There are literally tons of training methods out there. I’m going to present to you my top five training methods to help you gain muscle and lose fat effectively using bodyweight training:
Method #1: The Dice Method
The dice method to program design is pretty simple. You take a dice and you roll it. With each roll, you assign a different property. The effectiveness of this method is based on what variable you assign to each throw.
Here’s an example:
Dice roll #1: Number of Exercises – You can have anywhere between 1-6 exercises in your workout. Lets say you roll a four, that means you choose 4 exercises that cover the entire body.
Dice roll #2: Number of Rounds – Assuming you are performing circuit training, you will be performing anywhere between 1-6 rounds of this workout. So lets say you roll a three. The entire workout will consist of 3 rounds of a 4-exercise circuit for the entire body.
I kept it simple and only had two rolls of the dice. You can take this as far as possible, and have up to 10 rolls if you want. Be creative.
Method #2: Simple Trisets
Trisets are where you perform three exercises back to back. Most of my routines incorporate one upper body push (like pushups), one upper body pull (like pullups), and one lower body (like squats) exercise. Choose one exercise from each of those categories, decide the reps and how many rounds you want to perform (maybe use the Dice Method), and GO!
This is one of the most simple and effective methods of program design. You don’t need to perform a workout with 20+ exercises in order to have an intense workout.
Method #3: Alternating with Cardio
I must have mentioned this method at least 10 times on this site. It should have it’s own eBook, because it’s SO effective at burning fat. I originally came across the idea with Mike Mahler’s High Octane Cardio (HOC).
Mahler’s idea was very simple: alternate between bodyweight, dumbbell, or kettlebell training with either running, jump roping, or shadowboxing. Since his idea was first published, hundreds of fitness enthusiasts have put there own unique spin on the method.
My suggestion is to keep it simple: choose one or two bodyweight exercise and throw in some sort of cardio movement in between them. Set the timer and GO!
Method #4: Descending Reps
Here’s another one of my favorite training methods. Descending reps are the best way to both manage fatigue, and keep the intensity level high. The idea is very simple:
- Choose 1-3 exercises.
- Choose # of rounds.
- Lower the reps slightly after each round.
The key to making this training method useful is to start off with performing more reps than you can with your first exercise. For example, lets say you usually perform 3x10pushups. A descending reps workout would look something like this:
- Set 1: 15 reps
- Set 2: 10 reps
- Set 3: 5 reps
Those 5 reps at the end are going to feel like the first 15 reps since your body will be exhausted by then.
Method #5: Inverse Pyramid
Spinning off on the concept of descending reps, inverse pyramids just throw EVERYTHING off balance and keep your body guessing while you workout.
What you’re doing is performing descending reps with the first exercise, and ascending reps with the second exercise. Ascending means that the reps increase with each round. So, with the pushups example, an ascending rep scheme would look something like this:
- Set 1: 5 reps
- Set 2: 10 reps
- Set 3: 15 reps
In this case, each round is getting harder and harder, for that particular exercise. The second exercise you perform, you are doing a descending rep scheme. Put them together, alternating between each exercise and you’ve got one INTENSE workout.
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