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Home Dumbbell Weight Training Program

Training With Dumbbells at Home


Updated May 27, 2014

Lateral raise

Lateral Raise

Photo: (c) Paul Rogers / Cooloola Fitness

Dumbbells provide excellent variety for your weight training programs. If you can't afford an ongoing gym subscription, "dumbbells at home" is a good alternative. Check out this home weight training program with dumbbells.

Equipment Required - Dumbbells

Two sets of dumbbells. You don't need much equipment to commence a full dumbbell program at home. At a minimum, all you need is two sets of dumbbells. Use the heavier set for exercises in which you can manage more weight -- squats and lunges for example; and one set for exercises that work best with comparatively lighter weights -- raises, rows, curls and similar joint-taxing exercises. For example, you might do shoulder squats with 20 pounds (9kgs) and lateral raises with 12 pounds (5.5 kgs).

Try to figure out what weights you need to start with if you use this minimalist approach. Try a friend's weights, pay for a gym session or ask a personal trainer to help you.

You can do the complete program below with two sets of dumbbells, even if a little compromise is required with weight selection. The main problem with this approach is that as you get stronger and fitter, you will probably need to move up to heavier dumbbells.

Dumbbell racks and sets. If you can afford to spend more, you can buy a full rack of dumbbells or a set of adjustable dumbbells. Dumbbell prices vary considerably with various manufacturers and designs.

I prefer a small rack, however, adjustable dumbbells like Bowflex, Stamina and Bayou have the advantage of saving space in small rooms, basements and garages.

Equipment Required - Adjustable Training Bench

. You don't have to use a bench with an adjustable back rest, but they sure are useful. You can do all sorts of seated dumbbell exercises like presses, rows, raises, curls and extensions plus dips and crunches.

That's pretty much it: Dumbbells and a bench.

Here's a program I recommend for home. All exercises are 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

  1. Warm up
  2. Shoulder squats
  3. Bent-over rows
  4. Incline or bench press. (You can do this flat on the floor if you don't have a bench.)
  5. Arm curls
  6. Lunges
  7. Triceps extensions
  8. Crunches. (You can do weighted variations on the bench or the floor.)
  9. Lateral raises
  10. Overhead press
  11. Cool down

Read up on weight training fundamentals if you need more information before starting this program.

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