Well I’ve got to be honest about the fact that even I have moments where I get bored with lifting and training. Once again, I said moments. Moments are something that we all have, but they usually pass. Now I know what you’re thinking, Coach how can you get tired of lifting heavy weights? Well, the fact is that it just happens from time to time which is why I sometimes like to transition to bodyweight training to spice things up. It’s like ordering your favorite pizza and maybe that pizza only has pepperoni, sausage, and onion, but every now and then you want to put peppers or ground beef on that bad boy. In this example the inclusion of bodyweight training represents the peppers and ground beef. Ok I’m getting hungry now…focus Brandon, focus.
The Magic Of Bodyweight Training…
I am always amazed with folks that think bodyweight training is a NOT a good alternative for their strength training program and even scoff at the suggestion of implementing it. With younger more immature little bratty athletes sometimes the mindset is that “Push ups aren’t hard. I can do lots of those.” I always like to make a friendly reply to these young egos by saying something that sounds like “Ok then Superman hammer out a couple sets of these burpees.” Then they usually ask “What are burpees?” I think you know what happens next.
The point is that gravity can be a real b*tch if you know what I mean! I mean with effective weight distribution, innovative thinking, dynamic motion, and even with the addition of a simple training tool such as a medicine ball bodyweight training can be the strength training session of all champions. To me the act of mastering your bodyweight means that you can master gravity and if you can master gravity then the sky is the limit to your fitness and athletic performance abilities.
So now that I have preached about it what specifically is so special about bodyweight training other than spicing up the ole training program? Well when most folks think about an effective strength and conditioning program they usually think of the obvious which is being strong and being well conditioned, right? Yes, this is a big part of it, but these characteristics feed into something that is way more valuable to the human dynamic. You see mastering gravity by mastering your own bodyweight means that the athlete is more able to create stability in an unstable environment. Essentially this is what sports are all about. The best athletes can create stability by better controlling their bodies in an unstable situation.
The truth is that you see this scenario all the time with athletes in every sporting event. If we use the sport of football as an example you see it from a wide receiver running a slant route and jumping up into the air and having to twist his body in such a way to bring down a big play reception. In this example this particular feat requires tremendous body control and enough stability for the receiver to successfully bring in the football. Without that kind of body control there is no catch and as a fan results in you screaming out a bunch of expletives at your flat screen TV along with the nasty looks from your wife or girlfriend that are soon follow.
The great thing about bodyweight training is that you can implement an array of push ups, calisthenics, mobility drills, and variations of squats which can all be programmed for optimal strength gains, movement, and cardiovascular conditioning. Bodyweight training such as traditional and more dynamic styles of push ups can also be used to drastically improve joint stability and segmental range of motion (ROM) as well. All it takes is a bit of added movement to a traditional push up to completely change its level of difficulty.
You can see how easily a traditional push up exercise can be modified as I showed in the video to ensure that you are getting some much needed movement even within the transverse plane. By performing a simple T-push up with this bodyweight training drill you can get some much needed thoracic rotation (from the waist up) and by adding in a simple kick you are also getting in more lumbar rotation (from the waist down) in order to have a more complete rotational based push up drill. The point here is that you can make a simple modification in order to achieve many more benefits with a single exercise.
The key is being innovative my friend. By being innovative you will break up the monotony of your strength training program and start obtaining more stability while handling your body throughout various planes of motion. Hence you have stability in an unstable environment my friend. This is the value of bodyweight training as it pertains to your strength and conditioning program. So do I really get all that bored with training? No, not really. I really just get bored with doing too much of the same! 😉
In order to elevate your strength training program in order to achieve the greatest benefits you need to be willing to add the beef and peppers to your pizza every now and then. If you need help with understanding how to do this then you need to make sure you embrace more bodyweight training by getting your copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook right here.
Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Also don’t forget to come and LIKE my page here on Facebook to get all the latest updates and news on all cool things related to strength.