Bodyweight exercises are some of the most underrated exercises we have at our disposal: many people overlook them as nothing more than a warm up exercise or stretch, but they can really benefit us if we know how to properly use them.
Not only can you build muscle mass with bodyweight exercises, they are convenient exercises that can be done anywhere. No one likes waiting at the gym to use a machine or running on a crowded boardwalk trying to dodge through traffic so learn how to use these techniques to not only chisel your physique, but to keep your sanity when it comes to your routine.
Here are some key guidelines to follow if you want to get the most out of your bodyweight exercises:
Learn How to Modify Your Exercises to Adjust the Difficulty
When training at the gym with weights, adjusting the difficulty is pretty simple and you can do so based on your goals. Want to gain more mass? Increase the weight you are lifting. Want to improve your endurance? Increase the number of repetitions. Working out in this manner and trying to modify your routine to continually improve your progression in gaining mass is relatively easy to do.
Conversely when you are doing bodyweight exercises, trying to increase the difficulty isn’t as simple as throwing some more weight on your body. With that being said, you can still modify your routine when using bodyweight exercises, you just have to be a little more creative.
One major benefit that bodyweight exercise has to convention weight lifting is that generally speaking you can get a wider range of motion with bodyweight exercises.
For example if you are doing a pushup and want a wider range of motion, you can do them on elevated platforms which allows you to come down further, giving more work to your chest. You couldn’t do the same thing say when you are bench pressing, which is one major advantage to doing a bodyweight routine.
Another technique you need to use when doing bodyweight exercises is modifying the distribution of weight among your limbs. A good example of this is a lunge, where you can modify the length of the exercise to target a specific muscle group. In this case shorter lunges target the quadriceps while longer ones target the glutes.
Properly Schedule Your Routine so That You Have the Best Chance to Succeed
This sounds rather obvious however this is something many people neglect to do. When you are doing bodyweight exercises to develop mass, you should be treating your exercises as such. What we mean by this is that you have to give yourself the adequate time to repair and recover.
For example you wouldn’t go to the gym to do a cardio workout and follow it up with a heavy lifting routine. This is because your body will already be somewhat taxed from the cardio exercise, and you will not get the most out of your lifting session as a result.
If you choose to use bodyweight exercises to gain mass, you have to treat yourself in a similar manner like you would if you were going to lift heavy. Many people make the mistake of underestimating how much time their body needs to recover from exercise and end up cheating themselves out of better results down the road in the long run.
You also want to take it a step further than that if you really are looking to succeed, and should break up your bodyweight exercises as well. The easiest way to go about this is to alternate between doing a day of upper body exercises, followed by lower body the next day. This will give you adequate time to recover from your exercise, and you should see more results because of it.
Don’t Forget to Modify Your Diet to Maximize Your Gains!
Another thing many people forget here is that the goal is to put on muscle mass which means you are going to have to eat more to do so. This means you have to go through period of bulking and cutting just like you would if you were weight training.
Just keep it simple, if you want to gain more muscle, add more calories to your diet. Looking to lose weight and get cut? Well then you need to reduce your caloric intake especially in the carbohydrate and fat departments.