Fitness doesn’t have to be something you only have to do at a gym. You don’t need a Bow-Flex or a Peloton to be fit for life. I am not in any way speaking disrespectfully against those tools for fitness, but they are not the end all be all for getting in shape. I’m also not concerned with the status associated with those fitness tools (example popular kids at the lunch table in elementary school.) Our body-weight serves a major purpose in training because in order to load a movement pattern, it should be an adequate body-weight pattern, a.k.a “it should look good.”
No weights are necessary if you are trying generally wanting to be fit. Progressions and regressions also are present while we are performing unloaded movement, or “bodyweight training.” All body weight training consists of is a variation of unloaded movement patterns being performed through a series of muscle actions.
- Dynamic / Ballistic
Several people will probably think that body-weight workouts are too easy. That they’re for beginners who haven’t been introduced to more intense forms of training. I say, “what about strength through volume?” What about performing 5 body weight exercises for 10 sets of 20. For example, Pushups, TRX rows, 1L RDL’s, Split Squats, and SL RDL’s. Tell me how “beginner like” that will be during and post workout.
It’s time to rethink the body-weight training concept
Progressive and per-iodized body weight routines will prove you otherwise. It all comes down to per-iodizing and progressing. Here are 2 tables of exercise examples that require no equipment and contain a progression/variation from left to right. Table A. displays exercise progression via different muscle actions. Table B. displays exercise progressions via progressive variations.
TABLE A. Periodization & Progression via Muscle Action Variations:
x 8 – 12 Reps
x 6 – 8 Reps
|Upper Push||Push Up||Push Up Hold||Push Up||Drop Push Ups|
|Lower Push||Split Squat||Split Squat Hold||Split Squat||Split Squat Jumps|
|Upper Pull||Bent Over T||Bent Over T Hold||Bent Over T||Alternating Bent Over T|
|Lower Pull||SL RDL||SL RDL Hold||SL RDL||SL RDL + Hip Flexion|
|Pillar/ Core||Walkout||Plank||Plank Taps||Alternating Plank Taps|
| Sets – 4-6 each exercise|
TABLE B. Periodization & Progression Exercise Progressions:
|CATEGORY||PHASE 1 -3 WEEKS
10 x 10 Reps
|PHASE 2 -3 WEEKS
10 x 10 Reps
|PHASE 3- 3 WEEKS
10 x 10 Reps
|PHASE 4- 3 WEEKS
10 x 10 Reps
|Upper Push||Push Up||FE Push Up||FE Push Up w. Pause||FE Push Up + Knee Tuck|
|Lower Push||Split Squat||Split Squat Hold||RFE Split Squat||Fwd. or Rev. Lunge|
|Upper Pull||Prone W||Bent Over W||Bent Over Alt. W||Soup Can Bent Over W|
|Lower Pull||SL Glute Bridge||SL Alt. Glute Bridge||SL RDL||SL RDL + Hip Flexion|
|Pillar/ Core||PLANK :30s||FE PLANK :30s||Fwd. Crawl #||Fwd. + Bwd. Crawl #|
| FE = Feet Elevated| |Alt. = Alternating| | Fwd. = Forward | |Bwd. = Backward| | Rev. = Reverse|
The fact is, these tables contain plenty of great exercises that will challenge your muscles in a way you’ve never been challenged before, giving you a great workout wherever you happen to be.
What you need to keep in mind when it comes to body-weight workouts is that things do not have to be the same, things can change every two to four weeks. Phasing is working through different styles of exercising in order to progress your results toward a goal. So, when you consistently workout in the same style and consistently train the same way, (which is a trap that we all can fall into), your results eventually taper off and it becomes increasingly harder to get results. That is if you are opposed to trying something different. This is your body getting efficient at the movement that you’re practicing. You may need to push the rep ranges higher, take less time to rest between sets, or add other variables of intensity to the routine in order to challenge your body at the same intensity level that lifting heavier weights would.
Stay consistent, but variate as well. Variation will keep you mentally and physically “fresh.”
If you are willing to adapt and get creative, you’ll have no problem ADAPTING TO NO EQUIPMENT.
At the end of the day, I don’t have a magical guarantee for you, however I have these magical suggestions listed below:
- Keep exercising even without equipment
- Eat quality protein, vegetables, organic grains, and fruit
- Drink plenty of water
- Work hard and be nice to people
I am certain you all have hope during these difficult times. I’m certain you have a chance and that you are much more capable than you probably know. No equipment, no problem.