Find out how to build muscle at home with the best full-body workout for growth designed by Jeremy Ethier.
Jeremy Ethier, a renowned fitness trainer and Kinesiology graduate, is the co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 5.5 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research
In this full-body home workout routine, you will embark on a journey to challenge the common misconception that home workouts are inferior for muscle growth. While it is true that many bodyweight workouts at home routines may not yield optimal results, the key lies in proper design and execution.
How to Build Muscle at Home: The BEST Full Body Workout for Growth
The first crucial aspect emphasized is the need to push oneself to near failure for every set performed in the full-body home workout routine. This ensures the activation of all motor units within the muscles, leading to substantial growth akin to using heavier weights in a gym setting. The importance of working with a weight or resistance equivalent to at least 30-40% of one’s 1 rep max is also highlighted, resulting in approximately 30-40 reps per set for maximum growth potential.
With these principles in mind, let’s delve into the specifics of the full home workout. The initial exercise entails narrow grip push-ups, where the hands form a diamond shape, targeting the chest and triceps. The inverted row is then employed to focus on the overall back, with an emphasis on the mid-back region for thickness. Transitioning to the third exercise, you perform pike push-ups, which predominantly engage the shoulders and triceps. The following move involves targeting the back, specifically the lats, through a vertical pulling angle using sliding lat pulldowns.
Proceeding with the workout, do bicep towel curls to isolate the arms. To further focus on the long head of the triceps, they can seamlessly switch over to perform tricep extensions using the same towel setup used for bicep curls.
Recognizing that bodyweight squats may not suffice for most individuals, the workout incorporates assisted pistol squats using the towel setup, effectively engaging the quads and glutes. The Bulgarian split squat with the rear leg elevated on a platform is the eighth exercise, adding additional emphasis to the quads and glutes. Conclude the workout with the sliding leg curl, targeting the hamstrings through both hip and knee extension.
Rest and recovery are essential components of any workout routine, including home workouts. Adequate rest of approximately 2 minutes between sets is recommended to allow the muscles to recuperate and perform optimally. To save time while maintaining effectiveness, you can perform the upper body exercises in a superset fashion.
By following this meticulously crafted and scientifically informed full body home workout routine, you will experience a journey of growth, strength, and self-improvement. The emphasis on proper execution and targeted exercises ensures that one’s home workouts can yield results that rival those achieved in traditional gym settings. With dedication, consistency, and the right knowledge, anyone can achieve their fitness goals from the comfort of their own home.
Home workout (superset):
- Diamond Push-Ups: (4 sets – 2 flat, 2 decline)
- Inverted row (4 sets)
- Pike Push-ups (3 sets)
- Lat pulldowns on floor (3 sets)
- Biceps towel curl (2 sets”
- Tricep bodyweight extensions (2 sets)
- Assisted pistol squat (3 sets each side)
- Bulgarian split squat (3 sets each side)
- Hamstring leg curls (4 sets)
Do this workout 3-4 times a week for maximum gains.
To see Ethier explaining why each exercise is best for maximum muscle growth, watch the full video below.
Pros of Doing Bodyweight Exercises
There are also many other reasons to start doing calisthenics besides a leaner, but strong physique:
- Do it anywhere – as it usually utilises bodyweight, you can do most of the movements anywhere, even while on vacation.
- Joint strength – when you start progressing to other movement standards, you will require your joints to do extra work to hold your body weight. That is simply not used during normal gym exercises.
- Strength everywhere – you will work out your entire body. No more “skip leg” days.
- Impress anyone – this can sound a bit pathetic, but you will definitely impress people around you if you can perform some of the more advanced movements.
- Inexpensive – you can do many exercises with nothing but your sheer will, or you can find a bar at a playground or buy your own and incorporate even more exercises into your routine.
- Great for weight loss – as this type of training involves multiple muscle groups, it usually burns more calories than common cardio and adds to your overall energy expenditure.
Cons of Doing Bodyweight Exercises
The good thing about calisthenics is that there are not many downsides to doing it. After all, since when is doing bodyweight workouts bad for you? It is not. So what are the disadvantages of doing calisthenics?
- No bulking – if you are looking to get ripped with giant muscles, your best bet is to do powerlifting and stick to the gym. Bodyweight exercises will get you fit, but a more lean-looking physique.
- Not great if you are recovering – if you had surgery or are doing physical therapy, calisthenics will not help you, and could potentially injure you even further. Bodyweight exercises are fundamental, but you are still lifting a lot of weight, whereas in a gym you can strengthen your leg by lifting literally any weight you want.
- You can hit a plateau – when you start training, you want to keep progressing, and that can be tricky or disappointing when doing calisthenics because you will only use your body weight. Weight training is easier, you just add more weight, but with calisthenics you need to find ways to challenge yourself more utilizing the only weight you have available.
When it comes to bodyweight exercises, there are several principles that you should definitely follow to maximize your results and ensure safety:
- Proper Form and Technique: Focus on maintaining correct form and technique throughout each exercise. This helps target the intended muscles effectively and reduces the risk of injury. Start with proper alignment, engage the targeted muscles, and execute each movement with control and stability.
- Progression: Progression is key to continuously challenge your muscles and stimulate growth. As you get stronger, gradually increase the difficulty of your bodyweight exercises. This can be achieved by adding variations, increasing repetitions or sets, adjusting leverage or range of motion, or incorporating advanced progressions.
- Full Range of Motion: Perform exercises through their full range of motion, aiming for a complete extension and contraction of the muscles involved. This ensures that you engage the muscles fully and enhances flexibility and mobility.
- Balanced Routine: Include a variety of bodyweight exercises that target different muscle groups to create a well-rounded routine. Balance upper body, lower body, and core exercises to avoid muscle imbalances and promote overall strength and stability.
- Consistency and Frequency: Consistency is crucial for progress. Aim to perform bodyweight exercises regularly, ideally 2-3 times per week or more, depending on your goals and fitness level. Consistency over time leads to improved strength, endurance, and muscle development.
- Proper Warm-up and Cool-down: Before starting your bodyweight workout, warm up with dynamic stretches or light cardio to increase blood flow, loosen up the joints, and prepare the muscles for exercise. Afterward, cool down with static stretches to improve flexibility and promote recovery.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust the intensity or modify exercises as needed. Respect your limits and avoid pushing yourself to the point of pain or excessive fatigue. Gradually progress while being mindful of any discomfort or signs of overexertion.
- Rest and Recovery: Allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover between workouts. Muscles need time to repair and grow stronger after exercise. Incorporate rest days into your routine and prioritize sleep and proper nutrition to support recovery.
- Adaptability: Bodyweight exercises can be adapted to various fitness levels and settings. Whether you’re a beginner, have limited space or equipment, or prefer home workouts, bodyweight exercises offer flexibility and versatility.
- Enjoyment and Sustainability: Choose bodyweight exercises that you enjoy and can sustain in the long run. Find variations and progressions that challenge you while keeping your workouts engaging and fun. Enjoying your workouts increases adherence and helps you stay motivated.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness trainer before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions or injuries.