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One of the questions that will often come up in fitness debates is whether or not muscle building without weights is even possible. While it is very possible to do this, you shouldn’t expect instant results.
Instead, it will be important that you do understand that this process will take time and you aren’t going to get the same definition or bulk of muscle as you would if you were using a weight set.
An acute exercise stimulus, particularly but not exclusively resistance related exercise, and protein ingestion stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and are synergistic when protein consumption occurs before or after exercise [1, 2,].
4 Key Points to Consider For Weight-Less Muscle Building
For this process, a protein rich diet is going to be essential for decent results. To build muscle without weights, you need to have proper nutrition in place at all times.
The routines you will do will be mostly focused on utilizing your body mass in place of weights being used. This will include simple exercises like squats, push ups, pull ups etc.
When executed properly, they will maximize your efforts without weights and help to build up muscle at a respectable pace. Whatever the excuse was, there was a a period of about 18 months that I was out of shape and damn near fat. My initial weight-loss process consisted of bodyweight exercises exclusively [5, 6, 7, 8].
Here are a couple of great bodyweight routines:
Bodyweight Routine #1
1) Pull Ups x 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
2) Push Ups x 22, 18, 12, 10, 8, 5
3) Lunge Jumps x 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
4) Squat Jumps x 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
5) Hanging Leg Raise x 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Bodyweight Routine #2
1) Pushups x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20
2) Split Squat (5-10 seconds per side) 10, 8, 6, 4
3) Side Plank (30 seconds per side) 4-10 Each Side
4) Reverse Crunches 25, 20, 15, 10, 5
5) Burpee 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Mix It Up
Make sure that you’re changing things up as you go along. Over time, your muscles will get used to your routines and at a certain point you’re only going to be able to build muscle without weights if you focus on adding progression to the difficulty of your routines.
For example, you may want to take the time to switch to single arm pull ups and push ups to help you to build up the muscles in your arms. The same approach can be taken to the squats you do by switching between your legs as you do this exercise. You can also simply add reps or sets to increase difficulty .
Work Smart For Greater Muscle Response
No matter what routine you’re looking at, you need to be real with yourself and consider your present fitness level and do what you can to avoid injury. If you’re doing push ups, for example and find that you’re feeling discomfort and strain after 20, don’t push yourself to do 100 at one time.
Overworking your muscles when you’re trying to build them will have a negative impact on your results, as it requires more time for healing. Be comfortable starting off with lower sets and slowly work up to your peak goals to maximize your results and start getting stacked.
You can build muscle without weights, you just need to be sure that you approach the process in a sensible open-minded manner. Don’t expect to look like Jay Cutler from bodyweight exercises. Matter of fact, don’t expect to look like any professional big time bodybuilder without spending $50k+ on steroids annually.
If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line in the comments section below.
Health by choice, not by chance.
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