Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Strength Without Weights?

When body weight training is talked about it's usually in the context of high rep HIIT training for body fat loss and conditioning or other basic exercises like sit ups etc. Body weight training as I have said before is unquestionably the most versatile training modality, and the building blocks of almost any Jungle Fit program and the Jungle Fit formula. Body weight training can be done anywhere, any time, and to achieve any desired fitness goal. That's right ... any goal ... including gains in strength for even the most seasoned athlete. Body weight strength training can be done to become stronger in the most basic plains of motion or it can be tailored to become stronger movements specific to a certain sport. Now some "hard core" strength enthusiasts may say that you can only build great strength from power lifting or basic body building isolation exercises. This however is not the case ... I'm sure very few would deny the strength and explosive power of an Olympic gymnast. Gymnasts train without the use of weights and only use their body weight yet they have phenomenal strength and muscle definition! I would love to see a power lifter pump out ring dips or L-sit chin ups, it just wont happen.

Why? Because it's all about strength to body weight ratio. That power lifter can't do ring dips to save his life ... but I'm willing to bet everything I have that the Olympic gymnast could bench press well over his own body weight ... maybe even close to double his own body weight. Now, that power lifter may bench more than the gymnast .... but I bet he weighs much more. Naturally, a larger person should be able to lift much more than a person of smaller stature.

Lets say that power lifter weighs 225 lbs, and the gymnast weighs 145 lbs. The power lifter can bench press 350 lbs , and the gymnast can bench 300lbs. In terms of numbers, yes the power lifter is stronger ... but pound for pound the gymnast is by far the much more powerful athlete! The size difference between the two of them is immense, but the weight they lift does not have a huge gap. It's like how ants are pound for pound much stronger than humans. If ants were the same size as people they would be much stronger than us ... and it would be scary as hell!

So how can you test how strong you are with your body weight training? Simple! Try out these exercises and see how many you can do and go according to the numbers below!

Pistol Squat (one leg) - 0-1 Needs a lot of work

2-4 Pretty good for a beginner

5-7 Nice range for an intermediate

8-10 Excellent

10+ Spider Man Strength!

L-Sit Pull Ups - 0-1 Needs lots of work

2-4 Nice show of beginning strength

5-7 Excellent

8+ You're doing great!

Hand Stand Push Ups- 0-3 Needs lots of work

3-5 Beginner strength

6-9 Doing well keep training

10-12 Excellent

13+ HSP champ!

Scorpion Push Ups - 0-4 Needs lots of work

5-7 Alright, but keep training

7-10 Pretty good

10-15 Looking good, nice strength

16+ Awesome!

... there are a lot more test of strength exercises to push your body weight training to the limit but these are just a few! So try them out and keep pushing! Remember that if you want to get to your goals you need to push hard, and get a great trainer to help you along the way if you need it!

1 comment:

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