In many circles around the web you'll hear quite a few people giving Bodyweight Exercises a bad rap and thats just not right on so many levels. First off whoever thinks bodyweight sucks is their business and their opinion but lets get the facts straight here. This type of training has given many people the world over an awesome body, great strength, surreal flexibility and insane endurance. I say this as a point with the right amount of training. Am I saying weight lifting sucks? Hell no man I just prefer bodyweight because it saves me money, time and I can do it anywhere I want.
The real keys to having a solid program is using your imagination, being creative, find goals and mastering basic exercises. Just like weight lifting, work the basics and soon enough you'll find thats all you need to build a solid foundation for sheer strength, muscle-building and all the good stuff that comes with them. It does piss me off sometimes when these morons don't know the real side of a good solid training program. Example would be some people think that bodyweight training is only good for endurance and doesn't build muscle or strength but it can give you flexibility. Ok in some cases they're right it does build flexibility and can give you great stamina but heres a kicker here folks. For those that don't know i'm 5'10 and 242 lbs. My main training is pretty much all bodyweight and so I have built strength from this type of training um lets see....
I can hold a handstand on the wall for more then a minute
I have Deadlifted nearly 400 lbs. without almost any training on it in the last 5-6 years
Easily can press a 88lb. Kettlebell
Bend Steel short and long
Held a 125 lb. Dumbbell w/ a 2 inch thick handle for 10sec.
I think I've made my point here. Will this type of training do the same for everyone like it did for me? No theres no way not because i'm dissing your abilities its because I chose to try these things and my structure is different then others. That shouldn't mean you can't take a shot at them or whatever you want to do but with a good structure and leverage with your body-to-weight ratio you'd be surprised how strong you can get. So I really don't give a flying you know what about people who say you can't be strong on this type of training.
Man I sound like an a**hole right now don't you think? Sorry guys I tend to do that every now and then. Back to why it puts the "Fun" in Functional Strength. Its fun in my opinion cause you get to be free to do what you want for exercise. When they say the best things in life are free I'd put exercise right near the top of the list in my opinion. You get to be creative and try things at different angles and for the most part you're always isolating muscles.
Working the whole body as a unit is far better then doing a ton of other exercises for specific muscles. When you work the body as One, you're putting on more muscle, burning more fat and your muscular strength & endurance go through the roof. It also saves you time from going to the gym and training in your own home, how many people at the gym can say they trained while they played video games or trained while commercials are going instead of their favorite tv show or better yet train with the music they want to listen to with no one around. That's one reason why I find Bodyweight Exercises fun.
I feel that when Jack Lalanne pioneered his fitness tv show way back in the 50's and 60's he wanted you to get up and start your day with a smile, laughing and feeling good like you were a little kid. He was the guy in my opinion that made exercise fun and enjoyable instead of being hardcore and rough and making you feel that exercise is just horrible. He wasn't just a pioneer in the fitness industry, he was also one of the most intelligent men of his generation because he not only made you bust your ass but you enjoyed it and kept coming back for more with a smile and a thirst for life. That was his true genius and no one should ever forget that.
One of my favorite forms of bodyweight training is being out in the wild and being an animal that is strong, powerful and graceful. This is where another form of freedom comes into play. You don't feel like working out but playing and having fun moving around. Theres something for everyone that can do bodyweight exercises, you can be 10 or 100 and still find a way to do great exercise to keep you young, vibrant and healthy.
Back in the early eras of Physical Culture of the 20th Century, many strongmen on the vaudville circuit, circuses and competitions actually did Bodyweight Training to help gain an advantage for what they did as performers. Many of them were wrestlers, boxers, gymnasts, acrobats and just flat out very powerful men. Otto Arco for example was a superior acrobat who can not only do great hand balancing feats but was one of the first of three men to lift double-bodyweight overhead in the clean and press or jerk if I said that right. John Grimek who has been known as the greatest bodybuilder in the non-steroid era of the sport who can vouch for bodyweight exercises as part of a token of his successful career as a bodybuilder and Olympic Weightlifter. Those 2 were examples of among many others that have used bodyweight with sucessful results.
Heres one final thing about why bodyweight exercises are fun to do for functional strength and that's being able to play with your kids. Children start the first few years of their lives doing bodyweight exercises, whether they're running, jumping, playing on the monkey bars or climbing up to go down the slides they're using nothing but they're own Bodyweight and some of them are very strong for how small they are. Makes you think doesn't it? When you learn to train like a child it can give you a whole different prespective about training. As adults we may not have the same energy as a young child but we can adapt and learn to enjoy being there and playing with them. When you train as a family, you create a certain bond and learning from each other. I want to be able to do that with my own kids one day and be able to have fun with them.
If you're looking for some awesome courses on Bodyweight Exercises then look no further then below.........
Animal Kingdom Conditioning
Body Sculpting Bodyweight Exercises For Women
Ultimate Guide To Handstand Push-ups
Hand Balancing Mastery Course
Animal Kingdom Conditioning 2: Call Of The Wild
Wild Animal Fitness For Kids
Ultimate Bodyweight Conditioning-Squats
Ultimate Bodyweight Conditioning-Push-ups