Build Muscle Without Weights, Bodyweight Exercises

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Bodyweight Exercise Overload

How to Achieve Overload Using Bodyweight Exercises

I get several emails literally every single day of people asking me what I think of their bodyweight workout routines. And what really amazes me (or rather shocks me) is the amount of people who perform literally 400+ pushups per day, 500 squats and so forth…

…Now there’s big a difference between VOLUME training and pure MADNESS

But seriously, for some reason it’s believed that doing a super high number of reps is the best way to compensate for the lack of extra load with bodyweight exercises.

This is a huge misconception. It is a fatal mistake, and it will trap you.

Volume training is great in some particular instances but do NOT make the mistake of thinking that volume is the only way to compensate for lack of extra load when using bodyweight exercises. In my workouts I never go anywhere near even 100 reps of an exercise…unless I’m purposely performing a volume-based workout (which is not very often).

Even weightlifters who use volume training are cautious not to apply it for more than 8 weeks in a row…because they know it can send them into overtrained-mode extremely fast. Sure, in the beginning you’ll probably make some good gains, but several weeks down the road exhaustion will kick in. Then fatigue. Then the dreaded plateau phase.

The pump that comes from such workouts is great. But sometimes it can be the biggest misguidance. Getting a pump doesn’t necessarily mean that new growth has been achieved.

And while volume training DOES work to build muscle, it has its limits, especially when used as the exclusive form of training.

So is there a better method to achieve overload using bodyweight exercises? Definitely!

Let’s put aside the guessing games. I always say “Muscle building is a science. So all you need to do is follow the rules.”

So let me ask you a question:

“How is muscle growth achieved?”

The answer is simple: Fiber recruitment.

You must fire the most amount of fibers simultaneously.

The key here is to fire as many muscle fibers as possible within one go. The more muscles you fire simultaneously, the higher the stimulation and hence growth.

There are 2 main problems with super high-volume workouts:

PROBLEM 1: If you do several hundreds of repetitions of one exercise, fewer fibers get activated simultaneously. And this is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.

PROBLEM 2: When you get used to performing hundreds of reps each and every day, what happens when you need to finally increase the load? What will you do? Because you WILL reach a point where you simply don’t have the time and energy to perform several extra hundreds of reps. After a while it just isn’t practical anymore.

HERE’S THE SOLUTION:
Consider Time Under Tension to be one of your most valuable factors when training for muscle growth (and especially using bodyweight exercises). Time Under Tension is simply the amount of time your muscles are under stress when performing a set.

So instead of trying to achieve a super high number of reps (quantity), focus on doing a lower number of reps in a slow controlled fashion (quality). Take at least 40 seconds to complete a set. Don’t speed through the reps. This isn’t a competition. And when you begin to do this more fibers will be stimulated per set than when using volume protocols. And THIS will induce muscle growth.

So the rule is simple: If you’re training to build muscle, your TUT should be at least 40 seconds.

This will make sure that the maximum number of fibers have been activated within a single set.

Volume training is good, BUT should never be applied as the main method of muscular training. So feel free to use it once in a while – just don’t let it make up the bulk of your workouts.

In my book “The Muscle Experiment” I talk about how I was able to put on a solid 39lbs of solid muscle in less than 6 months with bodyweight training, and exactly how YOU can do it as well. Well in case you haven't downloaded The Muscle Experiment, I suggest you download it immediately and start implementing the little known techniques. This alone should put you on the road to massive size and strength.

Keep strong.

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