Me and Bodyweight Training
This is a guest post By Samuel Kennedy
In most instances, a person’s training style is a reflection of their fitness goals. If you want to be big and strong, you probably focus on heavy barbells and low reps. If muscle definition is your endgame, you might do a lot of isolation exercises and cardio. And if you’re trying to be both lean and strong, you’ve probably found your way to bodyweight training.
Calisthenics can seem especially attractive if you have a tight schedule, or if you want to train at home and don’t have the space or money for a lot of fancy equipment. But even if you have access to the best gym equipment available and plenty of time to use it, bodyweight training still deserves a place in your fitness regimen. Since the benefits of bodyweight training have already been covered elsewhere on this site, I won’t go into great detail in this post. But I will say that I have been using calisthenics since I was five years old, and still use it in my training today.
Just to clarify, I don’t train with bodyweight exercises exclusively; I also use free weights as well as machines. But bodyweight training is an important part of my training style. When I first started working out, all I did was calisthenics, since I didn’t have access to gym equipment. Before I even started kindergarten, I was learning to do pushups and situps from an old illustrated encyclopedia. As I got older and stronger, I started using improvised weights, and eventually real dumbbells and a barbell. Today, I have a gym membership that lets me use any piece of training equipment I need. But even so, I never stopped using those bodyweight exercises I’d learned as a kid.
Why? Because they still work. Whether it’s as a warm-up before lifting weights, an improvised workout when I don’t have time for the gym, or a challenge to prove that I can still beat gravity, calisthenics allow me to grow stronger every day, without sacrificing mobility or endurance. There is no better test of overall fitness than seeing what you can do with your own bodyweight. When my schedule gets hectic, and I feel myself getting out of shape, calisthenics get me right back on track. For general fitness, I like to do a full-body calisthenics workout first thing in the morning, then do either weight training or cardio in the evening.
If you’ve been thinking about giving bodyweight training a try, but aren’t sure where to begin, you are in the right place. There are a lot of great articles here on Bodyweight Life to help you on your calisthenics journey. You can also check out my website at www.buildingyoubetter.com for more great posts on bodyweight training and weightlifting. If you’re looking for a workout you can do today, give this one a try:
- Warmup – one set of 20 jumping jacks.
- Pushups – 4 sets of 15 reps.
- Mountain Climbers – 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Lunges – 3 sets of 15 reps, per leg.
- Everest Pushups – 2 sets of 10 reps.
- Situps – 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Bodyweight Squats – 3 sets of 15 reps.
This is a relatively simple workout (no dragon flags, one-arm pushups, or handstands) but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s designed with a beginner in mind, but it will still provide a good workout for more advanced bodyweight athletes.
If you find it too hard, shave a few reps off each set. Or if you think this workout is too easy, simply repeat the entire circuit.
Samuel Kennedy, Hero In Training, Founder and Editor of
Image source: Pixabay