If you are trying to add muscle mass and strength, you probably spend a lot of time in the weight room. Sometimes it seems like you have to spend hours every week hitting the weights hard to see even the smallest increases in muscle mass. Maybe it‘s time to take a break from the big weights and go back to the basics – Body Weight Exercises. Before you get too panicked and start having Bench Press Withdrawal, you should know that you can and should return to the weight room. Switching over for a short period to body-weight exercises is just going to add some variety to your routine to spark new muscle growth.
Aren’t Body-Weight Exercises Too Basic?
A lot of people think that body-weight exercises, like push-ups, burpees and pull-ups are too basic. Since these exercises can be done virtually anywhere without any special equipment, people just assume that they couldn’t possibly provide a great workout. If this is your attitude toward body-weight workout routines, just give it a week and you might be singing a different tune... and noticing increases in muscle tone and strength, too.
Sample Body-Weight Exercise Routine
Try doing these exercises in a circuit with just enough rest between each set to catch your breath for the next. Go through the circuit one to three times depending upon your fitness level.
• Start off with a light, 5-minute warm-up and stretch
• Push-ups – 10-20 reps
• Deep squats (without weight) – 10-20 reps
• Dips – 10-15 reps
• Lunges – 10 -20 reps per leg
• Pull-Ups – As many as you can crank out
• Burpees – As many as you can do
Chances are if you made it through this routine once, you should be feeling the burn. If you can make it through a few circuits, you should really be feeling it. Take a slow rep count for each exercise. Think 2 to 3 seconds on the negative portion followed by an explosive 1 second positive. Take 5 to 10 minutes after each session for stretching. This type of workout builds up a lot of lactic acid, so deep stretching is a must for good recovery. Try this routine out 3 days a week for the next month and see if your strength and muscle mass doesn’t increase – you should be pleasantly surprised in 30 days.