So you want to build muscle at home, and you're looking for the best bodybuilding app to do it.
Problem is, many bodybuilding apps were not designed for home workouts.
To find the best one, you could spend a few days trying them all out. Sounds time-consuming?
To spare you the hassle, we've tried and tested 13 of the most popular bodybuilding apps.
In this article, we discuss the top 4 with the best design for building muscle at home.
Why this guide is different
If you google "best bodybuilding app at home", you'll find a ton of articles.
Including some we wrote on this very blog, like Dr. Cholewa's in-depth, scientific review of the best bodybuilding apps (ranking #2 in Google currently).
The problem is those guides are not for people who want to work out at home.
Will the best bodybuilding app for the gym be the best for home workouts? Probably not. That's why we wrote this guide.
- 5 Best Bodybuilding Apps for Muscle Hypertrophy [In-Depth Comparison]
- 7 Best Free Bodybuilding Apps to Build Muscle on a Budget
- 3 Best Bodybuilding App for Beginners to Build Muscle Faster
Save time and money by building muscle at home
You can build your body at home.
No need to travel to the gym and pay membership fees.
But you'll be limited by the equipment you have. No fancy Nautilus machines, I assume.
Good news: you don't need them.
Sure, working out in a gym gives you more options. Plus, having other people around exercising can be a source of motivation for some people. But for many others, the benefits of working out at home simply outweigh the costs.
In this guide, you'll discover:
- What to look for in a home bodybuilding app
- The top 4 home bodybuilding apps according to our tests
- The full list of 13 bodybuilding apps we reviewed, including those that didn't make the cut
Before we jump in, one last thing.
Why should you listen to me?
I've been a lifter and a coach for 20 years, and a trainer for the Canadian Forces.
I have a B.Sc in exercise science and a PhD in Public Health/Epidemiology (health statistics). I’ve helped about 10,000 people get in shape 1-on-1, in group classes, and online.
And I walk the walk, being in decent shape myself.
Top 4 bodybuilding apps at home
Dr. Muscle: Best overall
With 23+ smart features, Dr. Muscle is the world's smartest workout app.
The app uses AI to optimize and personalize your training routines based on your goals, experience, equipment, and more.
You can use it to build muscle and work out at home. In fact, it has 31 programs just for home workouts. Those include:
- Home gym programs
- Bodyweight and bands
- Bodyweight only
You can customize these programs further by telling the app exactly what equipment you have, including:
- Chin-up bar
The app will build your workouts automatically and include only exercises you are equipped for.
From your very first workout, the app customizes your experience and guides you in real time, like a top trainer. This helps ensure you are always challenged and progressing optimally toward your goals.
Full disclosure: In 2016, I finished my PhD, gathered a small team, and started building Dr. Muscle. We built Dr. Muscle with all the features we dreamed about—but couldn’t find. We use it every day. That said, we want you to make an educated decision. So, here's a list of pros and cons based on customer feedback:
Dr. Muscle pros:
- Fully compatible with bodybuilding at home, with personalized workout routines based on your fitness level, goals, and available equipment
- Uses AI to analyse your performance and adjust workouts accordingly
- Extensive library of exercises, complete with descriptions, demonstrations, and instructions on how to perform them correctly
- Based on scientific principles and research, ensuring you receive safe, effective, and efficient workout plans
Dr. Muscle cons:
- Not the best design
- Works best with an Internet connection (offline mode is slow)
- Plethora of advanced features may be too much for some
Learn more about Dr. Muscle (you can try it free).
Strong: Best usability
The Strong workout app is a convenient and useful tool for lifters looking for an easy-to-use tracker.
It lets you create your own programs and keep records on your phone, making it a great alternative to a traditional notebook and pen.
The app also offers useful features like tracking total volume. However, for complete beginners without a workout plan, this app might not be the best choice, as it doesn't provide coaching or suggest exercises, reps, or intensity levels.
- Convenient and easy-to-use tracker
- Allows users to design their own programs and track progress
- Eliminates the need for a notebook and pen at the gym
- May not be the best for complete beginners as it lacks coaching and guidance
- Some users report issues with syncing, saving workouts, and app glitches
Learn more in our full review of Strong.
Freeletics: Best for bodyweight workouts
Freeletics is a relatively new fitness app that offers various workout programs and nutritional coaching.
They provide training focused on bodyweight exercises, but also include some dumbbells and running.
