Around this time of the year, most people have the “aah it’s the holiday season. Let me enjoy, then I’ll set a new years resolution to get back into shape.”
You’re different, because you understand that fitness is a life-long pursuit. Although you should take some time away from the gym, you shouldn’t just completely give up for a portion of time and set to “restart” a month from now.
Usually, when people say “oh, I’ll start on Monday” they never do. Get out of the mentality and start TODAY.
Forget about how much you ate on Thanksgiving, or how many temptations you’re going to face in the next few weeks. Focus on the here and now. Workout hard and make TODAY a clean eating day.
Do not do slow cardio. It does not work. Instead, if you feel as though you can’t get to the gym because of weather, travel, family, work, etc. then try this 19-minute no-gym necessary bodyweight workout.
It’ll help you lose weight during the busiest times of the year.
“DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on any other exercise programmes or e-books !!! I have spent a fortune in the last twelve months on exercise material, only to discover that once you have a TT Membership Pass, you do not need to look anywhere else.
- Danette Nel, South Africa
“Craig, the TT membership is amazing. I’m still surprised at how quickly I get a response to any question. Talk about overdelivering!”
- Mickey Glick
“It’s been about 6 weeks since I started the initial program and have moved onto the women’s 4 week program and I’ve had fantastic results. I really appreciate how comprehensive the manuals are, with detailed pictures and instructions. Best money I ever spent!
Even at the 2-3 week mark my husband was commenting that I’ve lost weight and since then people have really noticed that my shape is changing. Every week people are saying, have you lost more weight? My body fat is really shifting and the best bit is that it takes far less time than going to the gym giving much more time for me! It also feels great to take control of your workouts!
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and months as I continue on the various workouts to see how much more my body can change. It’s great that there are so many workouts to keep the body challenged! Thank you for providing such proven workouts for poor misguided people like me!”
“Keep your head up, your heart strong, and run over anything that gets in your way. Success is never given, it’s earned. So work for what you want, fight for what you want, take what you want. Nothing is going to be handed to you.” - Robert MacDonald, Gym Jones
Yoga is a great form of bodyweight exercise. Unfortunately, I do not know much about it. In fact, I don’t know everything there is to know about health and fitness.
This is why I am opening my site up to individuals who are subject-matter experts in different areas, starting with yoga. The description and how to apply are below:
If you have your own blog, own a yoga study, or work in a yoga studio – then this is your opportunity to get exposure.
You’ll produce blogs on a variety of different topics, following general and open-ended instructions. Each article will be approximately 500 words, and we will link back to your blog. That is your compensation.
How to apply
All applicants must be U.S natives writing in native U.S. English. Degrees are not necessary, but writing is expected to be insightful and free of errors.
Send an email to email@example.com to be considered. Please apply with the URL of your blog. Include writing samples.
Here are 7 reasons why I love bodyweight exercise routines:
Organize bodyweight exercises into high intensity circuits, and you’ll drop fat like magic.
Gymnasts train with bodyweight exercise workouts, exclusively. Yet they’re stronger than most bodybuilders. They have a nice, lean physique to compliment their athletic skills, because body control is an important aspect of overall fitness.
Bodyweight exercise takes up a very small amount of your time. You can train for as little as 10 minutes a day and burn fat in the comfort of your own home. Sometimes I’ll just drop down and do a few pushups while I’m working, just to get the blood flowing again.
If you perform bodyweight exercise at a high intensity level, you will increase your metabolism.
My aerobic conditioning is better than what it used to be when I used to run 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. When you perform bodyweight exercise at a high intensity level, you also train your heart. And so the low intensity of a jog or run does not tire your body out.
The most important aspect of bodyweight exercise is that you can save a ton of money on expensive gym memberships or fancy equipment. All those fancy gizmos do nothing for a sleek body.
Finally, have you ever seen the difference in physique between a sprinter and a jogger? High intensity bodyweight exercise if your option if you desire a nice lean and muscular physique.
For more great bodyweight exercise training information, check out Workout Without Weights:
Workout Without Weights
Workout Without Weights is a complete bodyweight manual written by Coach Eddie Lomax which shows you over 150 bodyweight exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own home. The manual also includes templates you can use to design your own bodyweight programs, plus over 60 sample workouts to keep you challenged. Don’t forget to grab the Combo Package for even more high intensity bodyweight workouts.
