If you’re on your skinny to strong journey the first question coming to your head is where to workout followed by how often to work out, what kind of exercises, and so on.
Today we will cover all questions and possible doubts regarding building muscle from home.
Let’s take a little detour to how working out started for me and why I decided to create an at-home workout program above all else. If you know me, you’ll know that my skinniness was my biggest insecurity. I disliked my body very much and wanted to gain weight to become more feminine very very badly. After several years of trying to gain weight without including strength training in my lifestyle, I knew it wasn’t the way to go. But even after deciding on working out, my insecurity about myself, as well as my lack of knowledge made it really hard for me to sign up at the gym. I found gyms very intimidating. Filled with bodybuilders, and confident people, nothing that I wanted to put myself in as a shy, skinny girl.
It took me well over a year to actually take that step. One whole year. In that year I could’ve already had the body I wanted, what a waste of time.
This was my thought behind the Wholesome Weight Gain program, a workout guide that doesn’t force anyone to sign up for a gym. Saving money, time, and energy. So let’s get to the question if it’s possible to build muscle at home, without equipment, or prior knowledge.
Without going into science too deep and keeping this post understandable to those, who’ve never read a single book or study about muscle building, the most important thing that you need to know is this: muscle grows through protein synthesis. To achieve that, you need to stimulate protein synthesis through some sort of resistance. This can be either added weight, your own body weight, resistance bands, and so on.
For someone who doesn’t have a lot of muscle on their body, working with body weight is the perfect start. Since your body most likely isn’t used to lifting weights, the stimulation and resistance of your own body will be more than enough to get started for the first couple of months of your training.
At-home workouts can also easily be adapted to an advanced level, there are really no limits. But it’s important to do the right exercises to not waste your energy on things that don’t do much, burn too many calories, or spike the cortisol levels too high.
To avoid that from happening I’d highly recommend having a) exercises that are designed for a weight gain journey b) a theory training on how to perform the exercises correctly to avoid injury risk c) ideally a program to follow to have enough, but not too much training to see results within weeks of time and d) the confidence that you can do it.
Now that we know that muscle can easily be built at home and especially in the starting phase there’s no gym required, let’s talk about what kind of exercises you should be focusing on.
When you search for workouts online you’ll notice very quickly that most of them focus on the fat burn, HIT sessions, cardio, and burning as many calories as possible. Since you’re reading this article I may assume that this isn’t your goal, right? Unlike most people, we’re looking to preserve calories to build muscle and build a strong, feminine shape. Hence 90% of all available workout programs aren’t applicable to us. We need exercises that target each muscle specifically without burning too much at the same time, and that’s perfectly possible. How? Through low impact and low-intensity workouts. Nothing that gets your heart rate going too crazy (that’s where fat burn takes place). Nothing that gets you out of breath too much. Nothing that releases too much cortisol and quite literally kills the muscles that you’re trying to build so strongly.
Lastly, let’s go over how often you should be working out to build the body of your dreams.
One thing I want to tell you right away is the following: you NEED rest days! If you’re currently working out 7 days a week and wondering why you’re not achieving the results you’re looking for – this is the answer.
Muscle isn’t being built during the workout, but more so afterward in the recovery phase. And if you’re not allowing your body to recover, less muscle is being built. In a nutshell, you’re doing self-sabotage. Even worse, you’re putting in the work without getting the reward you deserve.
So how much rest is too much or too little? The rule of thumb here is to get __ working sets per muscle per week. Don’t worry, you won’t need to be counting that every single week. It may sound more complicated than it is.
The workout schedule and amount can easily be adjusted to your availability. Here’re my suggestions:
2 x week = 2 x full body
3 x week = 1x upper body, 1x lower body, 1x full body
4 x week = 2x upper body, 2x lower body
5 x week = 2x upper body, 2x lower body, 1x full body
6 x week = 2x push, 2x pull, 2x legs
Each workout should be anywhere between 20-60 minutes with an appropriate warm-up and cool-down.
And again, make sure that your workout is designed for weight gain, meaning low impact and low intensity!
If you follow these steps, you should be making progress within weeks.