Page 2 of 3
Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:08 am
I get it. I guess a better way to phrase my question would be, "How do you balance your routine when you've got a lot of compound excercises?"
Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:14 am
Ryan and Matt have it right/ No real difference to them. If bodyweight becomes too easy, grab a bar, kettlebell, machine or whatever, maybe oad up a dufflebag. Personally, if I'm doing some high rep, quick stuff, I prefer bodyweight. If I choose to go heavy, then it's weighted. Go for what your goals happen to be that day.
Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:26 pm
If bodyweight exercises become too easy you're not doing them hard enough.
Hi guys, just new to this. ExRx is a great site.
Back to bodyweight exercises. Check out stewsmith.com for some intense bodyweight routines. He's a former Navy Seal and stills trains them along with other branches of the military, law enforcement, DEA, etc.
You can add weight to pullups, pushups, situps if you want to do just a few, strict reps.
However, try doing 100 pullups, 300 pushups in as few sets as you can with only a minute or two rest in between.
Pulldowns use the same muscles as pullups...but I'll bet you a guy who does heavy pulldowns can't do well with pullups...unless he does pullups too. Its psychological but also a slightly different movement.
Bottom line...bodyweight and freeweight exercises can compliment each other. I use the bodyweight exercises as a long warm up before I do a few moderate free weight sets. Or just bodyweight.
Try this pyramid counting up to 6:
Pullups X 1; Pushups X 2, Situps X 3...meaning each set increases by those factors so that on level 6 you do 6 pullups, 12 pushups, 18 situps...then work your way down. No rest in between either...keep moving. Total of 36 pullups, 72 pushups, 108 situps.
Not hard enough? Take the pyramid up to 8. I think you'll love it.
Then rest about 3-4 minutes and go on to free weights. But be careful not to do too much weight.
Then I go for a run, bike ride or swim.
Let me know what you guys think after you try it.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:33 am
I agree with Ryan. Just add weight. Anything over 15 reps is proven to be a waste of time with iron. So why is super magic body weight so special that 100 reps of something is the greatest thing that ever happened? People love body weight like their children. I don't understand why adding a weight plate is some kind of a sin. Muscles know load, they know time under the load. They know nothing else. Pushups are great with the right plates on your back. Pullups are good, but maybe you need an assist or some weight. Precision is the key.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:37 am
See, the one thing I hate about bodyweight excercises is that while certain excercises are so rediculously easy I should be using weights (Squats, Pushups.) Others, (Chin Ups) I struggle with.
Can I get away with replacing the Bent Arm Pullover and the Bent Over Row with Chin Ups (And once I'm strong enough, weighted Chin Ups)? The Chin Up has the Latissimus Dorsi as the Target (So right there I can replace the Bent Over Row which I hate doing.) and when I compare the synergist list for the Bent Over Row and Chin up, it looks almost identical.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:54 am
Nothing special about doing 100 reps of anything...unless you, yourself, want to achieve that. In the military, its a must to do high reps of pushups, pullups, situps if you want to pass the PT. If that's not someone's goal...they shouldn't worry.
Adding a plate to dips or pullups is great for a few strict reps. And you're right about the 15 reps with weight...it should be around 6-8 or less to get any real benefit. Being able to do several reps builds endurance in your muscles...which compliments the heavy lifting for an overall workout. Like doing a few sets of pushups or pullups as warm up before you do dumbbell curls or bench press.
Sliver, you will gain greater strength and size doing the rows...but if you can add weights to your chinups you will get results. Just make sure you can do around 10 chins in good form before adding the weight. Otherwise, you may risk an injury and imbalance...and then you will really struggle with chins.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:18 am
Hi Viking. Good to hear from a fresh perspective. Good point about the military. I retired in 87, and yes, they do want you to do the high rep bodyweight stuff, and I believe it has it's place, for muscular endurance, which is necessary if your "boots on the ground". From a BB approach, it may not be so necessary, but not a bad idea to throw it into the mix. When i ws growing up in the late 50's, my Dad used to drive us down to Ventura Ca for a summer vacation, and used to drive us down to the boardwalk at Santa Monica. That was musclebeach back then. Lots of weights and stuff, but what really impressed me was the tumbling and gymnastics those guys and gals were doing. Seemed to go right in hand with the weights.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:21 am
Yea I know you have to do that for the army. I have a lot of family and friends who were in, so I heard all about it. With the topic being about size gains, I was speaking with that goal in mind.
Silver, that is what I think about bodyweight too, some are too easy and some are too hard. You just have to pick and choose the right ones and use weight when you need it.
