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Old July 27th, 2004 #1
Sean Martin
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Default How To Build Muscle Without Weights

why would anyone want to workout without weights? Everyone knows that using weights and machines is the fastest most efficient way to gain size and strength. While this is true, there are many reasons why someone would want to, or even be forced to train for a while without the benefit of using weights. Someone working long hours trying to support his family may not have the time to get to a commercial gym, and may not have the extra space or money to set up a good home gym. Also, someone who has to travel quite often for business might prefer getting a good workout in his or her hotel room rather then wandering the streets of South America asking "Donde esta el gymo?".
Let's face it there are times (vacations, etc.) when all of us can't easily get to a gym. There are also many trainees (beginners or athletes training for boxing, baseball or some other sport) who aren't trying to get a lot of muscular bulk but want the type of strength, endurance and definition that calisthenic exercise offers. These exercises can also be preformed anytime, anywhere and you can do them over your entire life to keep fit.


THE TECHNIQUES
(1) The first technique is to just do the exercises in the traditional manner, I know you can do 60, 80 even 100 reps but that's the idea, grind out as many reps as you can this will build up your endurance and give your muscles a change of pace. And while this most likely won't give you any extra size right away, when you go back to weight training with heavy weights and lower reps you may be sup prised that you are now gaining faster then before. A few years ago some top bodybuilders were talking about a technique they called "100's", they reduced the weight and did literally 100 reps on all their exercises, they claimed it brought about certain physiological changes that made the muscles more responsive to later heavier training. It's worth a try, especially if you're going to be doing calisthenics anyway.
(2) Another way to get more results from these exercises is, right after a set flex hard the muscles just worked, flex as hard as you can and hold for at least a count of 10. Arnold talked extensively about "Posing as exercise" and the use of "Iso-Tension"(Iso means - Equal; the same, and Tension means - To tighten; stiffen; contract. So Iso-Tension is simply contacting the muscles and holding in the same place - no movement.) he said that it really gives the body a more chiseled look, reaches areas that training misses and will make muscular contractions while training more intense, and more isolated. All good reasons to try this technique.
A better variation of this is to flex the muscles you are working first, get them good and tired and then do the exercise, thus Pre-Fatiguing them. For example flex the chest or triceps muscles as hard as you can, then immediately do a set of push-ups. Feels different doesn't it? It's a lot harder and produces much better results.
(3) Another technique is to reduce the rest time between exercises, let's say you start with 60 seconds after a while cut it down to 45 then 30, then 15, etc. How about no rest between sets, a whole cycle of calisthenics all done nonstop that makes it way more intense.
Also try it this way - do one set, let's say of chin-ups, go until the muscles are really tired or even to total failure wait only a few seconds and then do another set. How many reps did you do on your second set? Only 4 or 5 I bet, that's about what you'd do if you were doing some heavy pull-downs. You should see some growth from this style. Make it even more intense by increasing the reps on the first set and by decreasing the rest time before the second set, this is using the Rest-Pause method without weights.
(4) Why not simply add some weight, just because it's not metal disks doesn't matter your body can't tell the difference. Put some heavy books on your back and do push-ups, or even your 8 year old son, he likes to play horsy. Get your wife or girlfriend (but not both at the same time, that could be trouble) to sit on your shoulders while you do squats. Do donkey calf raises, get creative there's always a way to add some more resistance.
(5) How about using only one limb at a time, like doing one legged squats, one arm chin-ups, one arm push-ups, etc.. It takes some balance but it definitely makes it harder and puts on more muscle.
(6) Slow-Motion training is becoming popular again, try taking a full 12 seconds for the positive phase and 6 seconds for the negative phase of each rep. Don't lock out in the top position and don't rest in the bottom position, change smoothly from the positive to the negative. This is using Slow Continuous Tension, how many chin-up can you do this way? Not many I bet, it's intense.
(7) This last technique is based on what I thought Dynamic-Tension was before I read the course, Dynamic means - Dealing with motion, and we know from before that Tension is simply contraction. Therefore true Dynamic-Tension would be flexing the muscles hard while also moving, martial artists use a form of this to increase punching power.
Let's try to use this applied to our freehand workout, do your push-ups nice and slow while flexing hard your pectorals, shoulders, triceps, biceps and even your lats and forearms. When doing chin-ups flex hard your lats, shoulders, biceps, triceps and even chest and forearms. Do deep knee bends and flex hard your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips and even calves. Keep the tension hard and steady, it will take some practice to do it all together, but the incredible pump and muscle growth you will get from it will be well worth your while.
SOME SUGGESTED EXERCISES
Deep Knee bends - Builds thighs, glutes, hips and great for lung power and endurance. With your feet about shoulder width apart, grab on to the edge of a sink (or something that will give you support) and while looking up slowly bend your knees and lower until your butt is just about touching the floor. Slowly stand up again using only your legs to lift you, keep your heals on the floor and do as many as you can. For variation you can place your feet wider or closer together, or do them one leg at a time.
Calf Raises - Do them on steps, put your toes on the edge of a step and hold on to the hand rail for balance, lower your heals to get a good stretch, then raise up on your toes as high as you can, lower and repeat for as many as you can. For variation try them in the squatted down position, one leg of a time or donkey style.
Chin-ups or Pull-ups - For building back, shoulders, and biceps. Grab a bar with an under hand grip and hang down getting a good stretcth in the lats, Pull up until your chest hits the bars, lower and repeat for as many. These can be easily be done in a park, school yard or on a doorway chin bar. Also try with an overhand grip, with one arm at a time, or even on monkey bars using a parallel grip (palms facing each other).
Push-ups - For building chest, shoulders and triceps. Lie face down on the floor hands about shoulder width apart keep your palms turned inward slightly, push-up until your arms are straight, lower and repeat for reps. To make it more difficult elevate your feet. Also, try different hand placements (closer together or farther apart). They can also be done between chairs, this was the favorite exercise of Charles Atlas. Another variation is Dips between parallel bars.
Handstand push-ups - Great for shoulders and arms. Get into a handstand next to a wall, put your toes against the wall for balance, lower yourself until the top of your head touches the ground, push back up and repeat for many reps. Try both close and wide hand Placements.
Crunches - For firming abdominal and reducing stomach. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your heals close to your butt, put your chin on your chest and your hands behind your head. Raise your head up crunching your abs hard (you should only go about 1/3 of the way as compared to traditional sit-ups) lower and repeat for lots of reps.
Hyper -Extentions - For strengthening your lower back. Place a chair near a bed, while lying face down with your hips on the chair and your lower legs shoved between the mattress and box spring, put your hands behind your head and bend forward at the waist as far as you can, raise back up until your back is straight and repeat for reps.
Grip Exercise - To build forearms and hand strength. Use a store bought pocket hand gripper, or a hard rubber ball that fits in your hand, squeeze as hard as you can, relax and repeat for many reps. Also try just the thumb and one finger at a time, exercise each finger this way.
FINAL WORDS
Always use proper form while exercising, remember - it's safety first. It is also recommended to stretch before and after your workout. Give these ideas a try, and never again have bully's kick sand in your face.
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Old July 27th, 2004 #2
Mike Mazzone of Palatine
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Read "The Naked Warrior" by Pavel Tsatsouline. It explains how to build up to doing one-arm pushups and one-leg "pistol" squats. It takes a while to get strong enough to do them but once you have, it's really the only two exercises you need to do.


