My 30 day bodyweight training challenge


It started as a challenge.

30 days of only bodyweight exercises. No barbells, dumbbells or machines.

Today I realized it’s been over 30 days and I’m still going with the challenge.

Why do a 30 day bodyweight challenge?

After my summer vacation which I did only bodyweight training and sprints on the beach, I started to incorporate more calisthenics workouts into my weekly routine.

I really wanted to do more dips and pullups. After a challenge at the studio to see how many reps of pullups I could do in one set, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I figured a 30 day challenge would be a good amount of time to see what I could do.

What did I learn in 30 days of bodyweight training?

At first, I was not that excited about this challenge.

Bodyweight training was boring to me.

But I knew I had to just do it and stick to the plan for the entire month to see what I was made of AND what I could learn.

-I learned that I missed doing dips.

-Doing more sets of submaximal effort is more effective than more reps and less sets.

-Changing hand/grip as often as possible keeps the body and mind fresh.

-Muscular endurance is a BEAST compared to “heavy” lifting.

-I have to be careful with lunges and step-ups- add sets/reps slowly.

Results of the 30 Day Bodyweight Training Challenge

-Lost approximately 7 pounds. This was not intentional. Just not eating as much.

-Improved muscular endurance and stamina. No surprise here, but it feels good to be able to do round after round of calisthenics with little rest and not collapsing on the ground ready to die.

-Cardiovascular endurance improved. Also no surprise as I have put more emphasis on this aspect of my fitness.(rucking, long walks, running, cycling, rowing, stairs, jacob’s ladder, airdyne)

-Enhanced creativity in the gym and outside. Training without barbells and weights was a big change, but it forced me to get creative while keeping it simple.

-I gained a new appreciation for calisthenics and bodyweight training that I had lost over the years.

What’s next?

I’m going to test out my pullups, dips, and pushups to see how many I can do in one set. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to failure in a set, so it’ll be fun to see where I’m at.

Even though the 30 days is up I don’t feel any urgency to go back to the barbell or weights.

I’m going to ride this week out and see which way I feel CALLED to go the following week.

Training with intuition can be a liberating experience, but it helps to have experience with strict programming and taking detailed notes on your own results.

How about you?

Have you tried a boyweight training program? What were your results?

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