A lot of men first decide to join a gym because they want to build muscle and develop a bigger and stronger physique, but because the gym can be an intimidating place, there are some people who would prefer to work out in the comfort of their own home without any weights.
So can you really build muscle without using any weights?
Well the good news is that yes you can. Of course it is a lot easier with dumbbells and barbells because there are many different strength training exercises that you can do, and it is really easy to adjust the weight as you get stronger.
However it is still possible to build muscle without using any weights thanks to bodyweight training, and there are three exercises in particular that are proven to get results:
Arguably the best-known and most popular bodyweight exercise is of course the push-up, and for good reason.
This simple exercise can be done anywhere and is great for developing your upper body because it will work your chest, shoulders and triceps, whilst at the same time strengthening your core abdominal muscles.
To target different areas of your chest, you can do a combination of close grip, wide grip and standard grip push-ups.
Then once this exercise becomes too easy you can use a backpack and fill it with books, for example, for extra resistance, and progress on to harder variations of the push-up, such as the one-arm push-up, for instance. This article also has some more suggestions for making this exercise harder.
Another exercise that will help you build muscle is the pull-up. This doesn’t require any weights because you will be lifting your own bodyweight, but you will of course need access to a pull-up bar.
As we pointed out in this blog post from last year, these can often be found in many playgrounds and public parks, but you can always buy one that will fit in your doorways at home for about $20 – $30 or make your own if you have the right tools and equipment.
Anyway the point is that this exercise will really help to increase your upper body strength because it will work your arms, shoulders and back. Plus this is another exercise that will also strengthen your core muscles.
This is a really challenging exercise, but if it does become too easy, there are many different variations that you can try if you want to push yourself harder and target different muscles, including chin-ups, which will work your biceps more than your triceps.
The two exercises above are great for developing your upper body, but it is important to work on your lower body as well, and one of the best bodyweight exercises for building bigger stronger legs is the squat.
These are often done with dumbbells and barbells, but bodyweight squats can also deliver good results, and it is still possible to make them harder if you want to progress further.
For example, you could do one-legged pistol squats where you are pushing your whole bodyweight upwards using just one leg. Alternatively you could perform normal squats but wear a weighted backpack on your back and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
The point is that you can develop your upper and lower body by performing all three of these exercises, and the major benefit of doing so is that you will never have to enter a gym or invest in any weights because the resistance is provided by your own bodyweight.