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How To Get Built Without Weights

Putting on muscle without the use of using any training machinery or free weights is certainly not the ideal situation if the specific objective in training is to gain muscle, however it can be done. First we need to isolate the two basic requirements that it takes to build muscle.

We already know that to build muscle we have to have progressive resistance which is the regular application of a progressive overload which has to happen in an environment that is conducive to stimulating growth. The second is good nutrition split into 5 or more meals a day of adequate calories and good quality protein.

If these two principals are in place on a daily or weekly basis then increasing lean body mass is guaranteed. First we need planning however, and with the limitations of no extra weights of any sort, we need to work out what bodyweight exercises can be done using progressive overload so that more effort and/or resistance can be applied continuously.

The obvious movements that we can do are push-ups for chest and all the many different variations that a push-up can be done to the pull-up or chin-up and all the different variations that can be done. That is just two body-parts which are back and chest however the rest of the body can also be done with a bit of creativity.

Below is just a short list of some bodyweight exercises that one can do where progressive resistance can be offered either by doing more reps or more sets but also one could add some weight like a sandbag in a rucksack and other innovations to increase resistance.

Inverted rows for back
Dips for triceps and chest
Handstand push-ups for deltoids
Body weight biceps curls for biceps
Body weight triceps extensions for triceps
Lunges (and its many variations) for glutes,quads and hamstrings
Squats for quads and hamstrings
Split squats/Bulgarian split squats for quads and hamstrings and glutes
Pistol squats for calves, quads and hamstrings
Single leg Romanian deadlifts for hamstrings
Body weight leg curls for hamstrings and glutes

So when developing muscle we first need to make sure that we can do at least 3 sets of 5 reps with perfect form and no cheating. This resistance can be added by either making the movement more difficult or using bands. It is endless what one can be do with bands from band presses to band rows and front or lateral band raises and many more.

The stronger you get the more difficult it is going to be to increase resistance but progressing from 3 X 5 to 3 X 15 is going to add more muscle guaranteed. This is obviously limited however as eventually you will just be training for muscle endurance once your body has adapted to 3 X 12 or 15 reps.

As mentioned above the best way to progress at this point is to add weight which could be done in the form of a weighted vest that you wear or a dipping belt with some weight attached. Plus there are also heavier bands that could be used.

Besides effective products like buying rings that you can use to train with or using bodyweight equipment like the TRX system or Jungle Gym XT and similar products, you should always be able to gain muscle training with bodyweight only. The main requirement is planning so that you never land up just doing the same routine each workout as this will halt your progress.

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