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New 4 Week Dumbbell Program For Beginners

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

Dumbbell Program for Beginners

If you are a beginner searching for an entry level program I have created a 4 week Dumbell Program For Beginners. Do you want a program that will work or one with bells, whistles, and an extremely attractive spokesperson with great genetics? If you want the the later go on instagram and they are a dime a dozen. You'll pay them money and be super excited to tell your friends and family about the "next big thing" in fitness. You'll start it and by the third week you'll be looking for the next shiny new thing to give your money to. Or you can start my program. It's not shiny and I'm not extremely attractive. You'll put your head down and do the work and it will be too boring to post on social media. People will ask you what your doing and you'll tell them your doing foundational exercises that have been working for 100 years. Once that 4 weeks is over you won't look like Chris Hemsworth but your are going to feel the difference and be ready for the next step. And the good news? It's free! The reason? It's painfully obvious that a workout plan is not the problem people have when they start a fitness journey (more on that in a minute). So lets just create a program that has tried and true exercises and put our heads down and work. KEEP IT SIMPLE WORKS!

Who is this program for?

This program is for beginners or someone who has been on the sidelines for a long time. If you have already been working out for 6 months this program is not for you. Once you get through the 4 weeks you'll be ready to evaluate and possibly take the next step. This is an easy to follow plan that is for anyone with a set of dumbbells at home or a membership at Planet Fitness. I do these same movements every week with my adjustable dumbells and bench in my shed outside and I've never stopped making progress!

Why Dumbbells?

Dumbbells and my bench
Dumbbells and my bench

Dumbbells are the logical choice for a couple of reasons. First, they are a great way for beginners to get started. When you grab a pair of dumbbells and do an exerice your not only going to activate the targeted muscle group but also muscles that will help stabalize and control the weights through out the lift. This is going to help your muscle growth as well as your cordination. When your a beginner activating and strenghtening these stabilization muscles is just as important as builiding the targeted muscle. It builds a great foundation for using different equipment and exerices down the road.

Dumbbells are Versatile. You can grab one set of dumbbells and perform enough exercises for a total body workout. You do not need tons of equipment and weights to reach your fitness goals. That is one of the big lies that the fitness industry pushes (more on that later)

Dumbbells are Affordable (if you want them to be). You can buy a set of Amazon Basics between 12-40 bucks depending on what poundage you need. I have a two kinds of dumbbells that I use in my daily workouts. First I use my Bowflex SelectTech 552's for the vast majority of lifts. They adjust from 5 pounds to 52 pounds in the matter of seconds and take up very little space in my shed gym. These will cost you over $400 but they are a great long term investment. I've had them for over a year and a half and they've held up well. The other set of dumbbells I use are my 80 pound Rockweights. I've reviewed them in a previous blog post. When I want to do a heavier lift they are an affordable alternative to traditional weights.

Have a membership at Planet Fitness? Dumbbells are readily available as opposed to machines and barbells with racks. Wating for someone to get off a machine or rack while they are playing on their phone is a huge time killer at a commercial gym. Grab your dumbbells go find a bench and get your workout in.

Dumbbell Curls
Dumbbell Curls

Program Overview

This is going to be quick and straight forward. You should be able to do the entire workout in roughly 30 minutes. Each workout has 3 working parts to it.

  1. Warmup- This is a little easier if you are at a gym or have a treadmill or exercise bike at home. If you have access to that equipment walk on the treadmill or ride the bike for 5 minutes at a conversational pace. You want your heart rate up but you shouldn't be out of breath. If you don't have access to those things you could walk outside or perform some calthenstetics (jumping jacks, air squats) too. After that I would do some stretching on the body parts your going to be working that day.

  2. Working Sets- Once you're warmed up you're on to the meat and potatoes of the workout. I want to stress that you should not be going to failure! The point of this 4 weeks is to activate your muscles and get better at form and technique. Your going to get stronger this month no matter what you do so lets take it slow and do it right. Each exericse should be peformed slowly and in control. If your form starts to get shakey please stop. 12-15 reps is the target we are shooting for most lifts. Because we are not going to failure and the weight is on the lighter side we should be able to rest 60 seconds and be ready to go again.

  3. Cool Down Stretch- We are done with our working sets and now it's time to stretch. Stretch the bodyparts that you worked that day one more time. The goal here is to start the resting/healing process so we can be stronger and ready to go for the next workout.

Cardio/Active Rest Day

Cardio on the Peloton
Cardio on the Peloton

We are lifting weights 4 days a week and I threw in 2 Cardio/Active Rest days. We all know what cardio is right? For 20 minutes you could walk around the neigborhood, get on the bike (I like my Peloton), or jog on the treadmill. Those are the traditional ways to get your heart beat up and burn some calories. Then there is active rest and that is exercise that is light but you're still moving. So for example you could do 20 minutes of yoga. Or you could go shoot some baskets out in the driveway. Both will get you moving but won't put a ton of stress on your muscles. I want you feeling strong on your next strenght day.

Why is it Free?

Go on any social media site and you'll find influencers pushing a program that they say will unlock your fitness potential. These snake oil salesman will tell you that the exercises they have selected are a special combination and you'll see results. This is bullshit and its what this industry loves to do. Sell you a "secret" but in reality, it's just like every other program. Don't spend money on workout programs! I put this program here for free and anybody can sign up and use it. I know the hardest part of any fitness journey isn't what exericse you should do for chest. It's actually being.......

Transformation Requires Conistency!

Transformation requires consistency!
Transformation requires consistency!

I said in the intro a workout program is not the biggest obstacle in your fitness journey. The fitness industry says your biggest problem is your not paying them for their secrets. Most of us don't fail because we're not doing a certain chest exercise or we're not taking aminio acids. We fail becasue we are not Consistent in our pursuit! I promise you Arnsold Schwarngger could create you a program but if you only show up once a week you're going to fail. Consitency is the solution to our fitness/healthy roadblocks. I weighed 331 pounds and I owned a Peloton and had a gym membership. I had protein powder in my cupboard and that scale wasn't budging. It doesn't matter what resources you have until you consistently put them to use. Are you willing to put in the work even when you're feeling tired after a long day of work and family? If the answer is no, great the only time you've wasted so far is reading 3/4 of this post. You can go do something else now. If the answer is yes, I promise change if you hit each workout and stay comitted. Get started!

Sign up now!

Go to the Program page and sign up here. It's free and I've made it painless and quick to sign up. If you have any quesitons or need help modifying any exercise please reach out and we can find a solution. Don't have a bench but you got some dumbbells? Shoot me a message and lets find a work around. I have pictures and descriptions of every exercise. When you complete a day, come back tommorow and tackle the next day.

What's Next?

Did you finish the 4 weeks? If so congratulations and I'm willing to bet you can feel the difference. If enough people complete it I'll put a phase 2, but for now here is what I recommend. Do the next 4 weeks with the same exercises but increase the difficulty. Instead of doing 12-15 reps I would recommend doing 10-12 and increase the weights. I still wouldn't go to failure but I would get closer. So instead of being a couple reps a way I would select a weight that would allow you to do 10-12 reps and you stop one rep short. This is going to challenge your muscles into growing!


Have a question about the program? Contact me and I'll try and help you stay on track!

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