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Can Bodyweight Exercises Build Muscle?

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I recently did a survey with you and found out that 92% of you use bodyweight exercises in your training. (Thank you to those that did that survey.)
With that in mind, I wanted to share this article from my friend, Todd. He’s a bodyweight genius. Take it away Todd:


3 Reasons You can Gain Muscle with Bodyweight Exercises

By Todd Kuslikis

Bodyweight Overload



When it comes to fitness there are really 3 main reasons why most people are not gaining muscle when it comes to body weight exercises.

Reason 1: They Stay In High Rep Ranges


It is easy to make this mistake when you are doing body weight exercises. Maybe you have fallen into this trap. Hereʼs an example: You decide on a bodyweight workout routine that includes push ups and squats.

At first both of these exercises are hard for you so after a few weeks you start to see some definition.

You get super excited so you add more intensity to your exercises. Sooner or later you are getting into the rep ranges of 30 or even 40.

Yikes!

Here is the HUGE problem with high rep ranges:

It has been scientifically proven that you need to stay in low rep ranges when you are trying to build muscle. When you fatigue the muscle in a high rep range you are increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the muscle and improving muscular endurance NOT muscular size.

When you stay in a low rep range and totally fatigue the muscle in a 6-8 or 8-12 rep range than you are improving strength and muscle hypertrophy = muscle growth.

Reason 2: They Donʼt Incorporate Enough Volume


Most calisthenics enthusiasts that I know are also crazy about efficiency. They like to get their workout done and over with in a quick amount of time.

Their workouts usually consist of intense bursts of energy with high reps and low amounts of sets or low volume.

This is a PROBLEM.

What most people donʼt realize is that it takes time to totally fatigue and tear muscle tissue. If you are trying to get your workout done in 15 minutes by doing body weight exercises you will NEVER get the size you are looking for.

Getting enough volume in your workouts is a critical component to gaining muscular size. You need to fatigue the muscle fully on one set, then take a brief rest, then attack the muscle again for several more sets.

This is the exact process that professional body builders use. They donʼt do one or two sets and call it good.

They do multiple sets of a single exercise in order to tear more and more muscle tissue. The more you tear the bigger you grow. Period.

Reason 3: They Donʼt Isolate Their Muscles


This may be the BIGGEST problem of all. I made this mistake when trying to build muscle with body weight exercises and more than likely you are making it too.

This is the process I used to take when creating a body weight exercise routine: I would search on the internet for exercises that targeted my whole body at once. I found exercises that worked my arms, chest, back, abs, and legs and thought, “Great! This will be an awesome workout.”

It certainly was a tiring workout and I would often feel a nice pump but after weeks of busting my butt I would look in the mirror and think, “What the heck! Why arenʼt I getting bigger?!”

Hereʼs the main problem with not isolating your muscles…

When you choose an exercise that works your entire body you canʼt fully fatigue one specific muscle group. You get a general fatigue throughout your entire body but never fully and deeply tear the muscle tissue of a single muscle group.

If you are trying to build muscular size this is an essential piece of the puzzle! You have to tear that muscle tissue fully not just get a general fatigue.

You may be wondering, “How do you isolate your muscles using body weight exercises?”

The 6 Week Bodyweight Overload Program was designed so that every exercise targets specific muscle groups in a way that fully tears muscle tissue.

You no longer need to strive for just “general strength” with calisthenics. You can actually build size.

I canʼt tell yo how empowering it is to have the knowledge of building muscle without weights. You are no longer glued to a weight rack or ever wonder where a gym is located while on vacation.

You can work out in your living room, on a beach or wherever… and STILL develop an incredible physique.

Remember that knowledge is power. The right information used in the right way WILL lead you to results.

Einstein said it best, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result.”

You will not gain size by following the same ʻol routines.

If you’re interested in a cool body weight program, Todd has one called Bodyweight Overload that’s well worth a look at.

You can check it out here.