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  • Clem Duranseaud

How to build muscle at home?

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Learn how to build muscle at home

A question I get a lot as a trainer is how to build muscle at home? Muscle building seems to be more of a gym thing, and if we have minimum equipment at home, it seems like we think it is not possible anymore.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can build muscle from the comfort of your home, we simply need to understand a few things before we look at the actual workouts.

In this article you will:

How muscle is built

First, remember that there are three pathways to build muscle:

  1. Mechanical load: Put more and more tension on your muscles. This sends signals to your brain that you need more muscle to sustain more load.

  2. Muscle damage: As you lift weights, microscopic tears happen in your muscles, when they get repaired, they gets bigger.

  3. Metabolic stress: As you workout and feel a burn in your muscles, the environment around your muscles gets filled with various molecules (lactate, hydrogen ions, creatine) that stimulate growth hormone.

Assuming you don't have very heavy weights at home, it just means that it'll be harder to place a lot of mechanical load on your muscles. Not impossible, just a bit harder than if you went to a gym. The good news is that the other two pathways, muscle damage and mechanical stress are still available to you.

How to build muscle at home

Muscle damage happens when you lift very heavy weights a few times, or when you lift lighter weights many times. If you only have a couple pairs of dumbbells at home, simply trying to do more and more reps per exercise is a good place to start.

Let's say you are doing lunges with 15 pounds dumbbells. You do 3 sets of 15 reps per leg and feel tired. You come back the next day and do 3 sets of 20 reps. Then the day after that you do 3 sets of 25 reps. Then you can start adding sets. The important thing here is to keep adding reps regularly. It doesn't have to be every workout, but at least every other week.

Metabolic stress happens when you get that burning sensation in the muscle. The longer you can withhold that burn, the more your muscles will adapt and grow. Doing exercises back to back without taking breaks is my go to method for this one. Giant sets, drop sets, adding reps workouts, circuits and amraps are all great ways to achieve this.

For those of you who do my live classes or youtube workouts, this is exactly what we're trying to do.

Here is an example of a giant set:

Do all of the following without taking a break.

10 dumbbell squats

10 dumbbell lunges

10 jump lunges

10 pistol squats

1 min wall sit

Take a 1 min break and do this two more times.

You can see that even without heavy weights, your leg muscles would get very tired during this set, you would tap into the muscle damage and metabolic stress pathway at the same time, and this would be how you can build muscle at home.

Ready to try full home workouts? Try these

45 minute full body workout at home

This 45 minutes full body workout will challenge every muscles in your body and is broken down into 3 parts.

Part 1: Strength work

This section features 3 blocks of 4 moves that your repeat twice.

Block 1

Dumbbell lunges

Dumbbell bent over row

Push up with pulse

Block 2

Dumbbell squats

Dumbbell side lunges

Dumbbell shoulder press

Block 3

Dumbbell deadlift

Hamstring curls

Pike push ups

Weighted crunches

Part 2: Full body AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)

Perform 8 reps of each exercises as many times as possible in 8 minutes.

Dumbbell snatches

Single arm row

Mountain climbers


Part 3: Full body HIIT

Perform each moves for 30 seconds, without a break. You will repeat that twice.

Jump lunges

Renegade row

Plank jacks

Jump squats


Bicycle crunches


Elbow push ups

30 minute full body workout

Happy training guys,



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