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Monday, February 14, 2011

How To Build Muscle Using Bodyweight Exercise

Regular readers will know that I like bodyweight exercises.  Why?  They are simple, inexpensive, effective and safe.  If you want to compete in weightlifting at the Olympics or become a power lifter then you need a gym with free weights.  But if all you want to achieve is to get in shape, look good in clothes and get stronger so you can enjoy life more, then all you need are bodyweight exercises and the will to transform your body.

SIMPLE - you don't need a gym membership to get in shape, build strength or build muscular endurance.  You need a little space and a pull up bar.  Throw in some dumb bells if you have them but that's strictly optional.

INEXPENSIVE - You don't need P90X, Insanity or some other DVD program *unless* you need to see people around working out and that gives you motivation.  Instead of spending the money on exercise DVDs, buy a pull up bar and a yoga mat.

EFFECTIVE - Check this guy here. All he did was commit to a bodyweight exercise program called SimpleFit. I got into shape using mainly bodyweight exercises.  You can scale bodyweight exercises to be harder or easier depending on your strength level.  Check out these tutorials for common exercises.  Bodyweight exercises have the ability to transform your body if you are willing to change the way you eat.

SAFE - Safety is important and my number 1 priority in working out.  Once we are over forty, we really don't want to get injured.  Recovery takes longer when we are older and being hurt means we miss training time.

The key idea I employ in building muscle is to maximize the muscle's time-under-load.  In order to build muscle, the muscle has to be stressed to a point where it experiences microtrauma.  This microtrauma is what causes the muscles to ache 24-48 hours after the workout.  The pain resulting from microtrauma is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).  Once the muscle experiences hypertrophy, it gets bigger and stronger.

Demanding strength from muscles ultimately influences gene expression which causes protein synthesis. The body upregulates the entire biological chain needed to engage muscle formation and increase strength.  So how do we "tell" our muscles to get bigger and stronger?

With bodyweight exercise, our repetitions are usually upwards of 10 or 12 before we reach failure (the inability of the muscle to contract any further).  With standard push ups for example, I won't reach failure until upwards of 40 good form push ups.  Once I reach failure with whatever exercise I am doing, I will scale the exercise to an easier mode without interruption and keep performing work until the muscles reach failure a second time. Form is cherished over speed. After a minute of resting, I will perform a second set of the same exercise to keep working the muscle group.  I will do about 3 sets of that particular exercise.  Some times I might do more sets if I really want to work the muscle group, but never less than 3 sets.

Once those three sets are done, I might do one more set of increased difficulty repetitions.  This means I will choose a harder option of working the muscle even though I will be doing fewer repetitions.  In case of push ups, it might mean doing elevated push ups or clapping push ups or narrow, diamond push ups.  With pull ups, I just keep doing pull ups and chin ups until the muscles fail.  Even then one can still do SUPERSLOW negatives to continue the muscle's time-under-load.

Progressively loading the muscles during a training day then allowing up to 6 days for full recovery is a good and safe way to build muscles using bodyweight workouts.



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    1. 3 Best Bodyweight Exercises for At Home Workouts

      Here are 3 kick-butt bodyweight exercises you can do to burn fat,
      stay energized, and avoid overeating.

      Bodyweight exercises help you burn fat shockingly fast, without any
      fancy equipment.

      1) Any Single-Leg Exercise
      The pistol (single-leg squat to the floor) is the most advanced
      1-leg exercise. But you can also do assisted single-leg squats with
      a band, or onto a bench, or even with a Stability Ball between your
      back and the wall.

      If you aren't ready for single-leg squats, you can use Bulgarian
      Split Squats, Reverse Lunges, regular split squats, or lying 1-leg
      hip bridges if you are a beginner.

      2) Decline Push-ups
      These are harder than normal pushups, thanks to your elevated feet.
      And in this position, you can still use a close-grip to fatigue
      your triceps, a "piked-hip position" to build your shoulders, or
      even the Spiderman leg motion to work on your abs.

      3) Bodyweight Inverted Rows
      I choose these over chinups and pullups because bodyweight rows let
      your chest rest, while your back is strengthened. It's the perfect
      compliment to a pushup.

      Do 8-12 repetitions per exercise. Don't rest between exercises. Go
      through the circuit up to 3 times, resting 1 minute after each

      For a once-per-month challenge, do each exercise to failure in your
      final round through the circuit.

      Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> 3 Best Bodyweight Exercises for At Home Workouts <=====

      Get in shape for summer fast with Turbulence Training,

      Craig Ballantyne, CTT
      Certified Turbulence Trainer
      Author, Turbulence Training

      PS - Cut your workout and enjoy more time OUT of the gym...

      "Turbulence Training is phenomenal, Craig's system has taught me
      more about bodyweight exercises than I knew was possible. Also
      with a busy life style he offers exercises that you can do
      anywhere, anytime with little to no equipment. It is affordable
      and worthwhile. Thanks Craig."
      Darren Motuz, Winnipeg Manitoba

      Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

      "The dumbbell and bodyweight workouts are perfect for the small
      amount of exercise equipment I have at home, and I no longer regret
      not having a membership to a gym. Getting the best results I've
      ever had. Thanks again!"
      Tylor McEchren

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