Best body weight exercises for building muscle
One of the questions I get on a regular basis is “Travis, can I set up my bodyweight workout for mass?” My answer is always, “YES it’s possible, but it’s TOUGH.”
However, when it comes to building mass with bodyweight training it’s all about progression and if you want to get yourself stronger, faster, and in this case, BIGGER, you’ve got to force your body to adapt by making things harder over time.
Now, before I get into sharing my top 3 methods on how you can build up more athletic muscle with just bodyweight training alone, let me make myself clear in stating the fact that if you truly want to build more athletic mass in the fastest time possible, bodyweight training alone isn’t going to be your best bet for this.
Obviously training with external weights like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells will always be your best way to slap on functional mass quick, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put those tools aside for a while and still achieve gains in powerful muscle.
So, with that being said, let me dig into some of my favorite methods for adding mass onto your frame with just bodyweight training.
Bodyweight Workout For Mass #1 – Bodyweight POWER / STRENGTH Contrast Training.
This method is by far one of my favorite ways to train in general.
Start off with a low rep power-based exercise first to get the body firing on all cylinders, then finish the set off with a strength-based exercise that works the same movement pattern second to add more volume.
I like to do this with weighted movements a TON, but I love doing it with just bodyweight training as well. One of my favorite examples of this is when I train specifically to build up the chest.
A go-to set up for this would be first to hit a set of 5-10 explosive plyo push ups where you’d want each of these reps to be as explosive as possible.
After you finish those you’d then move directly to a strength-based movement working the same plane of motion where in this case you’d go to some regular push ups or ring push ups to increase the intensity and crank these out for as many reps as you could get done just stopping a few reps short of failure.
Here’s some other example of this set up:
A1: Squat Jump x 6-10
A2: Bodyweight Pause Squats x 20
B1: Lunge Jumps x 5-8 / Leg
B2: Step Ups x 10 / Leg
C1: Broad Jumps x 5-10