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On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we’re answering a viewer question who asked, can you build a muscular physique with only bodyweight home workouts?
This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 012.
Dominik Kuss @Teldan on Twitter asks: Hey Brad, is it possible to achieve your muscular physique with no more than bodyweight home workouts?
Alright, great question and thank you for the compliment.
I’m glad to have the opportunity to talk about this.
The reason is, I feel like there is a misconception about how I built my physique.
Since my most popular videos on YouTube are my tabata bodyweight workouts.
These bodyweight workout videos have been seen by millions of people.
They are also probably the reason why many of you have found me.
In the past, I’ve produced a lot of these videos because they are short, easy to follow, and fun.
Even though I like them, I complete these tabata workouts after my strength and resistance training workouts.
Examples of the exercises in my workouts include barbell squats, dumbbell presses, and weighted pull ups.
Then, for the last 4 minutes of my workout, I may go and complete a bodyweight tabata workout, as a workout finisher.
These bodyweight workout finishers are a great form of cardio to let it all out and leave nothing left in the tank.
So to clarify, bodyweight workouts are not all I do on a workout day.
I’ll do a bodyweight workout if I’m at home or don’t have access to a gym.
However, I want to be clear that the way I gained my muscular physique, is through lifting weights.
Yes, but only to a point.
Since I didn’t build my muscle that way, I can’t say I could have gotten to my current muscular physique, only doing bodyweight home workouts.
Who knows, but I’d say probably not.
Here’s the reason why it’s so hard to build a muscular physique with just bodyweight.
If you only train with bodyweight, you can quickly hit a muscle building plateau, unless you find other ways to overload your muscles.
You can make your bodyweight workouts more intense by:
This is important to keep in mind.
If you don’t do this with your bodyweight workouts, you will eventually hit a wall with your physique.
One of the main benefits of weight training, when it comes to building a muscular physique, is there is no limit to adding more resistance.
In other words, you can keep going up in weight.
You do this by simply adding more plates to the barbell or using bigger dumbbells.
Of course, you’ll inevitably hit a ceiling, so don’t worry, you won’t get so big that you can’t fit through the door 😂.
But that limit is much harder to hit when compared to bodyweight training.
I think you get the point.
Of course, there are people, who have a lot of muscle mass, who say they only do bodyweight only workouts.
This could be true, but unless they are genetically gifted, I would guess they probably “cut their teeth” by starting in the gym lifting weights.
This means they already had the base of a solid muscular physique, from lifting weights, before they transitioned to only doing bodyweight workouts.
The other factor in having, what appears to be, a very muscular physique, is how lean you are.
Sometimes a person will look really buff and muscular.
However, what really could be giving them the appearance of a more muscular physique is their low body fat percentage.
For example, I’m 175 pounds and 5’11 1/2″.
Note: by including the 1/2 inch, can you tell I’m a little bit bitter that my mom and dad didn’t give me the genetics to be 6 feet tall? 😝
At 5’11” and only being 175 pounds, a lot of people think I am heavier than that, because I look very muscular.
I get asked how heavy I am, all the time.
When I tell them I’m 175 pounds, people are always surprised.
There response is, well I’m 175 pounds too, so why don’t like you?
The answer is, it all comes down to your body composition.
So even though some bodyweight athletes may look super muscular, some may not be as big as you think they are.
Also, if you’re looking at bodyweight athletes on Instagram, other factors can lead to how muscular and ripped they look.
You can always make yourself look more muscular than you really are via:
This is the thing with Instagram photos.
But I’ll save that for another tangent.
Ultimately, bodyweight training is great because of how versatile it is and you can also get really lean doing it.
However, if your primary goal is building a muscular physique, weight training is the easiest and fastest way to build muscle.
Now I want you to go check out this video post on my 5 best tips for muscle growth.
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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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