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Thread: 5 Reasons Bodyweight Training Is The Best! page 2

  1. #11
    accidentalpancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    pancake, what do you progress to for the lower body once you've mastered the pistol squat?
    shotgun squat?

    I'm not saying people don't max out on what bodyweight movement can do for them, but the majority of people never even try.
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  2. #12
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    Yeah, I mean, to me it comes down to: What bodyweight movement is equivalent to a 300 lb squat? Or a 400 lb deadlift? The answer is there isn't any. So for most people, bodyweight is a billion times better than channel surfing from the couch. But for serious athletes, it just can't provide the same amount of overload, nor can it be loaded in an incremental fashion. Bodyweight is great, but barbells, for my personal goals, are better tools for the job. I still do bodyweight stuff (dips, chin-ups, handstand pushups), but it's not the main focus of my strength programming, because it's limited. I'll never run out of space on my bar for another pair of plates (unless I buy a whole bunch of economy bumpers).
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
    I don't know... I know these exercises are good for you but personally, when I tried PBF it just wasn't intense enough to get anything major out of it, metabolically or strength-wise. And then there is the tedium factor of doing many many reps, which I found de-motivating.
    It depends on the goal. If you want to get stronger, there are plenty of progressions that will allow that. If you don't find conditioning challenging enough, there are better protocols and techniques that should be used. I've worked with athletes, law enforcement, fire fighters etc. who have all gone through bodyweight only workouts that push their limits. Simply doing higher reps of basic exercises will not do the trick. Careful planning and progressions are key!
    Fitness Is A Journey, Not A Destination.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Yeah, I mean, to me it comes down to: What bodyweight movement is equivalent to a 300 lb squat? Or a 400 lb deadlift? The answer is there isn't any. So for most people, bodyweight is a billion times better than channel surfing from the couch. But for serious athletes, it just can't provide the same amount of overload, nor can it be loaded in an incremental fashion. Bodyweight is great, but barbells, for my personal goals, are better tools for the job. I still do bodyweight stuff (dips, chin-ups, handstand pushups), but it's not the main focus of my strength programming, because it's limited. I'll never run out of space on my bar for another pair of plates (unless I buy a whole bunch of economy bumpers).
    Hey, you'll get no argument from me there. I do think that almost everyone could benefit from incorporating more bodyweight movements, however. Just like you said, it doesn't have to be the focus, but I find improved balance, range, and flexibility have resulted from bodyweight work in a way that no lifting program ever has (granted it's been a while on that front).
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimBell View Post
    Hey Everyone! I just wrote up a blog post on my top 5 reasons I love bodyweight training, and why I use it as the root of all my training. Check it out and let me know what you think!

    Jungle Fit - How Fitness Was Meant To Be!: 5 Reasons Bodyweight Workouts Are The Best!

    - Tim
    Nice article, Tim! It's always good to see trainers extolling the benefits of calisthenics!

    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Yeah, I mean, to me it comes down to: What bodyweight movement is equivalent to a 300 lb squat? Or a 400 lb deadlift? The answer is there isn't any.
    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.

    I agree that if you want to get as good as possible at squatting and deadlifting, then it's best to lift weights. General strength is a more elusive thing to pin down, however.
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

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  6. #16
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    Quote 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…
    Whoever fights trolls should see to it that in the process he does not become a troll - for when you gaze long enough into the computer screen, the computer screen will gaze back into you!
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  7. #17
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    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.
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  8. #18
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    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."

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  9. #19
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    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

  10. #20
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    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…
    Whoever fights trolls should see to it that in the process he does not become a troll - for when you gaze long enough into the computer screen, the computer screen will gaze back into you!
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