Everything You Need to Build Your Own Bodyweight Workout

An effective bodyweight training program can whip you into shape and even pack on muscle, but “effective” doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some people could do with 10 push-ups, others need 20, and some need to do more sets than others. Even how often you work out is a consideration. Let’s get you up to speed, and craft the perfect workout for you.

Source: Everything You Need to Build Your Own Bodyweight Workout

One very important note here (from a guy who switched to strictly bodyweight for over a year, after 15+ years of gym work) is to note your personal limitations.

Many people will never do a handstand pushup. And even if you do, working that into an “intense” workout can compromise form and lead to rotator cuff damage or worse. Another rough one is the pistol squat — if you’re tall, these become physically harder to do. Even if you can do them, they’re not always a good idea. Almost everything is a cost/benefit in terms of conditioning vs joint longevity. Many of the most effective movements are also harsh on the joints, so the best thing you can do is listen to your body and never do the harder (or more technical) movements as part of a fast circuit. Focus on that form.

Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

Take one look at someone in Scorpion Pose and you’ll know: yoga can build strength and balance. But how does it stack up to traditional strength training—and what can’t yoga do for your body?

Source: Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

What about hot yoga specifically?  Heat makes you feel like you’re working harder, but that’s not a benefit by itself. Compare to sitting in a hot room—you’re sweating [and miserable], but it doesn’t count as exercise.

If you do it often enough that you’re getting acclimated to the heat, that will help you exercise harder in the heat, like if you run a race on a hot day. There are some small benefits to exercising in the heat, but it doesn’t turn a non-cardio exercise into a cardio one.

Are Bodyweight Exercises (Yoga/Pilates) Effective?

While the process of building muscle at a cellular level is complicated to say the least, at the practical level, it’s quite simple.

…Building muscle can be simplified into one simple concept: increase the weight, repetitions (also known as “reps”), or volume that you can do in a given exercise. This concept is known as ” progressive overload.” The result is an increase in muscle size—a process known as muscular hypertrophy.

…What about heavier folks who are worried that they can’t perform bodyweight exercises? That can be solved by finding versions of exercises that you can do, such as kneeling push-ups or wall push-ups instead of regular push-ups. Don’t beat yourself up if you use an easier version of an exercise. What truly matters is improvements week over week.

Source: Are Bodyweight Exercises Effective?

What the article doesn’t discuss is oversight – having an instructor of some fashion monitoring, giving you feedback, and correcting where necessary.  This is why though you can practice yoga on your own, I don’t recommend it.  I’ve seen too many cases of chest facing forwards, but the hips are at 45 degrees.  Or in foot position in warrior postures…  It also takes a lot of self discipline to practice on your own – making time and thinking up lesson plans.

There is no best program, diet, or exercise. When it comes to fitness and health, everything is contextual and depends on the individual. Done correctly, bodyweight training will build muscle, but definitely consider your time, budget, and goals when selecting the program that’s right for you.