The ancient Greeks didn’t have gyms or fitness centers, yet they left behind countless images of buff bodies we still see as the ideal physique today. With or without equipment, you can build a muscular body from head to toe — in the privacy of your own home. The key to home workouts that build muscle is using the correct loads and volumes.
Perform exercises slowly and with maximum resistance to get ripped.
Combine Strength and Cardio
To get ripped, you’ll need to build muscle and burn fat – no sense in increasing muscle size if it’s hidden under love handles. This means you’ll need to burn fat with cardio and build muscle with resistance workouts.
Choose Your Equipment
The first step to getting ripped is to decide what exercise equipment you want to use. You’ve got to enjoy whatever workout you decide to purse because you’ll need to work out multiple times per week for weeks and weeks. Look into buying inexpensive dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, a chinup bar, medicine ball, jump rope and an ab wheel.
Create Your Workouts
Write a list of exercises and the order in which you’ll do them each workout. Use the exercise libraries at ExRx.net, ACE Fitness and Sports Fitness Advisor to get ideas and learn the right techniques. Learn the correct technique for the exercises you have chosen to maximize the benefit you get from performing them and reduce your chance of injury.
For muscle building, use biceps curls, triceps extensions, chest flies and presses, arm raises, dumbbell rows and kickbacks, chinups, pullups and dips to work your upper body. Include squats, lunges, calf raises and deadlifts to work your legs. Work your core with crunches that move you side-to-side and forward and back. Planks are another excellent choice. Use your stairs, a jump rope, running in place, jumping jacks, butt kicks, mountain climbers and burpees, along with bodyweight exercises you perform quickly, to create cardio workouts.
Decide on Your Schedule
Create a weekly workout schedule that works your legs, hips, buttocks, core, arms, chest, back and shoulders. Create cardio workouts that help burn calories and promote weight loss to help create muscle definition.
Write a monthly workout schedule that changes your workout every two weeks to prevent muscle adaptation to your exercises and a plateau in your results. This helps prevent adaptation and plateaus, and is the theory behind the P90X “muscle confusion” theory.
Start Working Out!
Warm up to start each workout. Swing your arms, jog in place, do jumping jacks and butt kicks at a moderate intensity for five minutes.
To build muscle, perform exercises using either high-load, low-rep workouts, or lower-load, higher-rep workouts. To do the first, use the maximum weight you can lift five times without needing a break. Perform three to five sets of each exercise in a row, taking a break of several minutes between each set. To perform lower-load, higher-rep workouts, lift enough weight, or use enough resistance, so you can perform 8 to 12 reps. If you can keep lifting longer than 90 seconds, you’re not using enough resistance.
When performing bodyweight exercises, go slowly to create muscle-building workouts. Perform the exercises to failure before taking a break and repeating. Don’t let gravity drop you down after a pullup, situp or pushup – make your muscles do the work on the way up and down. Pause between uplifts and downlifts.
Perform exercises at 50 percent to 75 percent of your maximum intensity, depending on your starting shape and how long you want to do each exercise, to create cardio workouts. Exercise for two minutes, then recover for three to four minutes.
Cool down with easy arm and leg movements for several minutes at the end of each workout to prevent muscle stiffness and soreness. Stretch after your cooldown to improve flexibility.
Keep Track of Reps and Sets
Write down the number of reps you perform during each set of an exercise to track your progress. Aim to increase the number of reps you perform and the weight you use each week.
Rest at least 24 hours between workouts to allow your muscles to recover and rebuild. Alternate upper- and lower-body workouts.