Building the body of a Greek god or goddess has long been associated with spending long hours at the gym, throwing around big dumbbells and repping out on every set.
However, as time has passed the different styles and methodologies of transformative training have evolved. Rewind back to the summer of 1996: I was 14 years old and about to enter my freshman year of high school with my sights set on not only making, but also starting the varsity women’s basketball team in the fall.
As I turned up for my very first day of ‘resistance training’ I expected to hit the bench press, curl some dumbbells and maybe finish with some crunches. But, when I walked into the basketball gym, there were no weights set up.
“What are we going to do without any weights?” I asked my coach.
And he answered with a sideways glance, a laugh and words that would become the foundation of my entire training career: “If you can’t lift and move your own bodyweight, you have no business setting foot into a weight-room.”
Fifteen push-ups in and I understood exactly what he meant, because, with every muscle in my body shaking, I could hardly hold myself up. Thirty minutes, 120 push-ups, 100 dips, 150 bodyweight lunges, 50 plyometric jumps and five 45-second wall-sits later, I understood why I needed to learn to work with my own body.
Over that summer, not only did I pack on 10lb of solid muscle, I also increased my vertical jump, agility, conditioning and power. Before the rise of machines, weights and HIIT – there was bodyweight training. Used by nearly every military organization throughout history, bodyweight training itself continues to evolve in ways that push the body and athleticism to places many of us never thought possible (Just YouTube ‘Tempest Free Running’).
I built my career helping people transform their bodies by using just their bodies, and here are only a few of the reasons you should ditch the weights and get with the most effective training technique of all time.
No matter what you’ve been told, muscle hypertrophy comes down to one simple thing: overload stimulus. Whether that ‘stimulus’ comes from machines, dumbbells or your own bodyweight doesn’t matter, so long as the body is being forced to increase strength and build muscle to keep up with the demands placed upon it.
Most people claim they can’t work out because they don’t have enough time to get to the gym. With bodyweight training, any space can become your gym, which squashes all those lame ‘time management’ excuses.
Because bodyweight training has the ability to engage all the large muscles of the body in a single movement, it can burn more calories per workout.
Bodyweight drills also allow you to easily transition between cardio and resistance training helping you save time while garnering maximum results.
Bodyweight training requires no equipment or gym membership, making it ideal for those trying to get fit on a budget. Plus, the money you save can be invested in high-quality food sources like organic meats and eggs – nutritional choices that can pay off big time.
Great for everyone
Whether it be jumping jacks, hard-core circuit training, yoga or light aerobics, bodyweight training has something to offer all, making it a great methodology for everyone from kids to professional athletes and to the elderly.
Find fitness advice and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.