I am trying to build muscle, but don't have access (or time to go to) to a gym.

I don't want to neglect anything here, but legs obviously aren't AS important to me as Abdominals / Upperbody.

I'm not fat but I need to burn some belly fat to get any ab muscles to show i'm sure.

Anyways, my current routine is a 3x circut, each consisting of:

     20 bodyweight squats
     15 pushups
     20 standing lunges
     kerfuffels <-- explanation below
     ~60 sec plank (relies on my in-head counting which i bet is slow)
     30 jumping jacks

kerfuffels explanation: I used to be doing 20 dumbell rows with each hand with a 10 lb weight, but the bench I had to use was uneven/not sturdy and my form was always bad and they weren't really challenging/working for me. What I switched to was 15-20 seconds of holding the dumbells parallel to the floor in front of me and 15-20 seconds of holding the dumbells parallel to the floor to the side. I don't think these are real exercises but they burn but i think they may be doing more harm than good.

Additionals: pushups are still a good workout since i'm doing them 3 times total, plank is workout too the other stuff isn't as challenging anymore.

I am looking for an alternative workout plan that includes 3 workouts a week, (could be same full body all 3 days or different with 1/2 groups a day). My current workout still kicks my ass, but its more of endurance training than building muscle i think.

My equipment: I might be able to get a pull up bar soon, but don't have one now. I have that 10 lb dumbell and an old barbell + weights and 2 trash cans I can turn upside down to set them on. So, I can use that to do weighted squats.

Please give me workout routine suggestions

  • I answered a similar question here: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/16088/… Check that answer, and see if you find it helpful. The key point is that you can gain muscle with bodyweight strength training, but that it will be less muscle and slower than with barbell training. In addition, in order to gain muscle, you will need to continually progress towards exercises that require more strength. Simply adding reps won't increase strength or muscle mass.
    – brentlance
    Aug 14, 2014 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Brent is correct. The goal here is progressive overload, which with bodyweight training is achieved by changing the mechanics of the exercise. An example would be going from squats, to deep squats, to one legged or pistol squats. These will also give you good CNS gains as well. If you're looking to gain muscle mass for appearance, you will be better served with getting some weights and a bench and building mass that way, however, if you stick to bodyweight, legs included, and supplement weight training into your routine, you will be overall more fit and will still gain the appearance that you want.

Here's a couple of the resources I've been using:




You will likely want to do 3-4 sets of 8 starting out, and if you're looking for hypertrophy, then doing 3-4 sets of 12 with 90 seconds or less of break in between sets.

I'll also recommend a running routine too. You don't have to go long distance, but 30min/day, 3 days a week will help with getting fit.

Remember this. "Appearance is a consequence of fitness."

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