Can You Build Muscle Without Weights

World of Muscle

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Building Muscle without Weights - Can it Be Done?

Can you gain significant muscle without weights? Well, no is the simple answer to that.

Don't get me wrong, it's not impossible to build muscle without weights, but it is very inefficient to say the least.

A complete beginner may make small gains using bodyweight exercises only, but they won't make any considerable gains from them. For others looking to gain lots of muscle though, using bodyweight exercises alone in their workouts is absolutely useless!

Progressive Overload

This principle is key when building muscle. In order for your muscles to grow, your muscle fibers have to be put under extreme tension - "The extreme tension that comes from progressively lifting heavier weights."  Your muscles won't feel the need to grow if they're not put under increasing demand.

Think about it this way, as I workout I generally try and hit 5 reps in 5 sets for a certain exercise using heavy weights. If I can reach those 5 reps in every set I increase the weight the next time I perform that exercise. How can I follow this priciple of bodybuilding without using weights?

The only way that you can increase the demand on the muscles using bodyweight exercises, is to progressively increase the number of reps you're doing, which would take you out of the optimum muscle building range. In order to build muscle you have to increase the weight you lift not the number of times you lift it!

When Should I Use Bodyweight Exercises?

Many people like to spread bodyweight exercises throughout their workouts, so they can completely run their muscles into the ground. If you're working out correctly in the first place you shouldn't feel the need to use bodyweight exercises this way!

I only recommend using bodyweight exercises when warming up before working out a particular muscle group, any other time try and stick to using or assisting with weights in any exercises you do.

If you're travelling or don't have access to weights or a gym, then bodyweight exercises can be useful as a short term solution too. Putting your muscles under some kind of stress when you're away on holiday ensures you maintain all the hard work you've put in.

Some Ways to Workout without Weights Whilst Travelling

Where possible use your ingenuity to find items to use as weights to help you.

So to recap, only absolute beginners will see results building muscle without weights, a very small amount of muscle at that. To gain muscle you have to progressively increase the weight over time, whereas increasing the number of reps will be detrimental. Also, only use bodyweight exercises when you don't have access to any equipment (when travelling) or when you're warming up.

The bottom line is, you can't gain significant amounts of muscle without using weights. To get big, you must lift big!

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