How To Construct Muscle WITHOUT Lifting Heavier (5 Science-Based mostly Hacks)

Progressive overload coaching isn’t restricted to simply including extra weight to an train. On this article, I’ll present you the way to construct muscle with out lifting heavier.

Relating to constructing muscle, everyone knows the significance of progressive overload. If we are able to go from curling 20 lb dumbbells for eight reps to now curling 40 lb dumbbells for eight reps, with all issues being equal, your arms will likely be significantly greater on account of that progressive overload. Nonetheless, there’s one thing most of us fail to comprehend. And it’s that progressive overload isn’t restricted to simply including extra weight to an train. What’s progressive overload although? Properly, progressive overload’s definition merely means doing greater than you’ve carried out earlier than. Which locations higher rigidity in your muscle groups over time and causes them to develop. And in terms of the way to progressive overload, there are a number of the way. In actual fact, you may proceed to stimulate and construct muscle with out lifting heavier.

Which is helpful in case you have numerous tools limitations. Or simply are inclined to expertise joint aches and pains when you do begin working with heavier weight. And so on this article, I’ll present you 5 ways in which you are able to do simply that. You’d perceive simply the way to achieve and construct muscle with out lifting heavier by the top of this.

1. Gradual It Down (…However Not Too Gradual!)

One of many issues we are able to do to stimulate extra development with out including extra weight is to differ our repetition period. Or in different phrases, our lifting tempo. Which merely represents how briskly or how gradual we carry out our reps. As a result of by merely slowing down our reps, our muscle groups will now expertise higher time below rigidity. And this helps stimulate extra development although we haven’t added any extra weight.

Nonetheless, there’s a threshold past which slowing down the velocity of your lifts has a detrimental impact on hypertrophy. As a result of within the occasion that you just do go too gradual throughout your reps, you’ll pay the worth when it comes to totally activating the motor models of your goal muscle. That’s even when your muscle groups do expertise far higher time below rigidity. In actual fact, analysis  has proven that lowering the tempo all the way down to as gradual as 10 seconds per rep, so for instance, 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down, resulted in a 36% lower in chest activation when carried out on the bench press. And would result in diminished development because of this.

Thus,  analysis suggests {that a} lifting tempo of roughly 0.5-Three seconds for the concentric and eccentric parts of your reps is finest for development. Which to be sincere if you concentrate on it’s fairly a large leeway with respect to how briskly you carry. Most of us seemingly take nearly a second on the way in which up and method down of every rep. Which means that as a substitute of including extra weight to a motion, you may as a substitute merely gradual your reps down significantly. Doing so will assist elicit extra rigidity on the muscle with out comprising its activation. And, therefore, provide help to placed on extra muscle with out lifting heavy (want for added weight).

Build more muscle at home lifting slower

2. Increase Your Effectivity 

One other method we are able to construct extra muscle with out lifting heavier is through the use of the identical load and performing the identical quantity of reps BUT with extra effectivity. Which means that you just’re lifting the identical load however with:

  • Higher type
  • Extra management AND
  • Higher activation of the goal muscle

As a result of to be sincere, many people deceive ourselves and faux that we’ve gotten stronger within the actions. However as a substitute, simply get sloppier with our execution. I’ve been responsible of this on numerous events. So as a substitute of including extra load with one thing just like the  bench press and even push-ups, should you went from performing:

  • Let’s say 10 reps at a sure load


  • Performing those self same 10 reps with the identical load however with higher type and a  higher thoughts to muscle connection along with your chest

Build more muscle at home with better exercise form

…Then for muscle development that’s simply as efficient. That’s as a result of the goal muscle groups will nonetheless expertise a rise in rigidity akin to should you have been to have added extra weight to the motion.

3. Shorten Your Relaxation Occasions (…However Not Too Brief!)

Relating to the way to construct muscle with out lifting heavier, the following factor we are able to do is shorten the remaining intervals we take between our units. As a result of if we are able to go from performing:

  • Let’s say a dumbbell shoulder press for 10 reps at a sure weight with Three minutes of relaxation in between units


  • Now performing the identical reps and weight however with simply 2 minutes of relaxation in between units

…We’ll now once more allow us to stimulate extra muscle development with out the necessity to carry heavier. Why? Properly, due to the added metabolic stress your shoulders will expertise from the shortened relaxation occasions.

