how to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home

How To Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle At Home

Are you a skinny dude looking to pack some mass onto your frame? Then stick around! Because today, I’ll be showing you how to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home.

Gaining 10 pounds of muscle at home will take around 4 months minimum. You need to consume a caloric surplus which contains all the macronutrients required for muscle growth. Additionally, you need to do high-intensity resistance training using bodyweight, resistance band, or free weight exercises.

So what does 10 pounds of muscle gain look like?

Here’s what I looked like before and after gaining 10 pounds at home.

photo of how I gained 10 pounds of muscle at home
Read to the end to download my free blueprint!

And today I’ll be sharing how I did it!

So let’s get stuck in!

Before I begin, Morellis World summarises everything very well! So if you don’t like reading, then watch this video!

How To Gain Up To 10lbs Of Lean Muscle In 8 Weeks

Nutrition To Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle At Home

Gaining muscle at home is not all too different to gaining muscle at the gym.

And if you’re like most people, then working out is the easy part.

However, what many people struggle with is the eating.

And if you want to gain 10 pounds of muscle (which will noticeably improve your physique), then trust me, you’ll have to eat the right foods.

In fact, from my experience of trying, failing, and succeeding, I can safely say that diet accounts for 80% of your journey to build muscle.

So here’s how to optimise your diet to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home.

A Bulking Diet To Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle.

A bulking diet is one where you are consuming more calories than you burn. The surplus calories are used by the body to either build muscle or they can be stored as fat. Combining a bulking diet with a resistance training programme will direct the surplus calories for muscle development.

So how do you bulk?

The first thing you need to do is calculate your maintenance and surplus calories.

Maintenance calories are used to maintain muscle mass. Surplus calories are used to build muscle mass.

Your maintenance calories can be calculated easily with online calculators, such as this one by TDEE.

Simply enter your details, and it will do the rest (see below)!

TDEE calculator screenshot

To calculate your surplus calories, you will first need to establish how many extra calories you want to consume.

Here are some popular calorie surpluses:

Daily Caloric SurplusRate Of Weight Gain (% Of Bodyweight Per Week)
Over 25%Over 1.00%
Effect of various caloric surpluses on weight gain. Data derived from Iraki et Al. 2019 study.

I’d recommend you to start with a 15% caloric surplus (maintenance calories multiplied by 1.15), and adjust from there

As an example- a 140 pound person consuming a daily 15% surplus will gain 0.7 pounds per week (or 3 pounds per month).

So why don’t I recommend choosing a caloric surplus over 15%?

A McMaster study found that most people can only gain about 2 to 3 pounds of muscle every month. So if you gain anything more than 3 pounds per month, chances are it will be from fat and not muscle!

Taking everything into consideration: by maintaining a 15% daily surplus, it will take you approximately 3 to 5 months to gain 10 pounds of muscle.

Find out the ideal bulking duration in my other article!

Examples Of Muscle Building Foods.

Muscle-building foods are those that contain high amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and/or healthy fats. Protein supplies amino acids, which are the raw materials used to build muscle. Carbohydrates provide energy for intense resistance training. And healthy fats are used for hormone production.

A caloric surplus is not enough to gain 10 pounds of muscle.

You’ll also need to make sure that the calories come from the macronutrients mentioned above.

Take a look at the table below to see how much macronutrients you should be consuming to gain muscle:

MacronutrientTarget Intake
Protein1.5 grams per pound of lean body weight per day
Complex Carbohydrates2.5 grams per pound of body weight per day
Healthy Fats0.4 grams per pound of body weight per day
Fibre6 portions of fruit and veg a day
Reccomened macronutrient intake to build muscle. Data derived from Trifecta Nutrition.

Now here are some examples of different types of muscle building foods to help you reach your macronutrient targets:

Protein SourceTypical Protein Content (grams /100g)
Lean Red Meats25
Lean Pork24
Oily Fish20
White Fish18
Protein Powders (Whey Or Vegan)25 (grams/scoop)
A list of high-protein foods and their protein content. Researched from Google nutrition database.
Carb SourceTypical Carb Content (grams /100g)
Brown Pasta (Uncooked)75
Brown Rice (Uncooked)23
Brown Bread52
Quinoa (Uncooked)64
Mass Gainer Powders50 (grams/scoop)
A list of high-carb foods and their carb content. Researched from Google nutrition database.
Fat SourceTypical Fat Content (grams /100g)
Vegetable Oils100
Cottage Cheese4
Nuts and Seeds45
Oily Fish18
A list of healthy-fat foods and their fat content. Researched from Google nutrition database.

Gaining 10 Pounds Of Muscle And Lose Fat Simultaneously

You can gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose fat simultaneously by going on a lean bulk. This involves consuming a mild 5 to 10% calorie surplus to maximise muscle gains and minimise fat gains. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, so increasing muscle mass will also increase your resting metabolism.

A lean bulk is particularly beneficial if you are “skinny-fat” since this bulking method allows you to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

On the other hand if you are just downright skinny, you probably want to build muscle whilst minimising your fat gains. And this also makes the lean bulking method suitable for you.

In addition to consuming a mild caloric surplus, you will also want to time your protein and carb intake.

infographic to show protein and carbohydrate timing

How to time protein intake:

Protein intake should be spread over multiple meals across the day.

I also recommend you to aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal, as this has been shown to be the most protein your body can absorb in one go.

