I jumped on to the bar and tried to pull myself up.
One more time.
This was embarrassing.
I had been working out at the gym for a few years and I couldn’t do a single pull-up.
That became my mission.
For the next year or so I became obsessed with pull-ups.
At one point I could do twenty reps straight, and a set of five reps with 65 lbs. attached to my waist.
Fast-forward to now.
I’m nowhere near those previous numbers and I decided it’s time to take my bodyweight training to another level.
Mainly pull-ups and dips, but also pushups and lunges and other calisthenics.
I was inspired by an article written by Zach Even-esh about taking a month off from heavy lifting to do ONLY bpdyweight training.
Challenge accepted. This is the first week.
So far I like the freedom of not having to find an open squat rack at the gym. No equipment needed except a pull-up bar (there are a bunch available) and dip bars (rarely used).
How do you set up a bodyweight training program?
There are countless ways to set up a bodyweight training routine. It depends on your goals, training schedule and if you want to incorporate other equipment along with bodyweight exercises.
You could add exercises like pull-ups, dips and lunges to your current routine as assistance exercises.
Another option would be to use bodyweight circuits as FINISHERS. These can be done to improve your strength endurance and conditioning- higher reps, minimal rest periods and moving quickly through the circuits.
You could also have one day focused on strictly bodyweight training.
A day of pull-ups, dips and lunges followed by a circuit of calisthenics like jumping jacks, burpees and reverse crunches.
There are a ton of options. Get creative with it. Play around and find something that challenges you and that you get satisfaction from.
Your goals won’t be the same as mine, but if you want to get better at any bodyweight exercises you have to work them hard.
This should be obvious but many people overlook how challenging bodyweight training can be. And HUMBLING too.
Pick a goal that makes you a little nervous. It seems too big. That’s what you want. It will help you push beyond your limitations that exist in your mind.
There’s more to bodyweight training than doing endless reps of pushups, situps and squats.
You are only limited by your own mind.
There’s a ton of variations for each exercise. You can make each movement easier OR harder by changing one of the many variables.
Add weight around your waist, wear a weight vest, change your hand or foot position..etc..
Set some big goals and get after it.
Maybe you don’t want to take a full thirty days away from the heavy weights but even just adding in some calisthenics to your current plan is always a good idea.
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