Strength Training Without Weights
I come to share with you some good news: you don’t need weights (such as dumbbells or machine) to do strength training.
Yeah, I know. After walking into the commercial gym and seeing all the pumped and ripped guys pumping nothing but iron, that might be hard to believe, but trust me, it can be done.
Why do bodyweight strength training?
The main difference between strength training with weights in the gym and building strength anywhere with your bodyweight is simply creativity.
This is one of the reasons we focus on mostly bodyweight work for our trainers and RAW‘s clients – not only does it actually build well balanced and holistic strength and improve functional strength and movement, but it also keeps them (and us) from getting bored from so many repetitive lifts and moves.
With bodyweight strength training, the options for movements become limitless and, if structured correctly, can have you making serious gains and excellent range of motions.
How to Strength Train Without Weights
Again, the key to making gains with bodyweight alone is creativity and smart programming.
Add a special structure (how you stack movements/ exercises) and you’ will be good to go! Below are several factors to consider before you start:
Using intervals in 1:1 or 1:2 work rest ratio structure gives you the opportunity to stress every angle of a muscle group, while also boosting muscle-growth-promoting hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone (in fact, aside from heavy lifting and olympic weightlifting, HIIT is also one of the best ways to do this).
Nope, not in that sense! What I am referring to is utilizing single-leg and single-arm exercises to add intensity and weight to movements.If you watched the video above, you’ll see I do push ups and burpees at one point with one leg up, which challenges my core and upper body to carry more of my body weight.
You can use single-arm push ups to load one arm with your entire weight, as well as single-leg squats to do the same. Think of this as adding weight, without the weights.
Explosive plyometric movements like jump squats and plyometric push ups are another great way to add intensity and exhaust your upper body muscles without weight, leading to gains. Also consider jump lunges and other moves that require exploding out of the top.
Eccentric training is training that focuses on the lowering/ lengthening phase of the movements. For instance: after you curl up your bicep while doing a bicep curl, the phase when you lower it is called the “eccentric phase.”
With eccentric training, the idea is to focus on going really slow during the lowering phase. Several studies have proven this is one of the best ways to build muscle, regardless if you’re using weights or not.
To use another example, say you’re doing push ups. To do an eccentric push ups, you will need to pull up to the bar and, instead of letting momentum pull you back down, you’d lower slow and controlled back to your starting position at the bottom. The same goes for push ups, squats, lunges, etc.
Utilize Compound Movements.
Compound movements are those that work multiple large muscle groups at once, and they are extremely effective in boosting growth hormone and testosterone, the two hormones crucial for muscle growth. For example, you can do this compound movements by combining one set of push ups with a set of pull ups.
Get Creative with Weights.
If you are still feeling like you want some weight lifting, yet you do not have any weights, you got to get creative. You can load up some large water jugs and utilize those, make your own sandbags, find an old luggage and fill with stuff, or even try out resistance bands.
At the end of the day, these type of workouts are going to make you stronger. With a few simple tweaks like the tips mentioned above, you can focus on not only burning fat, but making actual muscular strength and muscle gains with pure bodyweight strength training.