Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 11 minutes read

Are you tired of hitting the gym and using the same weights day in and day out? Are you searching for a new, effective, efficient way to build muscle? If so, resistance bands might be the answer. You may have heard of or even seen them in the gym, but do resistance bands build muscle, or are you wasting your time?

We'll answer that question in this post. 

Fit bodybuilder lifting weight muscle building concept

Understanding How Muscle is Built

Before we can explore whether resistance bands work for muscle growth, we need to talk about the science behind muscle development.

Muscle growth refers to the process of your muscles becoming larger and stronger through a series of cellular processes. The basic unit of muscle tissue is the muscle fiber, which comprises protein filaments called myofibrils. These myofibrils are responsible for generating force, and as they become thicker through training, they contribute to the overall size and strength of the muscle.

Protein synthesis is the key driver of muscle growth. This is the process by which cells build proteins, and in the case of muscle growth, this means building more myofibrils. 

Research has shown that muscle protein synthesis is elevated after resistance training, with the most significant increase occurring within the first 24 hours post-workout. This means that consuming protein within this window can help promote muscle growth.

In order for your muscles to grow, they need to be consistently challenged beyond their current capacity. This means gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets of your exercises over time. By doing so, you're applying progressive overload - the stimulus your muscles need to adapt and grow stronger.

The key here is to find the sweet spot between too much and too little. If you increase the weight too quickly or lift too close to your 1RM, you risk injury and won't be able to recover properly. On the other hand, if you don't challenge yourself enough, your muscles will stagnate, and you won't see the gains you're after.

With all that in mind, let's explore how resistance bands come into play with these factors.

Can Resistance Bands Build Muscle?

For all you men out there looking to build muscle, you might be surprised to learn that resistance bands could be the key to achieving your goals. 

In fact, a recent study from 2019 showed that incorporating resistance band training into your workout routine can provide similar strength gains to using conventional gym equipment. If you're someone who has overlooked resistance bands in the past, it's time to start giving them more credit!

Now, you might be thinking, "How can these flimsy-looking bands actually help me build muscle?" The answer is simple: resistance bands put more tension on your muscles and work them longer during movements - ultimately leading to better muscle activation and growth. 

Don't believe us? Just give it a try for yourself and see the results firsthand.

Aside from their muscle-building benefits, there are other advantages to incorporating resistance bands into your workout routine. 

Notably, they're an affordable and portable alternative to traditional gym equipment. Think about it - you can easily throw a resistance band into your bag and squeeze in a workout almost anywhere. Plus, resistance bands are highly adaptable, meaning you can adjust them to suit your fitness level and target specific muscle groups.

If weight loss is also a goal you're working towards, you'll be happy to know that resistance bands can help with that too. 

According to a study published in 2022, resistance band training can actually lower body fat in people who are overweight better than other forms of training, including free weights and bodyweight exercises. 

Detail shot of resistance bands

How to Build Muscle With Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are simple yet effective tools that can help you sculpt your dream physique with just a few simple steps. 

Remember, before you start any fitness routine, you should always chat with your medical provider (like the ones at Male Excel) about any recommendations you should follow.

With that said, grab your bands and let's get started.

1. Choose a Set of Bands with Different Resistances or Tension Levels

First things first, you need to choose the right set of bands. It's essential to have bands with different resistances or tension levels to allow for progression in your workouts and to allow you to work different muscle groups that might need different levels of tension.

So invest in a set with multiple options and ensure they can handle the strength you'll be putting into them.

2. Switch Up Your Bands for Different Muscle Groups and Exercises

Once you have your set of bands, remember to switch things up for different muscle groups and exercises. 

Each band will have a different level of resistance, so it's important to choose the right one for the muscle group you're working on and the exercise you're doing. The more strength required, the higher resistance you'll need. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different levels of tension.

3. Get Some Attachments

You may want to get some attachments to make the most of your resistance band workouts. 

Door attachments allow for more exercise options, and ankle cuffs can help you target your lower body. These simple additions can take your workout to the next level.

4. Safety First

Safety should always be your top priority when beginning any new workout routine. 

Check your resistance bands for signs of wear and tear before every workout. If you notice any fraying or damage, it's time to replace them. It's also essential to ensure your resistance bands are securely connected to whatever you use as an anchor. 

Please give them a tug before you start your workout to ensure they won't come loose and cause injury. This can be very painful!

One more thing to remember when it comes to safety - wear shoes! You don't want to slip and hurt yourself while trying to build muscle. So make sure you have a solid pair of sneakers on whenever you're using resistance bands.

