How to Build Muscle and Strength without Lifting Weights

flaky-nerd Not many people believe that building muscle without lifting weights is achievable. This type of training is so doable for everyone, though, since gym equipment and memberships can be expensive; and most people don’t have time for the gym on a daily basis. There are tons of home-based and other types of workouts (such as road bike riding) that can earn you a stronger body without necessarily lifting any weights. However, these exercises require daily practice; and an understanding of the dynamics behind these workouts for great results and successful implementation.

Dynamics behind Building Muscle

Safety– It is important that one use the proper type of workout. Also, stretch before and after the exercise to prevent muscle cramps.

Subjecting the Body to Tension– It is important that the muscle is subjected to enough tension by incorporating significant resistance, provided by the individual rep in the home-based exercises.

Progressive Overload– It is a concept of placing demands on the body, with a gradual increase in the end as one continues building muscle. This helps the body grow and adapt to handling heavier workouts.

Reduction of Rest between Sets– By reducing time for rest between sets, an entire cycle of calisthenics is done non stop. You can get a more intense workout by completing different squats, body pushups and lunges without taking a break; but also not getting over fatigued, since you’re switching up what body part is working in each exercise.

Flexing and Holding– A technique (also called iso-tension) that requires one to flex their muscles and hold for 10 seconds after going through a given set. Iso-tension means that you are contracting the muscles, holding them in the same place without moving them in any way. You’ll see body builders do this on stage when competing. Iso-tension gives the body a more chiseled look, targeting areas where strength resistance exercises do not reach.

Suggested Body Weight Exercises for Building Muscle

These workouts are very simple exercises and benefit each part of the body diffferently. For great results, make each exercise intense enough. The duration of each exercise depends on what level you are; but it is important that you get through all of them in at least 8-10 minutes before going through the whole circuit again.


Squats are simple moves, and one can add progressions, making them tougher with time.

  • Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the arms out straight in front of you. Alternatively, put them behind your head.
  • Descent by pushing your hips back and end your knees.
  • Look straight ahead, keeping your chest up. The back must remain in a neutral position throughout the movement.
  • Squat down, going as low as possible, maintaining a straight back, then explode back to your original position.

Not that your weight must be on your heels throughout.

Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups

Pull-ups are performed with the palms facing away from you. As for chin-ups, they are best done with your palms facing you.

  • The exercises begin from a dead hang. Here, the arms fully extended, hands about shoulder width apart, chest up and the shoulders back and tight.
  • Pull yourself up toward the bar, ensuring that you hit the bar with the chin.
  • Lower yourself slowly and in a controlled motion, back to dead-hand position.
  • Repeat the process.


They strengthen your upper body triceps and the back offering an overall body exercise. Additionally, pushups have tons of variations for anyone.

  • Place the hands on the ground, ensuring they are slightly wider your shoulder width.
  • Lower your body until the chest almost touches the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs, engage your core and push back up to plank.

After performing the basic push-up, progress to diamond push-ups and one-armed push-ups.


Crunches firm abdominals and slim the waist.

  • Lie on your back, legs bent, with your heels near your butt.
  • Put your chin on your chest and place your hands behind your head. Begin raising your head up, contracting your abs and hollowing out the belly area.
  • Go about a third of the way.
  • Lower your body back to the original position and repeat.

Stephen Yost is the founder of Road Bike Hub. His aim is to help keen bike riders find the best road bikes like GMC Denali Road Bike depending on how and where they want to enjoy their biking.

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