Calisthenics and Muscle…
Can’t afford a bunch of exercise equipment? No time for the gym? Don’t think you can bulk up? With calisthenics (or body weight exercises) you can get the best of both. Check out how our expert Taylor breaks through some of the myths related to calisthenics.
Getting fit with calisthenics
There’s a common misconception in the fitness world today that you can’t get big doing body-weight exercises.
However, the only reason people think this way is because they don’t train body-weight exercises correctly.
I can tell you first hand with over 15 years experience on this subject that body-weight exercises is not only one of the fastest ways to build muscle but also the safest and efficient.
Take a look at male gymnasts. They are HUGE and they primarily do body-weight exercises. But how do they get that awesome physique? It’s simple, they incorporate the concept of time over tension.
Time Over Tension
What time over tension means, is that for the amount of time you are doing an activity, the longer you hold it in a position where the muscle has to stabilize the faster the muscle growth. Every gymnast who trains utilizes this concept due to the fact that they have to maintain proper form and hold a pose, which naturally makes them bigger.
Not only that, body-weight exercises are great for your joints, and gives your body the functional strength for living day-to-day life.
Bulk Up Workout
That being said, here’s a workout I recommend you to try. A light jog or jump rope for 5 Minutes will suffice for a warmup. As soon as you do that, try the following workout for 14 days.
Note: To use the concept of time/tension, hold the last rep of each exercise for as long as you can in the halfway position.
- Pushups – 10 Reps for 5 sets (30 seconds rest between)
- Pike Pushups – 10 Reps for 5 sets (30 seconds rest between)
- Squats – 10 Reps for 5 sets (30 seconds rest between)
- Lunges – 10 Reps for 5 sets (30 seconds rest between)
Also, if you happen to have a pull up bar:
Pull ups – 5 Reps for 5 sets (30 seconds rest between)
The key here is high volume with tension. By combining those two elements into your body-weight exercises, you’ll be on the fast track towards getting a strong physique. I’ve used these same methods for the online clients that I train and not only have they been able to increase their muscle mass they have also been less prone to injury.
Increasing the Overload
One of the bigger problems with weight lifting is the fact that injury is very common. This is because in order to facilitate muscle growth you have to progressively overload the muscles. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, in fact, it’s what works, but it’s just that people tend to skip the progressive part.
There are TONS of ways to progressively overload your body weight safely for bodyweight exercises. For example, if doing a pushup is too easy (say you could crank out 100 no problem) then placing your feet on your bedside or perhaps doing a pushup with a leg raised can provide more overload on your chest.
Or maybe you can do body-weight lunges just fine, try a bulgiarian split squat with emphasis on lowering your body closer to the ground. There are so many ways to increase the tension of a certain movement, it just might take some creativity. (Which makes body-weight exercises so much fun!)
Calisthenics and Consistency
With these two strategies combined, your dreams of getting an awesome physique are closer than you think. But keep in mind that simply trying these methods every once in a while won’t get you results; you’ve got to work for them. Consistency is the key ingredient that will allow you to make your goals in fitness. Trust me, when you try reverse pyramid training, you’ll want to go to the gym all the time, because you’ll be curious how much stronger you will be.
But how do you stay on track with working out? Follow these steps and it will make things a lot easier. I suggest you either type out these steps or write them down on a piece of paper.
Step 1: Determine your purpose
Why do you want to work out? Is there anybody else involved in this process? What’s the end result you want to achieve? How would it make you feel? Write it down.
Step 2: Set a goal with a deadline
Say you want to gain 20 pounds in two months. Whatever your goal is (just make sure if it’s a weight loss goal, losing 2 pounds per week is considered safe) write it out and make yourself a deadline. (and don’t worry too much about the deadline because if you miss it, you can always rewrite it).
Step 3: Determine daily steps
Write out on your calendar the precise days and times when you can work out. Make an effort to do something daily that will help you achieve your fitness goal. Even if that means avoiding fast-food for the day, or scheduling a workout. You must keep yourself accountable for your fitness goals.
These are the strategies I’ve used for my online clients and it has been able to help them achieve massive success with calisthenics.
If they can do it, I’m sure you can too! Have a great day!