Nonetheless, on the identical time, we don’t wish to shorten the remaining occasions to the purpose the place our quantity and reps carried out endure and reduce considerably because of this. As it will counteract the advantages of the added metabolic stress. And primarily based on the present state of the analysis , plainly on your primary compound actions within the fitness center and even compound body weight actions like pull-ups and onerous units of push-ups, you sometimes wouldn’t wish to lower your relaxation occasions to shorter than 2 minutes if you wish to maximize the expansion response you expertise from them.

Rest periods for compound and bodyweight exercises should be roughly 2 minutes

Whereas isolation actions like curls, for instance, you might have a little bit extra leeway. And may lower your relaxation intervals there all the way down to even simply 60-90 seconds. That’s as a result of these actions don’t present the identical decrements in efficiency from shorter relaxation intervals as compound workout routines do.

Rest periods for isolation exercises should be roughly 60 to 90 seconds

4. Increase Your Vary Of Movement

Build more muscle at home by increasing range of motion

One other factor we are able to do is alter the vary of movement of our workout routines. We all know primarily based on analysis that for essentially the most half, performing your workout routines with a full vary of movement tends to result in higher development. Which is true for a lot of workout routines just like the squat, bench press, pull-ups and push-ups, for instance.

And should you carry out these numerous workout routines with the identical quantity of weight, but merely improve the vary of movement of the train, you may successfully improve each the:

  1. Stretch AND
  2. Time below rigidity

Your muscle experiences throughout every rep. And, because of this, stimulate extra development with out having so as to add any extra load. As an illustration, as a substitute of including 10 lbs to your squat, one other choice to stimulate extra development could be to easily squat an inch or two deeper throughout every of your reps. Or as a substitute of making an attempt so as to add weight to your push-ups, you could possibly as a substitute carry out them at a deficit by stacking your arms on dumbbells or stacks of books. There are numerous methods that you would be able to apply this idea to your workout routines to take them previous their ordinary vary of movement limits. And, because of this, improve the muscle development stimulus with out having to make use of extra weight.

5. Improve Reps (…Up To A Level!) 

As I’ve defined in previous articles, it’s  on quite a few events now that lifting:

  • Gentle weights with greater a rep vary VS
  • Heavier weights with a decrease rep vary

…Builds comparable muscle development so long as you’re pushing to or near failure. So quite than including extra weight to a motion, we are able to as a substitute simply merely improve the numbers of reps we carry out per set to get the identical impact. As for a way excessive to go, there’s a threshold to this. Which appears to be proper round 30 reps or so. Which means that should you’re working with a sure weight, you might have the liberty to extend the variety of reps you carry out with that weight all the way in which as much as 30 reps per set. After which, you’ll wish to then both:

  • Add extra weight OR
  • Overload the motion additional through the use of one other one of many ideas I coated on this article in terms of the way to construct muscle with out lifting heavier

That can help you proceed maximizing development.

How To Construct Muscle With out Lifting Heavier: Implementation

So, how are you going to finest implement these 5 strategies? I’d advocate all the time beginning with effectivity earlier than transferring onto the opposite strategies. So, for instance, let’s say you may carry out Three units of 15 reps of a weighted push-up. And are actually able to overload it to stimulate some extra development. To take action, you must first begin by aiming to carry out these Three units of 15 reps with higher type and with higher activation of your chest. Solely when you nail that down do you have to then transfer onto the varied different strategies I mentioned to make the motion much more troublesome. But in addition whereas nonetheless making certain that your type and effectivity doesn’t get compromised because of this.

How to build more muscle at home

All in all, although, rigidity is rigidity. Your muscle groups can’t inform whether or not you apply that further rigidity in your muscle by:

  • Lifting heavier OR
  • Utilizing among the strategies I went by means of on this article

Admittedly, there does finally come some extent the place it’s simply extra handy to overload your actions by including extra weight. However I hope you have been in a position to see that there are nonetheless many viable methods that you would be able to proceed constructing muscle with out the necessity to carry heavier. So, in terms of the query, ‘Do I’ve to carry heavy to construct muscle?’ The reply is not any; not likely. And for a step-by-step multi function program that exhibits you precisely the way to practice and eat to construct muscle and lean down most successfully with science,

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