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Can You Build Muscle With Resistance Bands?

Aug. 08, 2022

When it comes to building muscle, it may seem like a rubbery resistance band has no game compared with a solid plate of iron or steel. But it is absolutely possible to build muscle with resistance bands.

Not only are these bands portable and easy to operate, they’re also remarkably efficient when it comes to strengthening and gaining muscle.

Resistance bands build muscle in the same way as free weights do. They offer resistance that your muscles fight against and resist instead of having a rest between reps.

The trick is to focus on a specific method called progressive overload and ensure that you’re training close to or at muscular failure.

Can You Build Muscle With Resistance Bands?


How To Build Muscle Using Resistance Bands

Here, we’ll discuss just how tools such as resistance bands help build muscle. In order for muscle building to be effective, you need tension, adequate recovery and nutrition, muscle adaptation, and progressive overload.

Strength training helps promote muscle hypertrophy.  Hypertrophy is when muscles get damaged or injured (part of the normal process) and the muscle fibers are broken down. With adequate rest and nutrition, the body repairs the damaged fibers by merging them back together. When this happens, they get bigger than they were before.



Progressive overload means that you continually force your physical body to adapt to more stress or tension than it was previously exposed to. This makes it so you’ll get more muscle mass and strength. You can do this by:


1. Lifting heavier weights or using higher tension bands: as for barbells or hand weights, this means using increased weight. As for resistance bands, this means using an increased size or tension. More on this to come!

2. Increase number of reps: Using higher reps in order to promote muscle exhaustion.  When using resistance bands, you want to feel the muscle contracting hard and at the end of the set the muscle should be burning. 

3. Up volume: this means adding extra sets to your training session. For instance, if you’re used to doing 3 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls, aim for 4-5 sets the next time. 



Periodization is training is a structured program that takes into account variations in type, intensity, and volume of work. It focuses on progressively increasing training followed by periods of rest.

For instance there could be a three-week period of progressive loading, followed by a week of lighter recovery. The goal is to max gains while reducing the risk for injury. It can be a helpful method for optimizing performance for competition such as powerlifting.

In order for exercise to have the greatest effect and create changes you want the exercise type and intensity level should vary on a regular basis. This is also referred to as periodization – alternating between low-, moderate-, and high-intensity workouts.

Exercise creates metabolic stress as a result from depleting energy stores and mechanical stress from damaging the structure of muscle proteins. Rest allows your body to repair the muscle proteins and replace the stored fuel (glycogen).

Space out your more difficult workouts and combine them with lower-intensity ones. For instance, doing two to three high-intensity workouts, two to three moderate-intensity workouts, and one to three low-intensity workouts per week. If you’re going through a stressful time, it’s best to take a break from the high-intensity stuff because it can be hard on the body.


Can You Build Muscle With Resistance Bands?

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