Online & Home Workouts: How to Gain Muscles Without Going to the Gym

With gyms opening after a long time after the lockdown, there is one pertinent question on the minds of many fitness enthusiasts. “Is it safe to go back to the gym?” Unfortunately, this question doesn’t have a very clear answer. While some argue that if safety precautions are in place as per protocol, going to the gym is as good as going anywhere else. Those in disagreement claim that it is impossible to work out effectively in masks and that equipment is always exposed to germs/particles anyways.

There are many who are confused or are not ready to get back to the gym because:

o  They feel it is not safe yet.

o  They don’t have access to a gym or can’t afford it at this point.

o  They are immune-compromised or have a family member who is at risk.

o  Their routines of work from home/online learning for children etc, leave no time for gym.

There are things we can do nothing about, however; coming up with solutions is always the best way to deal with a crisis situation.Let’s first agree on one thing, incorporating an exercise/workout routine is beneficial for overall health!

For those who have decided to steer clear of the gym for now or forever, you are not alone in making this choice. Due to the pandemic, there has been a dynamic shift to home workouts across the globe. Home gyms are evolving slowly and people are realising that fitness is very much achievable at home. In fact, our CEO Jyoti Dabas spoke about how online workouts are the new normal in an article covered in a leading Indian daily.

One aspect that may concern many avid exercisers, especially those who strength train, is how to gain muscles without going to the gym. Those who have put in years of sweat, toil and hard work to reach a certain physique are questioning ‘Is it possible to gain muscles with home workouts?’’

INFS Faculty Aditya Mahajan has a few tips and solutions to share.

1.   INCREASE TRAINING FREQUENCY

o  Since access to training machines and training equipment is limited, training frequency must remain high. A variety of exercises must be tried focusing on volume training.

o  Every muscle group needs to be targeted frequently during the week. Train each muscle 2-3 times a week.

2.   MAX OUT ON EACH SET

o  Put maximum effort in each and every set. Training heavy is not essential for muscle growth [1], but it is essential to take each set close to failure [2].

o  This would mean that if you are using your bodyweight to train or don’t have access to heavy weights, you may need to perform numerous repetitions to reach close to failure.

3.   EAT MORE PROTEIN

o  Apart from exercise, you definitely need sufficient protein intake to stimulate muscle growth.

o  The recommended protein intake for muscle growth is 1.8-2.2 gm per kg of body weight [3].

4.   MAKE SURE YOU ARE CONSUMING SUFFICIENT CALORIES

o  Eating sufficient protein is not enough for muscle growth.

o  The body needs extra energy to build muscle, and therefore, it is recommended to have a slight caloric surplus (~200-300 cal) for the same.

You may choose not to see the face of a gym anytime soon but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to those hard-earned gains! Remember, human beings had muscles before the gymnasium was invented! So, adapt your fitness routine at home and make sure your nutrition is on point. With consistent training and quantified nutrition, having a dream body without footing a step in the gym is a possibility! One that many are working on and making happen right now.

About the Authors :  Aditya Mahajan, INFS faculty & Saakshi, A psychologist by education and a fitness enthusiast by choice, she dreams to combine these worlds. Content writing and social media management is a passion that keeps her in the constant learner mode.

references

1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Ratamess, N. A., Peterson, M. D., Contreras, B., Sonmez, G. T., & Alvar, B. A. (2014). Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(10), 2909-2918.

2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Peterson, M. D., Ogborn, D., Contreras, B., & Sonmez, G. T. (2015). Effects of low-vs. high-load resistance training on muscle strength and hypertrophy in well-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(10), 2954-2963.

3. Phillips, S. M., & Van Loon, L. J. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of sports sciences, 29(sup1), S29-S38.

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