Welcome to Week One of Your New Three-Day Full-Body Dumbbell Plan
Welcome to the Men’s Health Dumbbell Club, your new weekly plan for a fitter, stronger body, using just two dumbbells.
You can read a primer of what to expect, with some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of our weekly programme here. If not, get stuck straight into this week’s muscle building, fitness boosting workouts.
This week's three-day plan takes a full body AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) approach to each session, ensuring that key movement patterns and muscle groups, including your chest, shoulders, back, quads and hamstrings are hit across the course of the week. Each workout delivers a muscle-building, fitness-boosting, calorie-burning hit and leaves you with a trackable high score, which you can aim to beat in future sessions.
Day One (W1/D1)
After a thorough warm-up, grab your dumbbells, set a countdown timer for 30 minutes and work your way through as many high-quality rounds of the following circuit as possible. Rest as necessary to keep your form on point, but push yourself hard if you want to see results.
At the end of each round, make a note of how many reps you performed for each movement, creating a running tally for the entire workout.
Keep this safe, we’ll be referring back to your ‘score’ in the coming weeks.
1. Dumbbell Floor (or bench) Press x 10-15 reps
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Press the weights above you, locking out your elbows (A). Lower them slowly until your upper arms are resting on the floor (B), close to your body, pause here before explosively pressing back up. If you have a bench, use it.
2. Bent-over Row x 10- 15 reps
After your final floor press, stand tall with your dumbbells at your sides. Hinge forward until your torso is almost parallel to the ground and allow the dumbbells to hang just below your knees (A). Maintaining a flat back, row both dumbbells towards your hips (B), squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower under control to the start before repeating.
3. Front Squat x 15-20 reps
Clean your dumbbells onto the front of your shoulders (A). From here, drop into a front squat, by pushing your hips back and bending at the knees until your thighs pass parallel to the ground (B), before driving back up explosively. Keep those dumbbells secured high, with a strong, upright torso throughout.
4. Split Squat Jump x 20 reps (total)
Step one foot backward and sink into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, jumping into the air and switching legs mid jump (B) to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each rep. Keep this movement as fast paced as possible, focussing on maximising the height of each jump.
Day Two (W1/D2)
As with day one, perform a thorough warm-up and work your way through as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes, recording your efforts for each movement.
1. Push Press x 8-12 reps
Clean your dumbbells onto your shoulders, palms facing in. Take a breath and create tension in your core. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your dumbbells overhead. Lower with a controlled tempo to your shoulders and repeat. If your weights feel a little too light, don’t use any drive from the legs and focus on a strict press from the shoulders.
2. High Pull x 8-12 reps
Stand tall with your dumbbells at your waist, in front of your body. (A) Keeping your core tight, hinge forward slightly before explosively standing back upright and pulling the dumbbells up towards your chin, driving your elbows up and back (B). Slowly lower back down to your waist under complete control. Avoid simply ‘dropping’ your dumbbells back to your waist to build more muscle and avoid injury. If your dumbbells feel light, avoid the help from your hips and simply stand tall and pull the weights up to your chin.
3. Dumbbell Deadlift x 10-15 reps
With your dumbbells on the floor just outside of your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, pushing the ground away with your feet, keeping your chest up and your black flat throughout (B). Lower them back to the ground in a hinging motion and repeat. Avoid excessive rounding in your lower back, keeping your form tight throughout. Don’t rush, in a race to build muscle, slower and steady wins.
4. Jump Squats x 20
Lean slightly forward as you squat (A), then explode up, jumping as high as you can (B). Cushion your landing with bent legs, then sink immediately back into another squat and repeat. Aim for the maximum possible height you can achieve on each and every rep, even if that means pausing for a quick breath. We’re looking to produce power here, not simply go through the motions.
Day Three (W1/D3)
As with day one and two, perform a thorough warm-up and work your way through as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes, recording your efforts for each movement.
1. Press-up on Dumbbells x 10
After your final press drop your bells and assume a long-arm plank position. With your core tight and hands below your shoulders stacked on top of your dumbbells (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively.
2. Renegade Row x 10 (each side/ 20 total)
15 press-ups in the book, keep your hands on your bells and midline tight (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control. Repeat on your left side (each row equals one rep).
3. Tempo Goblet Squats x 10
Hold a single dumbbell close to your chest (A). Sink your hips back and slowly over a count of four seconds descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up explosively. Repeat. Pay attention to that tempo, it matters.
4. Burpee Over ‘bells x 10
With both dumbbells on the floor next to you, step back and hit the deck into a press-up position. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor (A). Stand back up and jump powerfully over the dumbbells (B) – driving through your hips when you take off. Land and immediately drop to the floor and repeat. The dumbbells keep you accountable for the height of each jump.
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