Don’t think bodyweight training is cool?
Did you notice the meatheads in the background? Did you see them looking on with bemusement? I’ve actually had that happen to me when I’ve trained in a commercial gym.
It always amuses me that being able to move our own bodies with control, power and coordination causes such confusion. After all isn’t this the point of training in the first place?
Yet almost everyone goes to the gym and remains as stationary as possible for their training, we even have chairs to sit in for shoulder presses! There’s even machines to sit on so we can train our legs. Think about that for a moment.
A machine designed to help you move as little as possible
To get the very muscles that propel us over great distances or at great speed, we sit down. Where’s the logic?
Most are training just to look good standing still.
But we don’t live life standing still. We don’t interact with others standing still. We don’t fight standing still. We don’t kick a field goal standing still.
All these things require us to move our body though space. They require coordination, not just of our limbs, but of our mind and body, of our central nervous system and of each muscle fibre firing at the right time in the right sequence.
Now we’re not talking about specific athletic skills, no boxer ever got good at throwing a punch without throwing thousands of punches. We are talking about general physical ability or athleticism.
I have worked with many “gym bunny” athletes. Guys who do the whole stationary training thing. Guys who have bulging muscles that look the business but just don’t deliver when it counts. After a few weeks of bodyweight based training, they ALWAYS report improvements in their athletic prowess. They move better, more fluidly, quicker and with less joint stress.
I’m not saying we don’t let then use weights, of course we do. But when we have them lift, they do so on their feet. We reinforce the lessons learned with bodyweight training by loading those same movements. We increase the load by adding external resistance in the form of Kettlebells or Barbells, especially for lower body and total body strength. But for upper body strength I mostly change the leverage or the intensity of a bodyweight drill.
A push up can become a plyometric push up or better yet a one arm push up. In my opinion, unless the athlete requires additional mass, the one arm push up is the absolute best upper body training drill. Combine that with pull ups and there’s little else needed to build a powerful torso that will deliver in under any circumstance.
Here’s some footage from my Bodyweight Training Workshop detailing how we progress an athlete into the One Arm Push Up:
I’m running this workshop next over in Galway Kettlebells on Feb 23rd. The day is dedicated to the mastery of bodyweight fundamentals and their progressions into ore advanced exercises. We also finish the day with Animal and Martial Arts based moves, some of which are featured in the showcase clip at the start of this post.
If you need to revitalise your training, improve athleticism, develop agility and move with the ease and grace of a professional fighter, drop me a line as places are limited. For details on the workshop CLICK HERE