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Daniel Mesa

Full Body Barbell and Dumbbell Workout For Gains

Full body barbell and dumbbell workout

Get ready for a powerful home workout using just dumbbells and barbells. You can build muscle and strength without needing a gym. This is a 3-day workout plan, perfect for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each session should take about one hour.

We didn’t include ab exercises in this plan. For your abs, do separate workouts with 2-3 exercises at least twice a week.

To make the most of this workout, consider pairing it with a bulking diet. That means consuming over 3500 calories daily, focusing on protein and complex carbs. Combining your diet and these exercises will unlock your full potential and help you achieve your muscle-building goals. 

Let’s get started!

Benefits Of A Barbell And Dumbbell Workout

Before we jump into the workout plan, we need to understand why combining barbells and dumbbells in your training routine can yield remarkable results. Here are three key benefits:

Versatility and Variety

You get to do many different exercises when you use barbells and dumbbells in your workouts. Barbells are great for exercises that work many muscles together, and dumbbells let you move your arms and legs in different ways. Doing both keeps your workouts interesting, so you don’t get bored, and it challenges your muscles in new ways, which helps them get stronger.

Balanced Muscle Development

Barbells let you lift heavy weights, which makes your muscles grow and get stronger all over. Dumbbells, because they can move in different directions, make the smaller, balancing muscles work hard. When you use both, it’s like making sure all your muscles get a good workout. This helps prevent one muscle from getting too strong while another stays weak, which could cause problems.

Targeting Weaknesses

Dumbbells are helpful for fixing muscle imbalances or weak spots. Since each arm or leg works on its own, you can make the weaker side catch up to the stronger one. This makes you more even and balanced, which is not only good for looks but also for staying healthy and injury-free.

Why Full Body?

fully body barbell and dumbbell workout

Full-body workouts are fantastic for everyone, no matter how fit you are, for some very good reasons:

Efficiency: They help you make the most of your gym time. Instead of focusing on just one part of your body, you get to exercise many muscles all at once. It’s like doing more in less time.

More Often: With full-body workouts, you can exercise each muscle group more often. This can make you get better results faster because your muscles don’t forget what to do.

Strong for Real Life: These workouts copy the moves we do every day, like lifting things or climbing stairs. So, not only do you get strong, but you also become better at doing regular stuff without getting tired.

No Left Behind: Full-body workouts don’t leave any muscle group behind. All your muscles get their fair share of exercise, so none gets too strong or too weak compared to the others. This keeps you balanced and healthy.

The Full Barbell And Dumbbell Workout

Here’s a structured full-body workout plan that combines the power of barbells and dumbbells. Perform each exercise with proper form and technique. For best results, aim to complete this routine three to four times per week, with a day of rest between sessions.

fully body dumbbell and barbell workout

Day 1: Upper Body

This day focuses on the upper part of your body. It’s like giving your arms, chest, and shoulders a good workout.

  • Bench Press (Barbell): Lie on a bench and push a heavy barbell up and down. This makes your chest and arms strong. Do it 4 times, and aim for 8 to 10 times each.
  • Bent Over Rows (Barbell): Bend forward slightly and pull a barbell toward your belly. This works your upper back and arms. Do it 4 times, and try for 8 to 10 times each.
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Dumbbell): Sit and push dumbbells over your head. This makes your shoulder muscles grow. Do it 3 times, and aim for 10 to 12 times each.
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Dumbbell): Hold dumbbells and curl them up to make your arm muscles bigger. Do it 3 times, and try for 10 to 12 times each.

Day 2: Lower Body

Now it’s time to focus on your legs and lower body. You’ll make your legs strong and balanced.

  • Squats (Barbell): You stand up and down with a barbell on your shoulders. This is great for your legs. Do it 4 times, and aim for 8 to 10 times each.
  • Romanian Deadlifts (Barbell): You bend forward with a barbell in your hands and stand up straight. This works your back and leg muscles. Do it 4 times, and try for 8 to 10 times each.
  • Lunges (Dumbbell): You step forward and backward, holding dumbbells. This makes your legs strong and steady. Do it 3 times, and aim for 10 to 12 times on each leg.
  • Calf Raises (Dumbbell): You stand on your toes with dumbbells in your hands. This makes your calf muscles grow strong. Do it 3 times, and try for 12 to 15 times each.

