How to build muscle without going to the gym…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The gym-free way to build muscle
Building muscle without going to the gym is possible.. you just need to know how!
I’m an avid fan for working out in the gym. I love the atmosphere and the free weights area is where you will usually find me… there and the functional fitness area of the gym. You’ll rarely find me on the cardio machines unless I’ve just stepped foot into the gym as I only do cardio at the start of my strength training to raise my heart rate and warm up my muscles. I’m not a cardio fan – give me the squat rack any day! 🙂

However the magical equation to building muscle is very (scientifically) simple… eat a balanced diet to feed your muscles and exercise using your body weight or weights (resistance or strength training) to build the muscle. Okay, there is a little more to this but these are your basic building blocks.

So without further ado, here are some tips by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at Totalshape.com on how you can build some muscle without stepping foot into the gym…

How to Maintain Fitness Goals Without a Gym

When you have fitness and health goals, going to the gym may be an integral aspect – or even the focus, of your routine. Gyms offer inspiration, motivation and come packed with various equipment that help you build and strengthen muscle. However, if you have a family, especially young kids, going to the gym regularly, or indeed at all, may not be a realistic option. To stay on track with your fitness journey and keep progressing towards your goals while being a busy parent, consider the following tips on how to build muscle and workout gym-free:

Utilise your own body weight

When you have kids, committing to daily or even weekly gym workouts can seem impossible, but muscle building and fitness never have to be sacrificed. There are plenty of in-home workouts that can be done without stepping outside that utilise your own bodyweight to offer an intense workout that builds and strengthens muscle. Yoga, often considered to be a relaxing and calming stretching routine, actually has many different poses that are considered strengthening exercises, working both your arm, leg and core muscles. Other options to include in your at-home workout routine include lunges, squats, push-ups, crunches, and planks. All of these use your own body’s weight to provide you with a challenging workout routine that will build and strengthen muscle.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger - The gym-free way to build muscle
Photo by Dominik Wycislo on Unsplash
Invest in equipment

If going to the gym regularly or at all is not possible for you as a parent, consider investing in good quality equipment that will make your at-home workouts more challenging and productive. While exercises that utilise your own body weight are also effective, adding weights to lunges or squats, for example, will increase your strength and greatly speed up your muscle building goals. You can start off with some dumbbells of varying weights, a kettlebell, and some basic leg bands to add some diversity to your weight training. These options can all become staples of any good workout, so even if you choose to upgrade to fancier equipment in the future, you will always have a use for them.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | The gym-free way to build muscle
Turn your home into an effective mini gym with some functional equipment
Challenge yourself

Gyms offer inspiration and motivation. At home, you might need a little extra push to stay in the game and on track with your goals. Always make sure to challenge yourself and push yourself. When you find a workout routine that becomes much easier, don’t just settle. Instead, you should increase the weights, amount of repetitions, or both. Set goals for yourself based on your progress, and make sure to hold yourself accountable. This way, your at-home workouts will be just as productive, challenging, and results-oriented as any gym session!

For many parents, working out at home is the best way to ensure that they actually stay on track in terms of their fitness goals. While gyms of course come with many benefits, you can easily gym-ify your own home to make sure to build muscle, while remaining challenged. Incorporate the above steps to your workout routine and reap the benefits of at-home workouts!


A contribution post written exclusively for this blog by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at totalshape.com

Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Pancake Day 2017
(left) Oat pancakes with yoghurt and berries, (right) Chocolate protein pancakes with mint ice cream and chocolate drizzle

It’s Shrove Tuesday today aka Pancake Day and what better way to enjoy this day than bake up a fresh batch of pancakes to enjoy with the family… or all by yourself. 🙂

I’ve got TWO amazingly simple recipes for you today; the first one is a chocolate protein pancake one that I’ve dressed with a low-calorie mint choc ice cream and dark chocolate drizzle, and the second is a simple oat pancake with coconut yoghurt and berries. Yum!!

Both of the pancakes came out super fluffy. I added baking powder but I am sure they would still be quite fluffy without it. Out of the two, I think the chocolate protein pancake was the best – I have a sweet tooth so to be able to enjoy something sweet but in a healthy way is a wonderful win-win situation haha!  Continue reading “Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!”

Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Easy Prawn Pad Thai Salad Recipe

Since I started my fitness journey last August 2016 I’ve been eating much healthier than before. I’ve cut out a lot of the processed foods I used to eat before and try to consciously opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. The reason for this is because of my high-risk for developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Diabetes runs in my family, both on my maternal and paternal side then to top it off I had Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies.

So yeah… really high risk.

