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 Post subject: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:35 am 
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I'm trying to put on some weight/mass. I'm a muay thai kickboxer and my primary methods of training are calisthenics and cardio. I'm in great shape but would like to be bigger.

I recently read Convict Conditioning. Really great book on bodyweight exercises.

Has anyone on here put on significant mass though from calisthenics alone? I would just like to hear from experience. I just started increasing my calorie and protein intake and eating more frequently, but I'm wondering if I should just start lifting weights again for a little while.

:boxer:


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:42 am 
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Location: Derby, UK
My upper body routine consists of only bodyweight exercises, for example weighted dips & pull ups. I also do a lot of work on gymnastics rings - very demanding in my experience & I've defintely gotten bigger & stronger doing it.

I'm currently working my way towards achieving an 'iron cross' on the rings. Like all static gymnastic moves it may look simple but it's incredibly difficult.

Having said all that though, at the end of the day no routine will add bulk if you're not eating enough. Personally I'm not trying to add mass because it'll make cross exercises even harder!


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I hear ya. I need to get some rings!


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Bodyweight stuff can be good for a bit of mass, but unless you keep getting heavier at a weight proportionate to your progress to keep up the challenge, it can only go so far :D

For example, nobody is going to gain much of anything for mass when they're eventually able to crank out 100 push-ups in a set. Once you get past a certain point, you'll be improving conditioning and muscular endurance, but 100 push-ups does NOT translate to being able to bench double or triple bodyweight, so the true max strength gains and appropriate size gains will be slow after a point unless you add more resistance. And honestly, what's any more "pure" about doing push-ups with weight on your back than it is doing a bench press, for example?

But again, this all depends on what you really want out of training. Bodyweight stuff CAN be extremely challenging for the more unique things (like muscle-ups on rings, ring dips, iron crosses, etc.) but for the everyday stuff for general back, chest, leg, shoulder and arm stuff, they'll have limitations unless you improvise, and that can't be done without making it a "more than bodyweight" program in the end. And, like James said, without enough food, mass just won't happen no matter how great the program!

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:16 am 
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Yes, that's right, but this program (in convict conditioning at least) is based on building mass. He sets it up based on progression. Once you get to consistently doing 50 pushups, you start working towards one handed pushups, one handed pullups, handstand pushups (one handed handstand pushups!), back bridges, one legged squats, hanging leg raises, etc. It's kind of fascinating because he claims that in prison it was all he had access to.

I haven't had much results yet cos I'm still building strength for just the basics.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:04 am 
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Brett wrote:
I hear ya. I need to get some rings!

Rings are a great addition to bodyweight training.
muscle ups
dips
push-ups
pull/chin-ups
flys
tricep extensions (basically doing a skull crusher but your facing the ground)
rows/ one arm rows

You can make pretty good progression with all bodyweight stuff with out having to add a vest or weighted back pack. But, like some posted earlier, you need to eat more to gain mass. It also depends on how much cardio your doing. If you are running a couple miles a few times a week, that is going to make it that much harder to gain weight. Do you do any type of cardio or conditioning?


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Brett wrote:
Once you get to consistently doing 50 pushups, you start working towards one handed pushups


The one problem being, the translation from high-rep push-ups to a one-handed push-up can be a BIG leap for most people, and that's where a lot of frustration may set in. The lighter you are, the easier it will be, but even though I can knock out about 40 push-ups in a set, there's no way in hell I can do it 1-handed without a TON of assistance from the other arm. Then again, I weigh 230, so someone weighing 170 lbs. or less may have much better luck.

Brett wrote:
one handed pullups


Don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but the lineup of people who can do a even a single 1-arm pull-up is very, very short unless you're a gymnast with exceptional upper body strength from years of training or have an incredible strength to bodyweight ratio in place from the start. If you want to know how hard it is, try a 2-handed pull-up with your bodyweight strapped on to you (or, someone your size hanging from your back), then think of it being the same, BUT, just with one arm :D . My dream has always been to do one, I move about 2" before it's over with (even being able to 1-arm dumbbell row just under bodyweight for a few reps doesn't carry over on it for me). I've seen training logs of people who are champs at weighted pull-ups who spend years working to try single-arm style and never make it happen. Just wanted to note that the 1-arm chin or pull-up is a VERY lofty goal that most won't achieve, but definitely something to aim for.

Brett wrote:
handstand pushups (one handed handstand pushups!)


Again, problem being the issue of progression is the challenge. To do handstand push-ups from the get-go, you have to already have some excellent strength in the shoulders and triceps to where you can at least come close to doing a barbell overhead press with bodyweight. You CAN cheat it a bit by being out further from the wall to increase incline a bit and incorporate more chest work (making it easier), but getting to where most people can do even a few handstand push-ups is the tough spot. Unless, of course, you have a spotter to help you de-load some of your bodyweight until you develop the strength to do it unassisted.

Brett wrote:
one legged squats


See issue with push-ups again, same case in this one :)

Brett wrote:
It's kind of fascinating because he claims that in prison it was all he had access to.


No doubt about it, some people in prison maintain great physiques via bodyweight stuff if they don't have a yard for weight training. BUT, many of them were anything but small guys when they got there, so always take claims with a grain of salt. After all, Combat Conditioning DOES cost money and needs a gimmick to stand out!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to knock bodyweight stuff hard here. It's convenient, can be done almost anywhere, and can give great results dependant on goals. The two caveats I'm trying to point out are that sometimes, it's just not feasible to make the jump from one thing to the next (such as high-rep push-ups to a single-arm one) and that there will be limitations to what you can get out of it for mass gains vs. training with barbells and dumbbells.

I wish nothing but the best of success with the program - I'd love to hear that it works out well for you, so keep us posted how it goes!

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:25 am 
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Although I'm a real fan of bodyweight stuff I agree with the thrust of what VeganEssentials is saying. When I talk about getting bigger doing bodyweight exercises I'm not referring to endless push ups, but rather, to take the example of 'push' work, dips with over 50% of your own bodyweight added via plates dangling on a belt; there's a world of difference. Personally I suck at push ups, I can barely do more than some folk I know who don't really train at all, but I can do a dip with my own bodyweight added, so clearly there's no direct correlation between the two.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:26 pm 
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I'll keep you posted on my results!


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Would anyone happen to have any more info about bodyweight training or the convict conditioning program?

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:04 am 
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I tried body weight exercises for some time. I did get a little mass, but it toned me up more than added mass.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:09 am 
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Fallen_Horse wrote:
Would anyone happen to have any more info about bodyweight training or the convict conditioning program?

This is a great book on bodyweight only training
http://www.rosstraining.com/nevergymless.html
Ross goes over all types of bodyweight exercises and workouts. He said he wrote the book originally when his wife had a baby and he needed a workout program that would be quite. Definitly one of his best books.
Here are some other links:
http://thebodyweightfiles.blogspot.com/
http://bar-barians.forumotions.com/
http://www.bodyweightculture.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:18 am 
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Thanks much!

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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:51 am 
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Here are a couple of good sites:

http://pushups.yuku.com/

http://jackkingsgym.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone put on mass from bodyweight exercises alone?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:21 am 
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My brother in law has a very nice physique and does only bodyweight training, and rock climbing. He put me on to this website, which I find has some very intense workouts. Not sure if they will build much mass as they seem more conditioning/cardio.

http://www.bodyrock.tv/


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