Packed Gym? Do This Tri-Set Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

Imagine this scenario: You are all set for your Monday workout, eagerly anticipating it since the weekend.  The pre-workout went down smoothly, and you’re bursting with energy. You step into the gym and climb the stairs, and your jaw drops.

The gym is packed, almost all the equipment is occupied, and your grand workout plans have been shattered. What do you do now? Mike Tyson said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. When circumstances punch you in the mouth, and your planned workout isn’t happening, this one piece of equipment, one workout, will stop you from walking away in disappointment.

If you are creative and willing to think outside the box, you might find this challenge invigorating.

Let’s get to it.

Triset Full-Body Dumbbell Workout Guide

There are various ways to structure one piece of equipment workouts: supersets, trisets, quad Sets, circuits, and complexes, to name a few. With this full-body workout, I’ll go with trisets (three exercises back to back) as they provide a nice mix of efficiency, fat loss, and hypertrophy benefits.

But the way you set it up is all about time and preference.

One-piece workouts work best with dumbbells, kettlebells, suspension trainers, and resistance bands, which you can take into your space and get after it. In theory, cable machines and barbells work but hogging that equipment and space doesn’t always work.

Most rep ranges work, but I prefer the higher-end ranges, anywhere between 8 and 16, because the weight you’re most likely dealing with is sub-maximal for your lower body. The sets performed are a matter of time and preference, with the sweet spot between two and four. Okay, let’s dive into a dumbbell full-body workout example.

As the weight is most likely sub-maximal, employing intensity techniques like tempo and pause will increase the muscle’s time under tension. When you usually do barbell squats, deadlifts, etc., finding ways to increase intensity ensures you’ll get a training effect.

Because you’ll be using one dumbbell and doing plenty of unilateral exercises, you’ll keep the intensity high, strengthen imbalances, and give your core all it can handle.

Srdjan Randjelovic

Triset Full-Body Dumbbell Workout For a Crowded Gym

Perform each triset three to four times, resting little between exercises and 90 seconds to two minutes after each triset. If you can access heavier dumbbells, start on the heavy side because you can always go down in weight if necessary.

1A. Unilateral Pause Front Squat: a 3-second pause at the bottom and 8 reps on both sides.

1B. Triple Floor Press 8-12 reps

1C. Suitcase Carry 40-60 steps on both sides.

2A. Alternating Goblet Cossack Squat  10 to 12 reps on both sides.

2B. Unilateral Push Press 6 to 8 reps on each side.

2C. Split Stance Wall Row: Pause for 3 seconds at the hip, 10 to 16 reps per side.

Halfpoint / Shutterstock

Create Your Own Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

If you don’t like being told what to do and have some lifting knowledge, use the following template to create your dumbbell full-body workout.

1A. Squat Variation using tempo and pauses (Goblet, Sumo, Front Squat)

1B. Unilateral Upper Body Press Variation ( Bench, Floor, and Shoulder Press)

1C. Carry, Core, Or Dumbbell Isolation Variation

2A. Unilateral Lower Body Variation (Lunges, step-ups, deadlifts, etc.)

2B. Unilateral Upper Body Press Variation (If you did horizontal, do a vertical press here)

2C. Unilateral Upper Body Row Variation using tempo and pauses.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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