- Tons of bodyweight exercises
- Wide range of workout plans catering to different fitness goals and preferences
- Nutritional coaching (can be helpful for users looking to improve their diet along with their exercise routine)
- Numerous options and flashy names for programs, which can lead to program hopping and hinder progress for new trainees
- Strong focus on HIIT-style training (beneficial for cardiovascular fitness, but not the best method for building muscle)
- Many users have noted that the workouts offered by Freeletics are not significantly different from free YouTube videos, calling into question the app's value proposition
- Some users have complained about being charged without their knowledge due to an automatic renewal system, and receiving no response when contacting Freeletics for assistance
Learn more in our critical review of Freeletics.
Final verdict: the winner is...
Dr. Muscle shines as the superior choice among 13 workout apps tested for home-based bodybuilding. It outperforms others with its fusion of advanced technology and scientifically-backed training methods. This app has it all, offering a diverse range of bodyweight exercises, an integrated workout log, a progress tracker, and even an AI coach to boost your progress and motivation.
In Dr. Muscle, every user gets a personalized workout plan created with the power of artificial intelligence. It tailors the plan to individual fitness levels, experiences, and goals, ensuring the most effective workout for everyone. Additionally, it provides a wide range of exercises to suit every interest and fitness level, from beginners to seasoned bodybuilders. The best part? No equipment or gym is required – all exercises can be performed using body weight in the comfort of your own home.
The standout feature of Dr. Muscle is its effective tracking of progressive overload – a critical factor in muscle development. By automating your workouts, it saves you hours of planning, instead dedicating this time to actual workouts. Coupled with automated challenges and a range of exercises, the app is the ultimate tool for achieving your bodybuilding goals at home. Its user-friendly interface, continuous updates, and science-based approach make it an effective, affordable, and easy-to-use solution for anyone embarking on a bodybuilding journey.
13 bodybuilding apps tested
We tested the following bodybuilding apps (13 in total). Here's the full list, including those that didn't make the cut.
What to look for in a great home bodybuilding app
The #1 thing you should look for in a bodybuilding app is great hypertropy workout plans.
No matter how sleek the app, if the workouts are subpar, there's no point. You're just wasting time.
On top of that, here are some important features to look for in a great home bodybuilding app:
- Limited equipment: Exercises and routines that are suitable for home workouts, with limited equipment
- Limited space: Workouts and routines that are adaptable to smaller spaces, such as apartments or small rooms
- Bodyweight, bands, and dumbbells: Wide range of bodyweight and other basic exercises that are easy to do at home
When looking for a home bodybuilding app, it's important to consider the equipment you have available. Many people have limited equipment at home, and the app you choose should take this into account. The app should provide exercises and routines that are suitable for home workouts, without requiring expensive equipment or a fully equipped home gym.
Look for an app that includes bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, and basic dumbbell exercises. These exercises can provide a challenging workout that targets various muscle groups without needing a lot of space or expensive equipment. By choosing an app that accommodates your equipment limitations, you can still achieve your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home.
In addition to equipment requirements, it's also important to consider the space available in your home. Many people live in apartments or have limited space to work out, and the app you choose should take this into account. The app should provide workouts and routines that are adaptable to smaller spaces, such as apartments or small rooms.
Look for an app that includes exercises that can be done in small spaces, such as bodyweight exercises, resistance band exercises, and exercises that use a stability ball. Additionally, the app should provide clear instructions on how to modify exercises to make them suitable for smaller spaces. By choosing an app that accommodates your space limitations, you can still achieve a challenging and effective workout from the comfort of your own home.
Bodyweight, bands, and dumbbell exercises
One of the benefits of working out at home is that you can achieve a great workout with minimal equipment. When looking for a home bodybuilding app, look for one that includes a range of bodyweight and other basic exercises that require little to no equipment.
Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges are great for building strength and muscle mass in beginners. Resistance band exercises can provide additional resistance and variety to your workout routine. Basic dumbbell exercises such as bicep curls and shoulder presses can also be effective for building strength and muscle. By choosing an app that includes a variety of bodyweight and basic exercises, you can achieve a challenging and effective workout without needing a lot of equipment.
What to look for in a great bodybuilding app
Other important features common to all bodybuilding apps include:
- Guidance: The app should help you select your program or customize one for you.
- Customization: Look for an app that allows you to further customize your workout routines based on your goals, fitness level, and available equipment.
- Exercise library: A great home bodybuilding app should have a wide range of exercises with video tutorials and instructions to help you perform each exercise correctly.
- Progress tracking: The app should allow you to track your progress and provide insights on your strength gains and body changes.
