There are some great advantages to bodyweight training. It’s all about strength-to-weight ratio and because you aren’t using a weight-assisted machine at the gym, you are facing bigger challenges right away. This gets you into shape fast and even better - you are developing functional fitness where every you perform can have real-world implications.
While bodyweight training is one of the more effective workouts you can do, the repetitiveness of it can also make it quite boring and any trainer will tell you, the biggest enemy of maintaining fitness is boredom.
When you get bored, your muscles probably aren’t working up to capacity. The result is fewer gains and the risk of falling into a Catch-22 downward spiral of apathy and atrophy.
The good news here is that functional fitness advantage discussed earlier. You can get in great workouts by heading out and doing some cross-training.
Let’s look at a couple of ideas.
Check into this with a local club (never try this without someone experienced to show you the way!).
Here, you’re doing exactly what it says on the wrapper; using your strength and agility to climb up boulders. This involves incredible hand and forearm strength, not to mention you’ll need your legs at the top of their form to hold you in place while you give your upper body a rest.
Another self-described activity. You simply work your way up to more strenuous and challenging positions. Start from a pike position and start to rock up to a simple hand stand. Once you’ve mastered that, move up to a walk and then to a single hand stand.
This takes a massive amount of power and coordination. If you see a video of it, you can tell by the redness in their faces all of the pressure their trying to manage.
The TV show American Ninja Warrior has risen in popularity every year. As a result, you can often find local gyms that specialize in training to run obstacle courses. This bounding from one challenge to another is a massive cardio and strength workout. Doing it at a local gym ensures that you don’t wind up falling from the rafters in an abandoned barn, where you’re stuck there until a search party finds you. Instead, there’s usually tons of foam blocks, nets, and mats to cushion your fall.
So there’s three ways to take your bodyweight training to the next level, keeping you on form and keeping it interesting.