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Building Muscle Through Resistance Training at Home

man working out with dumbbell

Photo by the Corel Corporation

Is it necessary to join a gym in order to build muscle? While it is true that joining a gym will give you access to their exercise equipment and a wide variety of different weight categories for barbells and dumbbells, you can get almost as good of a workout at home with nothing more than a pair of dumbbells.

An exercise bench is also nice to have, but it isn't necessary, however, it will allow you to do dumbbell flyes, bench presses, and inclined dumbbell presses. It is possible to do bench presses and dumbbell flyes on the floor, but the resistance won't be as great. If you don't have a bench you can also do push-ups to work out your chest and triceps.

The benefit of working out at home instead of a gym is that you can workout whenever you feel like it and you won't have the monthly expense of a gym membership. You can even exercise in front of the television if you like. Or if you prefer, you can watch weight training videos and work out to them, although it seems that a lot of the weight training videos generally use very light weights and provide more of a cardiovascular workout than resistance weight training. In addition, these videos seem to go a little fast for weight training (in my opinion). What I often do is pause the video after viewing the exercise. In this way I can see the proper technique, but can take my time doing the exercise, especially if I am using heavy dumbbells. I find that these videos and DVDs are a very good way of learning the proper technique for each exercise, and believe me that proper technique really does make a huge difference. Books can also teach you the proper form, but I find it easier to learn the proper technique from watching weight training videos and DVDs, but whatever works for you is fine.

In addition, some people are reluctant to join a gym until they've gotten into shape (although you certainly shouldn't let your level of fitness stop you from joining a gym if this is your only reason). You will find people of all different fitness levels at the gym.

However, it is possible to become very muscular just working out with dumbbells at home. With them you can work out every part of your upper body (even your back) and even some parts of your lower body (by doing squats). However, if you are exercising with heavy weights you will need someone there to spot you. It isn't safe to lift very heavy weights alone, although working out with dumbbells seems to be relatively safe because you typically won't have so much weight on them that you will injure yourself.