Can Bodyweight Training Build Muscle?

Bodyweight training

The answer to this is yes.

However if you wanted to continually build muscle so that you increasingly gain more and more muscle weight, apart from bodyweight training you would need to be using weight machines or incorporating weights into your training.

Bodyweight training is not going to be for you if you are hoping to compete in bodybuilding competitions.

If your aim is to build muscle that will help make things easier for you in everyday life then bodyweight exercises are for you and you will see better results from this than if you were to complete conventional strength training.

So what is the difference between the two? In bodyweight training your muscles are elongated whilst you are exercising (isometric contraction) which builds definition and tones your muscles.

In weight training your muscles are contracted (eccentric contraction) and this is what builds bulk.

There are a few bodyweight exercises that are the same as exercises where you will use a piece of weighted equipment.

As an example, a chin-up and a lat pulldown are exactly the same exercise if the weight you are using is the same as they use the same muscles.

The only difference here is you can add more weight to lat pulldowns and with chin-ups you are limited to your bodyweight.

You can make bodyweight exercises a lot more effective by continually stressing one particular muscle.

For example you could hold your weight in the same place for a long period of time adding more stress to that particular muscle. Gymnasts use this technique to their advantage in a lot of their routines.

You can use isometric contraction to your advantage by completing pushups in a certain way.

Start in the pushup position, lower yourself to the floor and stop just before your upper arms are parallel with the floor.

Stay in this position for 40-60 seconds and come back up. It’s not going to be easy, but if you complete this 5 times, then rest for 10 seconds and repeat, you will start to build muscle and it will get easier.

When you start to build muscle, you can do more repetitions or hold the position for longer than 60 seconds.

Bodyweight training is for you if you want to ‘buff up’ a bit but not be completely muscle bound.

You are in control of where you want to build the muscle, can work on that particular area and you can easily use your imagination and think of ways to take bodyweight exercises to the next level.

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