength as much as possible over the next 4 months. I’m new to weight lifting and I have access to dumbbells, weighted vest, flat bench and a pullup and dip tower.

I’ve been using my workout below for 2 weeks and I would like some advice on anything to add/remove/change to the workout.

Week 1. 5 sets x 5 reps
Monday
A1 dumbbell squat (quads)
A2 double dumbbell swings (hamstrings)
B1 1 arm bench press (horizontal push)
B2 1 arm bend over row (horizontal pull)

Wednesday
A1 dumbbell lunges (quads)
A2 1 arm dumbbell swings (hamstrings)
B1 1 arm push press (vertical push)
B2 weighted pullups (vertical pull)

Friday
A1 dumbbell stepups (quads)
A2 RDL (hamstrings)
B1 weighted pushups (horizontal push)
B2 bend over row (horizontal pull)

Week 2. 4 sets x 8 reps
Monday
A1 dumbbell squat (quads)
A2 double dumbbell swings (hamstrings)
B1 weighted dips (vertical push)
B2 weighted chinups (vertical pull)

Wednesday
A1 dumbbell lunges (quads)
A2 1 arm dumbbell swings (hamstrings)
B1 1 arm bench press (horizontal push)
B2 1 arm bend over row (horizontal pull)

Friday
A1 dumbbell stepups (quads)
A2 RDL (hamstrings)
B1 weighted dips (vertical push)
B2 pullups (vertical pull)

Should I change each workout to
a quad exercise
a hamstring exercise
a vertical push exercise
a vertical pull exercise
a horizontal push exercise
a horizontal pull exercise

Thanks.

No worries, you have more than enough equipment to make great gains, you just need to get a bit more creative.

For lower body you can do the following exercises to up the intensity a bit:
-pistols w/weight vest
-single leg deadlifts with DBs
-alternating jump lunges
-single leg DB snatch (1 or 2 DBs)
-Sprints, mainly out to 30-50M

For the upper body, it all depends on how heavy those DBs go. I’m going to assume they’re light, so here’s the exercises I’d stick to:
-weighted pull ups (grip varies)
-sternum chin ups
-weighted dips
-weighted push ups (position varies)

If it were me, I’d do a routine something like this:

Monday:
Pistols, 3-4 sets x 6-10 reps
SL DLs, 3-4 sets x 6-10 reps
Pull Ups, 3-4 sets x 6-10 reps
Dips, 3-4 sets x 6-10 reps

Wednesday:
Alternating Lunge Jumps, 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps
SL DB Snatches, 3-4 sets of 3-6 reps
Sternum Chin Ups, 2-3 sets of near failure
Elbows Tucked Push Ups, 3-4 sets x 8-12 reps

Friday:
Sprints, 5-10 sets of 30M
Walking Lunges, 3-4 sets x 8-12 reps
Wide Grip Chin Ups, 3-4 sets of near failure
Elbows Flared Push Ups 3-4 sets x 6-10 reps

I don’t know exactly what you have to work with, but a routine similar to this should work if you’re a beginner. How big are you and how heavy of DBs do you have?

Hi,
Thanks for the reply.
I’m 5 foot 8 inches and I weigh 75kg, I have a bit of a bear belly (I’ve cleaned up my diet and stopped drinking).

I have 4 dumbbell handles and weight plates ranging from 0.5kg to 15kg, the total weight of the weight plates is around 120kg.

Okay, if that’s the case then you have plenty of weight to use for upper body exercises. If you want, you can substitute DB lifts for some of the upper body lifts I recommended. Good luck.