How to Get Buff with Dumbbells

Most people often assume that for anyone to build mass, they only have to lift heavy weights. Some fitness enthusiasts even go as far as performing intense workouts every day to get results. In truth, those are not your only options. With a set of adjustable dumbbells, you can easily build lean muscles without straining your body in the process.

How to Get Buff With Dumbbells

You can find dumbbells in practically any gym across the country. Since they’re smaller than other workout equipment, you can also use them at home. This makes them easily accessible to anyone who wants to build muscle. However, for you to get buff with dumbbells, you need:

  • A proper workout plan
  • The right dumbbells
  • A diet plan
Man holding dumbbells with each hand

The Right Workout Plan

Getting buff means having a workout plan that includes muscle building workouts. A workout plan allows you to note down your goals, create a suitable schedule, have a workout duration, and select exercises to perform on a regularly. With a workout plan, you can also split your workouts depending on the muscles it targets.

This also enables you to target different muscle groups rather than only working on one muscle group

The Right Dumbbells

Dumbbells come in different sizes and shapes. With such different factors, it can hard to know which are the right dumbbells to build muscle. Make sure you have both light and heavy dumbbells, as they are both important in muscle building. 

Heavy dumbbells are great for exercises like deadlifts or chest presses. On the other hand, lighter weights are perfect for exercises like dumbbell rows or squats.

The Right Diet Plan

Your body requires food to operate. The same applies to building lean muscles. The right diet plan allows you to create meal plans that calculate your calorie and protein intake. Make sure to also include smoothies, as they will help your body cope with the different exercises.

Man doing squats while holding dumbbells with each hand

What Dumbbell Weight Should I Use to Build Muscle?

When it comes to building muscle, you need to determine the dumbbell weights you should use by the following factors:

  • Your exercise
  • Your fitness level
  • Your body goals

Your Exercises

For you to get buff with dumbbells, you need to exercise. Each workout you incorporate will require different dumbbell weights. For instance, workouts like shoulder press, bench press, or deadlift will require heavy dumbbell weights, as they help improve the intensity of your training. Light to moderate dumbbell weights are perfect for exercises like squats and wrist rotations among others.

Your Fitness Level

If you have no experience using dumbbells, it’s never a good idea to start heavy. Starting heavy might cause injury or strain to your body. Experts recommend using light dumbbells first, as this will help you master the proper form for each workout. You can then slowly add weight, increasing one pound at a time.

For experts, you can workout with either heavy or light dumbbells, as long as it feels just right to use.

Your Body Goals

There are different reasons why people want to build lean muscles. For some, it’s the desire to shape their muscles; for others, it’s the desire to increase their strength. Your body goals will determine the dumbbell weight you choose when working out.

Woman doing a trap workout with dumbbells

If you want to increase your strength, then the heavy dumbbells are an excellent choice. If you want to shape your muscles, the light to moderate dumbbells are what you should use.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s a 20-kilogram dumbbell or a 5-pound dumbbell, they will all help you build muscle.

Can You Get Muscular by Using Dumbbells?

You no longer have to lift heavy weights or work out every day to get muscular. Using dumbbells can certainly help you get buff. You can use a combination of heavy and light dumbbells to build lean muscles. 

Does Lifting Heavier Dumbbells Make You Bigger?

For muscles to grow, they have to respond to strenuous activities. One of the best ways to get your muscles active is by lifting heavy dumbbells. However, this is not the only factor that makes you bigger. Your diet and workout plan play a crucial role in helping your muscles grow.

Can You Work Out with Dumbbells Every Day?

Working out with dumbbells every day is only possible if you target different groups of muscles in every workout. Adjusting the target muscle groups allows the other muscles to rest. So if you worked on your chest muscles on Monday, you can choose to target the leg muscles the next day.

According to a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should perform at least two days of weight training every week for 30 minutes. Performing weight training every day is possible, but doing so doesn’t give your muscles enough time to heal.


Getting buff with dumbbells requires dedication, perseverance, and time. And while it’s not something that happens in an instant, it is entirely possible. Once you combine other necessary bodybuilding aspects, it does become easy to achieve your goal.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.