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If you want to get fit, chances are that you want to build more muscles.
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That’s true even if you want to burn fat.
Muscles require calories, even while resting!
But, many people think that you need to go to the gym to get strong quickly.
Or that you can work out at home, but you’ll progress slowly.
That’s not true.
You can grow muscles at home or your dorm room, fast!
I’m going to cover multiple methods–some obvious, some not–for maximizing your muscle growth without leaving the comfort of your room!
One of the easiest changes you can make to grow muscles is to take the right supplements.
Supplements do not replace the most important ingredients for fitness, which are diet and exercise.
But, as their name suggests, they supplement your efforts and make your dieting and exercising more effective.
We’ve covered muscle-building supplements in detail before. You can visit that article here.
Here’s a quick overview, though.
Your muscles are made of protein, so to grow muscles, you need to consume protein.
It sometimes can be hard to hit the goal of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass.
So, protein powders can be your best friend.
There are plenty to choose from, too!
Supplementing your natural creatine levels is a good way to give your muscles an extra bump in power.
But that’s for the gym, right? That won’t help at home?
Actually, creatine does even more than just empower your muscles!
Creatine boosts several of the pathways in your body that lead to making muscles.
It can boost IGF-1, a growth hormone.
It can also increase the size of your muscles through water retention.
Not only does this give you confidence in the mirror, it can trigger your body to synthesize protein.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that, like creatine, provides benefits during a workout.
Also like creatine, it can help you to grow muscles even when not actively at the gym.
In fact, beta-alanine supplementation can make creatine more effective!
What you eat and when you eat it affects how quickly your muscles grow.
The basic idea is to eat nutrient-rich food so your body has what it needs to grow muscles.
Let’s look at everything in a bit more detail.
As mentioned before, you need protein for your body to build muscles.
Unless you are eating a lot of protein already, you can see improvements in your lean body mass just from eating more protein!
However, there is a limit to this wondrous effect.
Your body can only use about 30 grams of protein from each meal for synthesizing muscles (though “excess” protein is still used for other purposes).
So don’t gulp down all of your protein in one meal!
A good goal is about 1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass. That means that you don’t count body fat when figuring out how much protein you need to eat.
Don’t know your lean body mass? You can use a calculator to figure it out.
That’s because you need the food digested quickly while fats are slow to digest.
However, the rest of the time, dietary fat can help you grow muscles!
That’s because fats play an important role in the hormone cycle.
Those hormones, especially testosterone, tell your body, “Hey, grow more muscles will ya?”
You’ll actually get this effect with saturated fats instead of with polyunsaturated fats!
Carbs are an important macronutrient when you’re close to a workout, but when puttering around at home, they’re not so important.
You do, however, want to eat some carbs with your protein.
Because of the insulin response.
See, when insulin transports glucose to your muscle cells, other muscle-building nutrients catch a ride.
Generally, complex carbs high in fiber are preferred because they take a while to digest.
Too many simple carbs at once and your body stores them as body fat instead.
There are lots of little nutrients that contribute to muscle mass.
I covered a few in an article about supplements, but there’s another piece of advice that can help you get these important bits:
Eat a variety of whole foods.
Protein powders and energy bars are good for certain situations but can lack the myriad micronutrients your body needs.
So, make sure to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other food that doesn’t come in a box.
Workouts You Can Do at Home
To grow muscles fast, you need to work them out.
You don’t need to go for a run or to hit a gym for a workout!
We’ve covered a few routines you can do at home.
You can easily grab a set of dumbbells to workout in your room.
If you have space, you can even get a barbell!
However, there are other things you can do without needing to delve into a complex workout routine.
Before we get into some at-home workouts, I’d like to recommend a certain way of working out at home that’s not like the standard X sets of Y reps method.
Workout Throughout the Day
If you can do 3 sets of 6 pull-ups in a workout, then you get 18 done in a day.
That’s about 54 pull-ups per week.
However, what if you practice less but more often?
Six pull-ups may be tough, but what about one or two? That’s easy.
Now do two pull-ups bunch of times per day. You’ll be fresh for each set.
So you’ll be able to do even more pull-ups than if you had done them all at once.
Possibly even twice as many!
That adds up.
I take advantage of this concept in two ways.
I have a pull-up bar hanging in the doorway out of the room in which I am writing these words.
Whenever I leave the room, for any reason, I perform a pull-up.
They add up throughout the day!
Another thing to keep in mind is to do something when there’s nothing for your body to do, frequently.
Do you watch lots of YouTube videos? Squat while watching them.
Do you play video games such as Fortnight? When loading or after you’ve been killed, get down and do some push-ups.
Studying? Do a pull-up after every page.
You can sneak a lot of exercise into little chunks of time this way.
Your muscles will be larger before you know it.
Here are some of my favorite at-home workouts.
I find squats to be the easiest exercise to do at home.
In fact, I did some squats while writing this post!
While not as effective as weighted squats, bodyweight squats are still great at growing lower body muscles and for encouraging growth hormone production.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Lower your upper half while keeping your knees behind your toes. I find it helpful to start the movement by swinging my butt back.
Lower yourself at least until your thighs are parallel to the floor, though you will get more out of the movement if you can lower your thighs to your calves.
Push with your legs back to standing.
You can hold your arms straight out in front of you for balance.
Lowering yourself onto a chair is a good starting point if you find squats too difficult.
You can also hold dumbbells to add some weight.
I also like to mix it up with some lunges.
Pull-ups work your arms, back, and core, so they are pretty great.
I already mentioned a pull-up bar. If you can’t use one, you can use your door instead.
Make sure that your door has at least three hinges in good condition.
Lay a towel over the top of the door so the edges don’t hurt your hands, grab the top of the door, and lift yourself up.
Make sure to keep your shoulders tight and down!
Do this from the inside, where the door frame is, not the outside, where the hinges are.
To prevent stress on the hinges, it may be a good idea to stick something under the door.
Does your room have a floor? Then you can do push-ups.
Get down on your hands and toes (knees if this is too difficult), holding yourself away from the floor.
Keep your head, back, hips, and legs all in a straight line.
Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your elbows should point toward your feet, not flared out.
Lower yourself almost all the way to the floor, pause, then push yourself back up into the original position.
Do this a handful of times at a go or until your character has respawned.
One of the best things you can do to grow big muscles at home is to get a good night’s rest.
Sleeping to grow muscles? Yes!
Your body produces growth hormones while you’re asleep.
It also synthesizes protein better during that time because, well, you’re not using them.
Sleep can also lower cortisol, which inhibits muscle growth.
You should ensure that your sleep is as high-quality as possible to capitalize on these benefits.
So, sleep for a full 8 hours, avoid electronics close to bedtime, and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
Don’t oversleep either, since that can mess up your sleep cycles.
Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Lastly, avoiding alcohol can help you grow muscles faster.
There are a lot of doomsayers out there who say that any alcohol will cause the muscles to melt right off your body!
Truthfully, alcohol does not have that big of an effect.
It does interfere with protein synthesis a little bit, so you don’t want to overindulge.
However, alcohol is most problematic when it interferes with your sleep cycle.
Remember the benefits of resting?
You won’t get those if you wake up exhausted and with a hangover from yet another night of Jagerbombs.
So go light on the booze if you’re aiming for fast muscle growth.
In order to grow muscles, you need to work out, consume muscle fuel, and rest well.
All of that can be done at home.
In fact, what you do at home can make or break the effect of a workout at the gym!
The advice above will help you grow big muscles, fast, from the comfort of your room.