No gym equipment? No problem! StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan is a fitness plan for getting in shape in the comfort of your home without spending a fortune on training equipment.
You can find StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan as a premium training program in the StrengthLog workout tracker, which you can download for free using one of the buttons below.
This article outlines the workout routine, detailing the training sessions, the exercises, and what you can expect from the program.
Introducing StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan
Strength training is the best way to improve your body composition, strengthen your muscles, and create a more fit version of yourself. Many people prefer to train at home or don’t want to pay for a gym membership. However, it can be challenging to design a complete and effective workout plan if you don’t have a fully equipped home gym.
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan lets you train every muscle group without needing a gym or expensive home equipment. All you need is:
- A set of dumbbells
- Your bodyweight
That’s it! Ideally, you have a set of dumbbells with different weights as exercises for some muscle groups can make use of heavier weights. If you don’t want a lot of dumbbells taking up space, you can get an adjustable pair of dumbbell that allows you to switch between a light weight and a heavier weight by flipping a switch or turning a knob.
Training Goals and Workout Schedule
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan is ideal for all your fitness goals: weight loss, fat loss, muscle growth, muscle endurance, or just being healthy and fit with an active lifestyle. It’s not a training program for the advanced bodybuilder or powerlifter looking to pack on muscle or gain as much strength as possible. But if you’re looking to get and stay fit and strong with effective home workouts, StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan has you covered.
You work out three days per week, training your entire body with a combination of bodyweight exercises and dumbbell movements. Each training session is a full body workout with different strength exercises for both your upper and lower body. StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan is for everyone with at least a little training experience. However, it can also be used as a beginner workout plan as it allows for plenty of time for recovery, and the exercises are easy to understand and perform.
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan: The Workouts
A week of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan looks like this:
- Dumbbell Squat
- Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
- Dumbbell Row
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Reverse Dumbbell Flyes
- Dumbbell Curl
- Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension
- Dumbbell Deadlift
- Dumbbell Lunge
- Dumbbell Floor Press
- Dumbbell Shrug
- Dumbbell Front Raise
- Dumbbell Rear Delt Row
- Hammer Curl
- Close-Grip Push-Up
- Lying Leg Raise
- Goblet Squat
- Step Up
- Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
- Dumbbell Row
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Concentration Curl
- Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension
The workouts start with compound exercises for your large muscle groups, followed by an isolation exercise for smaller muscles. You have maximum energy for the more challenging exercises early in the training session and don’t run out of steam towards the end for the less demanding movements.
You can pick your training days and rest days to fit your schedule. Working out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is probably the most popular way to structure your training week. That way, you get the weekends off, but you can mix and match different days of the week however you want. Which day of the week is a training day or a day of rest doesn’t matter as long as your workout schedule is consistent. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have a day of rest between each training day.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each workout with workout videos to show how to perform each exercise. You can see details like the exact number of reps and sets in your StrengthLog app.
By warming up, you increase your overall body temperature and the blood flow to your muscles, allowing you to perform your best. You also improve your flexibility and focus. Even if you’re eager to jump straight into your strength workouts, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles for a few minutes.
Consider spending five minutes on low to moderate-intensity cardio to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. Walking or jogging in place, Jumping Jacks, skipping rope, or whatever type of cardio you prefer does the trick. Remember that your goal here is to get warm and ready for your strength workout, not to develop muscular endurance or aerobic fitness. Save the high-intensity interval training for some other time. You want your energy for the weights.
Following the cardio, do a set or two of different exercises for your major muscles without weights or using a lighter weight: a great way to prepare your muscles for your training session. Squats with your own bodyweight and push-ups against a wall are a few examples of warm-up exercises.
Once you feel ready, it’s time for the workout of the day in your 4-week plan for a fit body.
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan: Workout 1
The first exercise of your four-week workout plan is the squat, one of the best overall exercises regardless of your fitness goals.
The dumbbell squat is a variation of the standard squat but with dumbbells instead of a barbell. The squat is often called the king of lower body exercises, and for a good reason. It is one of the best exercises for getting stronger and building lean muscle mass in your legs and glutes.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is an excellent exercise for the entire posterior chain, especially your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
The next exercise is the good old push-up, a fantastic exercise for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. All you need is your body weight. If regular push-ups are too challenging, you can do kneeling push-ups instead.
Time to train your back with the dumbbell row. Go for a full range of motion for a good stretch at the bottom, then get a full contraction at the top. No swinging! Use a chair or a couch instead of a training bench to stabilize yourself.
