101 Best Workouts Of All Time is the ultimate answer to the question "What workout should I do?" No matter what equipment you have available, from a fully-stocked supergym to a pair of mismatched dumbbells in your garage, or nothing but your body weight alone, you can build muscle, lose fat, and sculpt the physique you've always wanted.

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Whether you’re visiting relatives or in a hotel with an underwhelming “fitness center,” there may come a time when all you have access to is a measly pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Not a problem, now that you have this routine.

HOW IT WORKS
In this situation, the load you have will be more appropriate for some exercises than others. To see that you get the most out of the workout we prescribe here, whatever the poundage you have to work with, you’ll need to adjust the speed of your reps. A pair of 25-pound dumbbells, for example, probably won’t be challenging on exercises such as the stepup. In this case, perform your reps more slowly to test your endurance and build muscle control. On other exercises, like the bentover lateral raise, 25 pounds may be just right or a bit heavy, so perform your reps explosively. If you should happen to have two unevenly weighted dumbbells, such as a 25-pounder and a 15-pounder, don’t be discouraged. Simply switch the weights in your hands each time you repeat the circuit. Asymmetrical loads force your core to stabilize you even more on each exercise.

DIRECTIONS
Perform the exercises as a circuit, completing one set of each in turn without rest. After the last exercise, rest two minutes and then repeat. Continue for 20 minutes. You can repeat the workout up to four times per week.

THE WORKOUT >>> [PAGE 2]

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Dumbbell training for muscle growth

THE WORKOUT
OPTION A

1. SIDE PLANK WITH LATERAL RAISE
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on your left side resting your left forearm on the floor for support. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand. Raise your hips up so that your body forms a straight line and brace your abs—your weight should be on your left forearm and the edge of your left foot. From this position, raise the weight in your right hand until your arm is parallel to the floor. If the dumbbell or kettlebell you have is too heavy to perform a lateral raise with in this position, you can use a weight plate from the dumbbell (if it’s the plate-loaded kind), or simply skip the lateral raise and use the weight to resist your side plank.

2. SINGLE LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on the opposite leg. Bend your hips back and lower your torso until you feel your lower back is about to lose its arch. Squeeze your glutes and extend your hips to come up.

3. DUMBBELL PUSHUP WITH ROW
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Get into pushup position with a dumbbell in each hand. Perform a pushup and then, in the up position, shift your weight to your right side and row the left-hand dumbbell to your side. Perform another pushup, shift your weight to the left, and row with the right hand.

4. STEPUP
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Stand behind a bench or other elevated surface that will put your thigh at parallel to the floor when you place your foot onto it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench but leave your trailing leg hanging off.

5. BENTOVER LATERAL RAISE
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 Rest: 0 sec.
Hold the dumbbells and stand with feet shoulder width. Bend your hips back and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to hang. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out to the sides until they’re parallel to the floor. 

6. LUNGE WITH OVERHEAD PRESS
Sets: As many as possible Reps: 10–12 (each side) Rest: 120 sec.
Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level and step forward into a lunge, lowering your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Push off your front foot to come back to the starting position and then press the weights overhead.

OPTION B >>> [PAGE 3]

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Dumbbell training for muscle growth

OPTION B

A hotel or home gym outfitted with just a small dumbbell rack can easily become a torture chamber with a little creativity. High reps, circuits, and supersets (two exercises done back to back with no rest) can make even the lightest weights feel heavy after a while and make the workout double as a cardio session.

HOW IT WORKS
The biggest obstacle you’re likely to face with nothing but dumbbells at your disposal is a lack of weight to make your legs work hard. This workout’s fast pace will help to offset that, and so will working one leg at a time. Be prepared to switch to lighter dumbbells on subsequent circuits when the fatigue really kicks in. If you have only one pair of dumbbells, ignore the rep ranges on everything but the Bulgarian split squat and stepup, and go for as many reps as possible each set.

DIRECTIONS
Perform exercises 1A through 1C as a circuit. So, you’ll do one set of the Bulgarian split squat, one set of stepups, and then one set of the dumbbell squat before resting for two minutes. Repeat until all the prescribed sets are complete. Perform the remaining paired exercises (2A and 2B, 3A and 3B) as supersets. That means you’ll do a set of A and then a set of B before resting, and repeat until all sets are completed for the pair. The last exercise, the pushup, is done as conventional straight sets.

OPTION B: THE WORKOUT >>> [PAGE 4] 

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1A. BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Sets: 2–3 Reps: 15–20 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Stand lunge-length in front of a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of your left foot on the bench behind you. Lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

1B. STEPUP
Sets: 2–3 Reps: 15–20 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Stand behind a bench or other elevated surface that will put your thigh at parallel to the floor when you place your foot onto it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench but leave your trailing leg hanging off.

1C. DUMBBELL SQUAT
Sets: 2–3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 120 sec.
Hold dumbbells at shoulder level and stand with your feet shoulder width. Sit back with your hips and lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.

2A ELBOW-OUT DUMBBELL ROW
Sets: 2–3 Reps: 15–20 Rest: 0 sec.
Keeping your lower back arched, bend your hips back until your torso is parallel to the floor. Turn your palms to face your legs, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and row the dumbbells—raising your arms out 90 degrees from your torso.

2B. DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
Sets: 2–3 Reps: 15–20 Rest: 90 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with palms facing in front of you. Brace your abs and press the weights overhead.

3A. ONE-ARM, ELBOW-IN DUMBBELL ROW
Sets: 2–3 Reps:15–20 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Perform a row as directed previously, but use one arm at a time and draw your elbow straight back so you row the weight to your side with palm facing in.

3B. ONE-ARM, ELBOW-IN DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
Sets: 2–3 Reps: 15–20 (each side) Rest: 90 sec.
Perform an overhead press as directed previously, but use one arm at a time and turn your palm to face in.

4. PUSHUP
Sets: 2–3 Reps: as many as possible Rest: 60 sec.
Place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. Keeping your abs braced and your body in a straight line, squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower your body until your chest is an inch above the floor.

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Men's Fitness training director Sean Hyson, C.S.C.S., assembled a team of the best trainers in the world to create boredom-beating, plateau-busting routines that cover any amount of time you have to exercise and whatever tools you have available to do it. Programs cover every body part, every implement (barbells, dumbbells, bands, etc.), and cardio. There's a nutrition plan, too.

Pick up what Arnold Schwarzenegger called "a fantastic collection of workouts" at 101bestworkouts.com.