There’s no overnight solution to get ripped, but with the right fitness plan, you can tighten and strengthen every muscle in your body using only dumbbells. The key to success is following a strict workout schedule and allowing your body to rest between workouts. For the fastest results possible, it’s also critically important that you follow a healthy diet, particularly cutting out sugary snacks, drinks and junk food.
Dumbbells are some of the most flexible fitness tools because you can do so many different exercises with them. To get ripped fast, it’s a good strategy to choose several compound exercises to work more than one muscle group at a time – it saves time over targeting each individual muscle group. Some effective compound exercises you can do with dumbbells include chest presses, shoulder presses, squats, lunges, biceps curls, triceps extensions and weighted abdominal crunches.
Exercising three times per day like a madman will not speed up the results; in fact, it can lead to injuries. It often takes a few weeks before you can start seeing results. If you’re a beginner, start by doing your dumbbell workouts twice per week with at least two days rest between workouts. If your body is already accustomed to resistance training, aim for three days per week with one day of rest between workouts. Resting your muscles is a critical part of building muscle, so don’t neglect it.
Sets, Reps and Progression
As your workout becomes easier after a few weeks, increase the intensity and/or the number of workout days per week. If you don’t continue to progress to heavier weights, increased numbers of sets and more repetitions, your muscles will not continue to develop. In terms of sets and reps, beginners should start with three sets of up to five different compound exercises per day – 12 to 15 reps per set is the goal. Intermediate and advanced lifters can do a variation of this program by increasing the number of sets or doing more muscle-targeted dumbbell exercises.
A good full-body dumbbell workout for beginners could include chest presses, squats, shoulder presses, biceps curls and triceps extensions. Rest about one minute between sets and drink plenty of water. Intermediate and advanced lifters can try variations. One useful strategy for getting ripped is doing each dumbbell exercises back to back with no rest in between, referred to as circuit training. This will help you build muscle while burning calories at the same time – a win-win for anyone looking to get ripped.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.