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High Intensity Bodyweight Strength Training Routine At Home

Want to build some muscles without weights? Try high intensity bodyweight strength training also known as calisthenics. Relying on your own bodyweight for exercising is really beneficial and does not require you to join a gym. Heck you can train at the comfort of your home. A bodyweight strength training routine will involve pilate exercises like pull ups, chin ups, push ups, dips, squats, crunches, situps, leg raises, jumping jacks, lunges, calf raises. All these don't require any weights. You will need a pull up bar though and for dips, if you don't have two parallel bars, you can still get some dips workout between chairs. Whether you want to keep fit or simply build more muscles, bodyweight strength training is your answer. If you want to pack lean muscle mass, you'll need to put high intensity in your routine. You'll need to push your body beyond a point.

I am a big believer in achieving a lean muscular body with just bodyweight exercises. I've been training for years just with that and got a physique that am proud of. Pull ups and chin ups are some of my favorite exercises. I like the use of your full bodyweight when doing these compound movements. Yes pull ups and chin ups are actually powerful compound exercises meaning they involve several muscle groups. They work the lats(upper and lower), the biceps and forearms, the middle back(rhomboids) and the shoulders.

I have to admit that these exercises aren't easy for the beginner. When I first got started, I can barely do just a few. One method that you can use initially is doing negative repeats, the part when you're lowering your body down. Do it in a more controlled motion and do it slower. The benefit from that is you'll gain more strength which will enable you to perform more pull ups or chin ups in the future. If you can hang your body up on the bar and do negatives easily, your overall upper body strength improves.

While performing several sets of pull ups can be a daunting task for instance 3 sets of 7-10 repeats, you don't have to fix such a goal initially. Just concentrate in building your strength and pull ups will become easier. Vary your bodyweight training by doing other exercises like push ups and dips. These will increase your strength as well. At first don't really bother about sets and repeats, just try doing as many as you can. When you get more progress, you can use a workout routine with sets and repeats. Here is a small sample of my high intensity bodyweight strength training routine at home.

Pull Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 repeats. Most of the times, I will go to failure till I can't perform a single repeat.

Push Ups and Dips: I do declined push ups for upper chest, you just need a chair and elevate your feet on it. I will go for 2 sets of 25-30 repeats. This type of push up is more difficult as you're using more bodyweight. Then I will also do push ups between chairs for the outer pectorals, I will do 3 sets of 6-10 repeats. To finish my chest workout, I'll do dips between chairs to work the lower pectorals. Since I don't have two parallel bars, I find chairs a good option. I will do 3 sets of 8-10 repeats. For the outer and lower pectorals, you'll need one additional chair to place your feet on.

Tip: For dips, if you keep your upper body straight, you'll focus more on triceps but if you incline your body slightly forward, you'll target more your lower pectorals.

Other exercises that I include in my routine are chin ups(close grip working mostly the lower lats, middle back, biceps and forearms), diamond push ups(targeting the triceps), crunches, leg raises, squats and calf raises. For high intensity, I do diamond push ups feet elevated on a chair going for 3-4 sets of 8-10 repeats.

Chin Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 repeats
Crunches: 4 sets of 25 repeats
Leg Raises: 4 sets of 25 repeats
Squats: 4-6 sets of 25 repeats
Calf Raises: 4-5 sets of 25 repeats

As well as getting a whole body workout, you'll be increasing your overall body strength. Be consistent in your training, pay proper attention to healthy and quality nutrition and you'll get results.

To learn much more about building muscle without weights, I recommend you check out Workout Without Weights.

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