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17 Reasons Why Bodyweight Strength Training ROCKS

By Alex On November 6, 2010 Under bodyweight strength training

Sometimes things come your way and they warp your whole mindset.

I was reading an article on ESPN the other day and there was an article entitled “Why Being A SportsCenter Anchor Rocks”.

And in the article, they listed reason after reason why being an anchor on SportsCenter is awesome — and when I was done, you know what I wanted to be? A SportsCenter anchor! (shocker, right?)

But it got me thinking with all this talk of bodyweight training lately and all the different reasons why bodyweight training is so friggin’ awesome. And while there are probably 12,000 reasons why bodyweight training is so killer, here were the first 17 that came to mind:


17 Reasons Why Bodyweight Training ROCKS

1. You don’t ever need any equipment for bodyweight training. No gym membership, barbells, dumbbells, Bowflexes, Shake Weights, shakers, blenders, gadgets, widgets, etc. As long as you have a body, you’re gonna get a GREAT workout in.

2. You can do bodyweight training anywhere you want. Because you don’t ever need any equipment, you can do an entire fat-burning or muscle-building bodyweight workout anywhere.

In your living room, front yard, park, bedroom, driveway, basement…I even know one guy who does bodyweight exercises in the middle of a busy street if he feels like it (he’s one those people who likes being weird though, just because you can do bodyweight exercises anywhere doesn’t mean you SHOULD).

3, I can’t really put my finger on it, but there’s something about bodyweight training that always makes you feel just GOOD during and after the workouts…it’s like you’re one with the universe and you’re doing what humans were designed to do, being outside and challenging your body in a natural way — NOT with metal, man-made pieces of equipment.

4. Some really special bodyweight strength training exercises just look awesome, and make you look awesome.

Try this: Go into a normal gym and while everyone else is doing the same normal weights, machines and stretches, you jump in there with Dive Bomber Pushups and Jumping Lunges and notice the looks you get (they’re usually a mix of “what the hell is that” and “why does that look like so much more fun than what I’m doing right now”).

5. Herschel Walker, the former NFL star running back was notorious for being a huge bodyweight training proponent in his day and predominantly used bodyweight training for all of his workouts (legend has it he never even touched a weight until he hit the NFL).

herschel

That’s Herschel above sprinting in college…it’s even been reported that he’s done this simple and insane bodyweight workout every morning since high school and still continues to do it today:

1,500 Pushups
2,500 Sit-Ups

Wow.

6. Bodyweight training is easier on your Central Nervous System (CNS) and doesn’t tax a lot of your finite resources. This way, your bodyweight workouts leave you feeling energized and focused instead of tired and fatigued. And that increase in energy and focus allows you to spend MORE time working on your sport-specific skills and playing your sport…that, my friend, is a win-win.

7. Almost all bodyweight exercises have a joint-mobility component to them, so while you’re strengthening and burning body-fat, you’re also increasing your body’s flexibility and mobility, which is GREAT for long-term joint health and just making you feel soothing good all over.

8. Olympic Gymnasts use almost ALL bodyweight exercises and have some of the most sought-after physiques in the world. Look at this guy’s body — and that was ALL built through just bodyweight training:

gymnast2

9. Because bodyweight exercises are so easy to do, can be done anywhere and are often done for high-reps, they’re perfect for HIIT protocols and as you probably know, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are the BEST way to turn your body into a fat-burning machine (or toaster as my good buddy Craig Ballantyne would say) 24 hours ’round the clock…imagine that: your body burning up your stubborn body-fat storages 24 hours a day, while you work, sleep, watch TV, whatever…burning off body-fat the whole time.

10. Speaking of Craig Ballantyne, CB is a leading Men’s Health Magazine expert and creator of the TurbulenceTraining.com empire and is ALWAYS touting the benefits of bodyweight training. Craig’s written something like 200 different workout programs and almost ALL of them include some bodyweight training program — that is NOT by coincidence…it’s because bodyweight training gets you results in each and every way possible.

11. Bodyweight training is safe for athletes of ANY age. There’s always lots of heated debates about when kids are ready to start lifting weights, but with bodyweight training, anyone of any age can safely start working out without any concern for injury or stunted growth. Read that again: Bodyweight training is PERFECT for athletes of ALL ages and levels.

12. Bodyweight workouts give you a GREAT reason to go to the park or beach…I know, I know, who needs a reason to go to the park or beach, but if you’re anything like every person I’ve ever met, you don’t get out to places like that as much as you like and bodyweight workouts are a kick-ass reason to go. There’s something really cool and refreshing about lacing up your kicks, heading out the door, jogging to the park a couple blocks away and challenging your body with a killer bodyweight training session in the great outdoors.

13. Because you don’t need any equipment and anyone of any age can get a great bodyweight workout, it’s a great incentive to get the family together for a workout. The workouts are fast-paced and challenging, no one has to wait for someone else to finish on a machine and it’s a great opportunity for a parent to bond with a son or daughter over a fun, healthy activity.

14. Navy Seals, Secret Special Agents and Elite Military Units all use bodyweight training in their workouts, mainly because 1) Bodyweight training is a really functional way of training and it matches a lot of the dangers and obstacles these guys face on a daily basis in their assignments and 2) because their travel schedules are so hectic, they usually don’t have access to all the equipment they might need, so instead of ever needing to worry about it, they just crush it out with some killer bodyweight workouts.

