High volume bodyweight training

Discussion in 'Bodyweight' started by NoahMarek, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Yes, it must be so. Endurance and limit strength cannot be the same thing. What I think is going on is this:

    Higher limit strength makes lighter weight bearing "easier" so in a sense limit strength training does grant you what appears to be more "endurance" but is actually just more limit strength making the lighter stuff not bother you.

    Now, training more endurance at or near the limit would seem smart for expanding endurance strength without having to do limitless reps. Thus, the Grease the Groove method for example, where you keep doing deadlifts or other heavy grinds all day long with long rests in between.

    Alternately, doing medium weight exercises for medium-high reps, like the swings in S&S.

    Clearly "strength endurance" is a "thing" separate from limit strength. I can certainly NOT do 1500 pushups a day in any reasonable amount of time - I'll get too sore too fast.

    Now, I have to say that my higher limit strength is making it appear that I have also acquired much higher endurance strength on the mats at judo, but I'm assuming that this is a mirage.

    I'm still puzzled is my conclusion here.
  2. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Below is an interesting video (but may be you already know it) which explains pretty well how to progress using a wide range of volume, splitted throughout the day, without going to crazy volume:

    Kind regards,

    Kozushi and Ryan T like this.
  3. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Why not? It's indeed a new challenge and besides the benefits and reasons Noah has posted there are others as well. They'll give his body a break from the heavy lifting, and probably help develop ligament/tendon strength, not to mention allow the body to move in a natural way, unburdened by load. He'll be able to train anywhere, almost anytime, giving him more time to do other things. I believe he is also advanced enough to focus on performance over numbers, and will be able to auto-regulate volume appropriately. Plus, the novel stimulus will build some muscle, capillary density and most likely rekindle the fire to return to his usual heavy training feeling rejuvenated and hungry for load! Let us know how it goes!
    Augustus F-N and Kozushi like this.
  4. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I'm fascinated because he is a weight lifter switching to high intensity bodyweight only training. I am terrifically curious to see what he thinks of it having come from a heavy lifting background.
    I do ring dips daily - I definitely see the merits of the naturalness of moving one's own body around skilfully with balance and maximum bodyweight-only load!
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  5. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Here are some examples of high volume training
    Street Workout Routines

    Most of them call for quite a lot of reps, so basically, strength-endurance. However, if you then go to fin and YouTube the feats these guys are able to do, we can see they are extremely strong.

    As @Kozushi says, lifting or moving ones body in space is different from moving stuff.

    Kind regards,

    Kozushi likes this.
  6. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Yes, I think think this is the key point. I certainly notice HUGE strength carry over from deadlifting 350lbs to doing things with my own body, but it still isn't the same thing. The bodyweight moves don't use quite exactly the same muscles and tendons the same ways and the overall movement is of course different. It would seem sensible to me to, instead of being fixated on "just" doing free weights or just bodyweight moves, to do both. Something I was never personally able to overcome with bodyweight only moves was lower back weakness and pain. This only got better with kettlebells and then deadlifts.
    pet' likes this.
  7. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    As always, I guess the poison is in the dose.

    Whether considering low rep high resistance (so lifting quite heavy weights), whether considering high rep low resistance, regardless frequency and intensity, I do not think there is one option "better" than the other one. This is only a matter of purpose.

    For instance, in both cases, this is perfectly possible to damage joints / tendons, once we reach and even exceed a critical dose, by doing every day the same moves over and over again:
    Karl Gotch style training?

    However, even "low rep" bodyweight moves, such as pistols or back bridge can lead to nice feats of strentgh:
    Considering my very modest experience, I enjoy varying a lot, with high reps and low reps, but most of the time using bodyweight. I am still able to deadlift close twice my bodyweight without training the deadlift per se.

    IMHO, challenges are good from time to time, but variety remains better on the long terms when we look for health AND strength.

    Kind regards,

  8. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    For a while now, I have been testing another "high rep" protocol. Instead of doing sets of a determined number of repetitions, regardless the move, I chose to do only 3 sets a day, throughout the day, but, very close to failure. Basically, I left only 1 or 2 reps in the tank. Most of the time, it has been 1 set in the morning, 1 set in the afternoon, 1 set in the evening. In all cases, it gives a nice boost to maintain body and mind alterness

    What I discovered:
    - Day in and day out, I have not being experiencing any fatigue, burnout or pain.
    - Recovery is quite fast so, no matter the hour of the day, my energy level remains the same. Basically, despite these few sets, I am still able to lift or carry during the day without any trouble.
    - I save a lot of time. There are only a few sets so this is done quite fast...only a few minutes each.
    - No real change in body composition.

    Yesterday, I did the experiment of getting back to the previous routine (undertermined number of sets but determined number of repetitions). I tested with push ups (full ROM, normal pace). I did 800, and still did my boxing training session. The fact is that it would have been possible to do more. It gives a huge endurance and working capacity.

