This effective, evidence-based home band workout incorporates the basic principles of metabolic stress training in order to maximize your workouts with minimal to no gym equipment.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Is it possible to build and maintain muscle mass at home? Skinny-kid-turned-rugby-coach Tom MacCormick thinks so. In his article about building and maintaining muscle at home MacCormick outlines the basic principles of metabolic stress training as a means to maximize your workouts and retain your gains with little to no gym equipment.

The idea is to create as much tension on any given muscle as possible, not necessarily with weight, but by driving resistance. This can be translated to your workouts by way of higher rep schemes, shorter rest periods, and techniques that boost intensity like circuits, super-sets, partial reps etc. The key is to make sure you are using specific loads around your 30-rep max (or heavier) and training to failure.

The workout below incorporates 6 key movement patterns: squat pattern, hip hinge, horizontal push, horizontal pull, vertical push and vertical pull. Requiring only your bodyweight and resistance bands, it can be done virtually anywhere, at any time making it nearly impossible to skip your workout. Since this routine incorporates higher rep ranges, it’s crucial that you push your sets close to failure to ensure optimal training.

You can find more free limited equipment workouts in our bodyweight workouts and home-based workouts sections.

Band Only Muscle Building Workout

Band Workout Day 1: Push
Exercise Sets/Reps Tempo Rests
Standing Band Shoulder Press 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Band Push Ups 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 3-0-1-1 30-45s
Single Arm Band Standing Flys 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Band Lateral Raise 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Triceps Pushdown 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Band Pallof Press 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-5 30-45s

Band Workout Day 2: Pull
Exercise Sets/Reps Tempo Rests
Kneeling Band Lat Pulldowns 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 3-0-1-1 30-45s
Seated Neutral Grip Band Rows 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-2 30-45s
Band Moto Rows 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 3-1-1-1 30-45s
Band Upright Rows 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-2 30-45s
Band Hammer Curls 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-2 30-45s
Band Pull-Aparts 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-2 30-45s

Band Workout Day 3: Legs
Exercise Sets/Reps Tempo Rests
Bulgarian Split Squats 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Band Assisted Nordic Curls 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 4-0-1-0 30-45s
Heel Elevated One & A Quarter Band Squats* 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
Lying Leg Curls 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-3 30-45s
Terminal Knee Extension 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 1-0-1-2 30-45s
Band Goodmornings 3xAMRAP (0-2RIR) 2-0-1-1 30-45s
* One rep = go all the way down, up a quarter, back down then all the way up

Editor’s Notes:

  • AMRAP = As Many Reps As Possible
  • RIR = Reps In Reserve
  • Tempo is listed as four numbers (e.g. 4211). Each number corresponds to a phase of the lift. The first number is always the lowering/lengthening phase. So, 4211 on split squats means, lower in 4 seconds, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom, lift in 1 second, hold at the top for 1 second…repeat for the next rep. On chin ups, 2010, means lower in 2 seconds, no pause at the bottom, lift in 1 second, no pause at the top.
Darren pike
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 08:05

Just started this routine after having a lazy 6months with zero motivation,I have motivation back thankfully partially due to this very routine , just wanted to ask after the 4 weeks would this routine be enough to carry on building muscle or would I need to add extra weight,reps or exercises or possibly all 3 .

Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 23:32

I'm new to bands. Please explain Tempo. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 21:16

Hi, Jack. This should help you learn about tempo.

Posted on: Tue, 01/11/2022 - 15:06


Would you recommend doing all the reps/sets of one excercise before moving to the next. Or doing them circuit wise, one set of each excercise and doing them all again from top to bottom.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/14/2022 - 18:59

You can do it either way, Robin. If you're relatively new to band training, start out by doing all sets and reps of one. If you are more experienced, then take on the challenge of doing them circuit style!

Posted on: Sun, 06/27/2021 - 21:34


How many reps (max) would you recommend for building muscles? It says here 30 reps max, what does it mean? In total of 3 sets or per set?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/28/2021 - 09:19

Hey Kris - each set is as many reps as possible. The number of reps you can do is dependent on the band you're using.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2021 - 09:15

Hi, is the rests between each set and if so, how much rest between each excercise?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2021 - 09:53

Hey Patrick - the rest listed is for between sets and exercises.

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/2021 - 09:45

Is there an "upper limit" or "lower limit" to the number of reps you should do? Meaning, if you can do 50 reps before failure, is that an indication that you should go the next size band? Conversely, should you expect to do a certain number of reps as a minimum? I assume there is some sort of ideal range.

Posted on: Fri, 02/05/2021 - 21:21

How would you increase the weight load of the bands on a weekly basis?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 02/08/2021 - 14:00

Hey Andrew - you can double up on bands if needed.

Posted on: Sun, 07/19/2020 - 12:00

Would recommend doing this Monday/Wednesday/Friday or back to back; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:20

Thanks for reaching out Katy.

I recommend resting a day between exercises. M/W/F or T/T/S are good splits depending on your schedule.

Ryan Serandos
Posted on: Thu, 04/23/2020 - 00:00

How do we do a RIR? Instructions on how to do 3x as many reps as possible but in the parentheses it says 0 to 2 Reps in Reverse so what does that mean?

Michael Dendinger
Posted on: Mon, 05/25/2020 - 20:47

It actually says "reps in reserve" not reverse. So I think it just means you should be able to do between 0-2 more reps upon completing your set.

Ryan Serandos
Posted on: Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:55

LMAO...reading is fun! Thanks *feeling dumb*