It can sometimes feel like the fitness industry is in a constant rush to find the next big thing – the new diet, workout class or item of training kit that will get amazing results. In the process, everyone ends up overlooking tried-and-tested tools that do an outstanding job. Take the dumbbell, for example. The chances are you already own a pair that are gathering dust in a cupboard or under a bed. They’re not innovative and they don’t use amazing technology – but you know what? They work. So go dust them down and do this four-week plan. The kit may not be new, but the physique you’ll have after 28 days certainly will be.

How To Do The Plan

Do the following two workouts once a week (on Monday, and Friday) for four weeks, following the set, rep and rest counts indicated. Try to increase the weight you use each week so that you’re completing more work as you progress.

Workout 1: Monday

Dumbbell Swing

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Send the dumbbell between your legs by hingeing at the hips, then push your glutes forwards powerfully so you use hip drive to raise the dumbbell to shoulder height. Reverse the movement to the start and go straight into the next rep.

2. Overhead Squat

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Start with both weights held directly overhead, then simultaneously bend at the hips and knees to lower into a squat, without letting the weights come forwards.

3. Side Lunge

Sets: 3 Reps of 8 each side; Rest 60 seconds

Start with a dumbbell in each hand, then take a big step to one side and bend your leading knee, keeping your foot pointing forwards and your knee in line with your toes. Push off your leading foot to return to the start, then take a big step the other way to repeat the move. Alternate sides with each rep.

4. Press-up

Sets: 3 Reps of 8; Rest 60 seconds

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, perform a press-up then at the top, row one dumbbell up to your side. Lower the weight, then row the other dumbbell up to complete one rep.

5. Leg Raise

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell in one hand between your legs with your knees bent. Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles to raise the weight overhead. Once your body is straight from head to toe, drop into a half squat to “catch” the weight overhead, then stand up straight.

Workout 2: Wednesday

Like the first workout of the week, this session focuses on functional movements. And you can’t get more functional than a power snatch, which involves shifting a weight from a low position to above your head in one explosive move. The next move is the jump squat, which is a safe way of improving power just as you start to fatigue in the workout. The two abs moves at the end of the session are among the most effective exercises you can do in your quest to develop a rock-hard six-pack.

1. Power Snatch

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell between your feet with your heels raised slightly off the ground. Keeping your legs straight, raise them until they are vertical, then lower slowly under control without letting your heels touch the floor.

2. Squat Press (or Thruster)

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Start with the dumbbells at shoulder level and lower into a squat, then stand up and press the weights directly overhead. Lower the weights and return to the start position.

3. Jump Squat

Sets: 3 Reps of 6; Rest 60 seconds

Start with the dumbbells by your sides and lower into a half squat. Jump straight up off the ground, land softly and go straight into the next rep.

4. Windmill

Sets: 2 Reps of 10 each side; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell overhead, then bend at the waist by guiding one hand down your leg. Make sure you keep looking at the weight throughout the move.

5. Roll-out

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Kneel with the dumbbells below your shoulders. Roll the weights forwards as far as you can, using your abs to control the movement, then return to the start.

Written by Men’s Fitness for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Coach

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