When You Know Better! You Can Do Better!

tf clark fitness magazine logo
Health & Fitness Is Not Magic, But Science!

Limited Equipment – Build Muscle at Home on a Low Budget


Assessment for week seven of my how to build muscle at home with limited equipment. My journey was fascinating. The elephant in the room was the coronavirus. Like most others, coronavirus has confined me to my house. The gyms are closed, and Covid limited my access to the needed equipment.

I have a bench, dumbbells, barbells, and 150 lbs. I just completed my strength and endurance training phase during week six. If you have been following my blog, you know I believe you have to get stronger to get bigger.

The Key –

So how do you build muscle at home with limited equipment? The key to building muscle is the diet, sleep, and the glycolytic energy pathway. Muscle gains happen by eating a calorie surplus focusing on protein, and a workout that places pressure on the glycolytic pathway. The glycolytic energy pathway is the energy source that tight muscles.

This energy pathway lasts about one minute and takes about one minute to replenish. Because of the time the glycolytic energy pathway lasts and replenishes, repetitions of 8 – 12, rest time of 30 seconds to 1 minute, and weight load of 70% of one repetition max are best.

Do not worry about the volume of weight while trying to build muscle at home with limited equipment. Make sure the weight is heavy enough for you to lift only 8 – 12 repetitions; this typically happens around 70% of your one-repetition max. Your sleep continues to be essential for rest and your hormone health. Do not discount the importance of hormones, food, especially testosterone, estrogen, and human growth hormones.

Demographics: Age 52, Height 5-5, Weight 181 lbs

Upper Body:

Lift and Weight Sets and Reps
Pushups Neutral Grip 20,10,10,10,10
Dumbbell Shoulder Press  40 10,10,10,10,10
Pushups Narrow Grip 10,10,10,10,10
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 40 10,10,10,10,10
Pushups Wide Grip 10,10,10,10,10

Lower Body

Lift and Weight Sets and Reps
Squats  100 10,10,10,10,10
Lunges  100 10,10,10,10,10
Front Squats 100 10,10,10,10,10
Deadlift 100 10,10,10,10,10
Back Row  100 10,10,10,10,10

Focus & Form –

The key to building muscle at home with limited equipment is to focus on form and range of motion for each lift. Concentric, eccentric, and isometric movements are crucial—the slower and deeper each lift, the better. The perfect pushup allows you to focus on form and gives you the extra depth to perform concentric and eccentric moves. Time under pressure works the muscle just as effectively as weight under pressure.

Typically perform squats parallel to the ground to save your knees, but while you are trying to build muscle at home with limited equipment, you can complete a full range squat. By slowly squatting down, holding for 10 seconds once you are parallel to the floor, continuing downward, slowly pressing up, holding for 10 seconds once you are parallel to the floor again, and continuing up, you can keep stress on the muscles and perform concentric, eccentric, and isometric lifts on each squat. At the three-fourths mark, I will revisit my measurement, which is week twelve.

Serious Adjustments –

How do you make serious adjustments to your workout? I had to make severe adjustments to build muscle at home with limited equipment; It is not ideal for me because of my age and experience level. Flexibility helps when you don’t have access to the gym or sustain an injury. Unfortunately, a lack of flexibility has sabotaged many diets and workout plans.

The Last Word on Building Muscle at Home on a Low Budget and Limited Equipment

I hope to continue to build muscle at home with limited equipment for two weeks or fewer and then get back to the gym for the rest of my muscle gain journey. Also, I may have to extend my journey for a couple of weeks to account for my time at home. I don’t know how my body will respond to my new reality. Diet and sleep (hormones) are the primary factors for muscle gains and fat loss. Exercise may not cause muscle gains, but the absence of exercise causes muscle loss.