In the last installment, we went over how to choose the right training split and how to organize your exercises based on that split. I hope now you have a rough schedule set up.The next step is to determine how many repetitions to perform per exercise. Use the following table as a guide:
Note these are just guidelines. You can certainly move out of your rep range for a particular goal, and still be able to achieve some gains in other goals. For example, a trainee training for mass will certainly be able to increase their base level of strength if they continually use more difficult exercises. The key to progress with bodyweight training is to seek out more difficult exercises, or find ways of making a set more difficult.
How many sets per session?
The number of sets performed per session is based on the number of exercises you have per session. So, for arguments sake, lets assume that your session lasts 30 minutes and you have five upper body exercises in that session. Here is a sample routine:
If you’re goal is to put on muscle, then you will be performing 8 reps per exercise. Here is how you will determine how many sets to perform in total:
Time each set of exercises as you time them. For example, lets say you perform 8 pullups in 26 seconds. This means that you can perform one pull up in approximately 3.25 seconds. Do this for the rest of your exercises, then average the times. Lets assume our average is 2.1 seconds per repetition. Multiply this by the total number of repetitions per exercise, or 8. This will give you an idea of how long each set will take you. In our case the number is 16.8 seconds.
Next step is to determine the rest between each set. Let us assume that you are an intermediate. Since your goal is mass gain, you choose to start off with taking a 2 minute rest between each set. Add that two minutes, or 120 seconds of rest to the 16.8 seconds we found to be the average length of each set. This number is now 136.8. For simplicity, lets round it up to 137 seconds.
Take this 137 seconds, which represents the time it will take for you to complete one set of an exercise, and divide that into the 30 minute session. First convert the 30 minutes into seconds (30 x 60 = 1800). So, 1800 divided by 137 seconds means that we have room for 13 total sets.
Distribute these 13 sets amongst the 5 exercises that you have chosen from before. Here is a sample:
Use this process to create the workouts for the rest of your training program.
Designing an effective bodyweight workout is hard work, and frankly takes years of trial and error. Why not just grab a tried and true program that’s already helped hundreds of thousands of individuals just like you lose weight and build lean muscle mass? Get access to 100 of bodyweight workouts here!
We all know how much I love bodyweight training. When I first began this blog, I was going to focus my training specifically on portable equipment such as dumbbell, kettlebells, and resistance bands. Over time, questions such as, “What kind of workouts can I design for people who are unable to perform a single push up?” plagued my mind.
In my search for these answers, I stumbled up on an eBook titled “Workout Without Weights.” After purchasing the eBook, I was impressed by the variety of exercises for both beginners and advanced trainees. Unlike most eBooks, Author Coach Eddie Lomax actually teaches you how to design your own training programs and workouts.
I contacted Coach Lomax to ask him a few questions concerning bodyweight training:
Parth: Coach, one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that one is unable to put on significant muscle mass through bodyweight training. What are your thoughts on this?
I think that anyone with the sole goal of putting on muscle mass should take a serious look at their goals. Yes, I know, building muscle is something that motivates a lot of people to work out. But when you limit your exercise to activities ONLY designed to build muscle, you are missing out on some of the most beneficial forms of exercise… such as bodyweight training. I think a lot of exercisers fall victim to the desire to MAXIMIZE. “I want to maximize muscle”. “I want my muscles to be the biggest they can be!” My big question is… WHY?
For me, exercise and physical training is not about maximization… but optimization. I want to optimize my physical abilities to meet the unpredictable challenges of sport, work and life with excellence. As a bi-product of optimization, my body builds lean, strong, athletic muscle. My muscles get as big as they need to be to meet the challenges they are faced with… no bigger. What’s ironic is, seeking to maximize muscle growth often has the result of decreasing performance.
So, first I would say, rethink why you want to put on so much muscle. Second, think about all the challenges of work, sport and life that are overcome by the ability to move your own bodyweight around. If you want to be prepared for these challenges, you need bodyweight training.
