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.
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.
Longer resting times means more time spent at the gym. For a study on rest times to be translated into real workout recommendations, it would be more useful to know whether longer or shorter rest times are more efficient for size/strength/endurance gains. In other words, if I have an hour to spend at the gym, how long should my rests be? 3-minute rests would likely result in less overall volume than 1-minute rests in a constrained time period. Thus, applying the same logic used in the study to a situation in which time spent at the gym is controlled for, we would expect more modest gains from a 3-minute-rest workout program than from a 1-minute-rest workout program.
It isn’t easy getting fit. There’s a lot to learn: Your workout itself, whether the number of reps you do matters, and then there’s all the gym and exercise lingo you’ve never heard before. Say no more. We understand, and we’ve put together this primer to help.
Keep in mind that fitness jargon is endless, so this list isn’t comprehensive. It is made up of many terms that you may have heard before but didn’t understand, or heard a trainer toss around.
High intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short) sounds simple enough: go as hard as you can for a short period, rest, repeat, and reap the benefits. HIIT is great, for sure, except what most people consider HIIT isn’t actually HIIT. Your all-out effort makes all the difference.
One thing that isn’t always clear is that unfit people should not try HIIT. Without a decent fitness base HIIT is counterproductive and more likely to cause injury. Beginners should stick to longer and less intense intervals to build up fitness and form as preparation for the demands of HIIT.
The one time my mom watched a video of me deadlifting, she cringed with fear that I was going to hurt myself. In reality, though, you’re just as likely (if not more so) to get injured doing other physical activities. That doesn’t mean you should throw weights around willy-nilly. You still need to prioritize safety to avoid getting seriously hurt. Here’s how.
[Former pro Ben] Day believes that every single athlete undergoing a training cycle needs to better understand when to push through fatigue, illness or injury and when they should rest and recover. Below, Day discusses some guidelines in making the right decisions.
For content from a cycling website, the only thing that applies to cycling is measuring power via a power meter (in the hub, cranks, or pedals). Which lead me to wonder if anyone has implemented a power meter in running shoes… Someone has, and DCRainmaker has a review! If you haven’t read DC Rainmaker stuff before, it’s incredibly detailed and insightful.