Try an assist machine if you struggle with chins. Just remember the weight on the plate doesn't really displace as much weight as it says. The pulley kind takes a little off of it. You could do mostly chins, but still do a set of rows or 2. I have seen people pull them selves up with a bar on a squat rack, so that it is a row type of motion. It looks way too easy though.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:37 am
Silver, both Ironman and Viking make valid points about rows and chins. They really are a bit different. Chins/pullups work the vertical plane, while rows work the horizontal, and as we all know, the back is very complex, and to work it thoroghly, you really need at least 4 or 5 movements. You might hate them but I think rows, with various grips, hit the mid back almost as well, but in a different way, than deadlifts. Elbows out, you're going to get the big traps, rhomboids, and to some extent the lats. Here is something I do when wanting to split the middle between row and chins. I call it a body row, I think another poster calls it supine rowing, not sure on that one. I put a bar in the rack, as if squatting, get below it facing the bar, and take the grip of the day(I vary it, pronated, supine, wide, narrow, I just toss a coin) and row/chin myself up at about a 45 degree angle. It's fairly easy, so I only use this on high volume/high reps, but it does do the trick. Hope this helps.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:33 pm
PLYOMETRICS!!!!! If bodyweight squats are to easy, do them one legged. Also, try jumping squats, it helps develop those fast twitch muscles and motor units. I stopped doing weighted squats with more than 135lbs because I was losing on my run time, I stick with high rep exercises and try to go for the "explosive" approach. Also, you use more stablizers with pull-ups than you do pull-downs. Try it.. you see what I mean. As far as push ups go, try doing the jumping or clapping pushup, works great for strength development. Don't forget to work your core out, most guys don't do that and they suffer later in their lifting stages (Like me *sad face*). If you have any questions about getting in shape for the military, I'd be happy to give some advice, just got out after 5 years in the Airborne Infantry at Fort Bragg. But seriously, Plyometrics are awesome, you will do well to incorporate them into any routine you have.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:48 pm
Sorry I must have missed it TimD, thats a great back exercise you pointed out. If done correctly it is a bit harder to do than lets say the average back workout. Why someone will no doubt ask? Mainly because of the stabilizer muscles being used to keep your body/ spine in a straight line. Same reason why some guys who benchpress really well cant do pushups for (four-lettered) word. Another great Bicep/ Lat exercise is doing pullups but varying the grip a bit. Ie: instead of facing the bar perpedicular, face the direction of the bar (parallel) and grap the bar with both hands facing toward each other. Now do a pullup on each side, making your shoulders touch the bar. Still to easy? Do a normal pullup (hands facing away from you) and pull yourself up until the traps touch the bar. These are mainly Lat. exercises, for the mid back I recomend TimD's exercise, it works really good if you go slow and keep good form.
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:40 pm
TimD wrote:Silver, both Ironman and Viking make valid points about rows and chins. They really are a bit different. Chins/pullups work the vertical plane, while rows work the horizontal, and as we all know, the back is very complex, and to work it thoroghly, you really need at least 4 or 5 movements. You might hate them but I think rows, with various grips, hit the mid back almost as well, but in a different way, than deadlifts. Elbows out, you're going to get the big traps, rhomboids, and to some extent the lats. Here is something I do when wanting to split the middle between row and chins. I call it a body row, I think another poster calls it supine rowing, not sure on that one. I put a bar in the rack, as if squatting, get below it facing the bar, and take the grip of the day(I vary it, pronated, supine, wide, narrow, I just toss a coin) and row/chin myself up at about a 45 degree angle. It's fairly easy, so I only use this on high volume/high reps, but it does do the trick. Hope this helps.
what you were talking about?
Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:02 am
LOL, not exact, but close enough. Same motion.
Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:40 am
I'm just getting back to the gym after a 4 year lay off so I'm no expert at the moment. BUT as a young guy my father was a bit of a misfit and landed him self in Jail a few times. The jail had no weights and in photos of him when he was in his twenties he was massive, 18 inch arms and a barrel chest from nothing but bodyweight! He told me when i was 16 that he would believe all these weights were doing me good when I could do a one armed chin up without gripping my wrist with the other hand. Needless to say I never did one, he could do 10 on each arm!
The major thing is also that as you gain size from bodyweight exercises you increase the intensity of the exercise, gradually increasing intensity is a major need in bodybuilding, weightlifting or any sport!
Not to mention the fact that a gradual progression helps to stop massive differences in muscle belly strength and tendo strength. One of the most major problems with muscle increasing drugs is the fact that they have a smaller effect on tendons than muscle and cause major injuries to occur easier and more damage is caused at the time of injury!
I hate Bodyweight Exercises, but only because I find them difficult, if you can do them well, incorporate them into your work outs for sure. You can still get big enough to have a pretty impressive physique!
Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:45 am
I can't do them well. I can't do a one armed or one legged anything ( one armed pushup, one armed chinup, one legged quat.) And I have no idea (or inclination) how to work my way up to that.