Parth: Many advanced athletes feel that they can get absolutely no benefit from bodyweight training. They feel it’s too easy for them. What are some things that advanced athletes can do to make their workouts even more intense using bodyweight training?
Here is what happens: We have been brainwashed to believe physical training is Resistance Training (weight lifting) and Cardio. We do sets and reps of a certain exercise to target a certain muscle group with certain rest periods. Then after we are done treating the body like a bunch of parts, we do some aerobic cardio to improve the heart and lungs. So, athletes think that doing a workout with only the resistance of their own body is too easy. And the thing is, if you are going to use this predominately bodybuilding style of training, they are probably right.
However, I believe the body should be trained as one complete unit. All the muscles, heart and lungs should be challenged at the same time. The lines between resistance training and cardio training need to be blurred. I would ask the athletes, “Is your sport done in a compartmentalized way with robotic actions where strength and cardio respiratory endurance are separate? Or, is your entire body needed to work in unison in order to excel at your sport?” Bodyweight training is great for switching between strength exercises and “cardio” exercises seamlessly, which is an excellent way to train.
So, my recommendation is to design bodyweight workouts that blur the line between strength training and cardio respiratory endurance. For example, do a circuit of push-ups, air squats and V ups without rest, then do 50 jumping jacks… and repeat for 20 minutes without rest. When the athlete is lying on the ground in a pool of their own sweat, ask them… “Are bodyweight exercises too easy?”
Parth: I like the idea of training your body as one unit. Lets move on to cardio in general. I personally hate steady state cardio, but I do know it has a place. What’s your opinion? Steady state, or interval cardio?
First of all, I don’t like the term “cardio” at all. Anything you do that raises your heart rate and breathing rate is cardio. I prefer Energy System Training. By that I mean you should train to improve your energy systems, whether that be when your energy is delivered aerobically (with oxygen), or anaerobically (without oxygen). One of the problems with steady state cardio is you are only training your aerobic system. On the other hand, interval training trains your anaerobic systems due to the high intensity for short duration. You really should train both, as you need a strong aerobic base as a foundation for more strenuous training. However, your goal should be to do more work in less time… not just do more work.
Let me explain. If you jog 20 minutes in your “target heart rate” zone (something else I can do without), you need to jog longer the next time to progress… let’s say 25 minutes. Then the next time 30, then 35. You get the point. Pretty soon, you need to go on a 3-hour jog to improve. Sounds ridiculous, but if you just keep jogging at the same pace for the same time… there is no improvement.
So, instead of increasing the time at the same pace… increase the pace. So now you are running faster and longer in the same time. This is improvement. Eventually, you will reach a point where you are running your max output for that time period. This is where Intervals come in. Intervals are high intensity for short periods of time with either complete rest or reduced activity in between. When you add up all the short bursts, they equal a higher intensity than you could have achieved otherwise without the rest periods. Again, Progress!
So, start with steady state. Work up to 20 minutes. Then increase the intensity doing more in the same period of time. Then use Intervals to progress even further.
Parth: You seem to big a huge fan of Tabata Training. You even have an entire separate installment devoted to Tabata Training. What’s so special about Tabata?
We just talked about intervals. Tabata is just a way to do intervals. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest… repeated 8 times. The whole thing takes less than 4 minutes. The reason I like it is because it marks the extremes. If walking for 30 minutes is on one extreme of intensity, Tabata is on the other. This is the best way to push yourself both physically and mentally and get great improvements.
I also like Tabata because it is not limited to regular “cardio” activities like running or biking. You can do it with bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, using a punching bag, wrestling drills… just use your imagination. If you do Tabata right… 4 minutes is plenty and you’ll need plenty of rest to recuperate. So, basically I like it because once people experience Tabata, they understand why the slow, long, boring cardio routines for longer and longer duration are really a waste of time.
Parth: I think the best example of effective bodyweight training is gymnastics. Is there something particularly different, in your opinion that gymnasts do that gives them such a great balance of strength, athleticism, and physique? What principles can a regular trainee take from gymnasts?
Consistency. They train hard and A LOT! We talked before about building muscle. Well, gymnasts have muscles most people would be happy with. They just don’t want to put in the time and consistency to get them like gymnasts do. That’s why they opt for weight lifting… because it is faster and “easier”. But the thing is… faster and easier does not mean better.
