Bodyweight training is cool. It’s hip, it’s fun. On top of that it looks the part. So many advanced bodyweight movements make great potential party tricks.
Doing a front lever is just that bit more impressive to the layman than a 600+lb deadlift. And then there’s the muscle up, they’re all the rage right now. If you can rep out the muscle up, you’re instantly sexier, right?
So, as I alluded to in a recent post (program expiration dates), I’m on the verge of wrapping up a 3 week phase of solely bodyweight training for 3 weeks – it’s been tough. I’ve had to resist the urge to add dumbbells to the lunges I’ve been doing and weight belts to my chin ups. You know the feeling.
If I did, it would no longer technically be ‘bodyweight’ training in it’s purest form. However, with a little intelligent creativity, the urge to add external resistance subsided promptly. Once you make it crystal clear weights aren’t an option, you start discovering other progression methods.
I’ve touched on this briefly before when talking about the importance of rest periods. But striving for a denser workout – doing the same workload in less and less time, really is just as viable a progression tool as adding weight to the bar. My bout of bodyweight training has further facilitated this belief.
The program I’ve been doing is centered around a push and core day, lower body and core day and finally, a pull and core day. All in circuit fashion. As I couldn’t add extra resistance, I shaved 30 seconds off the rest time each week between rounds. 2 minutes between rounds versus 1 minute between rounds are different ball games!
When you’re doing reasonably high volume on all movements; pull ups, push ups, lunges, box jumps and inverted rows……..all in circuit fashion – minimal rest between movements……..one minute is NOTHING.
If you can maintain the same numbers (and quality technique) as you did with 2 minutes rest, you’ve just become an improved version of yourself!
Obviously I’m keen to get back under the bar very soon, but I really do believe in mixing up training phases with differing styles of training every now and then.
My stance on bodyweight training is: it’s great, humbling and good fun. There’s many awesome movements. I really don’t understand the dogma among some…….
“Bodyweight only is useless!”
“Weight training is unnecessary!”
I see no reason why the two cannot be integrated. Using strength style barbell training initially in your routine and using relevant bodyweight ‘finishers’ nearer the end makes a great program in my opinion.
We all like a hybrid don’t we?