Written and Programmed by Celeste Chandler, CPT, IFBB Wellness Pro

Photography by Paul Buceta

Hair & Makeup by Monica Kalra

Being back to routines, spending more time inside, and layering up our look makes fall the perfect time to focus on a build program. Whether you train at home or at the gym, this quick full-body workout can help you get those gains, when executed effectively, so pay attention to form and watch your effort pay off (with some patience, of course).

The Workout

Choose dumbbells that are challenging for you to lift but will still allow you to maintain good form. Aim to complete 3-4 rounds of each exercise. Give yourself 20-25 minutes to complete the entire workout. 

Equipment Needed

Dumbbells and a Bench

Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls

Target: Biceps

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Bring one hand forward, twist your wrist so that it’s facing the ceiling, bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle and contract your bicep. Lower that hand and complete the same movement with the opposite hand. Repeat until you’ve completed 20 reps between both arms.

Expert Tip: Keep your elbows aligned with your waist through your reps.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Target: Back

Expert Tip: Always keep a neutral spine and do not lock your knees or elbows.

For your starting stance, bend one leg with your shin and knee resting on the bench, place your hand on the bench for stability and your hips should bend at a 90 degree angle. Place your opposite foot on the ground and the dumbbell in the hand that is not rested on the bench. Bend at the elbow and bring the dumbbell up towards your waist while engaging your back. Lower your dumbbell, reset, and then repeat for 10-15 reps, then switch sides.

Level Up: Choose a heavier dumbbell to increase the intensity.

Flat Bench Chest Press

Target: Chest & Triceps

Expert Tip: Do not lock out your elbows when you raise the weight.

Sit on the center of the bench with both legs bent and feet placed firmly on the ground (opposite sides of the bench). Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lower your back onto the bench. At the beginning of your set, hold the dumbbells horizontally, about shoulder width apart, aligned with the middle of your chest. Extend your arms straight into the air and control them back down to the lowered position. Repeat 10-15 times.

Level Up: Increase the weight.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Target: Quads, Hamstrings & Glutes

Expert Tip: Keep your back straight and maintain a firm stance with your front foot.

Start with your back straight/upright and feet shoulder width apart. Hold dumbbells in both hands. Bend one leg and place the top of the same leg’s foot on the bench. The foot on the ground should be far enough in front so that you can bend down into a 90-degree lunge. You can put the dumbbells down if you need to adjust your stance. Bend your front knee as if you are doing a lunge and push through the sole of your foot to get back into your starting position. Repeat 10-15 times with the same leg before switching to the other.

Level Up: Increase the weight, or hold each rep for two seconds at the bottom of the lunge.

Tricep Dips on Bench

Target: Triceps

Expert Tip: Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and maintain soft elbows/avoid locking them out when you straighten your arms.

Sit on the edge of the bench with your hands placed by your side and on the edge as well. Bring your hips forward so that they are now off of the bench. Lower yourself to the ground while bending your elbows. Once your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, push yourself back up into your starting position. Repeat this 10-15 times.

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