When you can’t do a lot, do a little. If you’re working late, busy with kids, or stuck at home (thanks, COVID-19), you’re much better off getting a quick workout in than forgoing it completely. Just because you may not have access to weights, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in an effective training session.
Building muscle mass comes down to inflicting damage to your muscle tissue, and you can do that with your bodyweight. There are different techniques you can use to increase the intensity of your training. You can add more sets or reps, reduce rest between sets, slow down your reps, and add a weighted vest (if you have it). (If fat loss is your goal, the same techniques apply, you just need to make sure your diet is on point, too.)
When it comes to strength training, however, you do need more than your bodyweight. For one, if you’re into powerlifitng than your own bodyweight won’t do for the simple fact that you need to become proficient with the big three – that is the back squat, bench press, and deadlift. While you can replicate these patterns with your bodyweight, it’s not the same as using a barbell. Also, getting strong – say benching 225 pounds, deadlifting 405, and squatting 315 for starters – requires constant progression. And, yes, the techniques mentioned above will help you grow muscle and make your workout harder, but 100 more bodyweight squats won’t translate to 100 more pounds on the bar. It’s apple and oranges.
All that said, we have a routine that you can do at home with nothing but your bodyweight. It consists of five moves and hits every major muscle from head to toe. While you do need a pullup bar (which you can get for under $40 on Amazon), you can sub in a suspension trainer row or inverted rows by laying under a heavy dining room table, grabbing the edge with both hands, extend your feet, and row. Ideal? No. Better than nothing? Always.
Read on to find the best course of action to complete this bodyweight workout routine.
When to Do It
After any workout when you’re feeling particularly enegeric. Or if you’re on the clock, this workout is intense enough to be a stand-alone training sessions.
Why Do It
Easy: You’re accumulating more volume for all your major muscle groups: legs, back, chest, and core.
Get It Done
Do 10 reps of each exercise as a circut, descending by two reps until you reach two. If you’re more advance, rest less after each round.