One common question that a lot of fitness rookies ask is can home workouts or bodyweight workouts actually build muscle? Or do we need to sign up for a gym membership to get lean and/or thick?
I myself wondered the same thing when I was just starting my fitness journey, which is why I created this article.
So, can home workouts build muscle?
Home workouts or bodyweight workouts can build muscle by following these principles:
- Increase your reps
- Reduce rest time between sets
- Consume proper nutrition
- Eat more protein
- Eat enough calories your body needs to gain muscle
- Perform a variety of workouts
- Get enough rest
- Do not target the same muscle group multiple days consecutively
- Increase workout time
Now that you know the steps you should take, let’s find out exactly how you can execute them.
Increase Your Reps
In order for bodyweight workouts to build muscle, you have to make sure the workouts you do are challenging to truly transform your body. When we workout, we are applying stress to the muscles. Stress and tension will cause microtears to your muscles. During the recovery time is when your muscles will mend the microtears. Your muscles repair themselves to get stronger and thicker, for them to be able to handle the next time you do the same workout.
Once your muscles become stronger, you will need to make the workouts challenging again in order to continuously see progress.
Reduce Rest Time Between Exercises and Sets
One great way to increase the intensity of your workout is to decrease your rest time. If you continuously make your bodyweight workouts challenging, you will be able to build muscle without the need for weights or a gym membership.
Instead of resting for 30 seconds in between in each exercise, why not try resting for only 20 seconds. Then once that gets easier for you to try resting for only 10 seconds and so on.
Also, try applying the same concept to your rest between sets.
Consume Proper Nutrition
Taking in proper nutrition is just as important as working out when it comes to building muscles and transforming your body. Eat a sufficient amount of protein, carbs, and fats daily. Make sure that you are eating whole foods.
Avoid processed food, junk food, refined sugar, and fast food as much as possible. More often than not, these foods often have way too many ingredients than what is actually needed. When it comes to transforming your body, you’ll find that eating food with fewer ingredients is better.
Eat More Protein
I want to put more emphasis on protein because we women do not realize it, but we often do not reach our daily protein needs. And when it comes to building muscle and transforming your body, protein is key!
The grams of protein needed by your body can change depending on your lifestyle, health, and activities. If you are recovering from an illness, stressed, or pregnant or if you are doing consistent intense workouts you may need around 1.2 grams to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
This method works for both men and women.
Person A: 125 lbs, exercises regularly
125 lbs / 2.205 = 56.7 kg
56.7 kg * 1.5 = 85.05 g
Person A would need 85 grams of protein per day.
Person B: 110 lbs, sedentary lifestyle
115 lbs / 2.205 = 52.15 kg
52 kg * 0.8 = 41.6 g
Person B would need 42 grams of protein per day.
This is a great and easy way to calculate how many grams of protein you need in a day to achieve your fitness goal and be a step closer to achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Eat Enough Calories Your Body Needs to Gain Muscle
If your goal is to really build muscle, let’s say you want to get thick and really grow your booty muscle, you have to eat more calories. The extra food will give you more energy and help you get closer to your body goals. You can add around 200 to 500 calories extra in your day to gain muscle while still avoiding fat gain.
However, if you are trying to lose fat while building muscle, you don’t need to consume more calories. What you can do is, instead of decreasing your calorie intake by 500, you can just decrease it by 250.
So let’s say you’re daily necessary calories is 2000 calories a day and you are trying to lose weight, so you decrease your calorie intake by 500. Which means you only eat 1500 calories per day. But then you decided that you don’t just want to lose weight, you want to lose fat and gain muscle. So instead of eating decreasing 500cal daily and eating 1500 calories, only decrease by 250cal. This means you should eat 1750 calories a day to still lose fat and gain muscle.
Perform Different Variations of Your Workout
Don’t do the same workout for months and months. Do different variations of a workout. Such as planks, instead of just doing the regular plank every single time you work out, do different variations of it. There are so many different kinds of planks that you can do and you can add to your exercise routine.
Remember that your goal is to keep challenging your body and your muscles. So doing different variations is an excellent way to continually challenge your muscles.
Get Enough Rest
Rest is very important! Your muscles need to rest and repair themselves in order to get stronger, leaner, and/or bigger. During your rest days is when your muscles will really transform, which is why it is important to have days where you let your sore muscles recover.
Apart from having rest days, it is also important to get more sleep. While you are sleeping your body and your muscles heal themselves. When you are sick, you need to get enough sleep for your body to recover from the illness. It is the same with muscle building. There are also studies that show how sleep deprivation can decrease muscle mass. So make sure to always get enough sleep!
Do Not Target the Same Muscle Group Multiple Days Consecutively
Since rest is important for your muscles to grow, you must not work out the same muscle group for multiple days consecutively. If you work out your upper body today, switch it up tomorrow and do lower body workouts. Let your upper body rest for at least a day before you work them out again.
Here is a great workout guide you can follow:
|Lower body||Upper body||Lower body||Upper body||Lower body|
Or you can do this…
|Upper body||Lower body||Upper body||Lower body||Upper body|
Increase Workout Time
Increasing your workout time will increase the time that your muscles are under tension. The more strain you put on your muscles, the more they will be challenged. The more you challenge your muscles, the more they will grow.
One way to increase your workout time is to take your time while doing each and every exercise. Don’t rush, it is important to take your time and do each exercise properly to ensure that the muscles are being activated.
Also, increasing the reps and/or sets will also increase your workout time!
In conclusion, you don’t need weights or a gym membership to build muscles. Home workouts or bodyweight workouts can transform your body as long as you remember to eat the right amount of food — especially protein —, increase the intensity of your workouts, and get enough rest!