How to Use Dumbbells for Men

Dumbbells have become a versatile workout option for fitness enthusiasts across the world. They are affordable, versatile, and you can either use them in a gym or at home. However, what makes them ideal in the fitness world is their effectiveness as far as results are concerned.  

With dumbbells, you can achieve your fitness target thanks to the availability of different workouts. You can target and work on specific muscles as opposed to subjecting your whole body to a routine. In this article, we’ll go over how to use dumbbells for men in order to achieve the results you want.

How to Use Dumbbells for Men

When learning how to use dumbbells for men, it’s important to learn about the average dumbbell size for men, how often to work out with dumbbells and the various dumbbell exercises for men.

Man in a plank position while holding dumbbells with each hand

What Size Dumbbells Should Men Use?

The average weight for a dumbbell should be between eight to ten pounds. Starting with light dumbbells helps you learn simple yet essential workout techniques. Once you start your fitness journey with these simple but vital techniques, it becomes easier to add more weight without subjecting your body to unbearable pressure.

The golden rule when starting up is to do at least 15 reps on each session. The lighter the weights, the more the reps your muscles can handle. After some sessions, you can gradually move to bigger dumbbells.

How Often Should Men Workout With Dumbbells?

How often you workout with dumbbells depends on your fitness goals and fitness levels.

What Are Your Fitness Goals?

We all have different fitness goals. For some, it is to lose weight; for others, staying active is enough. Whatever your goal may be, having fitness goals enables you to prioritize what you need to do. Your goals help you focus on the bigger picture and remain grounded with your fitness routine.

It also allows you to develop a nutrition plan that suits your goals. Your fitness goals also dictate how often you work out with different equipment, specifically dumbbells. If your goal is to build lean muscles, experts recommend working out with dumbbells twice or thrice a week.

If your goal is to strengthen different muscles, you can work out with dumbbells at least once in two days. However, make sure that each dumbbell exercise targets a different muscle group. The primary reason why you should concentrate on different muscle groups is that each muscle group needs time to heal.

What’s Your Fitness Level? 

Five physical components determine your fitness level: muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, and body composition. Each of these components affects how you perform your day-to-day activities. They also dictate your body’s response to dumbbell exercises.

For instance, if your muscular strength — ability to lift heavy objects —is weak; then, you might not be able to work out with dumbbells for longer durations. If your muscular endurance allows you to lift objects for an extended period, this signifies that you can work out with dumbbells for a longer time without getting tired.

Man lifting a dumbbell with one hand while holding another one to his side

Once you know your fitness level and write down your fitness goals, using dumbbells becomes a walk in the park.

Dumbbell Exercises for Men

The best way to use dumbbells is consistently exercising with them. Here are just three of the most popular dumbbell exercises you can try today and add them to your workout routine.

The Goblet Squat

A Goblet squat resembles an ordinary squat but with just one dumbbell. This workout targets your glutes, calves, quads, and your core. Goblet squats are an excellent exercise for men looking to increase their muscle strength or tone their cores. It also helps improve hip mobility.

The recommended set number for a goblet squat is 3 to 4 sets of eight to ten reps. If you are using heavier dumbbells, make sure you only do five reps.

How To Do A Goblet Squat

  • Grasp a dumbbell using one hand.
  • Make sure you stand with your feet wider than the width of your shoulder.
  • Proceed to hold the dumbbell vertically, ensuring that your wrist touches the bar.
  • Your hands should be cupping the top end of the dumbbell
  • As you squat, make sure your arms are close to your elbows and chest
  • Bend your knees and hips, as you lower your body slowly
  • Once you are in a squat position, pause for a few seconds, and then go back to the starting position.

The Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row is one of the most popular dumbbell exercises in the fitness world. The primary reason why it is quite popular is that this workout works on your shoulder and back muscles. It also helps in building muscles and improves overall strength.

Apart from the back and shoulder muscles, this exercise works on the upper arm and chest muscles. The recommended set for this work out is three or four.

How To Do The Bent-over Row

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and bend over slightly
  • Make sure your back is straight at all times when doing the exercise
  • Lift the dumbbells straight and inhale while doing so. Ensure your arms do not go higher than your shoulder limit.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells as you exhale
  • Repeat the bent-over row until you complete your sets.

The Dumbbell Bench Press

For men looking to build lean muscles, the dumbbell bench press is a favorite routine. The press is a classic exercise you can use to build a stronger and bigger chest. Thanks to its ability to build stronger and bigger chests, the Dumbbell Bench Press is a popular chest workout for triceps and pectoral exercises.

Man holding a pair of 15kg dumbbells in each hand

How To Do The Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Lie on a bench with your stomach facing upwards.
  • Grasp a dumbbell with each of your hands and position them on your shoulder’s side.
  • Make sure your palms face towards your feet before you start the set.
  • Lift the dumbbell weights and extend your arms with the help of your elbows towards your chest.
  • Slowly bring the dumbbells back down.
  • Repeat until you complete your set.


The reason why dumbbells are useful is that they help you train every part of the body regardless of the workout nature. Unlike other workout equipment, you can easily move each limb and train your core at the same time.

However, learning how to use them is an essential part of the process. Once you get to learn what size dumbbells to use, how often to work out with them and the different exercises you can perform, using these dumbbell weights becomes a walk in the park.

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.