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Old 09-16-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
Bob Herald
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Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Hypothetically if you were going to perform nothing but bodyweight exercises... Pullups, dips, pistols and leg raises, for strength and muscle size..
Would you:
A. Do them every other day for volume avoiding failure (ladders)
B. Do them twice a week with upwards of five sets ( last sets to failure)
C. Do them every other day for 2 sets to failure
D. A better scheme you can think of?

What do you think would reap the most benefit in regards to gaining size or strength?
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #2
Jordan Derksen
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

I recently started doing gymnastics focused work. You can make serious gains from it, many say even more beneficial than weights for various reasons and I'm inclined to agree.

Get a book called overcoming gravity. It'll keep you busy for many years. Tons if info in it and he teaches you how to make focused goals and build your own programs as well as provides sample programs you can springboard off of.

The main reason people fail to gain strength and size with bodyweight work is that they fail to move through progressions. It's not like weights where squatting at an elite level looks the same as squatting as a beginner. You have to move up in progressions by changing positions and decreasing your leverage. For example, pushups get easy so then you start doing pseudo planche pushups. Dips start getting easy so you get some rings and start turning them out.

You could also find the information you need online but it's hard to put it all together. To get you started the author of the book OG started the book off of a post he made on his website. Not sure where it is but look up fundamentals of bodyweight training and that'll get you goin. Would highly recommend his book though.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:41 AM   #3
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2010/3...ngth-training/ wfs

This is the initial article that started what would become "Overcoming Gravity." OG2 is in the works ATM with maybe a release at the tail end of this year. Depends on editing.

Bob, after I was starting to focus on gaining my strength again in Sept/Oct of 2010 after 2 shoulder injuries (one shoulder at the end of May, another with a small issue of becoming frozen in Aug/Sep) I implemented doing ladders for pullups and dips. I think I did them twice a week giving about 2 days in between because of how much DOMS I got from doing an ascending/descending ladder vs just an ascending ladder.

I found the ladders fun and it was somewhat exercise-ey from standard strength training since I could couple the pullups and dips together.

If I remember I think I started around doing 5 reps and built to doing 10 after a few weeks. So it started out right around that 25-30 reps which fits into Prilepsin's chart.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:34 AM   #4
Bob Herald
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Derksen View Post
I recently started doing gymnastics focused work. You can make serious gains from it, many say even more beneficial than weights for various reasons and I'm inclined to agree.

Get a book called overcoming gravity. It'll keep you busy for many years. Tons if info in it and he teaches you how to make focused goals and build your own programs as well as provides sample programs you can springboard off of.

The main reason people fail to gain strength and size with bodyweight work is that they fail to move through progressions. It's not like weights where squatting at an elite level looks the same as squatting as a beginner. You have to move up in progressions by changing positions and decreasing your leverage. For example, pushups get easy so then you start doing pseudo planche pushups. Dips start getting easy so you get some rings and start turning them out.

You could also find the information you need online but it's hard to put it all together. To get you started the author of the book OG started the book off of a post he made on his website. Not sure where it is but look up fundamentals of bodyweight training and that'll get you goin. Would highly recommend his book though.
Thank you for the advice I will most definitely check out the book. I find the challenge of manipulating my body for resistance to be fun. The weight room can get mundane especially just focusing on compound lifts.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:48 AM   #5
Bob Herald
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2010/3...ngth-training/ wfs

This is the initial article that started what would become "Overcoming Gravity." OG2 is in the works ATM with maybe a release at the tail end of this year. Depends on editing.

Bob, after I was starting to focus on gaining my strength again in Sept/Oct of 2010 after 2 shoulder injuries (one shoulder at the end of May, another with a small issue of becoming frozen in Aug/Sep) I implemented doing ladders for pullups and dips. I think I did them twice a week giving about 2 days in between because of how much DOMS I got from doing an ascending/descending ladder vs just an ascending ladder.

I found the ladders fun and it was somewhat exercise-ey from standard strength training since I could couple the pullups and dips together.

If I remember I think I started around doing 5 reps and built to doing 10 after a few weeks. So it started out right around that 25-30 reps which fits into Prilepsin's chart.
Thank you for the advice Blair. I also find bw exercises to be extremely fun. I ran Greyskull lp then 5/3/1 for close to 2 year. Great results but when I really started to get up in weight I developed a little shoulder pain and lower back pain. Most definitely from my own crappy form. I have since been doing kettlebells and calisthenics, and I must say I feel great. I don't get run down like heavy lifts will do and I'm leaner. I have noticed that I'm carrying less mass in the upper chest, shoulder area, which is why I'm asking about mass gaining with calisthenics.
Over all, I'm an older guy (37) and would rather not break down my body with the heavier weights anymore.

Blair, did you have any positive physique changes from the pullups and dips?
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:34 PM   #6
Darryl Shaw
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Bob, check your PMs.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:50 PM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Maybe when I was a much younger lad. Moreso rope climbs and pushups in karate when I was 15-17. Transitioning from that base and doing more pullups and dips in polevault probably helped a bit.

I would say the most ever was from working on the Rings when I was 21-24 though I started to get back some of that from 2009-2010.

Quote:
Blair, did you have any positive physique changes from the pullups and dips?
Not really since that muscle mass was already there. I merely used that program to rebuild bent arm strength since I had to layoff from much upper body work due to the 2 shoulder injuries within 3 months. So it was just foundational sort of physical therapy type work to rebuild the shoulders so I could get back to gymnastics.

When I was much younger, I was fairly pleased with gymnastics work for my upper body. And as I was a lot stronger back then than I really ever have been since. Unfortunately I hurt my wrists pretty bad in 2003, quitting gymnastics for awhile besides coaching and was fairly weaker when I got the bug again to start training after my wrists had healed.
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
Bob Herald
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Thank you Blair great info here. I'm gonna give some serious attention to progressing my bodyweight strength. I feel at this stage on my development movement quality and foundational strength is paramount. I think when I was younger I loaded up the weight without the proper mobility and foundation. Which i am just now addressing (like my squat).
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:37 AM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

At our age it takes too long to heal and recuperate with even minor injuries. A tweak will last a week whereas it would have been fine in 1 or 2 days when I was much younger.

There is something to be said about BW, it feels very organic.

Otoh, I still like competing and don't feel done yet.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
Nic Nakis
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Re: Bodyweight rep/set schemes.

Bob,

I used to do a lot of my training with only bodyweight and it can be very beneficial if you keep yourself on a consistent program. If you slack off, you'll lose muscle and strength pretty quickly.

Start out with a short gymnastics circuit every day for a warmup (like the official CF warmup), doing the same thing each time to develop proficiency in the basic movements and condition the joints.

Then, for the main workout, alternate days where you work on high skill movements (these are like your heavy lifting days), with days where you work on low skill movements for volume (AMRAPs, chippers, etc.). This is basically the high/low method for central nervous system recovery, but you should also vary the muscle groups you're using. So, if one day was handstand pushups, the next day should be squats and situps.

The high skill/low volume days are for your progressions to the rings, planche, handstands, etc. These workouts should be for quality, doing perfect reps to failure, resting as needed between efforts, that type of thing.

The low skill/high volume days are your basic pushups, pullups, dips, squats, situps, leg raises, etc. These workouts can be for time, lots of sets and reps, get creative.

You have great ideas and so do the guys above. If you organize it all into a program like this, you can train 5-6 times a week or more, instead of just every other day.
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