Perhaps one of the most talked about topics in the world of fitness is how to build muscles effectively. It’s a usual concern whether you’re a newbie who wants to go from skinny to buff or a regular gym goer looking for a new workout program.
Many of us will immediately think building muscles is all about heading straight to the gym and lifting some weights. However, if you have no time to rush to the gym or you’re simply not a fan of weight lifting, then bodyweight training is the perfect choice for you.
See how well-sculpted the upper bodies of gymnasts are? Ever noticed the lean muscles and strong physique of runners? These people have one thing in common and that’s bodyweight training.
What exactly is bodyweight training? This type of training involves using an individual’s own weight to improve flexibility, balance, speed, coordination and strength without the need for gym equipment or machinery.
The question is, can you build muscle with only bodyweight exercises? The answer is yes, but on certain conditions.
Let me tell you more about bodyweight exercises and how you can effectively use this type of training for your muscle building goals.
In this article, I will also discuss with you roadblocks you might encounter as you go about this kind of training.
Increase the Intensity and Level Up
In bodyweight training, simple push-ups, lunges and squats are not enough after a certain point. You always have to increase the intensity and level up your game. Adding more reps to each workout is not enough. To maximize muscle growth, you have to do progressive overload and increase the tension in your muscles.
A more difficult workout leads to an increase in muscle tension and results in better muscle buildup. Bear in mind that we are talking about building muscles without lifting weights and we only rely on our bodies. This means that we have to put our bodies to work and the results will greatly vary depending on your exposure to training, your body’s mechanism and the frequency of your workout.
This means not only changing reps, but also using different points of leverage to make existing bodyweight exercises harder.
Example: Once you can reasonably do a decent amount of pushups, you can do a harder version of pushups to put more work and increase the tension in your muscles, in our example we would move onto diamond pushups.
This is a very common way of programming a bodyweight training program.
Constantly challenge yourself for this is the first step towards successful bodyweight training and muscle buildup. An additional tip is to avoid taking long breaks during a workout so your body can prioritize building muscle mass among other things.
Patience and Dedication
Bodyweight exercises do not require gym equipment, but it does require loads of patience and dedication. We have our own reasons for choosing bodyweight training over lifting. Some prefer bodyweight exercises for it is more accessible (no machinery, the floor is enough to start the training) and it is obviously more affordable.
Others go for bodyweight exercises to avoid injuries and to have more control and variety for their sets. Whatever the purpose is, bodyweight exercises require a higher level of dedication in order for you to achieve rewarding results.
For beginners, bodyweight is a good place to start building muscles. You can then transition to other forms of exercise once you have established enough strength, balance and coordination through your bodyweight program.
The takeaway is that bodyweight exercises are effective as long as it is executed properly. To stimulate muscle growth, you will have to up your game and dedicate lots of time, discipline and patience for every set. Just as any other form of exercise, the key to building a great physique is to start somewhere and get creative as you go along your workout routine.