Bodyweight training: Back to Basics

action adult agility athlete

No heavy deadlifts, squats, bench presses etc for a few weeks.

Why?

I’m running an experiment. I’ve been doing some form of heavy weight training for 5 years now.

Yet ,I feel I still haven’t mastered my bodyweight yet. I will get more into this later.

I got to a 585 pound deadlift at my best, 500 pound squat and 300 pound bench press .

I am proud of these numbers for me.

They are those that have achieved much more  but it took me time and patience to get these and it taught me a lot.

But there was something that went in the process.

My joints were telling me to take a break. Knees, hips, and back have all had some form of injury at some point.

I think a new approach is needed for a while. I need to master my bodyweight first.

I have been doing a lot of reading and have read a few books on calisthenics, such as combat conditioning by Matt Furey and Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade.

These books have re-emphasised the fact to me that I am still fairly amateur when it comes to using bodyweight.

So first why am I going to focus on bodyweight for now?

  • It is easier on the joints.
  • It is less taxing on the whole system so I can do it more.
  • I have a long way to progress to get to the advanced moves , this makes me excited for the future.
  • Increased stabiliser muscle strength
  • Building strength and flexibility at the same time.
  • The high rep movements work your cardiovascular system  as well

 

What are the basic bodyweight movements I am going to use?

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Back bridges
  • Leg raises
  • Handstand holds

I will do these moves for a few weeks and then trial attempting more advanced moves such as outlined below I outline the ones I envision I reaching soon and ones that I envision taking a year or more to achieve.

I have embedded the video links

  • one arm pushup– this is likely to take a few months( I am talking the really strict version with legs really close together)
  • one arm pullup ( This will likely take over a year to achieve, I will need to get to a lighter bodyweight to increase my relative strength ratio)
  • one leg squat( I have achieved this before but due to poor mobility now this will likely take me a few months)
  • bridge to stand– This will be difficult but a great movement to master the spinal muscles are neglected in modern strength training
  • hanging leg raises– 6 + months for the hardest V sit variation
  • Full handstand push up ( Not the one where the head is to the floor ,I am talking about hands elevated and to the point where your hands are in line with shoulders)
  • one arm handstand pushup– not quite sure if this will be even possible but it would be a great thing to strive for.

 

So I hope this inspires some of you to try bodyweight training.

I will let you know about my progress as the weeks go on.

Thanks for stopping by,

Phil

 

 

3 comments

  1. Great site! I love all the posts! For body weight mastery, i have one word… totally not something i ever thought about doing in my younger days. I was a football player. I have lifted weights since about 13 years old. I have recently started studying … Yoga … I know, I know, totally not a “dudely”, or manly sounding thing… however, yoga is A-MAZ-ING! If body weight mastery is your goal, Yoga might a possible path! I have been doing youtube videos. Man Flow Yoga is pretty good. There are lots of “beginner mens yoga” routines.

    Keep doing what you are doing. Thanks for sharing all the content you share!

    • Thanks very much for the support. It means alot.

      Interestingly enough,I did think about yoga, especially for becoming more flexible and supple. I definetly have been using some breathing techniques from yoga which has increased my endurance without any additional work.

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