Day 3: Rest or Active Recovery

  • Take a day to rest or engage in light, low-impact activities like walking or stretching to promote recovery.

Day 4: Full Body

This day works your whole body, from head to toe. It’s a mix of exercises to make you strong all over.

  • Deadlifts (Barbell): You lift a heavy barbell from the ground. This is excellent for your back and legs. Do it 4 times, and aim for 6 to 8 times each.
  • Dumbbell Bench Press (Dumbbell): You lie on your back and push dumbbells up and down. This makes your chest and arms strong. Do it 4 times, and try for 8 to 10 times each.
  • Pull-Ups (Bar or Dumbbell Assist): You hang from a bar and pull your body up. This works your back and arms. Do it 3 times, and aim for 6 to 8 times each.
  • Planks (Bodyweight): You hold your body straight like a plank. It makes your core strong. Do it 3 times, and try to hold for 30 to 60 seconds each time.

Our Tips To Get The Most Out Of The Dumbbell And Barbell Workout

Getting the best results from your workouts isn’t just about lifting weights; it’s also about how you approach them. Here are five simple but important tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your dumbbell and barbell exercises:


Before diving into your workout, take 5-10 minutes to warm up your body. It’s like giving your muscles a gentle wake-up call. You can do light cardio exercises, like jogging in place or jumping jacks, to get your heart pumping. Don’t forget to do some stretches that move your body, like swinging your arms and legs gently. This helps prevent injuries and makes your muscles ready for action.

Proper Form

When you’re lifting weights, it’s not just about how heavy they are; it’s also about doing the exercises the right way. Keep an eye on your form, which means how you’re doing the movements. Using proper form prevents injuries and helps your muscles grow the way you want them to. If you’re not sure if you’re doing it right, ask a trainer or watch some videos to learn.

Gradually Make It Tougher

Your muscles need a challenge to grow, so as you get stronger, make the weights a bit heavier. This is called progressive overload. Start with weights you can lift easily, and then slowly add more weight as you get comfortable. It keeps your muscles working hard and getting stronger.

Rest and Let Muscles Recover

Sleep is essential for your muscles to recover and grow. So, make sure you get enough rest each night. Also, give your muscles time to recover between workout sessions. Overtraining, which means not letting your muscles rest enough, can lead to feeling tired all the time and even getting hurt.

Eat Right

What you eat matters too. Your body needs a mix of foods to stay healthy and help your muscles grow. Think of your meals like a team effort. You need protein for muscle repair, carbohydrates for energy, and healthy fats to keep everything running smoothly. Eating a variety of foods and staying hydrated is like giving your body the fuel it needs to perform at its best.

Final Thoughts

A full-body workout with barbells and dumbbells is an efficient and effective way to reach your fitness goals. These versatile tools provide variety in your routines, ensure balanced muscle growth, and allow you to address any weak spots. Always prioritize proper form, consistency, and give your body time to rest and recover. With dedication, you’re on the path to significant improvements in strength, muscle size, and overall fitness. So, keep up the great work on your fitness journey!


How many times a week should I perform this full-body workout?

Aim for three to four sessions per week, with a day of rest between workouts for optimal recovery and progress.

Can beginners follow this workout plan?

Yes, this plan is suitable for individuals of various fitness levels, including beginners. Start with lighter weights and focus on proper form before gradually increasing the intensity.

Should I consult a fitness trainer before starting this workout?

It’s advisable, especially if you’re new to weightlifting or have specific fitness goals. A trainer can provide guidance on proper form, help tailor the routine to your needs, and ensure safety.

How long should I rest between sets during the workout?

Rest periods can vary, but aim for 60-90 seconds between sets for most exercises. However, you may require slightly longer rest intervals for heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts.

Can I substitute barbells and dumbbells with other equipment if I can’t access them?

While barbells and dumbbells are highly effective, you can substitute them with resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, or other available equipment to some extent. However, consult a fitness professional for suitable alternatives based on your circumstances.


  1. Saeterbakken, Atle & Tillaar, Roland & Fimland, Marius. (2011). A comparison of muscle activity and 1-RM strength of three chest-press exercises with different stability requirements. Journal of sports sciences. 29. 533-8. 10.1080/02640414.2010.543916.