The key to building muscle is to break down muscle mass so it can be rebuilt to be stronger and bigger. With bodyweight training, since you can’t increase the weight you’re using for the exercise, the best way to build muscle mass is to use difficult movements and organize them into high intensity workouts.
The following are my favorite muscle building bodyweight workouts:
Perform 10 rounds of:
- Star Jumps, 10 reps
- Plyometric Pushups, 10 reps
Perform 7 rounds of:
- One Leg Squat, 5 reps
- Pullups, 5 reps
Perform 5 rounds of:
- Planks, 60 second hold
- Dive Bombers, 10 reps
- Lunges, 10 reps
- Chinups, 5 reps
For each of these workouts, rest 30-60 seconds after each exercise. For example, for the first workout, perform 10 star jumps, rest 30 seconds. Then perform 10plyometric pushups, rest 30 seconds, and return back to doing start jumps. These workouts are extremely difficult, so feel free to reduce sets, repetitions, or increase rest as you see fit.
Additional Muscle Building Tips:
- Focus on applying as much stress as possible on a muscle. If a workout or exercise becomes too easy, don’t add repetitions or sets. Instead, replace the movement with a more difficult variation, or find a way to make the workout more difficult.
- One of the easiest ways to make a workout more difficult is to reduce rest periods. If you can do a full circuit without any rest, then it’s time to once again replace your exercises with more difficult variations. Simple things such as changing the grip or elevation of an exercise can make the movement more difficult.