Believe it or not, you can build some serious muscle in the comfort of your own living room or at-home gym. Regardless of the amount of equipment you have available to you, these 8 tips are essential to muscle building at home.

1. Have the Basics On-Hand

Not everyone has a personal gym in the basement or the garage- but if your aim is muscle building at home, then you can achieve this even with the basics. Make sure you have 2-3 resistance bands and 1-2 sets of dumbbells.

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On a budget? Start with one set, heavy enough to provide a challenge for most exercises, and save your pennies for the next 3-5 weeks until your body needs a bigger challenge.

It won’t feel like such a financial burden if you purchase one set at a time as you increase your strength and muscle mass.

If you really want to get fancy, purchase a weight bar and one set of plates. Purchase additional sets as you get stronger!

2. Eat to Build

This is a foundational rule to muscle building ANYWHERE. The muscle-building process requires energy, so you have to make sure you’re eating enough or the proper calories throughout the day to fuel this process.

Not only do you need carbohydrates for the fuel, but you also need an abundant supply of protein in your body. Depending upon your goals, ACSM recommends anywhere from 1.2-1.7g of protein per pound of bodyweight for men, slightly less for women.

If you’re also trying to avoid weight gain while building muscle at home, stick to lean meats, low-sugar protein powders, and lots of vegetables. The cleaner your diet while muscle building at home, the cleaner your muscle gain.

3. Use Your Home to Your Advantage

Unlike the gym, you don’t have to commute anywhere to utilize your home as an exercise space. This means, in theory, you could utilize your home for muscle building practically 24/7!

Reorganizing your closet? Practice good squat form while picking up and putting down heavy boxes or items. Have stairs between floors? Try step ups while traveling from the first floor to the second floor.

Your home may not be designed as a typical gym, but there are plenty of ways to create resistance so you can build muscle at home.

4. Practice Safety

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Just because you’re not in a formal gym setting doesn’t mean that safety doesn’t apply. Follow all of the same lifting techniques and rules you would use in a traditional weight room.

In the comfort of your home, it can be tempting to try that crazy jumping-while-lifting move since you’re alone, but don’t allow your judgment to fall by the weight-side because there aren’t other sets of eyes on you.

Always do your research when trying new exercises, especially if they seem a little crazy!

5. Continuously Increase Resistance

With limited equipment, it can be easy to want to repeat the same workouts at the same weight expecting to see results. Regardless of your environment, your muscles need continuous stimulus to grow.

Increasing weight is the easiest way to do this but if you don’t want to keep buying new equipment, you can also change the exercise itself. For example- want to make push ups harder?

Elevate your feet on a stool to increase the load on your chest. Once you ace those, elevate your feet even higher- maybe to the couch- and it won’t cost you a dime!

6. Have a Plan

If you have some basic knowledge of weight training, do your research and put together a progressive at-home plan to make sure you’re continuously seeing results.

If you don’t have a lot of experience, seek out a professional personal trainer that wouldn’t mind creating a program for you. Few trainers will do this for free, but having a professionally created program that ensures results is a wise investment.

7. Be Creative

Going along with #3 above, use what you have at home in creative ways. While watching TV at home, use commercial breaks to sneak in 1-2 sets of squats, dead lifts, push ups, etc. Use household chores as resistance exercises.

Vacuum cleaners, full laundry baskets, carrying groceries- these are all things that demand work from your muscles. Stay active at home to help enhance the muscle-building process.

8. Be Consistent

Every good muscle building routine needs consistency to work properly. Keep a schedule of your at-home workouts and stick to it! Just because it’s not in a formal gym setting doesn’t mean it’s any less important.

Use these 8 tips to your advantage and keep working towards muscle building at home!

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