I would content that the muscle gymnasts have are BETTER than those developed by just weight training alone. Don’t get me wrong, I like weight training. But it just goes to show; some type of bodyweight training should be a part of everyone’s fitness program from beginner to advanced.
So, you may never be able to get the physical abilities of a gymnast with coaching and a lot of practice. But you can apply yourself to bodyweight training and get great results, a great body and improve performance and health. You just need to do it consistently enough and for long enough.
Parth: Last question. What is your opinion on the general state of health in America? What do you think we as fitness professionals can do to help out and motivate those that are really sick?
There is an immediate need for Americans to pursue health through what I call the Fitness Trilogy (Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle… in that order). Unfortunately, all the tactics have been tried. Doctors try to scare people into seeking fitness. Health clubs try to appeal to people’s vanity. The government is starting to take action by putting restrictions on what can go into food. Nothing is working, and things continue to get worse.
I think what will happen is something that is not very politically correct. The overweight (I prefer to say over fat) will be singled out much like smokers have. People started calling cigarettes “coffin nails” and “death sticks”. When you see someone smoking, you start thinking they have a death wish. When you see how their sickness affects the entire health industry (and your costs), you start to take it personally thinking you are paying for their indifference. I think the same thing will happen with the unfit and overweight. People will start viewing the overweight at the buffet line as someone slowly committing suicide. And unlike smokers, there is nowhere to hide the fact you are overweight.
Now. I’m not saying I’m in favor of this. I’m just saying there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to this, and who knows where it can lead. I wish there was something we could do… but the fact is the only people that can provide the kind of motivation need to make a change is the individual themselves. We just have to be ready to help them when they decide enough is enough.
Workout Without Weights is a manual which teaches you how to use your bodyweight to improve your health and fitness. The eBook features not only exercise descriptions, but also teaches you how to develop your own effective training programs
Are you ready for 4 minutes of pain? It might not seem like much, but there is TON of work you can get done within just 4 minutes of exercise.
There are two reasons why exercise takes so long for most people:
Too many exercises
Too much rest between sets
Tabata training helps your resolve these two issues and helps you get a fast, intense workout in a matter of 4 MINUTES. Here’s how it works:
Choose an exercise
Perform the exercise for 20 seconds all out, then rest 10 seconds.
Repeat for another 7 times
That’s 4 minutes of pain. If you’re brave enough and survive the first 4 minutes, you can start adding in more exercises into the mix. Most Tabata workouts have you performing 3-5 exercises for workouts that last 12-20 minutes.
If you can recover from Tabata workouts, then you can perform them 2-3 days a week and burn a tremendous amount of fat in the process. This might be the only fat loss program you need, EVER.
I’m going to share with you a quick and simple beginner bodyweight workout:
Tabata rounds of:
Jumping Chinups – get under a pullup bar. Grab the pullup bar with a palms facing you grip. Jump up as high as possible and complete the movement by pulling your body towards the pullup bar. Let your chin clear the bar. Drop back to starting position
Parallel Jump Squat – Drop down into a parallel squat, then explode up.
Knee Pushups – Get on the ground with you arms besides your body. Bend your knees and place them on a soft surface (mat, grass, carpet). Keep your back straight and push your body off the floor until your arms are fully extended.
Perform 8 20/10 intervals of each exercise before moving onto the next exercise. Perform this quick 12 minute workout 2-3 times a week for intense fat burning.
Getting fit doesn’t necessarily require a gym – in fact, it’s actually better to get in shape without needing to rely on a gym. If you feel as though you HAVE to go to the gym, then what are you going to do if your car doesn’t work, or if you have to be at home for one reason or another?
Learning to get fit at home can be your greatest asset. In fact, you’ll find that you need very little to get in shape:
A pair of adjustable dumbbells is an amazing investment if you want to work out at home. You’ll find that a top-notch pair will run you about $200 or $300. If you’re looking for a bargain, you can find one on Craigslist or eBay. Two adjustable dumbbells – adjustable from 5 to 50 pounds each – is more than enough weight to get you into awesome shape!