If life get’s in the way, and you eat a bit less protein for a particular meal than you intended, don’t fret.

Just make up for it in your next meal.

The important thing is to reach your daily protein target.

How to time carb intake:

Ideally, you should time most of your carb intake to the pre- and post-workout meals. Carb timing ensures the calories are burnt off or used for muscle growth, rather than stored as fat.

The majority of your carbohydrates should also come from complex carbs.

Simple carbs (sugars, sweets, and fruits) are allowed in moderation. But again, try to time them shortly before and after a workout.

Check out my other article to learn how to bulk without getting fat!

Training To Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle At Home

Creating and sticking to a muscle-building diet plan get’s you 80% of the way to gaining 10 pounds of muscle.

But that doesn’t mean you can go half-assed with your training!

Think of muscle-building as a car.

Where the gas is your nutrition, the engine is your training.

In other words, both are important!

And it becomes even more important to optimise your training when you are working out at home, since you won’t have access to all the weights and equipment you would have at a commercial gym.

So here’s how to optimise your training to get jacked at home.

Equipment To Build Muscle At Home

Building muscle at home can be achieved with or without equipment. Bodyweight exercises can be sufficient to build muscle if performed at a high intensity. However, the more efficient method is to invest in home weights such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands.

Whether you decide to do bodyweight exercises or invest in home weights will depend on:

  • Budget- are you willing to invest $300 to $1000+ for home weights?
  • Space- have you got the room to store home weights?
  • Training timeframe- are you looking to gain 10 pounds of muscle ASAP or do you mind if it’s a slower process?
infographic to show home workout equipment comparison

Here is a quick summary of each training method:

  • Bodyweight training- this is best for those looking to gain 10 pounds of muscle on a budget. Bodyweight exercises can build muscle when performed at a high intensity (close to muscle failure). And a pull up tower is highly recommended.
  • Resistance bands- these are cheap, space-efficient, and allow you to replicate the movements of all the free weight exercises. But they can be boring to use, and require motivation to use them long-term.
  • Dumbbells- these are the cheapest free weights, and require minimal storage space. A pair of 25kg/55lb dumbbells (100kg/110lb total) will be more than enough to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home for a skinny beginner.
  • Barbells- these are the most expensive and space-consuming free weights since they also require weight plates, rack, and a bench. But barbells provide unlimited room for future progression.

Read my other article to find out if home gym equipment is worth the money!

30 Day Muscle Building Workout Plan

Now, here’s a list of exercises for a 30 day workout plan to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home.

The list contains a variety of pushing and pulling exercises that engage the entire body.

There are also enough exercises to keep things varied each week.

When combined with a lean bulking diet, you can expect to gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle each month. Therefore, it will take around 3 to 5 months to gain 10 pounds of muscle.

Muscle GroupBarbell ExercisesDumbbell ExercisesResistance Band ExercisesBodyweight Exercises
ChestFlat/incline/decline bench press.Flat/incline/decline bench press, chest fly.Banded pushup, incline banded pushup, banded flyFlat/incline/decline pushup.
ShouldersShoulder press, upright row, front raise.Shoulder press, upright row, front raise.Banded overhead press, lateral raise, front raise.Handstand pushup, pike pushup, doorway lateral raise.
ArmsUnder and overhand bicep curl, tricep extension.Under and overhand bicep curl, tricep extension, tricep kickbackUnder and overhand bicep curl, tricep extension, tricep kickbackPull-up, towel curl, bench dip, diamond pushup.
BackBent-over row, T-bar row, pendlay rowBent-over row, reverse fly.Banded row, banded reverse fly.Pull-up, table row, inverted row.
CoreWeight plate crunch, side bend, russian twist.Dumbbell crunch, side bend, Russian twistBanded standing oblique twist, ab pull down.Crunches, bicycle crunches.
LegsSquat, deadlift, lunge.Goblet squat, deadlift, lungeBanded squat, deadlift, lunge.Bodyweight squat, pistol squat, lunge, nordic ham curl.
Exercises to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home.

How to structure your workout:

  • Workout frequency- aim for 3 x 1 hour workouts each week. Once you’ve adapted to this, increase to 4 then 5 weekly workouts.
  • Exercises- choose 2 exercises from each muscle group per workout.
  • Sets- complete 3 sets of each exercise per workout.
  • Reps- complete 8 reps per set at 80% of your 1 rep max (most you can lift for one repetition). For bodyweight exercises, go to failure on each set.
  • Rest- take a 1 to 2 minute rest between sets.
  • Progressive overload- increase intensity each week by adding more weight or doing more reps.

You might also be interested in my other article for 17-essential tips to gain 10lbs (5kg) of lean mass.


That’s it!

Today, I have shown how you can gain 10 pounds of muscle at home.

You will need to create a diet plan which puts you in a caloric surplus and include a variety of muscle-building foods.

You’ll also need to choose equipment to train with (bodyweight, resistance bands, or free weights), and commit to 3 to 5 intense workouts every week.

If you do these things, you can expect to gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle every month. And it will take you between 3 to 5 months to gain 10 pounds of muscle at home!

What equipment will YOU be using to build muscle at home?

Let me know in the comments below!

Alternatively, download the FREE Kalibre Muscle Blueprint to find out EXACTLY how I transformed my skinny body as a hardgainer!

how I gained 10 pounds of muscle at home

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,


(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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