A bodyweight workout plan is a workout plan that relies solely on the weight of your body to achieve your fitness goals. Most people overlook body training, which is sad because it is possible to radically increase your strength with just body training.
Bodyweight training is all about stripping away all the noise and going back to the basics. The concept of ‘primal movements’ comes into play. There are seven primal movements:
Ultimate Bodyweight Workout Plan
- The squat: This is where you bend your legs to lower your body with your chest and back straight and your feet firmly planted down.
- The lunge: This is where you step forward and bend one leg while the other remains stationary like you would when throwing a spear.
- The push: This means pushing a weight away from you, for example, the ground in a push-up.
- The pull: This requires pulling a weight towards you, which is the opposite of the push.
- The twist: Requires rotating your upper body while the lower stays stationary like you would have 5000 years ago to prevent a competitor from grabbing your piece of meat or whatever else you were feeding on.
- The bend: Hinging your hips to lower your upper body, as you would to pick an item from the ground.
- The gait: The combination of walking, jogging and sprinting motions.
Bodyweight training borrows heavily from primal movements to build body strength and help you achieve your fitness goals. The main essential movements of body weight training are push ups, pull ups, and planks (the three P’s), coupled with squats, lunges, and rows. Everything you do will be a variation of one or more of these movements.
When training, it is easy to forget the basics and end up going too easy or too hard on yourself, especially when it comes to bodyweight training. This is where most people go wrong.
Bodyweight Standard Tips
Before we delve into these, it is important that we explain a subtle difference in the way you will be working out in bodyweight training. You need to remember that the rule of thumb in bodyweight training is Quality over Quantity.
What do we mean by this? Never exercise till failure. Most people do reps till their bodies can’t do them anymore. This is the wrong approach to bodyweight training. Your body needs to recover quickly, and pushing it to exhaustion slows down this process.
When body weight training, you are relying solely on your body muscles, you need them to function for your next set, and for tomorrow’s sets. If you work out till failure, you will only end up doing a few sets before fatigue sets in, and that is the wrong way to approach bodyweight training.
Instead, use the quality over quantity mantra. Do your reps as fast as you can, and when you feel your body slowing down, stop and move on to the next set. Do them as fast as you can, then rinse and repeat. What do I mean by this? Let’s take an example of a push-up rep. You want to do as many as you can as fast as you can, without hurting yourself.
This means you will go fast when moving to the top of the movement, and slow down when coming down towards the floor. Eventually, you will start noticing that going up is getting harder and you are slowing down in that movement, and this is the point at which you stop. Then you begin another set. Doing this will conserve your energy, and you will be able to get more sets in, working out more parts of your body in the process.
So, that being said, if you want to get ripped through bodyweight training alone, it is important not to make rookie mistakes and remember these few basic bodyweight workout plan tips:
Focus On The Basics First
Understand how your body works and how it moves. Remember the seven primal movements. The main essential movements of body weight training are push ups, pull ups, and planks (the three P’s), coupled with squats, lunges, and rows. Everything you do will be a variation of one or more of these movements, so get these down first.
You must also understand that bodyweight training is a progressive exercise. In order to get stronger, you must do increasingly more and more difficult reps.
Warm Up Before Exercising
This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised to know just how many people overlook it. It is a basic rule of thumb to warm up before exercising. Jumping right it would lead to exhaustion faster. This is the main reason why even athletes warm up before matches. You want to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing to increase your body’s energy supply before getting into the heavy stuff. When your body knows what’s coming, it will be able to endure more. Without warming up, your body will likely shut down and you will walk out of the gym after only one or two sets.
No Rest Between Each Exercise
When you complete one exercise, immediately move on to the next one. Do not take a break. Why? Because you are in the process of conditioning your body. You want to exhaust your body so that in the end you are only relying on muscle strength and the limits of what your body can do.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get right into what actually brought you here. What is the ultimate bodyweight workout plan to help you achieve the best results?
The Ultimate Bodyweight Workout plan emphasizes on strength and conditioning, with an element of progression to help you achieve your fitness goals. The bodyweight exercises and workouts you are going to do are:
- Chest to floor Pushups
- Bodyweight Squats (“ass to grass”)
- Handstand holds
- Strict Pull-ups
- Trx biceps curls
- Single-leg Bent-Knee Calf Raise
You should work out at least thrice a week. The routine is simple. Do each exercise as fast as you can until you cannot do it properly (or until you slow down, not until failure!). Then, quickly write down your number of reps, and move on straight away to the next exercise. Rinse and repeat. Whatever your number is, your next goal is to get a higher number the next time you work out.
The beauty of it is that these exercises cover your whole body, so no muscle is being left out. After three weeks, take an active rest week to allow your body to recover. Which means running, hiking, biking or general adventuring. Then come back in week five and continue from where you left off.
If you stick with this ultimate bodyweight workout plan for at least 90 days, you will realize that your fitness goals will have been achieved even before you realize it. Just remember, quality over quantity, and nothing good ever comes easy! Good luck!
Ryan is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer at fitnessgoals, with a passion for writing and a love for chocolate. He enjoys long walks with a breeze and finding ways to make dessert healthy.