I used to
be a very skinny guy when I was younger. I had to bear the critics
I got from some members of my family who used to tell me that
I was so skinny. It was frustrating to hear these critics I have
to admit. I felt weak at that time. In fact, I wasn't skinny because
I eat too little. I have a good appetite but I have an ectomorphic
body type. No matter how much I ate, I can't seem to bulk up.
With time, I got fed up with these critics and decided to change
my body. I started to take care of my body and got into exercising.
I wanted to get less skinny and stronger. It was a major objective
for me and I was really motivated to achieve my goal.
learning about muscle building and different body weight exercises.
I found that push ups, pull ups, chin ups, dips and squats are
powerful compound exercises which target several muscle groups
and can build muscle mass. I also learn about nutrition and its
importance in training. Since venturing into muscle building,
I was fascinated and discovered that I had a passion for training.
Like I said earlier, the primary reason I wanted to change my
body was due to critics but eventually, I realize that it wasn't
a chore to start transforming my body because I did it with passion.
I love what I was doing. I like the feeling of getting my muscles
pumped and I feel great after every workout. I train 3 times per
week. My workout was as follows.
- Pull Ups, Push Ups
I still remember
when I bought my pull up bar. It can be fixed between two walls
very easily with a mechanism which puts pressure on both walls
and it was solidly fixed without any additional equipment. First
thing I do was pull ups with wide grip with palms facing outwards.
The pull ups is a difficult exercise. At first I was only able
to do a few repeats. With time, I did 3-5 sets of 6-10 repeats.
The trick with this exercise is when you are doing the negative
that is lowering your body down, you need to let your body stretched
down completely so that you can feel your lats muscles working.
Newbies can use the negative part of the exercise as a way to
gain more strength by lowering their bodies slowly. This will
assist them when they do the pulling part of the exercise. Pull
ups can give you a great V-Shape body and work the upper lats,
the upper back, the rear deltoids, biceps and forearms, so it's
a powerful compound exercise.
Next, I did
decline push ups. Feet elevated on a chair and hands on the floor,
I did 3 sets of 15-20 repeats. The decline push ups target mostly
the upper chest. Then I will move on to push ups between 2 chairs.
Feet elevated on a chair and with one hand on one chair and another
hand on another chair, boths chairs spaced out about 2 feet, I
did 3 sets of 7-10 repeats. With this exercise, you can go down
much more as compared to the usual push ups. You feel a great
stretch on your chest and this exercise works mostly the outer
pectorals and also the middle chest. If you want, it's getting
the same feeling as dumbbell flyes for instance. Next, I will
do the push ups between two chairs but now my body is reversed.
When I go down, I try to put my body more in forward position
and not too straight to emphasize more on the lower pectorals
rather than the triceps. These 3 exercises gave me a great chest
workout I can tell you. With just these free exercises that require
nothing but a few chairs and your own body weight, I've been able
to carve out a ripped muscular chest. Push ups is a great compound
exercise as it works not only the chest but the triceps, front
and middle deltoids and back as well.
- Crunches, Leg Raises, Squats, Calves
I also work
out my abdominals to strengthen them. I did crunches(4 sets of
25 repeats) and leg raises(4 sets of 25 repeats).
For leg training, I did squats which is a powerful leg mass builder.
It's also a very effective compound exercise. It targets the quadriceps,
the hamstrings, the glutes and the lower back. I did 4-5 sets
of 25 repeats. When doing squats, you will feel a burn which can
become unbearable. It's the build up of lactic acid which provokes
this. Don't worry, this burn is natural and is not the result
of injury whatsoever. For calf training, I did standing calf raises
and did 4 sets of 25 repeats to complete my wednesday training
- Chin Ups, Dips, Diamond Push Ups
I start my
friday workout with chin ups. As compared to pull ups, the chin
ups are performed with your grips closer about 8 inches and your
palms facing inwards. I do 3-5 sets of 6-10 repeats as well. Chin
ups work the lower lats, the middle back also known as rhomboids,
the biceps and forearms. Next, I proceed to dips. I use two chairs.
Feet elevated on one chair and two hands on another chair in a
reverse position similar to reversed push ups between two chairs,
I maintain my back straight and bend my elbows about 90 degrees,
then up again. I do 3-4 sets of 8-10 repeats. This exercise targets
primarily the triceps and other muscles worked are the shoulders
and the chest. Last exercise I do is decline diamond push ups.
Similar to decline push ups but this time, my hands are closer
to each other and form a diamond shape with my thumbs and index
fingers. I do 3 sets of 8-10 repeats. When doing this exercise,
keep your elbows inwards, as close to your body as possible so
that you can feel your triceps working. Diamond push ups is a
powerful triceps mass builder and doing it in a decline position
makes the exercise more difficult and more challenging. Can also
be performed without elevation on a chair. The diamond push ups
can be compared to the close grip bench press.
When I wasn't
training, I focus on my nutrition, eating 4-5 small meals per
day every 3 hours to boost my metabolism and stimulate muscle
growth. My diet consists mainly of lean protein, complex carbohydrates
and healthy fats. Some foods that I consume on a regular basis
are oatmeal, skim milk, banana, whole eggs, skinless chicken breast,
tuna, salmon, white fish, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, brown
rice, wholemeal bread, sweet potatoes, extra virgin olive oil
and lots of water. I didn't take any supplements, I just stick
to whole foods. I had adequate rest, recovery and after several
weeks to adhering to that routine, I've started to gain lean muscle
mass and an athletic physique. As you can see, you don't need
expensive equipment or go to the gym to build a decent lean muscular
physique. With just simple body weight exercises at home, you
can get a whole body workout and achieve your goal. One major
advantage with body weight exercises is that they can be performed
anywhere most of the time. But if you want to pack on more muscle
mass, weight training is recommended. I hope this article has
provided you with some valuable tips to get a better and healthier
physique. Good luck in your muscle building goals.
learn much more about building muscle without weights, I recommend
you check out Workout
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Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.