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  • Wait, now I'm confused...

    Reading one of the threads in this forum has confused me. So, am I really just spinning my wheels doing body weight exercises as advocated in the Primal Blueprint Fitness e-book? I thought this would be a good way for me to build muscle mass without needing to use weights (and risking injury, and also without needing a spotter). But it sounds like I might be wasting my time. I don't want to be a body builder, but I do want to at least look good shirtless.

    I'm starting out with very little muscle mass, by the way.

  • #2
    PBF will give you a lean muscular look. Definitely enough to look good naked. However, building more mass will require weights.
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    • #3
      Yup. Depends on your goals.

      If you want to look lean and athletic, it's fine. If you want to look buff, you're going to need serious weights.
      Durp.

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      • #4
        Lean and athletic is what I'm going for. I'm married, so I don't need to impress the ladies with "The Gun Show" as such.

        Still, it sounded like even getting "lean and athletic" required lifting weights. Or maybe it's because I don't have very many muscles to begin with. Not entirely sure.

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        • #5
          You'll be fine, work towards some gymnastics moves and you'll see much more muscle mass. Your bodyweight is more than enough once you start changing the leverage.

          For instance, try doing a push up but placing your hands closer to your hips. That slight modification makes the push-up much more challenging. You're technically not adding any weight but you will notice the difference. This can be done for pretty much all body weight exercises. Once something becomes easy, think of a way to complicate it, do it with only one arm, do it for a longer period of time (static holds) etc etc... your body is all you need.

          (I also lift weights but if I absolutely had to I would feel confident with just a bodyweight routine - provided I could still do pull ups, of course)
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            That's a good idea, iniQuity! Thanks!

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            • #7
              I think the bias towards barbells is based on the idea that barbells are extremely scalable and measurable as well as in many ways closer to real-world strength activities than body weight can be. What is more "functional" a heavy deadlift or a shrimp squat? Gymnasts don't use barbells, so it's definitely possible not to use them. Herschel Walker famously did several hundred pushups per day and no other exercise, and he did ok.
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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              • #8
                Dude check out this website, it is one of my favorites and is dedicated to body weight exercises.

                http://www.bodyweightculture.com

                I would say start there and then do a Google search for prison workout, convict conditioning, and Hannibal for King to see a real freak of nature in the body weight arena. It is possible to get what you are looking for by doing body weight stuff, you just need a good foundation and know what do do.

                Hope this helps.
                www.everymanpaleo.com


                "Its not that I am too old, your music really does suck..."

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                • #9
                  Check out Al Kavadlo's blog. He's been doing exclusively bodyweight stuff for about 4 years, I think, and looks pretty good.
                  PB Fitness is a good start. Convict Conditioning is the next step, followed by Building the Gymnastic Body. I'm pretty sure I can get where I want with those programs.

                  Just remember, 80% of body composition is determined by your diet. Workouts will help you build muscle, but you'll never see it unless your way of eating is on track.

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                  • #10
                    People who say bodyweight exercises won't build great muscle have no imagination.
                    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bryanvela View Post
                      Reading one of the threads in this forum has confused me. So, am I really just spinning my wheels doing body weight exercises as advocated in the Primal Blueprint Fitness e-book? I thought this would be a good way for me to build muscle mass without needing to use weights (and risking injury, and also without needing a spotter). But it sounds like I might be wasting my time. I don't want to be a body builder, but I do want to at least look good shirtless.

                      I'm starting out with very little muscle mass, by the way.
                      Just take a look at male gymnasts and you can easily see what bodyweight training can do for you. Also, do a search on youtube for Bar-Barians, Bartendaz and Calisthenic Kingz- you will never have doubts again. Generally those guys that claim bodyweight workouts can't build muscle are the same guys that can't do proper push-ups or even a handful of dead-hang pull-ups. Also, it's way easier to add 5 pounds to a bar or a machine than it is to add several reps to some exercises like pull-ups. This being the case, many people will always choose the easier route. Invest some time doing it and see what it can do for you. After you have mastered many of the bodyweight exercises, you can always add in some weights should you feel the need.

                      Also, keep in mind that adding muscle is more than just the exercise. You also need to take in enough calories to support the muscle growth. So, eat lots of healthy food, train consistently, include some rest and let your body do the rest.

