home workouts with dumbbells

I created The Punisher Workout 6 years ago.

I modeled the workout after the Punisher character from the Marvel Universe.  This workout was designed to be ruthless.

The Punisher was the evolution of my Full Body Blast workout that I used to qualify for the finals of the 2014 Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition.

I released the video for The Punisher Workout in 2014 and it remains the most popular video that I have ever released.

Lifters all over the world have a love/hate relationship with The Punisher Workout.

Lifters love The Punisher Workout because it is phenomenal for building muscle, dropping body fat, and developing mental toughness.

Lifters hate The Punisher Workout because it is relentless, unforgiving, demanding, and exposing.

But if you want to unleash your inner greatness you have to get comfortable with uncomfortable.  The Punisher Workout Home is the definition of uncomfortable.

The World Is Home 

At this moment in history a home workout with dumbbells has become a necessity.  This coronavirus has dramatically changed the world over the last few months.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the vast majority of businesses across the world have shut down.  This includes gyms and even some public tracks.

I’m blessed and fortunate to own a garage gym.  Some other lifters and athletes in the game have this set-up as well but we are in the great minority.

Right now 99.9 percent of lifters, athletes, and trainees (including my clients) have no access to a gym. 

But just because you do not have access to the gym does not give you an excuse to sit around, eat junk, be lazy, and not workout.

I love the barbell as much as all of my iron brothers and iron sisters.

But I also know there are multiple ways to get stronger and leaner that do not involve heavy barbells and plates.

No Money No Problem

My brother and I were gifted a small weights set as teenagers and the classic Body By Jake dip/chin station.

Initially I had no idea what to do, so I started to watch Kiana’s Flex Appeal on ESPN2.

Her show featured bodybuilders and fitness models doing all kinds of training circuits to build their physiques.

I followed their routines to the T.  Kiana got me into the physique game.

Kiana’s show was the stepping stone but there was so much more to learn about the iron game.

With limited tools and no comprehension on how to train I had to learn and get creative.  So I began to read books and magazines that improved my knowledge about training.

For my workouts I primarily used a local park (Roslyn Park) to do my sprints, burpees, and push-ups.  I also played basketball often.

I was skinny but I was in good shape.  I did not gain access to a big gym until I was 20 years old.

As a teenager I couldn’t afford a gym membership as a skinny kid making $5.15 an hour working limited hours at McDonalds!

I worked at Staples during college and although the pay was not great, ($6-$8.78 per hour) I was able to work more hours.  This finally allowed me to afford a gym membership.

You Do Not Need A Lot To Get Results

Many lifters will miss the commercial gym because they feel the gym is responsible for all of their results.

But the hard truth is that many lifters have no real results to show for all the time they spend in the gym.

What my iron brothers and sisters have to realize is that the path to results is not solely dependent on just going to the gym.

The gym is great but getting real results comes down to consistently challenging yourself whether you are at the gym, at home, or on the track.

Most of the equipment in the commercial gym is a total waste of space.

Treadmills, ellipticals, and stair masters eat up otherwise useful square footage and offer no path to real results.  There is nothing of value going on in the “cardio” section.

There are also lame, fake hustle machines everywhere.  The vast majority of them do not challenge your body in the ways that are needed to create real change.

So why do the majority of the people in the gym use these tools despite the lack of results?

Because they see most of the other people in the gym doing the same cot dang thing a.k.a the herd mentality.

Real results come down to giving a consistent, quality effort with your diet, recovery, and training.

The Punisher Workout Home

The beauty of The Punisher Workout Home is that it will only take two dumbbells to completely decimate you.

I’ve had hundreds of people try The Punisher Workout over the years.

Some folks walk into the workout with the cocky swagger of a high school jock.  Despite the bravado, the result is the same every single time: total annihilation.

This strenuous home workout with dumbbells will more than get the job done.  The Punisher Workout Home looks like this:

• 10 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
• 5 Weighted Burpees
• 10 Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
• 5 Weighted Burpees
• 10 Push-Ups
• 5 Weighted Burpees


• Warm-up by doing 2-3 rounds of The Punisher Workout Home prior to starting.

• Each move will be done consecutively with 30 seconds of rest between movements.

• For the warm-up rounds do 6 reps of the lunges, rows, and push-ups.  Do 3 reps for the burpees in between each move.

• To get the maximum effect of The Punisher you have to aim to complete it for at least 1 round with no rest.

• This means you will transition from move to move without any rest time.  Use the video as a guide for how that should look.

• If you are out of shape or trying the workout for the first time you will be forced to rest in between moves.

• In that case you will rest 30-60 seconds between exercises and 3-3:30 minutes between sets.

• It’s incredibly difficult to sustain the no rest pace after round 1.  In that case you will rest 15-45 seconds between exercises and 3-3:30 minutes between sets.

• Your goal is to complete 1-5 rounds.  Most people will complete between 1-3 rounds as 5 rounds is a tremendously difficult challenge.

• You will want to use dumbbells that will challenge you.  I’ve done this workout with up to 75lb dumbbells but I’m only using 25lb dumbbells in the video and I got folded!

General Weight Guidelines:

• Beginners could use dumbbells that are equivalent to 25-42 percent of their bodyweight.

• Intermediate trainees could use dumbbells that are equivalent to 48-66 percent of their bodyweight.

• Advanced trainees could use dumbbells that are equivalent to 72-84 percent of their bodyweight.

• Alpha level trainees could use over 90 percent of their bodyweight.

• If you are weak, start on the lower end of the spectrum.

• Starting too high will get you completely folded.

• Just because you are an alpha level trainee does not mean that every time you do the workout you have to use alpha level weights.

• If you are doing The Punisher Workout as a finisher then using alpha level weight will probably not be possible.

• The heaviest weight I have used in The Punisher Workout were 75lbs dumbbells at a bodyweight of 165lb.  That is 91 percent of my bodyweight.

• That workout almost took me out for good!


The Punisher Workout Home is by far the toughest home workout you can do with dumbbells.

The one thing you cannot allow yourself to do during this coronavirus pandemic is to fall out of shape mentally and physically.

Some media outlets will continue to feed you panic and fear inducing headlines, but you have to continue to prioritize your health at all costs.

Great health immeasurably increases your quality of life and improves your immunity.

The gym may be temporarily closed but the Fit Train is still running.  Make sure you stay on board because this current storm will not last forever.

Be smart and be safe.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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