Against your better judgment, you agreed to spend a long weekend away with your girlfriend. Just you, her and…no gym within 20 miles. Wouldn’t matter if there were one anyway, since you don’t have a car. Yet here you are, feeling your muscles, and mind, wasting away with each new round of Pictionary. What to do?

But wait! What’s that? Could it be? Yes! On a trip to the shed to retrieve firewood you spy a familiar friend collecting cobwebs by the hand-powered lawnmower. Though rusty, its form is unmistakable: a dumbbell! You figure it to weigh in the neighborhood of 25 pounds and greedily snatch it up as you search for its mate. After a few minutes spent fumbling in the dark, you realize that your iron savior is flying solo. Is it even possible to get an effective workout with just a single, fairly light dumbbell? Suddenly, you remember having read this very article (did we mention this scenario takes place in the future?) and realize that, yes, you can get in a great arm workout in just about the amount of time you have before your girlfriend wants to spend anouther hour sipping hot cocoa and staring at the fireplace.

One-Dumbbell Arm Blast

This is a giant cycle, performed three times. Start with your weaker arm, then pass the dumbbell off to the hand of your stronger arm, and then pass it back again for the next exercise. Don’t stop until you’ve completed three cycles with a rep scheme of 10 for the first set, 8 for the second, and 6 for the third.


  • Hammer Curls
  • Kickbacks
  • Concentration Curls
  • Overhead Extensions