- Nutrition and diet planning: Look for an app that includes nutrition and diet planning features to help you achieve your bodybuilding goals.
- User-friendly interface: The app should be easy to use and navigate, with clear instructions and a well-designed interface.
What is the best workout app for bodybuilding?
Dr. Muscle stands out as the best bodybuilding app due to its unique combination of cutting-edge technology and science-backed training principles.
With features like adaptive training, customized workouts, and comprehensive progress tracking, Dr. Muscle provides a user-friendly and effective platform for anyone seeking to achieve their bodybuilding goals.
Its commitment to science-based training and continuous updates make it a top choice for those looking to maximize their workouts and achieve the best possible results.
What is the best free app for bodybuilding at home?
This free bodybuilding app is a great starting point for beginners who are just getting into the fitness world. It has several features, like a workout planner, nutritional advice, tracking progress, and detailed instructional videos. Plus, it's incredibly easy to use and navigate. It also offers a wide range of exercises and workouts that are tailored to fit any level of fitness.
Best bodybuilding app at home for iPhone
Dr. Muscle is the best home bodybuilding app on iPhone because it uses artificial intelligence to create a personalized workout plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.
Best bodybuilding app at home for Android
Dr. Muscle is also the best home bodybuilding app on Android. It's advanced AI creates the best personalized workouts of the app we've tested
Best app for bodybuilding without equipment
Dr. Muscle is a great choice for bodybuilding without equipment because it offers a variety of bodyweight exercises and programs that can be done at home. The app also includes a built-in workout log, progress tracker, and AI coach, so you can fast track your progress and stay motivated. Benefits include:
- Variety of exercises: Dr. Muscle offers a variety of bodyweight exercises to choose from, so you can find a workout that fits your interests and fitness level. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced bodybuilder, you will find something to challenge you.
- No equipment required: Dr. Muscle is a great option for people who want to build muscle without having to go to the gym or buy any equipment. All you need is a little space and your own body weight.
- Personalized workout plans: Dr. Muscle uses artificial intelligence to create a personalized workout plan for each user. This plan is tailored to the user's individual needs and goals, such as their fitness level, experience, and goals. This ensures that users are getting the most out of their workouts and that they are on the path to achieving their fitness goals.
If you are looking for a way to build muscle without equipment, Dr. Muscle is a great option. The app is easy to use, effective, and affordable.
Best app to track progressive overload
To build muscle over time, you need progressive overload. We've found Dr. Muscle is the best app to track progressive overload. It does this by automating your workouts, so you don't have to spend hours planning them. The app is easy to use and provides all the tools you need to reach your fitness goals. Features include:
- Personalized training program: The app creates a personalized training program for you based on your fitness level and goals.
- Automated challenges: The app provides automated challenges to help you increase your strength.
- Variety of exercises: The app offers a variety of exercises to choose from, so you can find the ones that work best for you.
If you're looking for a way to build muscle and strength without having to spend hours planning your workouts, then Dr. Muscle is a great option. The app is easy to use and provides all the tools you need to reach your bodybuilding goals.
Is there a nutrition plan included with the apps?
Dr. Muscle and Freeletics both offer a nutrition plan.
How can I train like a bodybuilder at home?
Bodybuilding at home can be a challenge, but it's possible with proper planning, dedication, and equipment. Here's a short guide to get you started:
- Choose a Goal: What do you want? Bigger muscles? More strength? Less fat? Your goal shapes your plan.
- Buy Equipment: You need dumbbells, barbells, a bench, a squat rack, and resistance bands. If you can, also get a pull-up bar and a cable machine.
- Make Your Plan: Start slow, then add more weight, more reps, or more sets. Check out our plans for beginners, skinny guys, or more advanced lifters.
- Eat Right: To build muscle, eat more calories than you burn. Balance your food: 40-60% carbs, 25-35% protein, and 15-25% fats. Or try a low-carb, high-protein diet to see if it works best for you. Drink lots of water.
- Rest: Sleep enough, and give your body time to rest and heal.
- Stick With It: Bodybuilding takes time. Be patient. Keep track of your progress: it's motivating and helps you tweak your plan.
- Safety First: Always use the correct form to avoid getting hurt. If you're a beginner, consider hiring a trainer to learn good technique.
Remember, everyone is different. What works for others might not work for you. Listen to your body, and adjust as needed.
Is a home workout app good for building muscle?
Definitely. While gym workout apps give you more options, you can build plenty of muscle at home with a home workout app. Of the 13 we've tried and tested, Dr. Muscle was the most advanced and comprehensive for the price.