If you’re sick and tired of lifting weights, why not try resistance bands? You can still do many of the classic bodybuilding exercises, but without the annoyingly heavy weights in your hands. The bands will be much easier on your wrists, and you can still get an awesome workout.
Of course, you will need a complete set – which will only run you about $100 – but it will allow you to do almost all of the exercises you’d do with free weights and machines at the gym. In fact, you’ll find that resistance bands are much more versatile than any machine, and they’re so much more you-friendly than those thick, heavy metal bars!
A weight set can be a costly investment, but you can actually make your own home gym for peanuts…if you’re smart about it! Building a weight bench can be very cheap, though you’ll need to be sure that it’s strong enough to hold your weight plus the weight you’re lifting. You can use pretty much any metal bar as your barbell, and weight discs can be made with concrete – using buckets, tin cans, and water jugs as your mold. You can build your own frames for dips, pull-ups, and leg lifts without spending a fortune, and your sweet home gym is ready for you to work out!
One of the cheapest ways to get in shape at home is to use an exercise program like Beach Body. The Power 90 program will get you started, P90X will take your fitness to the next level, and Insanity will get you ripped! There are many video-based fitness programs you can use to get in shape, and you’ll be able to work your entire body out thanks to these programs. They cost less than $100, and they’re the total package!
See, there’s no need to hit a gym when you can get in shape in your own home!
When I began training with just my bodyweight, I began with a lot of hindu push ups and hindu squats. This high volume training got me bigger, faster, and leaner. My shoulders and quads blew up. I was able to move faster in Karate. It was also easier to keep my weight down while performing long marathon sessions of hindu push ups and hindu squats.
This prescription comes straight from the pages of Matt Furey. Although I respect the guy, and I’m sure this isn’t 100% his fault…but my knees started hurting. BAD! One day my leg literally LOCKED into place, and I couldn’t move it for a while. Then, a few days later I experienced some extreme knee pain while on my morning jog.
Since then, I’ve warned against hindu squats and excessive jogging. There are better ways of getting bigger, faster, and leaner which do not need you to lift any weights.
The basic principle of getting stronger is making your movements more and more difficult over time. The reason gymnasts are so freakishly strong, without ever lifting a single weight, is that they contort and control their bodies in ways which are nearly unimaginable to us.
We forget that they had to start from somewhere. They most likely were not concerned much about getting bigger or stronger for the simple sake of getting bigger and stronger. A gymnasts primary goal is to become a better gymnast. So as they practice their skill training, they are also working on their strength.
The simple by-product of a male gymnasts’ gymnastics training is more muscle and strength.
Sure, you can join a gymnastics class. In fact, if you have this opportunity, by all means TAKE IT! I did about a year of gymnastics when I was very young, and the flexibility I developed through that class has stayed with me since.
If you’re unable to take an actual class, then start THINKING like a gymnast. Focus on “skill training.” For example, start off with 20 pull-ups in a row. Next, work on performing your first muscle-up, and then build up to doing 20 muscle-ups in a row.
Keep pushing the boundaries of what you can do with your body. Work up to performing all the tough bodyweight movements – one-arm push ups, handstand push ups, plank push ups, etc.
My neighbor is fast. He was telling me about how fast you needed to run 400 meters to qualify for an event, and it was MIND-BOGGLING!
An average sprinter is FAST.
I ask my neighbor what his workouts look like and all he really does is…SPRINT! He rarely lifts weights. All he’s doing is propelling his body forward, one stride at a time.
Sprinting is a forgotten style of bodyweight training which needs to make a comeback. Do not just see it as another form of cardio. Sprinting IS bodyweight training.
Most of the workouts that I’ve posted on this website involve combining sprints with some sort of bodyweight movement. If you really want to take advantage of sprinting, then you need to devote an ENTIRE session to sprinting.
I trained with my neighbor ONCE, and this is how the session went down, roughly:
1 Hour Warm-up
30 minute Sprint Training
Yes, you’re reading that correct! 1 full hour of warm-ups! The warm-up was like a workout for me. I was exhausted by the time the real sprint training began.
In the process of training hard for their individual sports, gymnasts and sprinters get REALLY lean. Unfortunately for the rest of us, training like a gymnast or a sprinter is out of the question if we are to balance our workouts with work and family life.
