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Is this true about body weight exercises?

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In free weights, one can keep adding weights and stimulate muscle. In body weight, that's not possible unless one attaches weight to one's body....so in body weight workout, one can only increase repetitions. But ppl say increasing reps only improves endurance and not size. Is this true? Then how come gymnasts do it.

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yes and no.


On one hand with bodyweight exercises, increasing the reps will come as you progress. BUT, you can up the intensity for many of the exercises by changing your body position and anchor points.


For example, we all know about 8 or more variations for doing push-ups. Most start with toes on the floor and vary arm positions. To up the intensity, you can start elevating your feet using books, or various height stools/tables/chairs/etc., might not go higher with them than shoulder height as then you start getting into decline position. Likewise, you can try elevating one of your feet off the ground entirely. Starts to bring in more core and balance.


Likewise for pullups, you can start working core by trying to maintain pike position while executing pullups and so on.

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You can do single-arm and single-leg exercises. Not many people can do a single-arm press up (push up) with the working arm pressed against the ribs. Many people wouldn't be able to do one with the elbow stuck out to the side. Not many people could do a single-arm pull up. Then there are single-arm partial dips. Single-arm wheel roll outs. Single-arm handstands with a partial press up. Single-arm pull to front lever. Single-leg squat ending with a jump on to a raised surface. Single-arm inverted rows.

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