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Progressive resistance exercise is going to enable you to build muscle and strength - and this can come from either free weight or bodyweight work (but ideally a bit of both). As long as you work hard and continue to tackle progressively harder versions of the exercises you are doing you'll do great. Where bodyweight works can fall down is when individuals don't apply this progressive principle.
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                        • #13
                          I think bodyweight exercises are great but I'd think that free weights and even machines would get much better results with much less strain and fatigue on the body. Bodyweight exercises when done incorrectly and with bad form can put a lot of strain on the body. Free weights can as well, but to a lesser extent. Nautilus machines are by far I'd say the best as they were designed for years and years, and maintain resistance throughout. Maintaining resistance throughout an exercise whether it be free weight or bodyweight is hard to do because of gravity, physics and other forces. MedEx machines and Hammer Strength machines are 2nd and third when it comes to quality, as they were developed after Nautilus machines and MedEx which are similar to Nautilus machines are used for rehabilitation and were also developed by Arthur Jones. I'd recommend checking out the book "Body By Science" and the follow up book to it, researching High Intensity Training (HIT), and checking out Arthur Jones, Drew Baye, Doug Mcguff, John Little and the late Mike Mentzer. To get some great resources and videos go to The 21 Convention*|*The Men's Conference of the Century (they are free!), and Mark Sisson has even spoken at the 21 Convention as well. The 21 Convention youtube channel also has some great videos as well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                            I think the bias towards barbells is based on the idea that barbells are extremely scalable and measurable as well as in many ways closer to real-world strength activities than body weight can be. What is more "functional" a heavy deadlift or a shrimp squat? Gymnasts don't use barbells, so it's definitely possible not to use them. Herschel Walker famously did several hundred pushups per day and no other exercise, and he did ok.
                            +1
                            I use weights only because I like to. I don't need to up my numbers anymore, but I do want to maintain what I have and be more athletic. I bet you can get what you are after with body weight only.
                            People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jens View Post
                              I think bodyweight exercises are great but I'd think that free weights and even machines would get much better results with much less strain and fatigue on the body. Bodyweight exercises when done incorrectly and with bad form can put a lot of strain on the body. Free weights can as well, but to a lesser extent. Nautilus machines are by far I'd say the best as they were designed for years and years, and maintain resistance throughout. Maintaining resistance throughout an exercise whether it be free weight or bodyweight is hard to do because of gravity, physics and other forces. MedEx machines and Hammer Strength machines are 2nd and third when it comes to quality, as they were developed after Nautilus machines and MedEx which are similar to Nautilus machines are used for rehabilitation and were also developed by Arthur Jones. I'd recommend checking out the book "Body By Science" and the follow up book to it, researching High Intensity Training (HIT), and checking out Arthur Jones, Drew Baye, Doug Mcguff, John Little and the late Mike Mentzer. To get some great resources and videos go to The 21 Convention*|*The Men's Conference of the Century (they are free!), and Mark Sisson has even spoken at the 21 Convention as well. The 21 Convention youtube channel also has some great videos as well.
                              Actually, bodyweight exercises are natural. We are designed for them. That being the case, natural movements will always be slightly safer and provide less wear than unnatural weighted movements. With that said, it doesn't mean a person can't get injured with bodyweight exercises, especially if performed wildly or using improper mechanics. However, they definitely do not cause more strain and fatigue than weighted exercises.

                              I am a HIT Specialist and have used HIT for over 20 years. I use to think like you do but have expanded my view a bit over the past year and half. HIT started to take it's toll on me. Even with intensity cycling I started to have constant aches and pains in most of my joints. I was constantly getting colds and flu-like symptoms every 2-3 months. I would back off for weeks at a time but the aches continued as did the colds. I love HIT and didn't want to believe that it was related to my issues. However, after doing research and finding others that have had similar issues I decided to make a drastic change. I dropped the weights and started a bodyweight-only program. It's been over a year now since I actually picked up a real weight. I have thrown some sandbag exercises into my routine a couple of times but have lifted no barbells or dumbbells and used no machines in that time. The aches and pains have gone and I have not had one cold or flue-like symptom during this time.

                              I am not saying that HIT isn't effective nor time efficient. However, like any training method it must be placed in proper context and used properly. HIT is great but it may not be for everyone, especially those that can't endure the intensity.

                              In regards to machines, they are just a tool and should not be overused. I personally don't think they should form the foundation of a solid workout, even a HIT workout. I know that Arthur truly believed in them (as others do) but we need to remember that he himself got his best results from barbells, dumbbells, and bodyweight exercises. As far as Nautilus goes, the new machines are not the same as the machines Arthur designed and built. They are now no better or worse than any of the other machines flooding the fitness market.

                              Steve

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