    I did not try the bodyweight squats, becauase I already walk a lot. However, give the results, I think I'll do it as well. For instance, 1 set of push ups, then the squats, and done.

    Kind regards,

    Neuro-Bob, Steve Freides and fractal like this.
  9. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    Very interesting. What exercises? How long have you been doing this? What kind of rep ranges, e.g., 4 reps of 5RM movement, or higher numbers?

  10. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Steve Freides
    I tested it with regular push ups only. I did not use any weight then. The pace was standard (1010) but with a full ROM (lock on the top and chest to the ground), inhale when getting down and exhale when getting up. I did this for 3 months, five days a week. Most of the time, I took the week-ends off. Nonetheless, I sometimes still practiced during the WE because the energy cost is extremely low.

    In terms of transfer to a more strength-oriented push ups variation, I can for instance do several (3 or 4 each side) OAOL PU with the feet elaveted about 40cm, without training them. I do not have access to bench press, so unfortunately, I can not tell you "it represents X kg".

    If one is not interested in hypertrophy or mass (both closely related to nutrition anyway) but in strength and endurance, it can be an idea.

    I need to find a moment in my schedule to test with a standard variation of abs and squats. Indeed, if it works for the push ups, I think it can work for everything because a muscle remains a muscle.

    Kind regards,

    fractal and Steve Freides like this.
  11. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Steve Freides
    Since a while, I wanted to get back to weight training. Then, I started swings and bent press again this morning. My bodyweight training only of the last months permitted me to do 5 BP @32kg (done as the TGU of the regular S&S), for a 59kg bodyweight. I hope this can give you some element of comparison. My plan is to progressively increase the weight (until 40 is the goal), but reducing the BP volume to only 2 or 3 lifts a day, because this is the pace which works best for me. This is my famous daily dose ;)

    Kind regards,

    Steve Freides likes this.
  12. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Below is the main abdominal training of Manny Pacquiao.

    Great muscle toning but also helps to contract the ab wall fast when one wants to either throw...or take a punch.

    I guess the body composition he has comes from the combination of his cardio training and the ab routine. I do not think this has to be considered as an hypertrophy routine.

    Kind regards,

  13. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Ab work teached by Alex Ariza, former physical trainer of Pacquiao and Khan, so almost a legend in boxing preparation
    As stated in the video, as soon as it becomes too easy (at least 50 reps), one has to increase the resistance by using either weight or harder variation.
    The moves above look easy, but ab are under permanent tension so they are taxed quite fast.

    The following below:

    The same goes with arms (light weights of course, bit still a slight increase over time)

    Kind regards,

  14. Anders

    Anders Triple-Digit Post Count

    I would like to make two points:

    1) I have not done much practice with high repetitions, but I have done a lot of experimentations with very heavy training, very often, that is grease the groove with very heavy weight. I did this with Power wheel roll out, many times a day, and doing a variation which I could hold in maximal 5 seconds. It did not work, and I achieved very little to no progress.

    I think Strong first Recommend around 70 percent, but based on my example here it seems wiser to experiment with easier variations, rather than heavier variations.

    2) Maybe the progress you achieve with heavier versus lighter loads, depends on the percentage of high-twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers that you have in your muscles. That is people with a higher percentage of slow twitch muscles would benefit more from lighter loads, whereas people with higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers would benefit more from heavier loads. Maybe ?


    Tim Anderson crawls one mile or something in a youtube video. This is clearly a feat in terms of strength and strength-endurance.


    A very interesting experiment :) Keep us posted.
    LukeV, pet' and Adam R Mundorf like this.
  15. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Yes I think this is true. Some people are naturally slow-twitch people, some other fast twitch.

    From what I read, I think is is possible to "convert" some fiber into from one kind to the other kind. However, this requires a lot of work and gains are then difficult to maintain without a proper training regimen. Indeed, the slow / fast twitch is mostly genetic.

    I think this is important to know our own bodies, to then create a proper program. Now, I know by experience that I a am really an endurance guy, so basically a slow twitch guy. It tooks me a lot of time to improve my maximal strength because I need a lot of recovery, plus I also need smoother progressions. For instance, I am clearly unable to do the big jumps when I use the bells: 20 to 28 was impossible for me. I took a step at 24. Same goes for bodyweight training.

    I enjoy high repetition training because I know it works for me. I recover very fast from this kind of training and I am never sore from it.

    Kind regards,

    Neuro-Bob likes this.
  16. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Below is the last Aleks Salkin's article I read on his Facebook wall:

    "Do high-rep calisthenics have any value for strength?

    There’s an “issue” in the world of calisthenics training that I think needs to be addressed. It’s more like a big question, you might say.