Place your left leg on the chair and your right foot on the floor when rowing with your right arm. Conversely, put your right leg up and your left foot down when rowing with your left arm.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The overhead press is a superb exercise for your upper body, and using a pair of dumbbells instead of a barbell activates your deltoid muscles even more.1
Reverse Dumbbell Flyes
The reverse dumbbell fly is one of the best exercises for your rear deltoids. The most important thing when performing this exercise is to pick a weight light enough to be able to perform the exercise correctly and with control.
When training your biceps, it’s about curls. The dumbbell curl is one of the best exercises to build your biceps. You can either curl both dumbbells simultaneously, as shown in the video below, or curl one arm at a time and switch sides every other repetition.
Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension
The dumbbell lying triceps extension might be the best overall exercise for training the back of your arms. It targets all three heads of the triceps and is an excellent addition to any strength-training program.
Training at home, lie down on the floor instead of on a weight bench and lower the dumbbells until they are about to touch the floor.
The final exercise of the first workout of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan is the crunch. It’s a classic bodyweight exercise for strengthening and building your abs and a staple exercise for athletes and bodybuilders looking to get six-pack abs. The crunch has the benefit of not putting stress on your lower back like traditional sit-ups. For an added challenge, you can hold a dumbbell to your chest.
It’s time for the second workout of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan, which means starting with one of the best exercises for your entire body.
You kick off the second workout with the dumbbell deadlift, a variation of the standard deadlift with a barbell. The perfect place for the deadlift is at the start of your training session as it is a demanding exercise where you want your energy levels at their highest. It’s worth the effort, as the deadlift strengthens almost your entire body from top to toe.
The lunge is an exercise that strengthens not only your leg muscles but also your balance, coordination, and body control.
If you prefer, you can take a step backward instead of forward as shown in the video below. You train the same muscles, but some find the reverse lunge easier on the knees.
You can also do bodyweight lunges if the extra load of holding a pair of dumbbells is too challenging.
Dumbbell Floor Press
The dumbbell chest press is one of the best chest exercises at your disposal. The dumbbell floor press is an excellent alternative to the regular dumbbell chest press when you train at home and don’t have a weight bench.
Shrugs train your trapezius, a large muscle covering your upper back that lifts and supports your shoulder girdle. Avoid rotating your shoulders when you perform the exercise, as it places stress on the shoulder joint without any beneficial effects.
Dumbbell Front Raise
To isolate your front deltoid, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective exercise than the dumbbell front raise. You can raise both dumbbells simultaneously as shown in the video below, or alternate between your left and right arms. Use a pair of relatively light dumbbells and focus on good form instead of lifting as much weight as possible.
Dumbbell Rear Delt Row
The dumbbell rear delt row is an exercise that emphasizes your rear delts but also trains much of your upper back and even your biceps. Maintain a neutral spine and focus on your delts, lifting the weights without upper body momentum or cheating.
Like regular dumbbell curls, the hammer curl effectively trains your biceps, especially the long head. In addition, it targets your forearms and another muscle called the brachialis that runs below the biceps. It’s an excellent exercise for your upper arms.
The close-grip push-up is similar to regular push-ups but focuses less on your chest muscles. By placing your hands shoulder-width, closer together than in the standard push-up, you transfer more of the load to your triceps. Extend your arms fully at the top and get a good contraction in your triceps.
Lying Leg Raise
Again, you finish off the workout with some ab training. Lying leg raises train your abs and your hip flexors. If you feel leg raises with straight legs are too challenging, feel free to perform them with a slight bend in your knees.
Like you did in the first two workouts of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan, you kick things off with lower body work.
The goblet squat is a full-body exercise emphasizing your legs and glutes. The video below shows the goblet squat using a kettlebell (which you can use if you have one), but it works just as well with a dumbbell.
This picture shows how you hold a dumbbell when performing the goblet squat:
Another great lower body exercise, the step up activates your gluteus maximus (that’s your biggest butt muscle!) more than squats or the hip thrust.2 When you do step ups at home, use whatever furniture you have at hand – a chair or a stair step, for example. You can hold a dumbbell in each hand if you don’t find the exercise challenging enough.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Time for more deadlifts! The Romanian deadlift, focusing on hamstring development, that is.
The push-up is another exercise so good that you’ll do it twice in StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan. It can’t be beaten for training your chest muscles without gym equipment and is just as good as the bench press for everyone from the fitness enthusiast to the athlete.3
The return of another favorite! The dumbbell row is also effective enough that we include it twice per week in StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
The dumbbell lateral raise targets the middle part of your shoulder muscles. It’s a great isolation exercise that doesn’t require heavy weights. Make sure you pick relatively light dumbbells that allow you to use strict form and focus on proper form.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbell shoulder press returns from the first workout, being a supremely effective exercise for building shoulder strength and muscle mass. You’ve already pre-exhausted your delts with lateral raises, so expect the weight to feel a bit heavier this time.
