6 Smarter Ways to Get More out of Bodyweight TrainingSeptember 22, 2020
Are you a regular gym-goer or fitness freak whose life has been turned upside down by the global pandemic we are in? Has your training regime been affected by the closure of gyms and a lack of equipment? Have you seen the gains made over months of hard work disappear over the quarantine or lockdown? Bodyweight training is here to rescue you then!
Bodyweight training is a popular workout option for those with a financial or time constraint. Bodyweight training can be done anywhere and everywhere and has the potential of building and strengthening muscles effectively.
In this article, we look to give you 6 tips to make your bodyweight training smarter and more efficient
What is bodyweight training?
Bodyweight training involves using the weight of an individual to provide resistance against gravity. These strength-training workouts help increase bio motor abilities like speed, endurance, strength, power, and so on.
Bodyweight exercises need minimal to no equipment whatsoever. As a result, these exercises can be performed anywhere, be it a vacation or a lunch break at work. This also means you do not need to pay for an expensive gym subscription to get into shape.
What are the common bodyweight exercises
The most popular bodyweight exercises that are performed are the sit-up, the pull-up, and the push-up. These are the most basic bodyweight exercises that have a very simple form while performing and engage multiple muscle groups at once.
A very popular form of bodyweight training is calisthenics. This form of training involves engaging large muscle groups with the help of activities like running, pushing, standing, and more.
Common exercises that classify as calisthenics include burpees, squats, planks, leg raises, and chin-ups. Calisthenics is an advanced form of bodyweight training that requires the expertise of fitness trainers and careful attention to the form to prevent injuries.
6 ways to make your bodyweight training smarter and more effective
If you are someone who has done bodyweight training in the past, with your results plateauing, here are a few smart recommendations from us to help you produce the results you desire.
Perform variations of a single movement
Bodyweight training involves fairly simple exercises that over a period of time do not produce the results you expect. However, these routines can be modified in a manner that challenges you.
This will result in different muscle groups and supporting muscles being worked out along with the target muscles.
You can also merge multiple exercises together in a single repetition, to create a more dynamic load for your body. This will help increase your flexibility and endurance while keeping your workout exciting and challenging.
It can also be very beneficial initially when you struggle to complete the basic bodyweight exercise. For example, if you fail to complete a push-up, you can always choose an inclined push-up to strengthen your arms enough to be able to do a proper push-up in due time.
Increase time under tension
When you increase the time taken to complete a movement but slowing it down as much as possible, the muscles are under severe stress. This increased time under tension is especially beneficial for those looking to build muscle.
The slower tempos of your routine cause more muscle damage, which is then repaired and rebuilt with newer fibers.
This method stimulates the development of newer and stronger muscles, which allow them to deal with higher loads and can lead to better body definition and endurance levels.
Train to failure
When your bodyweight training approach is one of doing as many repetitions as you can, there will be a point where you will not be able to physically continue performing the exercise.
This point is known as the point of failure. However, it is important to note that maintaining the correct form and not compromising on the correct technique is key to ensuring efficiency without risking serious injury.
Post failure, when the muscle has completely broken down, it is important to take adequate rest and have a protein-enriched diet, which helps rebuild the muscle and increases strength and develops power as a result.
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Mechanical drop set
Mechanical drop sets are a method to do more work with heavier weights. This results in more gains being made, which is beneficial for advanced training. They differ from normal sets in the sense that they maintain the weight while making changes to the stance, posture or foot position.
This is essential in bodyweight training aimed at growing muscles. Mechanical drop sets also ensure that you target the same muscle at a slightly different angle, which facilitates rapid muscle growth.
Mechanical drop sets also help you target different muscle groups while performing the same exercise, which helps your bodyweight training become more versatile and effective.
Decrease rest time
By decreasing the rest time in between sets, you maintain a high intensity during the workout. This not only increases the stress on your muscles but increases your metabolism and keeps the heart rate elevated, which results in better blood circulation.
A decrease in rest time can also be used as a parameter to measure progress in the long run, as it is a clear sign that your stamina has improved and you are making progress in the right direction. However, it is important to note that shorter rest periods increase the risk of injury, and one must ensure that the decrease is gradual.
Increasing repetitions means you increase the loading and unloading stresses on the muscles. This means your bodyweight training becomes a lot more intense, and you are at a better chance of achieving complete muscle failure. This is essential in the rebuilding of the muscle, which can help with gains.
Increasing repetitions can also be done with respect to time. This translates to a direct increase in the intensity, which can help with the increased metabolism. Overextended periods of training, this also has a positive impact on the strength developed in the muscles. However, caution must be exercised to ensure the correct form and technique are maintained.
Bodyweight training is a great workout option for those looking to build muscle without having to depend on an expensive gym subscription or equipment to meet their fitness goals.
Its most attractive feature is the fact that it needs minimal to no equipment, which makes the location of such training very flexible. However, bodyweight training can result in stagnation due to the fact that the only additional resistance to the movement is provided by the body alone, and will never increase.
This means the gains diminish over longer periods of training, with a visible plateau of the improvements made. The smart tips provided above are aimed at ensuring your bodyweight training regimen is challenging and exciting no matter how often you physical exercise.
These include increasing repetitions, decreasing rest time, training to failure, performing mechanical drop sets, increasing time under tension, and performing variations of a single movement. Doing so will help improve the growth rate of the muscles while ensuring increased strength, endurance, and stamina levels.
We hope this article helps you train harder and smarter and ensures your workouts remain exciting and challenging with each passing day.