Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pump Yourself Up with Bodyweight Calisthenic Exercise

Bodyweight calisthenics exercise is cheap and convenient. The only piece of equipment you might want to have is a pull-up bar. You can do a bodyweight calisthenic exercise routine at home or on the road - no need for a gym. Many people don't think you can build big muscles without weights, but those people probably haven't heard of former NFL great Herschel Walker.

It's not necessary to follow Walker's 1,000 push-ups and sit-ups a day routine to build muscle with calisthenics, however. This full-body workout uses a system of sets and reps that will pump you up without endless repetitions. You only do the workout three days a week, and it should take around 30-45 minutes per workout. For each exercise, do three sets like this:

1) Do maximum reps with perfect form. Rest one minute.

2) Do the same number of reps with perfect form as you did in set one. If you have to, pause a few seconds between reps to complete the last few. Rest one minute.

3) Do the same number of reps with perfect form as you did in set one. If you reach a point where you have to pause more than few seconds between reps, change to an easier variation of the exercise to complete the set. For example, if you were doing regular push-ups, change to push-ups from the knees to finish the set.

If you find yourself able to do three sets of maximum reps with one minute rest without having to pause or change to an easier variation of the exercise even in the third set, there are two possible explanations: you did not do maximum reps in your first set, and/or you were not using perfect form. Remember that the numbers don't mean anything in and of themselves. They're just a way of measuring progress. Effort is what counts. Don't cheat yourself by cheating.

Sample Routine
1) Hindu squats (half knee bends)
2) Wide-armed push-ups (push-ups from knees)
3) Pull-ups (negatives)
4) Dive bomber push-ups (Hindu push-ups)
5) Sit-ups (crunches)
6) Supermans (Raise only upper body.)
7) Calf raises on 4-6 inch block (calf raises on floor)

The exercise in parentheses is an example of an easier variation of the exercise.

To get a pump, you need to do some repetitions, but, when you reach sets of 30-50 repetitions for an exercise, change to a harder variation. For example, you could substitute split squats or pistols for Hindu squats, decline push-ups for regular push-ups, V-ups for sit-ups, and so on. You can then use the variation you were doing as your new easier variation.

By concentrating on doing the exercises with perfect form, you should be able to avoid pain from injury. However, you may experience an excruciating level of soreness after your first workout. The Navy SEALs say that kind of "pain is just weakness leaving the body." Nevertheless, for the first week you may want to (or need to) allow two days recovery between workouts. For example, if you planned to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you may need to change to Monday, Thursday, and Sunday for the first week. The second week, try Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. By the third week, you should be on schedule and on your way to a more muscular physique.

If you can follow simple instructions, then you can build a HEALTHY, HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ATTRACTIVE body in the comfort of your own home using ONLY bodyweight exercises. To discover the REAL reason you've failed to reach your fitness, fat loss and physique-building goals (and what you can do about it), click here!

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