Cardiovascular Dumbbell and Barbell Workout Routines

Fitting in a muscle-crushing, heart pumping workout in a short amount of time is easy with dumbbell and barbell complexes. In the 10-20 minutes it takes you to complete these short workout routines (including warm-up) you will feel your muscles burning and your lungs gasping for air.

Dumbbell/Barbell Workout Routines

Do each routine without resting between exercises. Aim for 2-3 total rounds, resting between rounds for 60 seconds.

Dumbbell/Barbell Rollout:

Start from your knees, or if you already have a core of steel, from your feet. Slowly roll the weight/s out in front of you until your arms are extended, then roll back to the starting position. Keep your butt and abs tight to prevent your lower back from sagging. This exercise will build up core strength while working your lats as well. 
Related Articles:


Total Core Shredding Body Blasting Rocky Workout Routine!

In my last post about Rocky IV we glossed over Stallone’s training and showed a highlight reel of some raw training from the movie. This time we are going to talk about how we can get raw without having to catch the next plane to Moscow.

There are really only three things you need to do the work Rocky did in his remote Russian farmhouse. One is a barbell (but a pair of adjustable dumbbells will do,) the other is a pullup bar, and the last is a sandbag. In fact, two sandbags would be even better. Learn how to make a cheap sandbag here.

Here are the exercises you will be performing. You can do these with 1 to 2 minutes rest in between, or perform them as a circuit, resting after all the exercises are done. For circuits (interval training,) use a lighter weight and move at a faster pace.


Do slow, light repetitions of each exercise to warm up.

The Movements:

-Basic Pullup: This is the basic pullup, not a kipping pullup. You can use a chair or stool to assist you if a full pullup is not possible. Do as many as you are capable of, adding a dumbbell between your legs if you can do 15-20 with ease.

-Standing Russian Twist: Use a barbell, with one end empty and anchored to the corner of a wall or wedged between something heavy. The end you are holding has weight on it. Start light until you are comfortable with the exercise.

Standing Russian Twist at

Stand in front of the barbell, holding the end with both hands at arm’s length. Keeping the arms extended. twist the barbell all the way to one side, then back to center. Repeat on the opposite side. Lean forward slightly as the bar is lowered and get your legs and hips into the movement.

When you are comfortable, swing from one side all the way to the other.

-Sandbag Step-ups or Lunge:
With a sandbag on one or both shoulders, step up on a stool or step, alternating legs. Make sure the step is at least 12″ high, or high enough to engage the quadriceps and glutes.

You can also choose to perform lunges, either in place or walking. If you use one sandbag, switch the bag to the opposite shoulder halfway through your set.

-Standing Military Press:
You may not have a horsecart loaded with your training team to press, but a barbell works just fine. Clean it to the shoulders, then press up using minimal or no leg movement. Tighten the core and move the barbell in line with the shoulder plane.

-Barbell or Dumbbell Rollouts: 
This is a tough core exercise affecting the entire abdominal wall, and using the lats, triceps, obliques, serratus anterior and glutes to stabilize. But first learn how to do it.

Start from your knees if this is your first time. Place your hands on the barbell (or adjustable dumbbells,) and keep the body straight as you roll forward until the arms are extended in front of you (or as far as you can go and still roll back to the start.)

Now maintain that tightness making your body rigid and roll back the way you came.

Now imagine doing this with a barbell.

When you get strong enough, try doing this exercise starting from standing. Now that is a hardcore abdominal workout!

Do 2-4 sets of each exercise, depending on your fitness level. If you are doing intervals, do one set of each exercise one after the other, no rest between. That is one round. Do 2-4 rounds and rest 1-2 minutes between them.

This is not a comprehensive routine to replace a complete program, but add it to the schedule once or twice a week as a way to build a stronger, more functional body.

For more equipment and workout ideas, continue reading:

Pullup Bars for the Home Gym

The Kettlebell Dumbbell Relay Workout for Strength and Endurance

TRX Suspension Trainer vs. Pull-up Bars

Build Muscle and Burn Fat with these Simple Exercises

Building Muscle like Captain America

Getting into Captain America shape made the actor want to puke. But this was a real transformation. How did he do it?

According to an interview on Pop Sugar, the actor underwent four months of “brutal” workouts for 2 hours every working day. When he wasn’t working out, he was consuming protein. As Chris Evans said, “You get to the point where you just can’t even look at another piece of chicken.”

Of course, Chris was on a tight schedule and the body transformation had to happen fast. While eating a lot of quality protein and working out hard are important for building muscle, given more time it does not have to be a miserable experience.

To pack on pounds of solid (meaning lean) muscle over several months, read these workouts and tips:

 Strong Back Muscles

Core Workouts

Muscle Building on the Road

Muscle Building with a Suspension Trainer

Big Arms Workouts

Best Lifts for Max Gains

If you don’t have the equipment you need, or think you don’t have what you need, pick up some dumbbells and other gym equipment here:

Olympic and Standard Barbells and Dumbbells

Home Gym Pullup Bars

Remember, all you need is simple equipment. By simple I mean if all you have is your bodyweight, you can do a lot with that. If all you have is some rope, you can do a lot with that, too. Read this for some great suggestions if you think you have nothing to work with:

Home Gym Workout Routines with No Equipment