Guide to Bodyweight Muscle Building:
Learn how to build muscle WITHOUT a gym membership
- Horizontal pushing movement – such as pushups, bench press, or floor press.
- Horizontal pulling movement – such as bent over rows, one-arm dumbbell bent over rows, or inverted rows
- Vertical pushing movement – such as push press, standing dumbbell press, or handstand pushups
- Lower body pulling movement – such as deadlifts, kettlebell swings, or dumbbell snatches
- Lower body pushing movement – such as squats, bodyweight squats, or squat jumps
There are other planes of movements that you need to cover, but I feel these 5 are the best starting point to help you cover 80% of your body.
The second aspect to creating a basic training program is cardiovascular training. Cardiovascular training, also known as Cardio, helps you increase endurance and burn fat. You have many options when it comes cardio:
- Kettlebell/Dumbbell Cardio – Using light weights at high reps and multi joint exercises helps you both burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Click here some Kettlebell Cardio templates you can use to create your own workout. Can also be used with dumbbells or any other weighted object.
- Bodyweight Cardio – Similar to Kettlebell and Dumbbell cardio, but allows you wide range of variety in terms of level of intensity. Beginners can start off with basic movements such as jumping jacks. Advanced trainees can perform harder movement such as burpees. Click here for a sample workout.
- Hard Cardio – This is where you use cardio exercises that are “hard” Examples include jump roping, shadowboxing, and sledgehammer swings. These sort of movements are usually more fun than basic cardio. Click here for some sample jump roping workouts.
- Steady State Cardio – The most common form of cardio, involves long distance or long duration activity at a low and controlled heart rate.
- Interval Training – The most intense form of cardio. Involves alternating between periods of high and low intensity training. Click here to learn how to combine multiple forms of cardio for maximum results.
Putting it All Together
The equipment you have access to and the time you have to training are going to be the two major aspects to creating your training program. Lets assume that you have a pair of dumbbells. You want to first figure out which exercises to perform.
Lets choose one movement for each basic movement plane:
- Dumbbell Floor Press
- Dumbbell Bent Over Row
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Deadlift
- Dumbbell Squat
These 5 basic movement will take you far. The next step is figuring out how many sets and reps you wish to perform.
When it comes to creating basic workouts, I really like Craig Ballantyne’s approach. Craig Ballantyne is the author of one of the best selling home fitness programs on the Internet – Turbulence Training.
His approach is very simple: perform 2 movements back to back with little to no rest in between each set. Perform 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. Perform 3 total sets. This is a great starting point. Click here for a sample Turbulence Training Muscle Building Workout.
Creating your Own Program
Creating your own program is very tough. It takes commitment, patience, and tracking everything you perform. However, there is a short cut. There are trainers that are nice enough to create some great high intensity workouts for you to perform at home.
I’ve already mentioned Craig Ballantyne, but there are so many more. Choose from one of the workouts on the side bar, or the one featured below, and get started today!
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