Band Only Muscle Building Workout

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

Build Muscle
4 weeks
30-45 minutes
Bands, Bodyweight
Male & Female
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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.

5 Comments+ Post Comment

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

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

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Posted 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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

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