    “Do high reps have any value for strength building?”

    The short answer is “Yes” and here’s why.

    First, a little background.

    During a conversation I had with Mark, a highly experienced personal trainer and colleague of mine who is preparing to go through the StrongFirst bodyweight cert (for which the strength test is a one-arm/one-leg pushup done to appropriate depth), he noted the following after a meeting with a certified instructor:

    “My own observations…high volume, high density calisthenics do not translate well to high tension bodyweight strength work”
    (if you’re not familiar with the terms, volume = number of reps, and density = amount of rest. High volume = high number of reps, High density = low rest)

    And he has a point. A very good point, in fact. If you’re hoping there’s some magical number of pushups you can do in a row – like, say, 100 – that will immediately transfer into a one-arm pushup, you’re sorely mistaken.


    You’re also sorely mistaken if you write off high-rep calisthenics work entirely.

    My response to Mark (which he agreed with, because I am cool and awesome) was the following:

    “As regards high volume, high density work, you’re right: there’s not a direct carryover, but there are other benefits, like:

    1) Stress-proofing the most basic and essential bodyweight moves

    2) Connective tissue strength (which often gets overlooked and undertrained, but is very well trained with high rep bodyweight moves over a prolonged period of time)

    (Side note: connective tissue strength will contribute more to your long-term strength gains than just about anything else. Jasper Benincasa – one of the greatest calisthenics masters of all time – did his final one-arm chinup at age 89 and died a week later (presumably not because of the pullup, lol) and credited his tendon strength for his life-long ability to do one-arm pullups)

    3) It builds more muscle, which you can later put to good use when you innervate it with high tension work (a commonly accepted finding of science and experience is that more muscle = more strength potential)

    4) Better work capacity and faster recovery – so you’re not “training on the nerve” (i.e. edging closer and closer to burning out and overtraining)

    What’s more, the amount of skill you build in patterning a given movement pattern with high reps – be it squatting, lunging, pullups, or pushups – goes a LONG way when you do decide to add weight.

    Strength coach extraordinaire Dan John has observed that high school wrestlers – who do countless sets of high-rep pushups – tend to hit 400 lb bench presses relatively easily once they take up weight training.

    Even if you’re not obsessed with the bench press, you’ve gotta admit that’s pretty cool.

    If high-rep pushups can do THAT for a bench press, just imagine what they might do for your military press. Now imagine what a one-arm pushup can do for your military press!
    I can speak from experience and the experience of those I’ve trained/consulted with that one of the best, damn-near fool proof ways of smashing a military press plateau is to improve your one-arm pushup strength.

    While you ponder this and more, tell me: are you on my email list yet? If not, what are you thinking, man?!

    My email list is where all my best, brightest, and most badass tips, tactics, and techniques for greater strength and health go out - NOT on social media.

    It's also the only place where you can get access to my courses, challenges, programs, and tutorials.

    Click here to hop on board (and get a free 8-week kettlebell and bodyweight program to boot!)

    ==> https://alekssalkin.leadpages.co/8weekchallenge/

    Have fun and happy training!


    Kind regards,

  17. q.Hung

    q.Hung More than 500 posts

    They also learn how to throw another guy out of the ring and i think that is the main source of their strength ( moving a weird, heavy object)
    In the past i did alot of high rep calisthenics - some exercise i found that helpful, some is not. I like high rep pushing exercise: dips, straight bar dips, headstand push up, close grip push up. First time i tried to press overhead i used the 40kg barbell and do the set of 10 in age 14-15, at 70 kg and did +40 kg dips for set of 5, so high rep pushing exercise serves me well. However, things are not so great with lots of pull and chin up.
    Dogchapman7 likes this.
  18. Dogchapman7

    Dogchapman7 Double-Digit Post Count

    I'm with you I rotate between heavy weights dumbbells/kettlebells and only bodyweight. Past 2 weeks has been only bodyweight 5 days a week every morning either 10 sets of 20 parallel bar dips with rest followed by 5 sets of 10 diamond push ups one day next day 10 parallel bar dips no rest straight into 10 diamond pushups for 10 sets. Quick efficient and I'm feeling good. Back onto kbs next week though.
  19. dobie

    dobie Double-Digit Post Count

    Pet- interesting experiment
    800 push-ups is an impressive number of pushups, during your body weight routines is 800 pushups what u do everyday, gtg style or in 1 workout session?
  20. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Actually I even got higher, up to 1000.

    It may sounds big, but I am fairly light (58kg for 1.83m) and I am also naturally more endurance oriented than strength oriented. So the progression is quite gast.

    This number of reps is done throughout the day, GTG style.

    Another good method, less time consuming consists in doing only 2 or 3 sets a day, but to almost failure. I got that from a Danny Kavadlo's article, with the same results.

    Kind regards,


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