If you can't, you must. If you must, you can. - Anthony Robbins
One of the things I love about Bodyweight Training is that you either can do it or you can't, there is no way to cheat it
Bodyweight training requires stability & strength - 2 things that are often ignored by most people
To give you a clear example of what I mean, right now stop reading this & go do a handstand
Do It now! - either against the wall or in the middle of your room
Keep reading once you have done this
OK so How did you do?
Did you just get in your hands & stay in a fixated straight line for time without much effort?
Or did you attempt it but fell to the side, couldn't control the motion or maybe you did but didn't last long and lost your balance?
Most likely the latter
I didn't just tell you to do a handstand for no reason, This was done to prove an important point that will make all the difference in your training career
But first: I want you to think back & ask yourself:
Why couldn't I do it? or Why couldn't I hold it for that long?
I mean your strong a strong guy so why can't you hold a silly move like handstand?
Little kids can do it, but here you are; a grown ass man (OK maybe not that grown) but still you are stronger than a 10 year old skinny kid, right?
The reason you couldn't do it is because a Handstand requires both Strength & Stability
You fell to the side, backwards or forwards because you have no full control of your body
A Handstand even tough looks simple, requires you to control your balance, Have strong arms, shoulders, back, glutes, core & to lose your fear of falling!
This exercise alone can make you stronger overall, fix some of your weak areas & help you lift more weight simply by strengthening some of your weak areas like your coreAnd I don't mean seeing results until you get to be able to walk in your hands, but as fast as your able to hold a handstand hold for 15 seconds against the wall, walk side to side or bang out a couple of handstand push ups against the wall
Nothing impossible, but will make a BIG difference in your stability since you will be able to control your body a lot more so when you go hit the weights again you will have a lot more control of the bar, have better posture & be able to recruit muscles that were dormant before so you can lift heavier
weight & get stronger
Quite simply bodyweight will force you to work on your weak areas, and that in itself will improve everything else:
Your flexibility & Mobility Tension & grip strength Your ability to tighten up your core The ability to retract your shoulders & fix that hunched over back Improve your stamina Fix your muscle imbalances
And a whole array of pure awesomeness that will make it easier for you to get stronger & build more muscle
So now do I have your attention? GoodNow I wanna remind you that you do not need to be a super badass at bodyweight: simply getting efficient at the basics will get you stronger & pack on muscle
I say this because I personally am not a bodyweight master yet, I am not at
the level of gymnasts or bar athletes, but I can for sure vouch for how much of an impact getting more efficient in bodyweight training has done for my strength, mobility & ability to gain muscle
In 3 months I was able to pack on 5 pounds of muscle just with bodyweight training alone & the core + back strength I gained has helped me to lift heavier weights, so I am telling you how powerful bodyweight can be not because I can see the science behind it but because I have experienced itWe'll later get more into how to maximize & manipulate your bodyweight training, but for now let's go over the 7 exercises so you can add them to your program if your not using them
These are fundamental & getting efficient at them will quickly get you results - Don't avoid them unless you wanna stay weak!
Always Remember: Attack your Weaknesses & Get Stronger!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The 7 BADASS Exercises You Must Be Doing for Strength & Muscle Gains!#1: The all Mighty Pull Up (And Chin Ups)
If I could only do 1 exercise for my upper body it would be without a doubt the pull up
Not only is this a hard move for most people as they have weak backs but but the amount of tension & back muscles recruited makes this a MUST if you wanna truly develop back muscle & strength
Not only does it give you a wider & ticker back, but your forearms, triceps and biceps grow as well since they are always involved in this
The problem with pull ups is that: Most people suck at them, so they avoid them!
Don't make this mistake
Like the quote at the beginning says: If you can't you must
So if you can't do an exercise right away do progressions for it or assisted work in order to get efficient at pull ups
Here are 2 Exercises/Progressions you can do:
Inverted Rows: Band Assisted Pull Ups/Chin Ups
Inverted rows alone will get you to retract your shoulders & therefore improve your posture which will make it easier for you to do exercises that require thoracic extension like Deadlifts
That plus squeezing at the top will force your upper back to pack on size & get you stronger at pulling moves
Band assisted pull ups will get you to do more reps by releasing some of the weight if they are too hard for you (they are your training wheels for pull ups)
But at the same time using a band can help you get more reps as fatigue sets in if your goal is to stimulate more muscle growth as opposed to only strength
Use one of or the other or both & I am sure you will get efficient at pull ups fast!
How to Make Pull Ups Harder:This report is meant to highlight the basics, but If you can already do 10 pull us fairly easy, then here are some progressions that will increase difficulty & make you a pull up badass!
Weighted Pull Ups: Plain and simple, adding weighted resistance to any bodyweight move will make it hard, try to see what is you 1 rep max of weighted pull ups & work to increase that number
Mixed variations: don't just use a straight bar all the time, change up the grip - this will not only make it more fun but will also get you to train in different directions which is crucial if you play any sports since not everything is linear (you are always moving in different direction not always forward) so you must train this way
Clapping/Explosive Pull Ups: These requires true strength & you should be very good at pull ups before trying this one, but simply explode up and do a clapping pull ups...A simple way to practice this is to pull up as explosive as you can with your arms still on the bar, so you get used to generating that force before actually removing your hands and clapping
Fat Grips: Just like you wanna vary your grip you always wanna change the type of grip you train with to make it harder so add some towels to the bar (wrap it around the bar) or get some Fat Gripz to make the bar thicker & get to work (or use a tree Like the pic)
Towel Pull Ups: the amount of grip this develops is insane, you probably will only be able to do a 1/3 of your pull up max with this, as your fingers play a major role in gripping the towel, so it's a great grip developer + also trains your fingers which rarely get trained
1 arm Chin Ups: Chin ups are great to grow your biceps but when you are able to master the 1 arm chin up then you truly are taking your
bicep strength to the next level...I personally have been practicing these a lot more since I wanna get good at them, and while I can't get 1 full rep yet, here are 2 ways to work up to it
#1: Do negatives: get on top of the bar & lower with one arm only or try to put most of your weight in just one arm & use the other one just for balance and a little support
#2: Assisted 1 arm chins: grab a pole or the edge of a door frame so you can use that to assist your 1 arm chins as you pull up and down or at the same time you can hang a towel from the bar & grab it as assistance as you rise up....The goal being to use as little assistance as possible overtime so you develop that chin up strength
Muscle Ups: A True Feat of Strength & Explosiveness and it's a hybrid of a pull up with a dip...I personally recommend you start practicing these until you can do at least 10 pull ups as they put a lot of strain in your wrists, elbows & shoulders if you don't have the strength & control for them...Being strong & having endurance is great but you also wanna make sure to build up your tendons and ligaments which you will do so with high rep pull ups & explosive pulls, so set the foundation for them first & slowly progress up to the muscle up
So that's the Pull Up & it's variations, and as you can see is not just doing a couple of reps but really trying to maximize the move & have full control of it, which is what bodyweight training is all about: having control of your own body!
So let's move on....
#2: Push UpsOh push ups, so many people can't even do a push ups correctly (their hips are shooting up or they wobble on the way up and down)
To execute a push up properly tighten up your whole body: core, glutes, legs, back, traps, & with a shoulder width apart stance, put your hands on the floor and push up + down while maintaining a neutral head posture (so your
whole body moves up and down in a straight line) and almost touching the ground with your chest (or touching it bu