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5 Reasons Bodyweight Training Is The Best!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post

    Bodyweight training is definitely difficult to quantify in the same way as weights, but I have to respectfully disagree. In my experience, being able to hold a back lever feels akin to approximately a double-bodyweight deadlift. And as for squatting, have you ever tried to do a pistol squat with your hands behind your back? I've squatted 300 lbs and I can tell you the hands-behind-the-back pistol is harder, at least for me.
    According to the wannabe meatheads around here; that’s just some kind of a parlor trick, same as one armed pull-ups! Real men squat above 400 pounds, have plenty of hair over their torso and in their face and call you a pussy if you are not going deep enough…
    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

    - Schopenhauer

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    • #17
      Al -

      First off, I read lots of your stuff and have a ton of respect for you... (You can say anything if you preface it with "all due respect," right?)

      But I would still argue that an exercise feeling subjectively harder is not the same as it requiring a greater amount of force production to complete. And force production is an inherent part of quantifying strength. So really, I'm still of the opinion that there's no bodyweight equivalent of a 300-lb back squat, much less a 400 or 500 lb back squat. I'd bet you've squatted a lot more than 300 lbs., so what's the equivalent of that?

      I've recently deadlifted 311% of my bodyweight for a single. (470 @ 151), and hoping to pull 500 @ 148 in a meet on May 17th. Do you think a back-lever can make me stronger?

      Powerlifting was never my goal, just to give you a little perspective. I have decided to try out a meet for fun, but I became interested in serious barbell training as a means of getting stronger for my "real" sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some people around here argue that the strength gained under a barbell doesn't transfer, but everybody I've ever trained with would gladly attest to the contrary.

      Again, as far as bodyweight stuff goes, I think it's great, but since it's harder to quantify, it's harder to load incrementally; and ultimately, at least for the lower body (and the upper, but to a lesser extent) the total amount of resistance available is limited.

      I'm not saying these limitations are fatal flaws, especially for the general public. I'm just not convinced that one is able to get as strong (or get strong as efficiently) using exclusively bodyweight movements.

      Again, all due respect. You're a great writer and a physical specimen.
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #18
        Thanks, Rich! I'm glad you've read and enjoyed my stuff! You and me are probably a lot more alike than we are different. Like yourself, I'm a perpetual student of strength and I try to keep an open mind. You're clearly a thoughtful person with a lot of experience, so I take your comments seriously. I wouldn't have chimed in on this thread if I didn't.

        You pose an interesting hypothetical: Would you get stronger if you learned to do a back lever? I really don't know. It might not help improve your deadlift, but the only way for us to find out is for you to try.

        I have another question, however: Even though you can deadlift more than 3x your bodyweight (congrats on that achievement btw - I have never lifted close to that much), would you be capable of doing a back lever on your first day of training it? My guess is no. Does this mean you aren't strong enough? Of course not - it just means that strength is subjective and hard to define, which is all I was looking to say.

        I have a ton of respect for the iron (pun intended!), I'm just simply speaking up on behalf of the bodyweight community. There is no need to decry one method in order to promote the other.
        "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

        "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

        My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

        sigpic

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        • #19
          Great post, Al. I can sign on to all of that. And next time I have access to a set-up that allows it, I'll try a back lever and let you know how it goes!
          The Champagne of Beards

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          • #20
            Bodyweight exercises can take you to a pretty decent strength level, but sooner or later it may be a good idea to also implement free weights and resistance machines! People can become stronger on whatever method as long as they get physical strength adaptions from what they are doing, but when it becomes impossible to progress by doing bodyweights exclusively then loaded resistance may take you to the next level!

            That said, people can go far on bodyweight alone, this has been shown over and over…
            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

            - Schopenhauer

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            • #21
              Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
              Great post, Al. I can sign on to all of that. And next time I have access to a set-up that allows it, I'll try a back lever and let you know how it goes!
              Awesome! For the sake of science, you owe it to the primal community to try a back lever! Keep us posted!
              "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

              "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

              My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

              sigpic

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              • #22
                I wonder how well developed a person could become just from using Isometrics ?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                  I wonder how well developed a person could become just from using Isometrics ?
                  Maybe somebody should try testing it out, but who will ever bother train isometrics only and nothing else? Not me, that’s for sure…
                  "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                  - Schopenhauer

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                  • #24
                    I deadlift heavy and do back levers and other stuff.



                    Sent via lightsaber

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                      What do you progress to once you've mastered the pistol squat?
                      Pistol squat-box jump?

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                      • #26
                        I think an all around approach to strength and fitness is appropriate.

                        Barbell training is without a doubt the best way to achieve basic all round strength, but body-weight stuff has it uses.
                        For me, body weight circuits are a killer and burn me out after a set, so there awesome for conditioning.

                        As for strength, as Rich has said, there really isn't a bodyweight equivalent to a 300lb squat, but in saying that, is a 300lb squat the same as a perfect pistol squat with a kettle bell in hand? Id argue the latter has a lot of balance and co-ordination issues involved for it to be a perfect rep and therefore isn't just about "how much can you lift" but how much stability and balance and flexibility you have.

                        In any case, neither is better. It depends on ones goals and how much you wanna put into it.
                        Me? I love pull-ups and pushups and pull-ups is about as far as I go in the body weight department, but that's because I have different goals.

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                        • #27
                          Rich just curious, can you do a platform pistol, or a pistol rollup?

                          Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

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                          • #28
                            Generally speaking, all exercises are particular body movements. Say, squat can be done using just your own body weight and for some it will be exactly the right effort to get a brilliant workout. Whereas advanced trainees will need extra resistance to put enough stress on his/her muscles (especially on strength training lower reps), therefore a barbell or other resistance equipment will be needed.
                            So using own body weight for resistance training is just one of many ways to get resistance. For some - the best, for others - not.
                            East London Personal Trainer & Bodybuilder

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                            • #29
                              When I was in my early teens the coaches would not even allow us to enter the weight room before we had reached a decent level of body weight strength first! Not a bad rule makes the weight rooms less crowded as well…
                              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                              - Schopenhauer

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                              • #30
                                RolandusPT4U welcome to MDA. The guys usually post lots of pics of themselves. Feel free to join in.

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