Most people only do bodyweight training to either see how many reps they can do, or to use them as circuits for fat loss training
Nothing wrong with that, but it can become somewhat boring after a while & maybe even easy, so here are
5 techniques to make your bodyweight training A Lot Tougher & Harder (and a lot more fun too)
#1 – 21’s
This is a popular bodybuilding technique specially to really hit the arms hard
But we can also use them for any bodyweight movement (pull ups, push ups, squats, etc) to make things a lot harder!
All you do is cut the movement in half & do 7 reps on the upper portion first, then 7 reps for the lower portion & finally 7 reps with full range of motion
This really tenses up the muscle & is great for muscle building
Vary the tempo/speed you do the movement to make it harder
#2 – Super Slow Reps
Instead of doing slow and controlled on the way down & exploding up
You are gonna go down slow an controlled on the way down & up
Really puts a lot more tension on the muscle which will help you build more muscle & tension strength
You can vary the tempo, either do 3 second or 4 or even go as crazy as 10 seconds!
You will be able to do a lot less reps but is a killer variation to make things tougher
Try these ones with pull ups & dips & let me know how many reps you can do know!
#3 – Holds/Tension Training
For this variation all you do is hold the movement (freeze) & put tension on the muscle on the toughest part of the movement
- So with push ups it would be at the bottom (make sure to not touch the ground & keep tension on triceps)
- With pull ups you would hold your self over the bar for 2-4 seconds (however much time you wanna hold & squeeze)
- For squats you would stay in the bottom positions & squeeze your quads & glutes for 3-4 seconds
For this you are really just putting a lot of tension on the hardest part of the movement
#4 – AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
Your probably familiar with this so just do as many reps as you can
This is great as a finisher to really fry a muscle or to challenge yourself every time to be able to do more reps
Vary the tempo (how fast you do them) to make them a lot more tougher
#5 – Ladders/Pyramids
And the last techniques can be used as a fun challenge for yourself, to compete with a buddy or as a great finisher on your workout!
- All you do is do 1 rep & rest 1 second, do 2 reps rest 2 sends & go up till you hit 5 reps or 10
- So when going back down from 10 you would be resting 10 seconds & then do 9 reps, rest 9 seconds, till you get to 1 rep again
So it would look like this:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Sounds easy in paper but its a brutal challenge
You can do this by yourself or challenge a buddy to see who can do the most rest (or survive the longest)
Stay face to face & while he/she does 1 rep, you rest 1 second, then you do 1 rep, he rests 1 sec & then he does 2 reps, you rest 2 sec, etc…
The brutal thing is that you are not “resting” you are holding a static position & just putting tension in your muscles
Do them by yourself & see how up you can go up the pyramid
You can do these with any movement again (push ups are the most popular for it, but this technique with pull ups would be hard! just be sure to rest by hanging on the bar)
With these techniques you don’t always have to go to failure, specially if your working on strength building
So you can do sub max reps (leaving 1 or 2 reps on the tank) or you can do sets, it really is up to you
Give these variations a try and am sure you won’t look at bodyweight training for just endurance & circuits anymore
Bodyweight alone can build you muscle, you just gotta know how to manipulate the variables to elicit the muscle building or strength response you want
Give them a try & let me know how they go!
What are your Favorite techniques to make Bodyweight Training a lot Harder?
Drop them in the comments below!
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