Beginner Dumbbell Workout

Beginner Dumbbell Workout

Picking up weights can be intimidating!  The thought of going to the gym and entering into the weight area can send shivers down the spines of many...which is why scores of people, especially women, never leave the cardio area.   Using the Beginner Dumbbell Workout will give you a plan, and more importantly an idea of the range of weights to start with, which will give you the confidence to try strength training.  

Still not sure about going to the free weight section of your gym, or don't have a gym membership?   You can easily pick up a couple of sets of cheap dumbbells to get you started.  I have seen dumbbells at TJ Maxx, Five Below, chain pharmacies, Walmart, or even Amazon.  You can start with a basic set of one to two light dumbbells and add heavier weights as you get stronger.  

Don't be afraid to lift weights!  Being "toned" is a request Meg and I hear a lot, but unfortunately there is no body material called "toned" is either one of two things, fat or muscle.  Period.  Usually when we hear that request, what they really want is to lose body fat and create muscle.  Muscle physically takes up less room than fat, and strength training can help create that "toned" look you desire.  Training with weights is also great for building bone density and avoiding osteoporosis.

The ranges I am suggesting are based off of my experience training women, you may need to adjust the range if you find the weights are too heavy or too light.  I would suggest printing out this workout and taking it with you to the gym, so that you can keep track of the dumbbells that you are using.  Write down the weights for each exercise so you don't forget.  

You can also practice the exercises at home without dumbbells using the videos to show you the form, and you will build up your confidence to do them in a gym setting.  You can do this!  Don't be afraid of using dumbbells!   They are a perfect place to start strength training, and you ARE STRONGER than you think you are! 


  • Do each exercise for 10 reps

  • Once you complete all 10 exercises, take a 1-2 minute break

  • Repeat the entire circuit 2-3 times

  • Keep track of the weight used for each exercise. As the exercise gets easier using that weight, move up to the next weight.

  • You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. Click HERE for full disclaimer.


Dumbbells - weight suggestions beside each exercise

Warm up 

30 seconds each exercise

  • Boxer Shuffle

  • Butt Kicks

  • Jumping Jacks

  • Good Mornings

  • Air Squats

  • Reverse Lunges

  • Side Lunge


  1. Squats - 10 reps (5, 8, 10 lbs or no weights)

  2. Figure 4 Glute Raise - 10 reps each leg (no weight)

  3. Bicep Curl - 10 reps (5, 8, 10 lbs)

  4. Chest Press - 10 reps (5, 8, 10 or 12 lbs) (video shows on ball but you can do on bench)

  5. Sumo Squat - 10 reps (5, 8, 10 lbs or no weights)

  6. Table Top - 10 reps (no weights)

  7. Tricep Kick Back - 10 reps (3, 5, 8 lbs) (video shows with bands, but light weight dumbbells can be used instead)

  8. One Arm Row - 10 reps each arm (5, 8, 10 or 12 lbs)

  9. Front and Lateral Raises - 10 reps total (5 front, 5 side) - (2, 3, 5 lbs) (video shows with bands, but light weight dumbbells can be used instead)

  10. Reverse Lunge - 10 reps each leg (no weight - focus on keeping knees strong and not letting knee go over toes)

(Disclaimer - You aren't seeing things, Meg has on costumes in some of the videos!)

Fill out the form below to download a printable workout.  

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Find some other benefits of weight lifting

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