- How much muscle can I build using bodyweight only techiques? How much muscular endurance?
- I'm 41, how far can I push my ability to move my body through space? (Think back flips, etc.)
- How much quicker can I recover from a bodyweight workout vs. a free weight workout and how does that affect the next day's routine?
Why bodyweight daily? I used to be a heavy lifter. Bodyweight exercises were only for warm-ups and off-days. At some point I began injuring myself regularly and I ended up leaving the weights alone completely for a time.
Although the reason behind my injuries seems obvious now (overtraining, lifting too heavy, too often, and the all too popular skipping the warm-up,) my foolishness led me to discover yoga for rehabilitation. Two years later I started back in on the weights again, this time with more intelligence and better results.
Unfortunately, working out with free weights failed to give me the same mind-body connection I had discovered in yoga. Even worse, no matter how much stretching I did, my body felt stiffer and less coordinated, and my spatial body awareness was not as heightened either (this is what is called proprioception by physiologists.)
For this reason alone I discovered that I enjoyed bodyweight movement more than lifting free weights of any kind. (By this time I was doing all forms of bodyweight exercise, not just yoga, which had been reduced in favor of accommodating additional forms of bodyweight movement.) But then I had another interesting revelation.
Using free weights never seemed to carry over to improving my ability to perform difficult bodyweight exercises. On the other hand, when I started consistently practicing bodyweight strength exercises (and even when doing yoga alone!) my strength for lifting weights or other heavy objects was maintained, if not improved.
Do Bodyweight Exercises Really Work?
They do for me! One of the cornerstones of any resistance program is progression. That is, so long as your body is forced to adapt to greater loads, higher volume, etc., you will continue to make progress.
For me, bodyweight exercises work because there are so many ways to challenge yourself that I am always pushing to reach a goal. More importantly, they work because I love to do them. As I said, I feel completely connected when I am challenging myself with my own bodyweight. Plus, I love to mobilize my body in every way possible. Simply put, for me it's a lot more fun.
The routines I post here on Bodyweight Daily are by and large the routines I have or will execute on that day. However, I also plan to make pages for targeting specific goals or even muscle groups.
Keep in mind, while care is taken to explain, show or demonstrate exercises in daily posted workouts, you should always consult a fitness professional if you are in doubt about your ability to execute a movement.
I hope you enjoy following along on my journey, and that Bodyweight Daily can motivate you to get your own body moving. Thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger!
Aloha and Mahalo,
***This blog should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for a professional fitness training consultation. Use at your own risk. Start slow and always do the posted warm-up before moving on to the main workout.