Ever been reluctant to start your fitness journey because you don’t want to subscribe to an expensive gym? Or maybe you already use up some dollars out of your wallet every month, take some precious time off your schedule, and scramble to the gym everyday. No gain without pain, they say. There is a possibility to abandon the gym altogether without compromising on your body, though. Learn how to build muscle fast at home.
Building muscle at home without fancy equipment might sound like a very tough idea. But it’s not at all as difficult as your Instagram feed will have you think. If you’ve ever thought to yourself “How can I build muscle fast at home?“, you’re not the only one thinking along those lines. After all, many famous Fitness Gurus have detailed their journey of shredding their body with simple workouts that can be done at home.
Without further ado, let’s break down 9 comprehensive tips to build muscle fast at home:
Tip #1: Push-ups are king
The great thing about push-ups is that they don’t require any equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. This is why they’re one of the best ways to build muscle fast at home.
The push-up is perhaps the most comprehensive compound exercise that exists. If you’re looking to gain muscle mass, pushups offer everything your body is going to need. It targets the triceps, chest and the shoulder muscles. When done in proper form, push-ups will also strengthen your lower core and back by engaging your abdominal muscles.
The other thing about push-ups: they have way too many variations. I’d suggest to start with the traditional pushup, and then work your way up to more complicated, strenuous versions. If you’re looking to build arm muscle fast at home – check out this variation of the push-up that specifically targets your biceps.
Tip #2: Squats are your savior
Much like push-ups, squats are an essential part of a comprehensive home workout that targets a lot of major muscle groups. They are thought to be one of the most effective exercises you can possibly do. They’re an amazingly easy way to build muscle fast at home – provided you do them right.
Although squats are commonly known to be a leg exercise, they actually promote overall muscle building by catalyzing the anabolic environment. There are few workouts as simple as squats that work so many muscles. They can help tone and tighten your abs, buttocks and, of course, the legs. Moreover, squats help the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. All of this helps to protect you against cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
It’s always convenient to use squat progressions to make your home workouts harder with time. However, start by correcting your form first. Watch this video to get an idea of how to do a squat right.
Tip #3: Don’t forget the lunges
The last of our powerful trio of muscle building home workouts – lunges are the perfect compound exercise to increase core strength, strengthen your lower body, and also increase your muscle tissue in size. They can be performed in a wide variety of ways.
Lunges primarily target the hamstrings, quadriceps and butt. The abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and lower back also get a killer workout. In terms of strictly muscle, lunges are right behind squats as an all-rounder workout for the lower body.
It is important to practice lunges in the correct form. Here’s how to do a lunge properly.
Tip #4: Squeeze in some cardio
Cardio for muscle building? Yes, indeed. Contrary to popular belief, a moderate dose of cardio is extremely conductive to quick muscle growth. Of course, moderate means moderate. If your main goal is to build muscle, and not lose fat – at least 1.5 hours of cardio every week is going to be conducive to your fitness goals. How do you squeeze in cardio in your home workout? No, you don’t need a treadmill or elliptical to get the job done. You can jump rope for 15-25 minutes everyday. Go cycling, running, or jogging. Or just try out these incredibly effective cardio workouts you can do from your house.
Tip #5: Don’t skip your rest days
Discard any BS you might’ve heard about training like a beast. Sure, you should always push yourself beyond your limits. As much as certain fitness circles might romanticize the idea of working out till every fiber of your body hurts – this is absolutely NOT going to help in muscle building. Overtraining is a serious issue that’s going to hurt your body in the long run, and certainly not leave you with beastly muscles. The resting periods is when your muscles actually grow. In order to build muscles as fast as possible, make sure you’re taking a rest day at least once a week. The frequency depends on how intense your home workouts are and how long they last. See your rest day as an opportunity to unwind from your everyday routine. Grab a delicious protein bar, put on some Netflix, and enjoy your day off.
Tip #6: Consume your carbs right after working out
Research has consistently shown that you’ll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you take your carbohydrates at the right time. The best time to consume your carbs is right after your home workout. Post-workout meals that are rich in carbs will increase your insulin levels. This, in turn, will slow down the rate of protein breakdown. Carbs will also replenish the muscle glycogen that you burned during your home workout.
Take your post-workout meal seriously and replenish your muscle glycogen stores as effectively as possible. Not doing so is akin to limiting recovery and cheating your muscles. In fact, a delay of just 2 hours in carb consumption has been shown to reduce the rate of glycogen replenishment by 50%.
In short, feel no guilt in having a peanut butter sandwich, a banana, or a sports drink right after your workout.
Tip #7: Watch your protein intake
As far as nutrition is concerned, protein must be your number 1 priority when it comes to muscle building. Protein is crucial in building muscle mass – especially right after you’ve had your strenuous home workout, and your muscle fibers are repairing from the damage to grow back even stronger.
Proteins support your body tissues, tendons and ligaments. Moreover, protein is essential to maintain the healthy muscle mass you’ve built with so much effort. In short, protein must be the most important consideration you make in your everyday food choices.
Some of my favorite protein-rich foods include organic eggs, beans, wild-caught fish, lentils, and grass-fed beef. These foods are mostly organic and hence, don’t just feed your muscles, but also come with many other health benefits. Click here for a comprehensive list of natural protein-rich foods. If you’re willing to step your game up even more, consider buying whey protein and make it a habit to have a protein shake before or after your home workout.
There are dozens and dozens of different brands of protein shakes. At this stage I would advise against buying any of more expensive ‘high quality’ brands. Some may certainly be better than others, but the difference is so marginal and non-significant at this moment for you, as a beginner, that you could just pick any you like. Check out Amazon’s whey protein selection. Plenty to choose from.
Tip #8: Fix your overall diet
In addition to consuming sufficient protein, it’s also important that you are getting your calories from healthy fats, fruits and veggies that help you feel better throughout the day, and also ensure your muscles are receiving all nutrients they need to continue growing.
If you’ve just started incorporating strength training into your home workouts, or increased the intensity of your workouts – make sure you’re adjusting your daily diet accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of skipping up on healthy food for the sake of protein. Replacing your everyday breakfast with a yogurt-filled smoothie or a simple protein shake might help you meet your protein needs, but it may not have enough calories and micronutrients to meet your overall fitness goals. There’s only so much calories you can get from just protein-rich sources!
It is essential that you meet your daily calorie goals in order to sustain your activity level and aid new muscle growth. In short, get your diet right if you want to build muscle at home.
Tip #9: Consistence is key
This might sound like the generic advice you’ve heard elsewhere – but consistency is going to be your most important asset in the long run. Getting passionate about building muscle for the first month and then giving up when you don’t see immediate results, is only going to waste your time. Yes, it’s possible to build muscle quick with home workouts. But it’s still not going to be an instant transformation! If you’re looking for the body transformation of your dreams – you’re in it for the long haul. Every choice you make in your diet or exercise plan, make sure it’s a lifestyle change and not a temporary effort. Consistency, persistence and self-awareness is going to take you a long way in building the body of your dreams.
Now, don’t just stare at the screen and make hypothetical plans about getting your body right. Get to work. Also, don’t forget to check out some of my other blog posts to help you on your way.