Use the body you have to build the body you want!
I am a bona fide lover of bodyweight training. This love began around three years ago now and I’m so grateful I discovered this thought pattern in training.
I am naturally muscular. Years of super competitive sports conditioning left me with a solid physique but not a very feminine one. In my athletic prime I was running 5-7 days per week and lifting heavy weights on a progressive load schedule 3x per week. I was absolutely miserable with my body image. I’d scummed to the thought process that unless I was running 90 minutes a day I would not be able to keep my weight down. Then everything changed.
I discovered this website: www.bodyrock.tv
and was given this book:
In a world where everyone is jumping to the latest fitness trends I’m kicking it old school with bodyweight interval training circuits.
My program now consists of 95% bodyweight only training. I use supplementary equipment like chairs, benches, TRX, the odd medicine ball, and pull-up bars. I haven’t weight lifted in five years and I’ve never had a lower body fat percentage than I do now.
My workouts are NOT easy. Plyometrics, or “jump training” are very difficult for even the most elite athletes. It took a long time to build up my functional strength to actually be able to complete the exercises. Training with bodyweight exercises is an advanced form of exercise, and it’s far from boring! The awesome thing about bodyweight exercises for me is they allow me to stay lean and not get bulky which I’m very prone to do. I’ve found training within your own body allows you to sculpt your own ideal frame.
Most weight training exercises, think bicep curl, isolate only certain muscles, requiring fairly small portions of your body’s total muscle mass, unlike bodyweight exercises that incorporate many muscles. Bodyweight exercises are therefore much more demanding on your core strength (6-packs for everyone!) than weight machine activities.
Also something that I’ve come to love about bodyweight training is how injury free I’ve been! Bodyweight exercises use motions that keep you safe from many chronic injuries that come overtime with weight lifting and other unnatural exercises which have little to no use in our functional lives. The performance demands of the average person consist mainly of manipulating their own bodyweight throughout the day. So what could be more functional for developing better strength in day-to-day activities than bodyweight movements? But, right now, between couch potatoing and bench pressing – sitting on your bum and lying on your back we’ve got a nation of functional weaklings.
So give it a go! Checkout BodyRock and Mark Lauren’s You are Your Own Gym!