Shane asks about a basic bodyweight workout plan:
“What is a good place to start a body weight workout? I cannot do strict military pull ups, but have always wanted to. I’ve tried negatives etc with no success.”
You start with where you are at.
The main thing to do with bodyweight, or otherwise, is to cover the major movements and muscle groups of the body:
- Upper Body Pushing
- Upper Body Pulling
- Ab work
Of course, there are many other possibilities, but four exercises from those groups form a solid base.
With squats, this may be regular squats, Hindu squats, one legged squats, jumping squats, etc.
With upper body pushing, this may be pushups to handstand pushups the many variations of each.
With upper body pulling, you have pullups as mentioned, but there are also inverted rows, and lots of variations between. (Negatives can work, but when working towards your first pullup you’ll want to take a few different tracks.)
With ab work you have situps, V-ups, ab wheel rollouts, hanging leg raises, l-sits, etc.
Work with one or more variations inside of each category, do it progressively, and you have a good bodyweight plan that can take you pretty far.
In fact, I’m getting back into bodyweight training after a time focused on other goals.
Before I start working on more advanced bodyweight skills like flags and levers, I’m rebuilding my base. Guess how I’m doing it?
My first workout was easy handstand pushups, chin-ups, pistol squats, and hanging leg raises.
It doesn’t need to be complex to work.
And if you need more help, you can check out my books on each one of these categories here.
Great article! I’ve been doing body weight since August of 2017. I hurt my knee with bad form lifting weights, and so had to go to Physical Therapy.
While I was there, I started researching body weight, got “Convict Conditioning” by Paul Wade, and have been doing isometrics. Right now, I’m working toward becoming an NASM Personal Trainer.
I’m a big fan of your blogs and books. For Christmas, I got “Mental Muscle” and blew through it in three days. You do great work!
Thanks for putting the stuff out there that you do!