Concentration curls are a great option to focus on your biceps and nothing but your biceps. It’s a true isolation movement where you use one arm at a time.
Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension
The standing triceps extension is an effective exercise for isolating the tricep muscle. Make sure you use a full range of motion and feel a good stretch in the back of your arms.
The plank is a bodyweight exercise for your core muscles that strengthens your abdominals and obliques. If you find it difficult to hold the position for an extended period of time, feel free to do the kneeling plank instead.
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan: Progression
You need progression in your training to see long-term results from your efforts. Your muscles quickly get used to the demands you place on them, and you continuously need to lift a little heavier or do a little more work to keep getting stronger and building muscle.
According to up-to-date research, you need ten weekly sets or more per muscle group for optimal results. Up to that point, more sets lead to more significant increases in strength and muscle growth.
StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan ensures you stay close to or at the training volume proven to produce the best results. Week by week, you add a set here and a set there, gradually increasing training volume to keep making progress without compromising your recovery.
The other form of progression is training intensity: increasing the weights you use.
Once you’re able to complete the target number of repetitions in all sets of an exercise with good form, increase the load you’re using a little by selecting a heavier pair of dumbbells or changing the weight of your adjustable dumbbells.
When you can perform the target number of reps with that weight, increase your training weights a little again, and rinse and repeat.
If you only have a single pair of non-adjustable dumbbells, you obviously can’t make them heavier. In that case, simply focus on performing more reps when you can. If you eventually become strong enough that you can do 30 reps or more, it’s time to invest in a new, heavier set of dumbbells. Doing even more reps builds muscle endurance but is less effective for building muscle and gaining strength. Being too strong is kind of a good problem to have, but the fact is that sooner or later, you’ll have to lift heavier weights to keep making progress.
You might wonder how long to rest between sets. I suggest you ignore the timer and listen to your body: jump into your next set once you feel rested enough to do yourself justice. Exercises like deadlifts and squats require more rest than, for example, a set of curls.
If you want concrete recommendations, 2–3 minutes is an excellent rest interval for most people. You’ll recover enough between sets without your workouts becoming overly long.
According to research, longer rest intervals are slightly more effective for gaining strength and muscle mass.4 But if time is a factor or if you prefer fast-paced workouts with short rest periods, go for it. It won’t make or break your results. If you don’t have that much time to train, it’s much better to go fast than to skip out, even if it means your performance during a workout might suffer a bit.
When You Reach the End of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan
After four weeks, you’ve completed one round of StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan, hopefully enjoying your results and how you look and feel.
However, your fitness journey doesn’t end after four weeks. Use it or lose it, right? Fortunately, StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan program is designed as a long-term solution, not a quick fix. You can jump right back into week one again, and the program doesn’t lose its effectiveness if you do it repeatedly. Combined with healthy eating and perhaps a couple of cardio workouts per week, it will help you get fit and stay in shape for as long as you stay on it.
The main challenge with training at home using only dumbbells is that you might get too strong for your equipment sooner or later. These days you can get high-quality adjustable dumbbells, and you don’t have to fill your house or apartment with dumbbells to get a good at-home workout regardless of how strong you are. StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan will keep up with your progress.
Follow This Program
Want to start StrengthLog’s 4 Week Home Workout Plan?
It’s available exclusively in our workout app StrengthLog.
While this program requires a premium subscription, StrengthLog itself is entirely free. You can download it and use it as a workout tracker and general strength training app – and all basic functionality is free forever.
It even has a bunch of free programs and workouts. However, our more advanced programs (such as this one) are for premium users only.
Want to give premium a shot? We offer all new users a free 14-day trial of premium, which you can activate in the app.
Download StrengthLog for free with the buttons below:
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2013 – Volume 27 – Issue 7 – p 1824-1831. Effects of Body Position and Loading Modality on Muscle Activity and Strength in Shoulder Presses.
- J Sports Sci Med. 2020 Mar; 19(1): 195–203. Gluteus Maximus Activation during Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review.
- Sports Med Int Open 2019; 03(03): E74-E81. Comparison of Kinematics and Muscle Activation between Push-up and Bench Press.
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2016 – Volume 30 – Issue 7 – p 1805-1812. Longer Interset Rest Periods Enhance Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men.