15. All of the most “in-demand and ripped” celebrities are using bodyweight training today: Usher, Jason Statham, even 50 Cent. In fact, I just read that Usher only recently made the switch to almost all bodyweight training when he decided to really step his game up. What do you think?

usher2

16. Let’s face it: Girls like guys with ripped bodies. And vice-versa: Guys like girls who are lean and toned up. And in my professional experience, everyone who is proficient with bodyweight training always seems to have that “ideal” body-type or at least something close to it.

17. I just released a brand-new workout program called, “The 4-Week Bodyweight Boost” and it rocks. And since it’s ENTIRELY bodyweight training and it rocks, through some sort of twisted logic, it easily fits on this list :-)

Seriously though, the just released “4-Week Bodyweight Boost” is a fast-paced, challenging series of workouts using ONLY bodyweight exercises that’ll have you stronger, leaner AND quicker just 4 weeks from now.

Check it out:

http://www.GameSpeedInsider.com/TheBodyweightBoost.html

Also, this program is from INSIDE the Speed Secrets Inner Circle Vault and because, ya know, it was theirs originally, I can’t just give it out forever…so there WERE 200 copies available a couple days ago and now (checks the counter on the site), there’s a little more than 91 copies left.

If you want to get in on this Bodyweight action awesomeness, I’d head on over there FAST.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Talk soon.

Your in Speed and Quickness,

Alex

P.S. There’s a crazy story about how The 4-Week Bodyweight Boost was born.

Find out what it is (if you dare):

http://www.GameSpeedInsider.com/TheBodyweightBoost.html

7 comments - add yours
Luke Wold

November 7, 2010

Bangin’ article bro.

When I interned at the Olympic Training Center, we hit the athletes HARD with bodyweight exercise.

Now that I’m a strength and conditioning coach, every single one of my athletes has to EARN the right to even go into the weight room. (What they don’t know is that when they get there they’re just going to be loading up those same bodyweight exercises)

Even our powerlifters just hit one or two barbell exercises a day, then head to bodyweight work.

Peace!

~ Luke

jon

November 7, 2010

hey man i think that guy is a famous olly lifter isnt he?

the posterboy for all the ollie crossfitting people?

i do agree however that gymnasts just do bw stuff and are huge

Jerome

November 7, 2010

Can you do bodyweight programs during season ?

The Champ

November 7, 2010

I believe The Deadmau5 also endorses bodyweight training.

Mark

November 7, 2010

2nd pic, the guy with white pants… he is a olympic LIFTER, not a olympic gimnast. Just take a look at the barbell + plates in front of him, at the bottom of the pic.

Awesome article, but do not mislead people into thinking someone will build huge quads like that only with bodyweight training (:

Lorenzo

November 7, 2010

Great article, I especially love bodyweight exercises such as chin-ups (&variations), dips (&variations), inverted rows (& yet again variations), bulgarian split squats, planks etc.etc. They definitely have an important place next to heavy lifting for me.

There are just 2 points I disagree with and would like to point out a mistake if you don’t mind.

Number 8
That man is Ivan Stoitsov, a Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifter who totaled 368kg at 76,83kg at the Weight Lifting World Champs 2007, a very strong and impressive lifter with a great body indeed. So I think he built up that awesome physique of his with heavy squats, cleans, snatches, jerks etc. Not sure why you thought he is a gymnast? But everyone makes mistakes, so no problem bro :)

You might want to put on a pic of a gymnast like Yuri van Gelder for example, who has built a great physique through bodyweight training.

Number 15&16
I wouldn’t look at how celebrities train.. but that might be just me. Besides that, Usher doesn’t look impressive to me at all. Assuming you have an average to ok base to begin with (with other words not obese or really skinny), you could get a comparable body pretty fast with the right training, diet and dedication.

As for me, I’d rather have “number 8s” physique haha. But I realize that this is just a matter of taste and that it’s probably true what you are saying that girls probably like a body like that of Usher more.. But then again, I couldn’t care less what girls or any other people think, in my opinion you should be doing and training for what makes you happy and what you want, not what makes other people happy. And depending on what your goal is and what your take on the ideal body is, bodyweight training eventually has it’s limits. Besides that, I don’t really think there is an ideal body, everybody wants something different, and views can change over time. So I’m not sure how valid number 16 is, I know it isn’t for me.

Other than that, I totally agree with you about the awesomeness of bodyweight strength training, if you can’t even handle your own weight in training, you definitely shouldn’t be playing with (heavy) weights yet.

Anyway, thanks for the awesome blog and article man, always great stuff on here. I usually don’t comment, because everyone will be saying the same kind of things haha, but I just felt like getting in here, hope I didn’t come off as a jerk with my first post.

Take care and keep it up!

Alex

November 7, 2010

You guys are right — didn’t even notice the weights in front of him. I had my asst. add the pics after I wrote this and in his words, “I googled “ripped gymnast” or something and he came up.”

Ha.

And @Jerome, you definitely can…IMO, bodyweight training is one of those things that should be present in your program 12 months a year.



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