I am human and sometimes I do slip up and have chocolates, cakes and biscuits but try to have a really small portion. After all, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean eliminating treats 100% out of your diet. Healthy eating is about balance, sustainability and having a positive association with food. Basically if you eat a large slice of pizza (or the whole pizza), don’t put yourself on a massive guilt trip for it and ‘punish yourself’ by eating less the next day or putting your body through hours of cardio trying to ‘burn off’ the added calories. Instead acknowledge that you’ve been able to enjoy yourself that day with that meal and eat a little better the week ahead to balance it out. Remember, one pizza won’t make you fat nor will one salad make you healthy.

I’m currently increasing my calorie intake to build up my muscle size and strength. As my weight loss stalled in December (plateaued at 51.8kg despite me increasing workouts and cutting a few more calories) I decided to reverse diet (where your aim is to gradually add back the cals in an attempt to kickstart your metabolism) which is going well. I’ll be writing up a progress post soon and will be going in more detail about this on there. Look out for it! Continue reading “Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad”

My Fitness Journey: Progress Update #2

It’s now October and has been two months since I started my fitness journey in August. You can check out my one month progress update here – my body fat percentage has improved a lot which I am very happy about. 🙂 My body composition now looks like this:

Starting weight: 56.2kg, Current weight: 54.1kg
Starting BMI: 24.3, Current BMI:23.4
Starting body fat: 30.7%, Current body fat: 26.2%
(August 1st & October 9th values)

Here’s a photo of how my body looks so far:The Greenwich Mummy Blog: My Fitness Journey Continue reading “My Fitness Journey: Progress Update #2”

Review: Meditation & Sound Healing therapy in Greenwich

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Meditation & Sound Healing Review

The Greemwich Mummy Blog | Meditation & Sound Healing Review

I am loving my fitness journey! I can see my body changing slowly and I am loving the effects of eating healthier; it’s made a great impact on my skin, hair (even though I’m still experiencing postpartum hairloss) and energy level. Being a parent can be really stressful – actually it is VERY stressful – but some of us are just better at managing the stress than others. I used to be so chilled when it came to parenting when it was just LO but with Baby Girl now in the picture, I find that I am a lot more stressed, have zero patience, constantly anxious and feel like I can’t shut off properly because every five minutes one of them is crying (screaming) or the house needs tidying… again for the tenth time.

Being away in the morning for my fitness classes really gives me that ‘time out’ that I need to keep myself sane and I really love it. So when Kalie (@pyschicladykay) sent me an email to let me know about a meditation and sound healing taster session she was doing last week I could only say yes. Time out to meditate and heal? Why would I ever try to decline that offer? I’ve only ever touched on meditation in yoga class and through my BeCalm mindfulness app but it can be so hard to switch off and meditate properly with so much going around. I was excited to see what Kalie’s taster session was going to offer. Continue reading “Review: Meditation & Sound Healing therapy in Greenwich”

Review: Staying fresh on the go with Canesfresh + Polaroid Camera Giveaway!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Canesfresh Review + Polaroid Giveaway

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Canesfresh Review + Polaroid Giveaway

Thinking about summer; sunshine, ice creams and tan lines come to mind. These are the good memories. The not so good ones include over-crowding sweaty bodies on the tube, humid nights, dehydration and sunburnt skin. In London, it is seriously hard to stay as fresh as a daisy in summer but thanks to a few good products out there, it is definitely possible.

Now that it’s October the weather is much cooler and I don’t have to worry about sweaty bodies unless I’m heading to the gym. After a good workout, I am usually red-faced and dripping with sweat. I don’t mind – to me, it means I’ve actually done something. I always make sure I carry with me the essentials; deodorant for the underarms, a flannel to wipe of all that sweat and a bottle of water to rehydrate. As I live around the corner from the gym, I don’t bother to use their showers so it’s just a matter of quickly freshening myself up then heading home to get on with my mummy duties.

When the folks at Canesten asked if I wanted to try out their new intimate health products, I was very happy to. One of the things I lacked from my gym bag essentials was feminine hygiene wipes . These wipes aren’t just great for when it’s that time of the month, it’s actually a great item to have in your bag at all the times because then you can freshen up whenever you feel like it i.e. leaving straight from work to a party or in my case, after a sweaty workout. I received a few Canesfresh feminine hygiene products; an intimate gel wash, a mousse feminine wash and a pack of handy, travel-sized wipes. I was also given a lovely Polaroid instant camera to document my fun days out. 🙂 Continue reading “Review: Staying fresh on the go with Canesfresh + Polaroid Camera Giveaway!”