Therefore, it’s best to follow a joint solution which includes progressive bodyweight training, sprinting, and a sound diet.
When most people think of building up their chest, they think of exercises that include weight machines and a series of weights which they do have at their own home. However, if you want to build up your chest in your own home along with the rest of your body you have several options that will all allow you to get the best chest exercises without leaving the front door. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to own a bench press to get the pecs you have always wanted.
The simple push-up
One of the best ways to get started building up your chest muscles is with the basic push-up. Push-ups are a great way to build your chest muscles because while they are one of the best chest exercises, they are also one of the best exercises for other areas of your body as well. Thus, you can exercise many areas of your body at one time which makes a few push-ups well worth your time. Once you get comfortable with pushups you can also advance into more specific styles of pushups that will bring greater rewards.
Many people forget that kettle balls exist, let alone consider purchasing them for their own use at home. However, due to their weighted design and easy handles you can use kettle balls in place of just about any exercise that you would normally do with a bench press and a bar. Thus, the simple ten dollar purchase can allow you to replicate many exercises at home that you generally need a machine for at the gym which is why they are one of the best tools for the best chest exercises at home.
If you are not quite ready to make the transition to kettle balls, you might consider using a more familiar style of free weights: dumbbells. These are easy to find just about anywhere and can be used for pec crunches, curl ups, and side curl ups which help strengthen your outer and inner chest muscles. Although you may have to take some time to learn the exercises, this tool will open up dozens of the best chest exercises for you at home.
Admittedly, an exercise ball is not the most masculine form of exercise equipment out there, but it is an effective tool for stretching, toning, and shaping your chest muscles. For an even finish after you complete a set of the best chest exercises, several exercise ball regimes a week will help define your chest and make it easy to work on your pecs while not on the gym. As a perk since the ball is easy to tote around you can pound out a few exercises in front of the television watching Rambo if it makes you feel a little better about yourself!
Wayne has been writing articles for nearly 2 years. Come visit his latest website over at http://swingdanceshoes.net/ which helps people find the best swing dance shoes and a lot of essential information when looking for dance shoes.
You ever watch that show “Ninja Warrior?” Ninja Warrior is a tournament held in Japan that has individuals try to get through a nearly impossible obstacle course. These obstacle courses don’t require brute strength and incredible endurance.
What they require is the ability to move your own bodyweight effectively through space. The athletes who actually complete these courses are usually very lean and cut. The big guys usually fall off. The short guys usually slip.
And over confident guys fail the first.
Ninja Warrior is one of the best tests of effective body control and mental toughness. The reason I’m talking about this is because Ninja Warrior also effectively brings to mind the effectiveness of even basic bodyweight training.
Most people will never compete or even think about competing on Ninja Warrior. However, what the show reveals is a very simple lack of most training programs: the ability to move. Most people simply can’t move.
Powerlifters can move big weights, but most have difficult moving themselves up a flight of steps. Distance runners may be able to move forward, but they do so at aridiculously boring, slow pace. But a Ninja Warrior, on the other hand, needs to jump, crawl, duck, sprint, climb, and fall in order to survive the challenges that are faced before him.
What I’m talking about is the idea that you first need to develop a base level of health and fitness before you can pursue a narrower goal. Getting enormously big, or incredibly lean, or super fast, or super strong, or developing unbelievable endurance are useless if you can’t do other things well.
I believe that basic bodyweight movements such as pushups, pullups, squats, jump roping, jumping, sprinting – anything that involves improving the movement of your own bodyweight is very crucial to your overall well being.
Just by performing these basic movement, you’ll be leaner, stronger, and more agile. For example, when peforming a pullup or pushup, your body will perform better if it has less to push and pull. In other words you’ll lose weight.
And when you already carry a good amount of weight on your body, you’ll be training your joints to handle lifting that much weight. Why are you hitting the weights if you already weight 100, 150, or 200 lbs?
You already have enough weight to lift. Learn to lift your weight first before you decide to join a gym or start buying pieces of weight. Basic pushups and pullups actually work a greater amount of muscle tissue then popular gym movement such as the bench press and row.