Want to get strong without gym equipment?

February 26, 2018

Getting strong doesn't require gym equipment. You may have heard of the typical train for endurance vs size/strength, the former leveraging high reps and low weight and the latter leveraging low reps and high weight. You might assume then that bodyweight training would be better for endurance than strength because you are not adding a weight component. A study from 2016 has shown that you can still achieve strength without using a lot of weight. The researchers discovered that doing high rep, low weight exercises until you could no longer perform was about just as good (with exception to bench press) as lifting few reps with heavy weight.

In practical terms, that means bodyweight exercisers who want to increase strength should perform each exercise to exhaustion (you being able to complete the rep with good form). You don't need equipment to do that, just some good music to get you pumped up.

Here's a sample routine that will help strengthen your entire body.

Exercise How to
Pushups Do as many pushups as you can with good form. That means straight back and full range of motion.
Squats Squat as low as you can in a smooth controlled movement and perform as many reps as possible. You want to initiate the downward movement by driving your hips backwards.
Plank With a flat back and engaged core, hold yourself up (in push up position or on your elbows) for as long as you can. Shaking is normal, embrace it.
Power lunges Alternating sides, step into a lunge and quickly jump back up, driving your front foot while in the air, and landing in the lunge for the opposite leg. Repeat as many times as possible.
Bear crawls Hands and feet on the floor, begin crawling. You can go in a circle (like I do in my garage - but change direction to avoid overworking one side) or you can do it in a straight line (like at the soccer field).

Rest one minute between each exercise. If you have the time, you can turn this into a circuit and simply repeat the exercises in order X more times. Including rest between exercises, the circuit will take about 10 minutes. Rest at least two minutes between circuits.

Always consult a doctor if you have any medical conditions and stop immediately if you feel pain.

In good health,


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