How You Can Build Hard Lean Muscle Mass From Your Home
Well, for the first time in over 6 months I made my way to my local gym to do a back and shoulder workout.
I have to admit that it was a different workout for me and it felt very different.
I guess it's no wonder because I'm more used to my home gym than a commercial space full of different equipment.
You see, for the last 6 months, I've been training in my home in the basement. The last time I spent a month training in my own home was when I was 17. That was 20 years ago! I've spent the majority of my training life in a gym.
The reason I've been training in my basement is because of a shoulder injury that I sustained about a year ago. I injured my rotator cuff from years of heavy lifting and that injury alone side lined me for about 5 months or so.
Anyways, up until about 6 months ago, I made the decision to start training again because I was starting to get way out of shape. One day I looked in the mirror and I didn't recognize the guy staring back at me. I had to do something about it.
With the guidance of my physiotherapist, I started training again. I decided not to go to the local gym because of I know, that once I get going, I'll start pushing myself past my limits and would have re-injured my shoulder. So, I went to the local fitness outlet and bought the following equipment:
Basic bench with leg extension apparatus;
I also got myself a small ipod docking station so I could listen to music while I worked out. For the first three weeks, my workouts sucked because I was using 2 ½ and 5 pound dumbbells for my workouts. I had to force myself to stick to this weight because I didn't want to re-injure my shoulder. If I was to train at a commercial gym, I know, without a doubt that I would have used heavier weight and would have re-injured my shoulder.
The thing you have to remember is that because of my shoulder injury there are some movements that I can't perform. I can't do any barbell pressing movements with my palms facing forward. This puts way too much pressure on my rotator cuffs. I learned, from my physiotherapist that if you turn your palms inward while doing basic pressing movements, you take a lot of the pressure off your rotator cuffs. With that in mind, I had to make some adjustments. Instead of using a barbell for my pressing movements, I switched to dumbbells with the exception of front squats, barbell bent rows, and barbell curls.
I also had to learn how to warm up my shoulders, especially my rotator cuffs. I now know that a lot of headache and pain could have been avoided if I simply warmed this area up thoroughly prior to doing any pressing movements. Click here to find out how to properly warm up your rotator cuffs.
Over the course of two months, my shoulder was starting to feel a lot better. My body was starting to get tight and my muscle tone was starting to come back. Mind you, it wasn't like before but I could see that I was on the right track. Shortly after that, I started to really concentrate on my diet, and got that on track. After about 3 months, my shoulder was starting to feel very comfortable and I was feeling a lot stronger. However, the weight that I was using was getting a little too light. So, I went back to the local fitness outlet and picked up to more pairs of dumbbells - 45 pounds and 55 pounds. This allowed me to add a little more weight to my pressing movements.
I started to add some supplements to my diet which were:
Interactive Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate - Creamsicle. This is brand has one of the best tasting protein powders you can buy. What I do is add 1 scoop of protein powder, 4 ice cubes, 3 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup, 1 tsp of flaxseed oil, and one cup of orange juice and blend it all in a blender. The taste is pretty close to an actual creamsicle flavour. I take this drink once in the morning and immediately after working out.
Interactive Nutrition Casein Protein Powder - This is my bed time protein drink. It's a slow release protein and I have been very satisfied with it. I usually 2 scoops of protein powder, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 5 strawberries, and 2 scoops of oat powder and mix it all up in a blender.
Dymatize Xpand - Pre workout energy formula. I take this 20 minutes before my workout. I will sometimes add 2 scoops of dextrose and 2 scoops of whey protein powder to it.
Universals Animal Pak - Potent vitamin and mineral training pack. I'll take one pack as soon as I've finished my breakfast.
Now, my training and diet were starting to get on par and my body started to respond. However, after introducing the creatine to my diet, my strength really took off. The 55 pound dumbbells were simply not enough as were the 110 pounds of cast iron weight. I was very hesitant about getting more weight for fear that I might re-injure my shoulder but overall, I had very little problems from the injury. I went back to the fitness outlet and purchased:
Hexagon dumbbells - 65 pound, 75 pound, and 90 pound dumbbells.
Now, you may be wondering why I purchased the hexagon dumbbells and not use the adjustable dumbbells. I've found that the adjustable dumbbells were simple too unstable. Because the plates were too unstable on the dumbbell, they would shake which put too much pressure on my rotator cuff. By using hexagon dumbbells, I could comfortably grasp and press the weight without my arms hitting the sides of the plates on the dumbbells and these dumbbells didn't shake. In fact, these dumbbells are one solid piece of iron so it felt very comfortable and didn't put any unnecessary pressure on my rotator cuff.
After about a month of training, I was using the 90 pound dumbbells and handling them quite comfortably. My shoulder felt good, but at times, it would act up, but overall nothing too major. My body weight started to climb back up and my muscles were tight and hard. The last visit I had with my physiotherapist, he told me my progress was great and I had no need to see him anymore. Great news!
I would train 3 times per week and would take Sundays and Saturdays off. So, my weight training schedule look as follows:
Chest, Arms, and Abs
Back, Shoulders, and Abs
I would rest on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Today, my arms are back up to close with what they used to be and the rest of my body is close. My shoulder sometimes gives me some pain but it's no where near with what it used to be.
So, after my first trip to the gym in over 6 months, I've actually found that I'm quite comfortable in my own home gym. I can listen to the type of music I want and train at my own pace without anyone waiting for you to get off the equipment.
However, it was nice to get back to the gym and use some of the equipment. As to whether or not I'll go back will depend on how far I can take my home gym training. I've made some pretty good progress from my home gym and quite satisfied but I've also come to the conclusion that you can only take your body so far with the kind of equipment your using, which leads me to the point of this article.
I've come to believe that if you are committed to adding quality muscle mass to your body and attaining your physical goals, you can do it just about anywhere. I'm a firm believer in basic movements and that you don't need any fancy equipment to attain your physical goals.
If you can manage to:
You'll eventually attain the results your looking for, depending on how committed you are with your training and diet.
Even if you want to build 18 or 19 inch arms, a 45 inch chest, and 30 inch legs, you don't need fancy equipment. However, you have to get the right tools for the job. You can't expect to build 19 inch arms with 50 pounds of plastic covered weights and 20 pound dumbbells and no bench. You see, tthis is the trick and this is the one thing I've been following all my weight training life. If you can do this, you'll eventually build 18 inch arms or a 50 inch chest no matter where you are.
Even if you want to build 18 or 19 inch arms, a 45 inch chest, and 30 inch legs, you don't need fancy equipment. However, you have to get the right tools for the job. You can't expect to build 19 inch arms with 50 pounds of plastic covered weights and 20 pound dumbbells and no bench You see, the trick is this and this is the one I've been following all my weight training life.
If you can do this, you'll eventually build 18 inch arms or a 50 inch chest no matter where you are. What is it? It's very, very simple. All you need to do is keep getting better with each workout - That is, keep improving with each passing workout. However, this is a hell of a lot easier said than done. To understand this principle in more detail, please visit the following page, here
Of course, you will need the right guidance and there are more than enough resources out there for you to start. Building Muscle101 is always a great place to start and has loads of information for building muscle and burning fat. It's a totally free website and the information comes straight from the horses mouth, so to speak.
So there, you have it. You can build 19 inch arms from your home, if you have the commitment and the right tools to get the job done. Will I ever go back to a commercial gym? Well, I'm not going to lie to myself and say I'll never go back but I'm going to see how far I can take my home gym. Training at home seems to be working so I'm not going to change anything until my progress stops.
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