 
Old July 28th, 2004 #3
FranzJoseph
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Great stuff here.

Especially going to look into that book, P.C.

One-leg "pistol" squats yes! But it does take a bit of work to get there.
 
Old July 28th, 2004 #4
Sean Martin
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There are two things that work for me in gaining muscle and losing fat.
1. over eating
2. Tony Littles system it is the best I have ever seen period.
I donít eat enough right now to speed my metabolism up so that is why I have gained a lot of weight in the last little bit. I have stomach problems that prevent me from eating so I have to work that out. For me to lose weight I have to get up at 5 am and force myself to eat this speeds my metabolism up enough for a good workout. But recently due to stomach problems I can no longer do that so I am forced to seek alternative measures to become once the muscle bound Aryan I once was.

This is why I am looking into these other methods.
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Old July 28th, 2004 #5
Nordblod
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But the execution of pistol-squats is not so much reliant upon raw strength as it is upon proper balance. It also helps to be limber (when I was younger and thinner I performed the exercise with contemptuous ease).
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Old July 28th, 2004 #6
Nordblod
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In a nutshell (and still counting myself as king of infinite space).
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Old July 29th, 2004 #7
Nordblod
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I've actually managed to shed 50 lbs these past few months, so you needn't be overly concerned with my hideous obesity.
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Old July 29th, 2004 #8
MOMUS
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By strolling?
How grotesquely obese are you now? In US units or British stones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordblod
I've actually managed to shed 50 lbs these past few months, so you needn't be overly concerned with my hideous obesity.
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Hmmph!

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Old July 29th, 2004 #9
Nordblod
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Default You don't approve of the metric system?

How very bigoted of you.

Anyway, I don't feel comfortable discussing my weight at the present juncture. I am sure you can sympathize. I will readily disclose my height, however - but you will have to ask prettily.
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Old July 30th, 2004 #10
Herman van Houten
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The easiest step is to stop eating jewfood and -drinks. Just stop eating anything with added fat or sugar.

I admit this is hardest when your family and friends don't go along and keep pestering you to give them ZOGfood or insist on feeding you with that crap.
 
Old July 31st, 2004 #11
Sean Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 999
The easiest step is to stop eating jewfood and -drinks. Just stop eating anything with added fat or sugar.
I buy a lot of foods from the Mennonite store now. It cost a little extra but the food is top quality and Kosher free not to mention putting money into whites pockets instead of Hymies slick pockets.

The health benefits are excellent also.
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Old August 1st, 2004 #12
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I work out at a gym, I just like it. But doing exercises with body weight is a great way to get into shape. I would just second the idea that you should keep the rest periods short between exercises (I do 30 secs) and try some High Intensity Training, like jumping rope normally for a few minutes and then speeding up for a minute. Repeat this a few times and believe me, you will have had a good cardo workout!
 
Old August 1st, 2004 #13
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The Naked Warrior is a great book.

I have bought a lot of Pavel's stuff over the years, he has revolutionized my training and I emply of lot of his methods when I help others and in my own workouts.
 
Old August 2nd, 2004 #14
Jim
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Default I have never needed to use weights

I recently acquired a piece of technology that has given me super-human strength, the ability to read minds and the ability to speak backwards
 
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