Most regular gym goers would argue that body weight exercises are not good for build big muscles, choosing to go for the weights rack or plate loaded machines. However nothing could be further from the truth as body weight exercises are extremely effective at producing gains in muscle size.
In addition body weight exercises strengthen ligaments and tendons improving joint durability, allowing a totally natural range of movement. This form of training produces an overall superior athleticism in comparison to weights machines and when complete body weight program is adhered to the strength and muscular gains are balanced.
A simple example of a complete program for a beginner would include a push, pull and something for the legs
a) press up ( horizontal push- chest/tri-ceps/front shoulder/core/thigh)
b) inverted row (horizontal pull- back/bi-ceps/rear shoulder/core/ gluts)
c) drop squat ( hips drop below the knee level- gluts/thighs/core)
Body weight exercises are essential for building a lean athletic body, but after the initial mass gain by the beginner there are those that would argue that is as far as it goes for muscular size. Yet again this misconception falls short of the actual facts. This false impression probably is because body weight exercise are associated with high reps and endurance.
Consequently that’s why eventually a return to the free weights is thought to be the only way to gain any improvement in strength or size.
We only need to take a look at the muscular development on a male gymnast to realize that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to body weight exercises. Advance techniques call for unrivaled level of full body tension, resulting in massive strength gains.
The bad reputation of body weight exercises when it comes to gaining muscle mass start because most people have no idea how to utilize body weight exercise progression.
The growth of muscle is dependant of the repetition range being used. For muscle size a 5-12 rep range is require . For example after the press up range has gone up into the multiples of tens, it is considered to easy and not effective, but the rep range could be dramatically reduced by moving to a single arm press up, therefore returning to the desired rep range.
So now that you can build muscle size, gain massive improvements in strength, outstanding endurance and an overall athleticism unmatched by most you will encounter in your local gym. What else could body weight exercise have over free weights and machines?
Very simply cost and time, your body is with you wherever and whenever you wish training. Many training facilities, parks and recreational areas being kitted out with monkey bars, pull up bars, gymnastic rings and in the home with the purchase of systems like the TRX Suspension Trainer- body weight exercises are making a welcome return to the fore ground of the fitness scene.