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The Best Dumbbell exercises and workouts for fat-loss and conditioning.


One thing I notice pretty often when I visit friends or new acquaintances is that many of them have some type of exercise equipment in their homes. Very often it’s an exercise bike, an elliptical, or sometimes if they’re lucky, a set of dumbbells.

Sadly, most of the time it’s all unused – lying in a corner somewhere, gathering dust.

 While the use of some of the cardio equipment is kinda self-explanatory (if you’re not sure on how you should be doing cardio to burn maximum fat, read THIS ARTICLE), the use of the dumbbells is often a little sketchy.

When I ask people what they do with them, what sort of dumbbell exercises and workouts they know of, they’ll often show me a couple of curls or maybe a kick-back, or perhaps if they know a little more, a dumbbell row or something along those lines.

Whilst those are good exercises for building specific muscles, and many bodybuilders do them all the time, they are not the most effective exercises for your average guy or gal looking to be lean, healthy and in all-round good shape.

What they need, are exercises that work multiple muscle groups and elicit a large metabolic response.

So today, I am going to show you some of the most effective dumbbell exercises you can do.  There are many awesome dumbbell exercises out there, but these 4 are a good place to start. They work many muscles and have the ability to work your body really hard – thereby eliciting a good metabolic conditioning response.

As a caveat though – I need to point out, that for dumbbell exercises to be effective – they still need to be taxing and challenge you.

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In order for them to do that, your dumbbells need to have some decent weight behind them, AT least 10-20 lbs (preferably more,) depending on your level.

Those tiny little pink, plastic-coated 1 – 2lb dumbbells we’ve all seen, are basically useless unless they are combined with some sort of calisthenics routine, but even then, it’s the calisthenics that are providing 99% of the benefits anyway.

So assuming you have sufficiently heavy dumbbells at home, here are 4 compound dumbbell exercises you can do.  

PS : you can still do this dumbbell workout at the gym too (at least there you’ll have the right dumbbells and all the weight you need).

They are not that difficult to master, and when combined in a circuit-type workout, they can deliver a pretty intense workout.

This is not the type of workout that will make you big – circuit type workouts are much better for metabolic conditioning and fat burning than they are for building muscle (so ladies  – this workout is perfect for you – and also the guys looking to get ripped.)

The Dumbbell exercises:

The workout makes use of 4 compound (using multiple joints) dumbbell exercises. They are:

1. Dumbell swing

  2. Snatch or Clean and Press

  3. Thruster

  4. Renegade Man-makers

In the video below, I explain these exercises in detail and walk you through how to perform each one, so don’t worry if you have no idea what I’m talking about or what they are…

The first part of the video (up to about 10 min 50) is me explaining the exercises, so if you already know how to do them, skip to that point if you just want to get to the workout.

Once you are familiar with the exercises and know how to do them, proceed to the workout.

The dumbbell workout:

1.   Dumbbell swing (50-100 reps)

2.   Snatch or Clean and Press (10-20 reps per arm)

3.   Thrusters (30 reps)

4.   Man Makers (20 Total)

5.   Push ups (20 Reps)

As mentioned, the workout is done in a circuit fashion. If you cannot perform the prescribed reps in one go, break them up, and perform them in multiple sets until you get to the total. Only move to the next exercise once you have got to the prescribed number of reps.

If you’re looking for a killer training program and want to burn fat, build muscle, get strong and look great, go here

Perform each exercise, for the required number of reps and then move to the next exercise, going through each one until you have finished the circuit.

If you’re a beginner, do it just once and try to increase it by 1 round each week until you’re able to do it for 3-4 rounds.

If you’re more advanced and don’t find one round too challenging, you can repeat it several times. 

If the weight you’re using is not enough for the specified reps to be challenging, (and you’re unable to increase it) then do that exercise for 1 minute, completing as many reps as possible (without getting sloppy) before moving immediately to the next exercise. Doing it that way will still give you a good metabolic conditioning workout too.

If you have any questions, complaints, suggestions, or would like some other exercise you could substitute in, then just leave a comment below..

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Article by: Bryan Hamann.

Bryan is a personal trainer, certified bootcamp instructor, Ironman Triathlete and author of THE PRISON WORKOUT.

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