If I had a quarter (American or Canadian, doesn’t matter much these days) for every time a faithful TT reader asked me if they could gain muscle and/or lose fat with just bodyweight exercises, I’d be able to pay all of Bally the Dog’s vet bills in quarters. (His lil’ paw is infected, again.)
The truth is you can get amazing results with just bodyweight moves. And I’m not the only trainer that knows this secret. Today, you’ll hear from my fellow Canadian bodyweight coach, Adam Steer.
This is an essential program, even though the bodyweight movements are almost completely different than the ones you get in TT.
Burn Fat Faster With Bodyweight
By Adam Steer
Don’t get me wrong. You CAN spend your precious time spinning your wheels on a recumbent bike, or running the treadmill rat race. But does Tony Stark watch Jane Austen movies in the Ironman lab? Does James Bond nurse diet soda at the baccarat table?
There’s a time and place for everything. And when you want to strip fat off your body faster than Jason Bourne can strip a pistol out of the hands of a bad guy, it’s time to use bodyweight workouts.
It’s one of the best fat burning weapons in your arsenal. Not only is it completely portable, but you can create a serious butt kicking session with it.
The Bodyweight Advantage
Done right, it’s a seriously nasty method for intense fat burning. Here are a few of the reasons why…
You can easily transition from one movement to another with little or no rest when you don’t have to mess around with equipment. This is obviously an advantage if you’re looking to torture fat off your frame.
Imagine smoothly transitioning from max repetition push ups to 30 seconds of rapid fire mountain climbers with no rest in between. By the time you’re finished your set you’ll be panting like a hound dog on a hot Memphis day! But that’s just the beginning.
Easy Transitions Between Movement Patterns
Bodyweight workouts will turn you into the Energizer Bunny. No, your ears won’t grow. But you will be able to keep going and going. Quickly switching from one movement pattern to another lets you maintain the overall intensity of a set without hitting the unstoppable wall of local muscular fatigue.
So once you’re finished with those push ups and mountain climbers, pop up to your feet and start doing lunge jumps for another 30 seconds. Not coincidentally, this is also the point where you’ll start to hate whoever gave you the crazy idea for this workout…
Potential For Motor Complexity
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to add truly t way to add truly t way to add truly three dimensional training to your fat burning sessions. This increases the calories
you burn, for several different reasons.
First, you’re recruiting more muscle by performing innovative full body movements. Second, you’re challenging your nervous system to assimilate movement through new ranges of motion and new patterns. You won’t be as efficient as you are when performing familiar movements, and you’ll need to use more energy to get the job done.
You’ve already taken tens of thousands of steps on the treadmill. Your body has been there, done that. But have you tried the quad squat, the spike press or the v-up? If not, your body is going to have to work twice as hard to assimilate the movement. Which means you burn more fat!
Ok Adam, I get it – Just gimme a workout…
Those are just a few of the benefits that intelligent bodyweight training can bring to your physique. But enough talk. Let’s get down to business and give you a workout you can try right now. I call this one Sets Of Descending Doom.
Start each set with jump squats. Do 20 for the first set, then reduce that by 2 reps on each subsequent set until you’re down to 2 — so 10 sets total. After the jump squats you’ll proceed with no rest through the other exercises in your circuit.
The last exercise in your circuit — jumping jacks — is active rest, so take as little extra time as possible before moving into your next circuit.
20 Jump Squats (reduce by 2 each subsequent circuit until you reach
2 reps — so 10 sets total)
Max Push Ups
Max Bodyweight or Towel Rows
20 Jumping Jacks
As little rest as possible before starting again
There you have it. A nasty little fat burning inferno that you can do anywhere and anytime. Give it a try.
But did you know you can also build muscle with bodyweight training. You just have to know how to do it right (there’s a specific trick to it).
I’m taking some of these ideas to Europe. I leave tonight for 10 days of teaching in Lithuania, hiking in Norway, and relaxing in Copenhagen. Use the same workouts I’ll be using to stay lean while traveling.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – Bally the Dog is…
…out on the farm with my mother…nursing a slightly infected paw.
His paw should be fine in a week.
But he’ll still be INSANE. Always will.
And that’s why we love him.