Master Your Bodyweight
Your body is your vehicle through life.
If you allow it to break down, it will absolutely affect your life for the worse.
Health is one of the most significant forms of wealth. When you lose your health, you're not long for this world.
Your ability to move your body easily through space and against gravity is a good indicator of health, especially if you maintain this well into old age.
Once you get to the point where it's a workout just to stand up from a chair, things aren't looking good.
You need a strong body that is capable of supporting itself without pain & discomfort, and one that's able to easily get you around the world in your day-to-day activities.
And logically, that starts with your own bodyweight.
I know, I know. We all love the fancy machines in the gym.
I do too, especially since bodybuilding is my primary goal and all the various machines allow me to target muscles in specific ways. Machines & other equipment allow me to build more muscle in the areas I target the most.
Bodyweight training is different.
You'll build muscle, sure. You can look phenomenal if you simply master calisthenics.
I guarantee there are some guys down at your local big city parks that look like they could be fitness models in a magazine, and all they do is train outside in the sun on monkey bars and jungle gyms.
Mastering your bodyweight gives you an incredible boost to your overall strength, proprioception, structural integrity, mobility, stability, and longevity.
There's no real reason not to include some form of bodyweight training for the rest of your life.
Wherever you are, you can bust out some pushups or squats. And if you're really lucky, you'll find something you can grab onto and do some pullups, or maybe even dips. If you need to include some cardio, you can do some burpees or tuck jumps or mountain climbers.
Bodyweight training requires no external elements & almost no space. The only reason you "can't do it" is because you choose not to.
It doesn't matter if you're in a hotel, a stairwell, a patio, whatever. If you have enough space to stand in, you can get something done. If you have enough space to lay down in, you can get a little more done. And if you have enough space to lay down in, in two different directions, you can get a lot more done. That's all you really need... a few square feet of floor space.
Every now and then I'll do bodyweight-only workouts, but most of the time I simply include a few bodyweight movements throughout my bodybuilding sessions. Typically, I'll save them towards the end & I like to superset them with other things.
At other times, a particular bodyweight movement will be my primary focus of the workout, just like you would focus on a bench press, deadlift, or back squat after first warming up. I spent many months in 2021 focused on improving my dips, which was my primary chest movement in place of the bench press.
Or you can do something entirely different & hit only ONE EXERCISE for an ENTIRE WORKOUT.
You can do an entire workout of JUST PULLUPS. I've done it. One hour straight, as many reps as possible. And I hit 425...
Before I started that workout, I thought I was going to burnout around 150 or so. Boy did I underestimate myself.
When you master your bodyweight, you can push the limits like this as well.
So, what exactly do I recommend?
Some of my favorite bodyweight movements are dips, inverted rows, pullups, chinups, pushups, squats, lunges & plyos.
Dips have become one of my favorite chest builders. They're great for packing on size to the triceps as well.
You want a deep stretch with full control at the bottom & a strong squeeze at the top. If you have tight shoulders, you'll likely need to address this before dips will feel comfortable or productive for you.
Between inverted rows, pullups, and chinups, you can pack on some decent size to your upper back, lats, rear delts, and biceps.
Inverted rows are also fantastic for combating "computer posture" and can quickly enhance your appearance if you include them consistently.
Squats and lunges are always a good idea.
If I'm doing bodyweight-only, I'll throw these in between some machine work and go for high reps... in the 20 to 50+ range.
I like to make bodyweight legs BURN. Slow the reps down to half speed & really suffer. Plyos come in handy too.
For plyos, I like to add in a few jump squats when things are feeling good, landing lightly on each rep. This is a quick way to really fatigue the quads.
Box jumps, lateral bounds, and plyo lunges are all good choices as well. You can really jack up your heart rate with these too.
Start including bodyweight movements into your workouts & shoot for high reps with EXCELLENT quality.
It's your bodyweight. You should be in full control of it.
For additional benefits, do them barefoot. You'll work even more muscles & train your balance & stability more too.
Finally, if you want to take your bodyweight training to the next level, invest in a TRX (which also has a 20% off coupon available on Amazon right now.)
This versatile piece of equipment can easily pack down into a carrying bag the size of two fists, and it's perfect to throw in your luggage when you're on the go or out of town.
Spartan Training & Coaching