Bodyweight Training – perfect Home Workouts for Busy People
Following the correct routine, bodyweight training can deliver tremendous results. You can achieve a more muscular or toned body depending on your preference and you can improve your cardiovascular fitness in the process.
There is something very appealing about bodyweight training. They provide the perfect basis for home workouts for busy people. There is an efficiency and elegance to the idea of solely relying on your body to provide its own resistance.
Here are 3 of the very best books and an essential piece of equipment (with links to them on Amazon) for building an amazing body in terms of appearance and performance using bodyweight training.
You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren may be the book most responsible for driving the popularity of bodyweight training. If you follow this program you can achieve incredible results. Hundreds of thousands of copies have been sold and the overwhelming feedback is extremely positive.
Mark gives you all the tools to build your own workout. He details a multitude of different exercises for upper body push, upper body pull, core and lower body and then explains the concepts of progressive overload, periodization etc. However, we think the 4 separate ten week programs that he lays out provide an excellent roadmap to follow. In fact some of the 10 week blocks are probably ideal for a couple of repeats before going to the next level, so you have effectively more than a year’s training and the great thing is that all of the levels are self regulating, so you can push yourself hard while avoiding the pitfall of overtraining or injury. Mark structures the blocks building muscular endurance then strength then power and then tying them all together. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that while emphasizing one dimension that the others are being totally neglected, Mark is just using the time-honored method of periodization to ultimately deliver a superior result.
If we had one small supplementary recommendation to Mark’s book, it would be to purchase a chin up or pull up bar. Mark advises how to use a table or door for various pulling exercises but while we think they are technically feasible, the relatively inexpensive chin up bar below will make the program easier and safer and less hard wearing on your home. The best type of chinning bar is one that allows other powerful exercises such as dips and inverted rows, if used in conjunction with a chair to suspend your feet. For that reason we recommend a bar like this one. This bar is equally helpful for the other two books below.
The next book we’d recommend for bodyweight training is Your Body is Your Barbell by the widely respected B J Gaddour. This is an appealing book in its very simple but powerful approach to bodyweight resistance. B J uses his extensive experience in relation to exercise selection, intensity and volume to provide a menu of workouts that cater to your particular goal whether it be building muscularity, increasing strength or improving endurance.
At the heart of B J’s book and where it takes a little different approach to Mark’s is rather than have such a large variety of exercises, B J defines 8 universal human movements and then within each of those movements he has 5 levels of difficulty (each with their own progressions and regressions). This approach is a perfect basis for home workouts for busy people and allows anyone to find their level on each of the different movements e.g. person A may be very strong on an upper body push movement but not as relatively strong on a a squat while person B may have very strong legs but limited upper body pushing strength and both can be catered to with this program. Given time and diligence, it is possible to get to level 5 on all of the movements that B J outlines and if you can do this while cycling through the many workout options he provides, you will build unparalleled strength and an outstanding physique.
Our final book recommendation is How to Build Strong and Lean Bodyweight Muscle by Anthony Arvanitakis. This book is currently only available in Kindle format, so it may not work for everyone (remember though if you have an Android device, Apple device or a PC, you can use the Kindle App, you do not need a physical Kindle).
Anthony’s approach is to use a smaller selection of exercises, leaving out exercises he feels may be likely to lead to injury such as the pistol squat and the chin up. Anthony gives the tools to the reader to either build home workouts for busy people of their own design or to choose a 6 month+ workout he has precisely laid out to bring you from a novice to an advanced stage. Anthony has some individual views e.g. advocating sprints and plyometrics for lower body as opposed to rear-elevated squat etc. and his reasoning for this stance does make a certain amount of sense. Anthony also spends a good deal of time coaching the reader on mindset and how to stay motivated. His own personal story of losing a leg when he was a young man and then slowly working his way to outstanding fitness is a quite inspirational one and this positivity shines through in the book.