Can You Gain Muscle Without Working Out? (Explained)


Can you gain muscle without working out? It’s a common question asked by many people. There are various reasons why you would want to know this. Maybe you are recovering from an injury, maybe you are just lazy, or you don’t have time to work out.

Maybe a better question would be how to maintain muscle mass when you’re not working out.

Anyway, in this article, we’ll look at what happens to your muscles if you don’t work out and what you can do to maintain your muscle mass and even grow some muscle without working out.

You can certainly build some muscle without lifting weights or doing any other type of exercise. Still, it will be challenging and take much longer than lifting weights or exercising regularly.

Can You Gain Muscle Without Working Out?


Yes, you can gain some muscle without working out, but it’s really, and I mean really, hard. It will take a lot of effort and patience. If building muscle is difficult when working out, imagine how tough it is to build muscle when you don’t work out. 

And if you want to build muscle mass, you must lift weights regularly. There are just no shortcuts!

Exercising with weights is effective because it forces your muscles to grow bigger and stronger through heavy resistance. When you lift weights, your body adapts to the stress placed upon your muscles, which causes them to become larger and more powerful. The technical word for this is muscle hypertrophy.

To build muscle, you must stimulate the body’s natural processes of building new tissue. This is known as “muscle protein synthesis” or MPS. It is usually achieved by doing heavy resistance exercises.

When we do heavy resistance training, we damage our muscle fibers, and MPS will heal them through a natural metabolic process in which proteins are formed to repair the damaged muscles after a workout. By repeating the process of muscle fiber breakdown and muscle recovery, your muscle grows bigger.

Train rest, train rest, train rest. Rinse and repeat.

Of course, muscle development without exercising doesn’t happen overnight. Still, you can gain or maintain muscle mass without working out if (and only if) you follow the following tips to the letter. Only then may you build some muscle without working out.



10 Best Tips to Gain Muscle Mass Without Working Out

You can do a few things to encourage your body’s natural muscle-building process. Here are ten tips for putting on muscle:


1. Eat plenty of protein

Protein is necessary for the growth of muscles. Your body will have the building blocks it needs to grow muscle if you consume enough protein. Your muscles need protein to be rebuilt after physical activity.

2. Eat lots of calories

You need to consume more calories than you burn to gain weight and develop muscle. Your body receives the energy it needs to create muscle when you consume a lot of calories.

3. Eat healthy fats


Healthy fats are crucial for the growth of cells and the synthesis of hormones. In addition, they support satiety and fullness after meals. Avocados, nuts, olive oil, and seeds are good sources of good fats.


4. Get enough sleep and avoid stress.


The development of muscles depends on sleep. Your body releases hormones during sleep that support muscle growth and repair.

Being overly stressed will cause slow metabolism and body weight/body fat gain and can even lead the muscle breakdown in the long run.

5. Drink plenty of water

All biological processes, including muscular growth, depend on water. A lot of water consumption keeps your muscles healthy and moisturized.

6. Take supplements

You can receive the nutrients you need to gain muscle mass with supplements. Popular supplements include protein powder, creatine, and omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Avoid unhealthy foods

Unhealthy foods will sabotage your efforts to build muscle. Focus on consuming whole foods instead of processed, high-fat, and sugary foods.

8. Walk

In this case, I don’t consider walking as a workout. Just walk through your neighborhood. If you live in a place with hills, even better. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. 

These little lifestyle changes will increase muscle strength in your legs, and you’ll lose fat. A win-win situation if you ask me.

9. Stay consistent with all of the above

You must exert persistent effort if you want to gain muscle. This entails maintaining a regular schedule and eating well. You can’t expect to see results if you only exercise once in a while or eat unhealthy foods most of the time.

10. Have realistic expectations


Don’t expect to build massive muscle overnight, especially when you don’t work out. To observe results, patience and perseverance are necessary.

Set reasonable objectives for yourself, and don’t give up if you don’t achieve them immediately. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is an impressive physique by building lean muscle.

What Are the Signs of Muscle Loss?

There are several potential indications that you may be losing your muscle mass. These include:

  • A decrease in strength
  • A decrease in endurance
  • Shrinkage of muscular mass.
  • A loss of coordination
  • A reduction in agility

If you are worried about muscle loss, you must see a doctor for a professional evaluation. Muscle loss can be a sign of an underlying health condition.


What Should I Eat for Muscle Gain?

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein is essential if you’re trying to build muscle. Good sources of protein include:

  • Eggs. A boiled or poached egg contains about six grams of protein. Additionally, it is a great provider of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fish. Eating wild-caught and fresh rather than canned or processed fish is best. Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, tuna, and other seafood are crucial for muscle building.
  • Chicken. A lean source of protein, chicken has all the critical amino acids required by your body to develop muscle. Additionally, it’s a great source of minerals and B vitamins.
  • Beans and legumes. Lentils and black beans, for example, are abundant in protein and fiber. It’s best to cook them from scratch rather than eat canned or processed varieties.
  • Nuts and seeds. Almonds, peanuts, and other nuts and seeds are excellent providers of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Eat them sparingly, and stay away from processed or roasted types.
  • Powdered protein. Protein powder makes it simple to include more protein in your diet. You can use it to make pancakes, shakes, smoothies, and other dishes. It’s crucial to select a high-quality protein powder that contains little sugar and other ingredients.

What Are the Signs of Gaining Muscle?

The signs of gaining muscle mass include:

  • An increase in strength
  • An increase in endurance
  • An increase in muscle size
  • An increase in coordination
  • An increase in agility

If you notice any of these changes, it’s a good sign that you’re gaining muscle mass. However, to rule out any other probable causes, it’s crucial to contact a doctor. If you’re worried about your muscle growth, it’s vital to consult a professional. Muscle growth can be a sign of an underlying health condition.


If you want to build muscle mass but can’t or don’t want to work out, follow the tips described earlier.

In the worst scene scenario, you can maintain your muscle mass.

However, building lean muscle mass will always be more effective if you eat healthily and follow a proper fitness routine.

Do you have any experience with building muscle without working out?

Please let me know in the comment section below.

Stay Healthy and Strong!

Toni Lopes
Meet Toni, an ex-world fitness champion who's dedicated to helping men over 40 get in shape. With 25+ years of experience in the fitness industry, Toni knows what it takes to achieve peak physical performance and maintain it as you age.