If you’re looking to take your conditioning levels through the roof and build crazy functional strength, bodyweight training is a fantastic way to do it. However, if you don’t know how to mix your bodyweight workouts up, things can get very boring fast. I’m going to talk about how to keep things interesting and make sure you continually progress with your bodyweight workout routine.
Change your workout ‘structure’ – sets, reps, etc.
It’s very easy to get stuck doing the same amount of sets and reps all the time for every exercise you do – I know that if I don’t plan out my workouts very specifically, it happens to me. So this is another great way to change up your bodyweight workouts – you could, for example, do:
- Tabata intervals – 20 seconds of bodyweight squats, 10 seconds of rest, repeat eight times. This could be used with sit ups, push ups, really any other bodyweight exercise.
- Timed ‘power blast’ – set the timer and crank out as many reps as you can of a given bodyweight exercise in a designated time period. For example, do as many push-ups as you can in 5 min.
- Time instead of reps – just do as many reps as you can of your chosen exercise for a pre-determined time period instead of a pre-determined amount of reps. For example, you could do sit ups for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat this three times.
Do variations on traditional exercises
Let’s take the bodyweight squat for example. A great move, but can get boring very fast if you don’t mix in some variations. Here are a few variations of the squat I use myself and in my boot camp classes:
- prisoner squat (bodyweight squat with hands behind the head)
- sumo squat (wide stance bodyweight squat)
- split squat (lunge in place w/out moving feet)
Here’s the same principle applied to another traditional bodyweight move – the push-up:
- close grip push-ups
- T push-ups or push-up with rotation
- feet elevated push-ups
In conclusion, bodyweight exercises and workouts are great for gaining lean muscle and improving your conditioning levels. They provide a unique challenge that training with other methods can’t. It is, however, very important to continually mix up your workouts – it’ll help you keep things interesting and from hitting that dreaded plateau! Take the tips in this article and start mixing up your bodyweight workout routine today!