5. Focus on Your Technique

Make sure you're using the right muscles for each exercise and that your movements are controlled. 

Quick, jerky movements won't do much for your muscles, and they also present the risk of injury - you need to slow things down and focus on the contraction for these exercises to be effective. 

6. Keep it Simple

Are you feeling inspired yet? Let's talk about some simple exercises you can do with resistance bands to build muscle:

  • Bicep curls - stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the handles with your palms facing up. Slowly curl the bands up towards your shoulders, then lower back down.
  • Tricep extensions - stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding one handle with your hand above your head. Slowly extend your arm up towards the ceiling, then lower back down.
  • Chest presses - attach the resistance band to a sturdy anchor point (like a door), then face away from it. Hold the handles in each hand, with your palms facing down and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly push your arms forward until they're straight, then release back to the starting position.
  • Squats - stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the handles with your palms facing in. Slowly squat down, keeping your weight in your heels, then push back up to the starting position.
  • Rows - attach the resistance band to a sturdy anchor point (like a door), then face towards it. Hold the handles in each hand with your palms facing each other, and step back until there's tension on the band. Slowly pull the bands towards your chest, then release them back to the starting position.

7. Add Some Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are exercises that work on multiple muscle groups at once. Adding compound exercises to your resistance band workout can help you get the most bang for your buck.

Some good compound exercises to try include:

  • Squat presses
  • Lunge with bicep curl
  • Chest press with leg lift
  • Rows with tricep kickback
  • Plank with row

Adding these exercises to your resistance band workouts will help you build muscle and improve your fitness in less time. 

8. Be Consistent and Vary Your Workouts 

To build muscle with resistance bands, you need to challenge yourself. Increasing your reps and sets over time is a great way to do this.

Start with fewer reps and sets, then gradually increase them as you get stronger. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise.

Remember, as we told you earlier, you need to use progressive overload to continue to see progress and build muscle. This means gradually increasing the weight or resistance you're using over time.

With resistance bands, you can increase the resistance by using a band with higher tension or adding more bands to your workout. Whatever method you choose, gradually increase the resistance to avoid injury.

Consistency is vital when it comes to building muscle with resistance bands. Aim to do resistance band workouts at least two to three times weekly to see results.

It's also important to vary your workouts to prevent boredom and keep your muscles challenged. Try different exercises, rep ranges, and resistance levels to keep things interesting.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Resistance Bands?

One of the most significant limitations of resistance bands is that they only provide a certain amount of maximum resistance. Unlike traditional weights, where you can easily increase the resistance by adding more plates, resistance bands have a finite amount of stretch. This can make it difficult to continue gaining strength and muscle mass over time. 

For example, let's say you have been using a resistance band that provides 50 pounds of resistance for your bicep curls. Over time, as your muscles adapt to the resistance, you may find that the exercise becomes too easy, and you are no longer experiencing the muscle pump or burn that you used to. This can be frustrating and may lead you to plateau in terms of your muscle gains.

Some men may also find that the limited resistance provided by resistance bands can limit the types of exercises they can do. 

For example, if you are trying to do a weighted pull-up, a resistance band may not be able to provide enough resistance to make the exercise challenging. This can result in a less effective workout and may make it more difficult to build specific muscle groups.

Another potential drawback of resistance bands is that they can make it challenging to measure progress. With weights, you can easily track how much weight you lift and how many reps you do. This allows you to set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. With resistance bands, it's not always as clear how much resistance you are using or how many reps you are doing.

For example, let's say you are doing resistance band push-ups. It can be difficult to know exactly how much resistance you are using and how many reps you are doing. This can make tracking your progress challenging and may lead to a lack of motivation or frustration. 

For More Help Building Muscle, Contact Male Excel

Resistance bands are a proven tool for building muscle and improving overall fitness - and with the right approach, anyone can incorporate them into their workout routine and see actual results.

But if you're looking for even more help building muscle and optimizing your health, look no further than Male Excel. As the nation's leading TRT and ED provider, we have the expertise and experience to help you achieve your goals. Our online men's health clinic specializes in TRT and ED treatment, and we get results.

Whether you're struggling with muscle loss, low energy, decreased libido, or any other symptoms of aging, our TRT services can help. And if ED is a concern, we offer affordable, generic medications that perform as well as their name-brand counterparts.

So don't wait - contact Male Excel today and start your journey towards improved health and muscle-building success.

Male Excel testosterone cypionate

Find Out if TRT Can Help You

TRT from Male Excel