18 Minute Super Effective Upper Body Home Dumbbell Workout

When it comes to adding serious strength, size and power, athletes & bodybuilders almost exclusively work with free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells. Within this elite circle, the use of machines never really gained a lot of popularity, mainly because free weight exercises feel a LOT more challenging due to the additional balance & concentration they require.

Instinctively, these bodybuilders & athletes know that results seem to come faster by using free weights. Within free weights, dumbbell workouts are heavily favored for symmetrical/even development of both sides of the body and to add an additional stabilizing challenge that even barbells can't provide.

The American University Athletic Department and PE Research has shown that all dumbbell workouts work extremely fast in producing strength and muscle gains with relatively short workouts (between 12-30 minutes). In only 6 weeks, some participants had an outstanding 110% increase in strength, such as the 210lb male whose seated incline press went from 95lbs to a whopping 205lbs!

Three subjects actually gained almost 30% in muscle volume when measuring the upper arms, in basically 6 weeks of training time. It seems that the upper body responds extremely well to dumbell training in terms of muscle and strength increases.

18 Minute Super Effective Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

With an adjustable bench and a pair of dumbells, there are well over a 100+ functional exercises that can be performed...working every major muscle group throughout the body! According to the results of the study quoted above, a short workout of less than 20 minutes proved adequate in boosting size and strength.

Monday And Thursday


    Dumbbell Bench Press: 2 x 8-10
    Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 x 10-12
    One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 2-3 x 8-10
    Front Raises: 1-2 x 8-10
    Hammer Curls: 2 x 8-12
    Lateral Raises: 1-2 x 8-12
    Tricep Extensions or Kickbacks: 2 x 8-12

Perform each set to fatigue, where proper form is no longer possible. Keep rest times to less than 90 seconds between sets.


Perform the same workout as above, but choose heavier weights so your repetition ranges are between 6-8. You may need to rest up to 120 seconds between sets due to the heavier loads. On the other days of the week, don't forget to do some lower body work and cardio if your goal is maximize fat loss.