On today’s episode, I’m sharing the unique benefits of bodyweight workouts and the truth about my bodyweight training.
Yes, I need to expose some misunderstandings and be 100% transparent with you.
I’ve actually been very clear on this, but it seems like I need to do an entire post on it.
Some of my most viewed episodes of Live Lean TV have been my bodyweight workout videos.
In fact, one of my 4 minute tabata workout videos is approaching two million views.
A few of my 10 minute bodyweight workouts have also done very well.
I’ve received a few comments like:
Bro, there is no way you built that amount of muscle doing just bodyweight workouts.
So here’s my response.
I didn’t build my physique doing only bodyweight workouts, nor have I ever claimed that.
In my opinion, I feel like I’ve been very clear that the majority of my workouts and programs are mainly focused on weight training.
If you’re confused by this, it probably means you’re not following me on Instagram because I share a lot of these videos on my Instagram stories.
But here’s the thing, even though I train at a gym and mainly lift weights, I still do incorporate a lot of bodyweight training into my weight training workouts.
The reason is simple.
There are so many benefits to incorporating bodyweight workouts and exercises into your traditional weight lifting program.
I like creating bodyweight workout videos because I want to make fitness accessible to everyone.
Bodyweight workouts are also a good entry point for people new to fitness because they’re:
However, for me personally, I have an ectomorph body type, meaning I’m predisposed to being skinnier and have to work really hard to build muscle.
Just looking at my small joints is a dead giveaway that I don’t build muscle easily.
This is why I primarily focus on weight training with a combination of bodyweight exercises strategically programmed into my workouts.
A really strategic way to add bodyweight exercises to your weight training workouts is to throw in a quick set before or after a set of weighted exercises.
You can really isolate certain muscles when doing bodyweight exercises.
This is because most bodyweight exercises are considered closed kinetic chain exercises (CKCE).
This simply means your limbs are fixed and grounded in place, thus isolating the movement to one specific muscle.
For example, a push up is considered a CKCE because your feet and hands are fixed, and you’re pushing yourself against an immovable object like the ground.
With a push up you can really focus in on activating the chest muscles without having the stabilizer muscles taking away from the strain on the chest.
The opposite to this is an open kinetic chain exercise (OKCE) where the hands and feet are free to move, such as a barbell flat bench press.
This means stabilizer muscles play a bigger part in the bench press, thus taking away some of the strain on the chest.
However compound movements like the bench press are still king for overall muscle recruitment.
Try this bodyweight exercise combo:
As you know, it’s important to always initiate, contract, and feel the targeted muscle being worked.
Therefore, completing a set of push ups before a set of barbell flat bench press is a great way to activate the muscles in your chest before your next heavy set.
It would look like this:
A1. Push Up x 10 reps
A2. Barbell Flat Bench Press x 10 reps
Ensure you only do 8-10 reps though.
The goal of this strategy is to activate the muscle, not pre-exhaust the muscle.
Doing a bodyweight exercise after a heavy lift will help keep your heart rate elevated, thus creating a higher calorie burn, and faster fat loss.
I include bodyweight workout finishers, tabatas, and ignite it ups in most of my workout programs.
For example complete any of the following bodyweight exercises after finishing a heavy lifting set:
Here’s another unique benefit of performing bodyweight exercises after heavy lifts.
By performing explosive plyometric bodyweight exercises after heavy lifts, you can stimulate your central nervous system, thus leading to greater motor unit and muscle fiber recruitment for the next set.
This means you could be lifting heavier, for more reps, thanks to the explosive bodyweight set.
It can also lead to increased power, speed, and overall athleticism.
Here are a few exercise combos to try:
I used this workout training style in my 42 Days To Lean Strength workout program and people have been loving the results.
Many of the top athletes, and most physically fit people in the world (including the Navy Seals), incorporate bodyweight workouts into their fitness routine.
Because they get results!
So there you have it.
Those are just a few of the benefits of bodyweight workouts.
If you’re used to training only with weights, it’s great to also incorporate bodyweight exercises into your workout program to maximize your time and results.
Also try incorporating a HIIT bodyweight workout once per week into your training to keep your body guessing.
Over the years, I’ve built my physique via weight training with strategic bodyweight exercises to maximize my results.
If you want to follow similar workout programs that can do the same for you, you need to join our TeamLiveLean.com group coaching platform where you get a new workout program every month.
See you over at TeamLiveLean.com.
Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.
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