12 May 2020

Maintaining – and building – muscle mass at home

By Ronnie Touma (Stadium Club Trainer)

 

There’s a misconception that lifting free or fixed weights is the only way to see increase muscle mass.

But you can maintain, and even build muscle mass, with minimal to no equipment while exercising away from the Stadium Club.

Easily accessible, cost-effective equipment such as resistance bands or light dumbbells are great tools when exercising at home. But if you don’t have these already, it’s just as effective to use your own body weight when training to build and maintain muscle mass.

Remember though, progressive overload and sufficient volume in your training is crucial to building or maintaining muscle mass.

Progressive overload is an important principle that involves continually increasing the demands on the body to continually make gains in muscle size and strength such as adding reps or load or sets.

A great program to follow while at home to maintain or build muscle will be a three-day, full-body split where you train your entire body in a single session with resistance three times throughout the week.

Ensure to give yourself at least 24-48 hours days of rest between each session to make sure your muscles have time to repair and grow.  

Throughout these sessions, you will be required to perform a higher number of repetitions as there isn’t heavier loads (increased strain) on the muscles. However, you are still able to create muscular growth, provided you can take the exercises somewhat close to failure.

Within these sessions, you may experience higher levels of muscle soreness which is totally normal as this is a normal adaption to training. If soreness persists, you can;

  • Reduce the sets by one
  • Reduce the weight, you are doing (if you have weights available) by 5-10%
  • Increase your recovery time

Reduce session time or decrease sessions from three to two a week.

In order to achieve progressive overload in these home sessions and build or maintain muscle mass you should:

  • Increase the load or band strength (if you have equipment available)
  • Increase the number of reps
  • Increase the number of sets
  • Decrease rest times

 

Example at home full body session (with minimal equipment):

  • 3x sets of 60 second wall sit superset with heel elevated wall foam roller squats
  • 3x sets of hamstring towel pull ins – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of banded pushups – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of dumbbell shoulder presses – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of dumbbell single arm row – 12-15 reps each side
  • 3x sets of dumbbell curls – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of dumbbell skull crushers – 12-15 reps

 

Example at home full body session (with no equipment):

  • 3x sets of 60 second wall sit superset with heel elevated wall foam roller squats
  • 3x sets of hamstring towel pull ins – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of paused Pushups – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of pike Pushups– 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of inverted rows – 12-15 reps each side
  • 3x sets of 30 second towel isometric curl – 12-15 reps
  • 3x sets of inverted skull crushers – 12-15 reps

 

At the end of the session make sure to eat a protein and carbohydrate-rich meal to assist your body’s natural recovery process.