Build Muscle Fast at Home in 3 Easy Steps

So, a gym membership sounds too expensive and time consuming? No sweat! You can build muscle fast at home –for free.

Just follow these three easy steps and you’ll be on your way to building muscle in no time!


1. Be Creative

Instead of investing in expensive exercise machines, you can use anything and everything around the house to help you build muscle.

A simple chair, for example, can be your key to muscle building success. Work your arm muscles with the single arm dumbbell pull, by facing the chair, bending your knees, and placing one hand on a chair. Grasp a dumbbell in the other hand and extend your arms toward the floor, keeping your upper body parallel to the floor. Now, pull the dumbbell to where your elbow passes your body, forming a 90-degree angle with your arm. Extend the dumbbell back down to start and repeat.

Or, work your ab muscles with a seated knee lift. Sit on the edge of the chair with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the sides of the chair and lean back slightly. Pull your knees toward your chest as you crunch your upper body forward.

A common towel can also be used to help you get the most out of your exercises. For a towel-enhanced single leg squat, stand with your feet together and your right foot on top of a folded towel.  Squat, shifting weight to your left leg, while sliding the towel out slowly (and very carefully) to the right. Then slowly return it to start. Work one side for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

And who says you can’t use the stairs at home to get a good workout? Try running up stairs, or do stair lunges (climb two steps each lunge).

2. Eat Clean

Protein shakes and pre-workout supplements can help you on your way to fitness greatness, but eating clean at home is what really gives you maximum muscle-building benefits.

First of all, make sure you’re getting enough protein, because protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Most people need about 1 g protein per pound body weight, but you may need more (up to 1.5 g per pound weight) if you’re active and trying to build muscle. [1] Eat 20-25 g protein during or immediately after your workout, and then spread the rest of your protein intake throughout the day. [2]

Even more important than getting enough protein is getting the right sources of protein. Focus on complete proteins found in eggs, meat, fish, cheese, and milk. The best protein sources for gaining muscle include poultry, red meat, and whey protein. [3]

Carbohydrates are also important, because if your body lacks carbs, your protein sources will be used for fuel rather than for muscle growth. Eating carbs after weight lifting prevents muscle breakdown and replenishes glycogen stores. [4]

Make sure you don’t overdo the carbs, though, as overloading on carbs increases fat gain. About half your calories—not more–should come from carbs. [5]

Of course, you also need to eat the right kinds of carbs. Limit refined sugars and focus on complex carbs like vegetables, fruits, brown rice, dried beans, and whole grains for the best muscle-building benefits. [4]

Finally, stick to healthy fats like avocados, nuts, fish, soy, and tofu, rather than fried foods, desserts, and candy bars. Good fats can actually improve heart health and cholesterol, while bad fats increase risk of disease and limit your progress when you’re trying to increase muscle. [6]

You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to find healthy sources of protein, carbs, and fats—most can be found at your local grocery store.

Add Resistance

Don’t have expensive equipment? You’re in luck. Everyday household items can be used to maximize your workout and push your muscles to greater heights.

For example, put something slightly heavy—like a book—on your back while you do push-ups to maximize intensity. To avoid injury, make sure you are in the correct push-up position—elbows in, with head, upper back, and hips in a straight line–and don’t add more weight than you’re ready for.

You can also place a phonebook between your legs to add some intensity to leg raises, or try doing lunges or squats with a heavy backpack on your back. If you don’t have weights at home, complete your favorite weight routine using water jugs, cans, or luggage.

Don’t let the lack of a gym membership stand in the way of getting ripped. Follow these at-home tips and build muscle faster than you ever thought possible.


[1] “How Much Protein Per Day to Build Muscle, Lose Fat & Be Healthy?” Available from:

[2] Shawn Radcliffe. “Should You Eat Protein Every 3 Hours?” Available from:

[3] “How to Eat to Gain Muscle.” Available from:

[4] “Carbohydrates Are NOT The Devil!” Available from:

[5] Shereen Jegtvig. “How Many Carbohydrates Do I Need Each Day?” Available from:

[6] “Choosing Healthy Fats.” Available from:




Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson is a nutritional consultant as well as a freelance writer in the field of health and fitness. He specializes in physique transformation and contest preparation for

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