How to Build Muscle Without Weights: 5 Gym-Free Ways

5 Gym-Free Ways To Build Muscle No Matter Where You’re At
Written by Isaac

Can you build muscle without weights? The short answer: YES.

We’ve got news: You don’t have to shell out a monthly membership fee for some shiny gym to increase your muscle tone. Not everyone can afford the luxury of a gym membership or make time for driving to one numerous times a week.

Being too broke or busy is no excuse for not building muscle, though.

5 Ways Building Muscle Without Weights

1. Invest A Little Bit

Kettlebells in a store

Make a few small purchases.

We’d be lying if we said building muscle without lifting weights was easy. Resistance training and heavy weightlifting puts you on the fast track to building muscle. Because of this, we recommend making a few small purchases, even if it’s as simple as a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell, or some bands.

2. Use Your Own Body

Sometimes we forget just how useful our own body weight is when it comes to lifting. Bodyweight exercises don’t require any special equipment, and they’ll help you build muscle.

Man doing bodyweight exercises in a park

Bodyweight exercises are a great option for building leaner muscle.

Whereas you’ll bulk up a lot with heavy weightlifting, bodyweight exercises are a great option for building leaner muscle.

Here are some of the most effective bodyweight exercises:

  • Squats and Lunges: Two fan favorites, squats and lunges are great for improving core strength and balance while also building leg and glute muscles. You can easily up the ante by holding dumbbells.
  • Push-Ups: They’re a classic, and for good reason. Push-ups help strengthen your core and build muscle in your upper body.
  • Tricep Dips: Got a chair or bench? Then you can do tricep dips. Tricep dips are ideal for building upper body muscle mass.

3. Go For The Abs

Woman doing plank on a bench next to the see

The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core.

Your abs are one of the few muscles that does well without weight training. Exercises like crunches, planks, and Russian twists take advantage of body weight, movement, and gravity to build the core.

4. Feed Your Muscles

Healthy food on a plate

Balance the food you eat with physical activity.

A large part of muscle-building is what you eat. You need a surplus of healthy, nutrient-rich calories to fuel muscle-building. Go for lean proteins that feed the bulking process like whey protein, lean beef, chicken, and Greek yogurt.

5. Don’t Overdo The Cardio

Women on a paint marathon

Too much cardio can be counterproductive.

Cardio is great for burning fat and calories, but when you’re trying to build muscles, you need enough fuel to do so. Stick to 2-4 days of about 30 minutes of cardio.

One Last Note

Like we said before, learning how to gain muscle without weights aint that hard.

Although we love bodyweight exercises, weightlifting is going to give you more muscle mass over a longer period of time. This is because you need progressive overload for maximum muscle gain.

In other words, you need to challenge your body to lift increasingly heavy amounts, deeply stimulating your muscles.

On the other hand, bodyweight exercises are a fantastic place to start if you’re just beginning to work out regularly and build muscle. You will see gains in this case.

Overall, building muscle without a gym membership is possible. For long-term benefits, though, you’re going to want to buy some weights.

About the author


I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits.