Workout Routines

The Ultimate Bodyweight Workout for Bodybuilders

Ever wondered how you can build muscle and get jacked with bodyweight training alone? Here's how.

by
The Ultimate Bodyweight Workout for Bodybuilders
Duration 1 day
Exercises 11
Equipment Yes

I absolutely love bodyweight training! I would choose some type of push--p over a barbell or dumbbell press any day of the week. Bodyweight training is so underrated and under-appreciated, it’s not even funny. Many fitness experts preach that you cannot build muscle just from bodyweight training alone. I tend to agree to a certain extent, but only if all you do is bang out 25 push-ups and 100 sit-ups each set.

But answer this question…What is the difference between a 3 rep max bench press and a 3-rep max hand stand push up?

Nothing!

Your body can’t tell the difference between a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or its own bodyweight. It only knows how hard it needs to contract in order to move the resistance.

3 Benefits of Bodyweight Training

1. Increased training frequency

If you have been in the iron game for a while, with a quest to get jacked, there is a fair chance you are pretty beaten up. Maybe you experience sore shoulders after benching or an aching lower back after squatting? What about your elbows, how do they feel after a few sets of tricep extensions?

All of this pain contributes to one thing… Less time spent in the gym.

I can guarantee you the guy who gets in 200 workouts a year is going to be much bigger than the guy who only does 100.

Well, the good news is you can still continue the quest to getting jacked without using deep heat before and after training because bodyweight exercises offer a more natural range of motion which therefore decreases joint stress on the body.

2. Greater Neuromuscular Demand

Whenever you move your body through space there is a greater neuromuscular demand on the body; this means that the brain will recruit more muscle fibres which will result in greater strength and muscle gains on a pull up as opposed to a lat pull down. Both are the same movement, but pull ups require your entire body to move through space as opposed to just your limbs on the lat pull down.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at gymnasts, these are by far the most jacked, ripped and strongest athletes in the world. And all they do is bodyweight training on rings and bars, not to mention training 6-7 times a week with full body workouts. Quite frankly, if you ask me, someone who bangs out hand push ups is far more badass than a dude who can bench 200 kilos.

3. Incidental Training

When you bench press you obviously hit your pecs, deltoids and triceps. The only other way to turn on any additional muscle groups is to consciously do it.

However, if you flip over onto your stomach and crank out some one arm push ups, you now have a lot of incidental training going on. Apart from your pec, deltoid and tricep getting amped, your lats turn on to protect your shoulder, your abs and glutes fire to stop your hips from sagging, and your quads and hamstrings ignite to keep your legs straight.

All this adds up to a lot more time under tension which will result in greater muscle growth.

Where People Go Wrong

As I previously stated, people choose exercises that are far too easy and perform nothing but sets of 20+ reps. The magic formula to getting jacked can be summed up quite easily… “Get a pump with heavy weights” – Pavel Tsatsouline, Beyond Bodybuilding.

Therefore, you must select exercises that are a little more advanced beyond push ups and sit ups…

Instead of pushups, try hand stand pushups or 1 arm pushups. (See video below)

Instead of chinups, try muscle ups.

Instead of inverted rows, try front levers. (See video below)

Instead of situps, try dragonflies.

Instead of lunges, try pistol squats.

Instead of bicep curls, try iron cross holds or bicep curls on TRX straps.

Instead of tricep extensions with dumbbells, try dips on rings.

I can guarantee you if you try any of these exercises, you will truly appreciate the difficulty that comes along with body weight training.

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Upper Body

Exercise 1A

Muscle-Ups
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
3-5 reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B

One-Arm Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
5 sets
3-5 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2A

Handstand Holds
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
15 sec reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B

Modified Front Lever You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
3 sets
10 sec reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A

TRX Biceps Curls
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3 sets
8-10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

Ring Dips
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3 sets
10-12 reps
-- rest

Lower Body

Exercise 1

Pistol Squat You'll need: No Equipment How to
5 sets
3 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2A

Barbell Hip Thrust on Floor You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B

Step-Up You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A

Dragon Flag
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

Single-Leg Bent-Knee Calf Raise You'll need: Chair How to
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest
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