Page 1 of 4

Body weight training

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:21 pm
by Onlyethic
Hello all,

I've been doing body weight training for a while now. I haven't stepped in a gym for a year and have seen myself get much stronger, though maybe not as perfectly formed as could be.

I run, do pushups (with many variations), pull ups, dips, one-legged squats, sand-sprinting, decline situps, use a very thick band, etc, etc, etc.

I want to know what people think of bodyweight workout in general and if there are specific recommendations to keep the workouts effective.

I travel and don't have much $ which is why I'm not in gyms, but I've found that pull-up bars give me anything I need. Opinions on this opinion?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:26 pm
by TimD
I use some bodyweight stuff almost daily, and thinks it's great, but I feel it's even better when used in conjunction with weights.

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:43 pm
by stuward

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:53 pm
by Stephen Johnson
If your goal is to build functional strength for everyday tasks (as opposed to muscular hypertrophy), bodyweight exercises are a viable option. Gymnasts rarely engage in weight training. Bodyweight drills provide nearly all of their training. Yet they have excellent physiques and a high degree of functional strength

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:56 pm
by pdellorto
I've had lots of success with one day a week of weight training, and one day a week of bodyweight training. I do that to supplement my mixed-martial arts training. I found that adding bodyweight training made me more fit, and I attribute at least part of my steady progress in other exercises to the bodyweight work.

Nothing wrong with a pure bodyweight workout - gives pure bodyweight workouts. Crossfit mixes weights and bodyweight together. And a fair number of MMA fighters swear by bodyweight-only routines, skipping weights altogether. One of my friends gave me a copy of Combat Conditioning by Matt Furey, which has many interesting bodyweight exercises in it.
Actually, I even noticed this recently: Brooks D. Kubik, the "Dinosaur Training" guy, has a bodyweight training program. Costs rather a lot to read it though... ... ining.html

Hope that helps,


Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:03 pm
by Ironman
I do weighted exercises. It's bodyweight, with weight added. The only time I would ever do just bodyweight, is if my weight happened to be exactly the amount of resistance I needed for what I was trying to do. I think just plain bodyweight is crap for most things. You need to be able to fine tune the weight to fit your goals. Now something like just wanting to handle your weight and do some kind of a sport like gymnastics or something like that, it's a good method of training. So it really depends on what you want to do.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:18 am
by garofalof
I do bodyweighted training. I execute exercises like pushups, pullups, situps, crunches,side bends, hyperextensions, squat with a leg (free body), calf extensions and running.
I trained for 2 years with bodybuilding style, I really increased my weight, but shoulders and kneels hurt.
To make hard my workouts I reduced stop times between each set. Now, just a hour is really hard and I know my body better. Muscle resistence, force and power are improving so much!

Excuse my bad english!!! :)

THanks for the responses, I...

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:39 am
by Onlyethic
generally agree with all of what's said. I have found that I'm more fit than when I just in the gym (though, to be honest, I was doing a proper workout in the gym).

I also find that I push myself much harder with just bodyweight.

The problem is the plateau. As one of the response's mentioned (Ironman, I think) it's very hard to fine tune. I do add weight to my body weight (backpack filled with heavy things) which is very good.

I think I'm just looking to kick it up a notch, which may be a self-evident task (ie work out longer and more intensively).

Will check the websites linked. thanks again!

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:13 am
by Ironman
Well there ya go, a backpack works great. Another thing you can use is a regular leather belt. I take one that fit when I was a little chubby and use it to strap weight plates to my back.

For chest, you can use a pushup for upper chest. You just put your feet on something about 3 feet high, strap a plate to your back and low your upper chest to the floor. For lower chest, It is almost impossible to work it with a pushup. You would need someones help to load plates. However a chest dip works great. If all there is is p-bar, just put your hands at the very end where it's wider and lift our legs forward a bit. That puts more emphasis on the chest.

For back there are supine rows, but it is going to be hard to weight those. So I would really advise just using a barbell. For a more lat focused exercise, pullups and chins are great.

For legs, I guess you could do some single leg stuff, but that really doesn't take the place of heavy barbell training.

Eventually you will need a real weight belt. I strap a 45 and a 5 to my back for the push up thing, and it's a little awkward. I know it won't work for dips. Strapping on a 25 for dips is ok, even a 35, but when I need to use a 45, I will just have to buy a real weight belt.

That might be what you will end up needing to if you are very strong compared to your body weight.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:08 am
by Wouter
Hello, here is a very good site which has got different workouts for every 'fitness level', they range from level 1(absolute beginner) to level 20 ( 'Ultimate Challenge')) You do need to register to get all the articles (in the forum) the articles are very widespread: from getting a big back to the perfect one arm pushup.

P.S.:I am going to try to get to level 15 after my fatloss program.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:01 pm
by Halfbreed
I really dig bodyweight exercises, but as with Ironman, I feel better combining them with weight training. I've seen guys get pretty yolked up just off of bodyweight exercises, but as you say, the plateau is easy to hit. You can get pretty creative with your bodyweight, using boxes to change elevation with pushups, jumping from side to side, or from one side of the box, onto the box, and then off to the other side. You can do locked arm step ups for shoulders, handstand pushups and horizontal rows....I'm currently incarcerated, and so I have a ton of ideas for you if you want to hear them. If so, just ask me.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:59 pm
by stuward
Wouter, great site.

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:32 am
by garofalof

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:44 am
by Matt Z
I'm sure I've said this before, but I think the biggest weakness of bodyweight-only programs is leg training. There's just no substitute for heavy squats and deadlifts.

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:55 am
by Matt Z
PS.) This might sound a little sick, but has anyone here ever tried doing Handstand Pushups on parallel bars (to increase the ROM)? That's one bodyweight exercise that would be super-difficult.