Plates and 45# bars. Nothing else.
[QUOTE=jfreaksho;941728]1. Yes. Yes. A fair number. Yes. I've been working on it for over a year, via the Convict Conditioning progressions, and only recently been able to do them consistently. Building the Gymnastic Body is actually too advanced for me, I think (I haven't read it, but the website seems pretty intense) but I'm looking forward to one-arm pullups, and bending over backwards into a bridge with CC (those are the two exercises I'm struggling with the most at the moment).
I started with bodyweight squats with my hands on a table. I moved on to half squats, full squats, close squats, uneven squats, then back down to half uneven squats, then finally to half pistol, full pistol with a counterbalance weight, and now full pistol squats. These progressions exist for all kinds of different bodyweight exercises.
2. Yes, but by changing the leverage, or reducing to single-limb exercises, you can become amazingly strong. Jack LaLanne's famous fingertip pushups with straight arms are pretty amazing- I've never met anyone who could do that, but lots of people can do regular pushups. There are always ways to make a particular exercise harder. Adding weight is just one of those ways.
3. I really recommend Convict Conditioning, as I have had a great deal of success with it personally. I don't think it's the perfect exercise book, but the steps are reasonable and the goals achievable for me, I think. Building Gymnastic Bodies seems to be something to try when I'm done with CC.
In addition, my knee problems that started 7 years ago when I broke my kneecap are all gone, my legs have mostly balanced out again, and I'm faster than I have been in years. The bridging and pullups have mostly fixed some posture issues that I had. Bodyweight workouts have more benefits than just getting stronger.[/QUOTE]
Yes I know that there are progressions to pistol squats, I just thought that the original post suggested that one should try the full on pistol squat right away. My mistake for assuming that.
I have been lifting for 8 yrs and I have definitely gotten so much stronger and perfected my form. There are definitely exercise I would love to be able to do without assistance ie. pull ups. Any suggestions on progressions? My upper body strength has gotten pretty good but I would say that my legs are much stronger.
Would you reccomend CC for women?
what about a smith machine its all we have at my gym that will take a bar? The rest of available free weights are the ever popular dumbell's. We have all sorts of machines which isolate. Any thoughts on the Strong Lift 5x5 idea.