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Build Muscle At Home: A How-To Guide

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We know that not everyone has access to, or wants to go to a traditional gym or fitness facility...especially during our current times.

In those cases, many are under the impression that you cannot build lean muscle with at-home workouts.

However, that's just not true! You can absolutely build lean muscle with the proper home workout plan.

In this article, we will explain some tips to put yourself in the best position to build muscle while working out at home.

So, let’s get after it! 

WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS LEVEL?

We know that we are not all starting from the same spot. Some of us are just starting our fitness journey while others have been on it for years.

No matter where you're at in your journey, we applaud you for starting and/or sticking with it.

If you are just starting out, you are actually at an advantage.

In short, your muscles have not worked like this before, so they are starting fresh. This means they have more room to grow compared to someone who has worked out for years.

See, each time you work out, you will break down the muscle ... and with proper recovery, they will grow back bigger and stronger.  You see, the body treats muscle breakdown as a threat and is naturally inclined to regenerate bigger and stronger in order to "protect" itself from future muscle breakdown.  This is why doing the same exact thing at the same pace will eventually stop producing results.  Simply put, if you stop pushing your muscles, they won't feel the need to keep growing!

If you are advanced, it may take a little more effort, or your changes may not be as noticeable.

Regardless, no matter what fitness program you are on, beginners have the ability to see changes faster.

But something that is often overlooked is that ... no matter what your experience is, you can optimize results of at-home workouts.

WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE?

While some may have a full gym in their house(very few), there are those of us who have very little(if any) equipment at all.

If you have a full gym, just keep improving on what you're doing and use this article as a resource to add something new to your routine.

Now ... if you’re like most people, then you don’t have much at home in terms of fitness equipment.
Some people have the basics, like resistance bands, a couple dumbbells and maybe even a stationary bike.

 

The good news is, even if you have nothing at all to start with, bands are relatively cheap online or at local sporting goods stores. Adding dumbbells and/or kettlebells are great additions and will certainly add to the variety of possibilities for your at-home workouts.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! ANYTHING that can add resistance to your muscles is fair game.  Do pushups with books on your back or fill up an empty milk jug with water or sand and use it as a makeshift dumbbell. 

We've even seen someone turn their kid's backyard jungle gym into a home-gym!  There are no limits on what you can do with a little creative thinking.

Now as for what workouts to follow, there are great FREE resources all over the internet and social media.

The important thing is finding what suits your situation and goals and staying consistent.

MAXIMIZE RESULTS WITH THE RIGHT TRAINING METHOD...FOR YOU.

 

Let’s assume you aren't working with a full gym at home and have minimal equipment.

According to experts, there are several things you can do to optimize results without lifting heavy weight.

You see, in order to break down the muscle, we must push it to the point of exhaustion.  This can be done in several ways, all leading to the same end result...building muscle.  Your muscles only know the trauma put on them, how that exercise induced trauma occurs doesn't matter to your muscles.  You may achieve the same muscle breakdown from high repetitions using very little weight as you can lifting heavy weight for lower reps...in the end, your body doesn't know the difference. It only knows that is must repair the muscle(and grow).

This brings us to a very popular at-home training method...Reps to Failure.

What does that mean? That means that you are performing a resistance exercise until you cannot do another rep. You are pushing your muscles to full exhaustion leading them to break down...which as we know, forces your body to repair them bigger and stronger than before.

This method is great for building muscle at home because you can achieve the same muscle breakdown performing push-ups in your living room as you can lifting heavy weight on a bench press!

The catch is...it typically requires A LOT of volume(high repetitions). This is especially true if you are an experienced lifter.

Don't feel like trying a lot of new movements?  For beginners, results can often times be achieved by only relying on a few movements. It takes time for the body to adapt so if you are just starting out, your body has some time before it adapts completely.

So what if my body has adapted and/or I am experienced?  Great question!  You can still achieve fresh results without having to find a new exercise(s). 
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How?  Change up the tempo!  Say your current routine has you doing push-ups at a 1:1:1:1 tempo...this means 1 second up, 1 second pause at the top, 1 second down and 1 second pause at the bottom position.  Each rep has your muscles under tension for four seconds using this tempo.
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So what would happen if each rep put your muscles under tension for 6, 8 maybe even 10 seconds?  For starters, you wouldn't initially be doing as many reps until failure...secondly, you're going to feel the burn A LOT quicker.  See, the idea is to confuse your muscles.  When they adapt to the same movement at the same tempo over and over again, your body finds a way to make it as efficient as possible(which we don't want)...we want to make it work harder!
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By adjusting the tempo, we are keeping the body guessing.  A push-up at a 2:1:3:1 tempo vs a 1:1:1:1 tempo is as confusing to the body as trying an entirely new movement!  The beauty of this is that you will never run out of ways to push yourself and see results...even if you're only performing a single exercise.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO SEE RESULTS?

RECOVER!

See, the exercise itself is the catalyst that sets off the muscle building process but, the reality is, exercise alone will not get you the results you want.  In truth, the real muscle building process takes place AFTER your workout.  Remember when we discussed muscle breakdown and the repairing process?  The latter is what happens following the breakdown(workout).

It is essential to provide your body with a good habitat to facilitate the repair and recovery of damaged muscle fibers.

A great way to "jump start" the recovery process is with a Post-Workout Recovery Drink. These drinks provide immediate fuel to your muscles by introducing the "building blocks of muscle", protein.  They are easy to make and can be on-hand immediately following a workout.  All you need is a high quality protein or meal replacement supplement, some water(to mix in) and of course, a high quality shaker bottle.

We hope this article is helpful and gives you a few ideas on how to build muscle at home.  Try these methods out and see how a living room, backyard or garage can make it look like you live at a gym...after all, with some creative thinking...you do!
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Disclaimer: Always consult with a licensed physician prior to starting a fitness routine. This blog is for educational and informational purposes only, and is made available to you as a self-help tool for your own use. While we draw on our prior professional expertise and background in many areas, you acknowledge that we are supporting you in our roles exclusively as an educational resource only. 

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