If you're heavy, bodyweight training is also heavy!

Discussion in 'Bodyweight' started by Kozushi, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I'm 100kg. When I'm doing multiple dips, I'm doing them with 100kg (220lbs). Same for chinups (doorframe bar is too short for proper pullups). I can do about 7 reps per set of each these days. Let's say I get to 25 reps per set with each, that's pretty strong I'd think! No need to leave my house, and no need for a spotter! Perfect!
     
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  2. Jak Nieuwenhuis

    Jak Nieuwenhuis Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Ive found that wall sits (1 set to failure per session, up to 3x / week) and lots of walking cover just about everything I need for strong legs.

    Add dips, pushups, chins, occasionally rows, and stretching, and you have a good thing going..

    Also the glute bridge done in sets of 10 is fantastic for your butt and hams..
     
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  3. the hansenator

    the hansenator More than 500 posts

    Being tall makes many bodyweight exercises harder too either because of the way it affects leverage or simply because there's more distance to travel.
     
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  4. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    The percentage of lean muscle is also important here. For instance, a gymnast or a climber does not carry a lot of fat, but mainly has muscle, which makes them very strong, regardless their weight or height.

    As a personal experiment, when I got my first OA chin up, I tried intermittent fasting. Obviously, my height and limber length did not change. Nonetheless, my weight dropped a little, from 63kg to 61kg for 1,83m. These simple two kilos, due to the leverage and the BMI made the move a lot easier.

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
  5. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I never thought of that!
     
  6. Spencer907

    Spencer907 Double-Digit Post Count

    I find body weight training to be very challenging, more so than the traditional weightlifting I did for years and years. Im also 6'2" and 255 Lbs, so Tallish and heavy. I have found that I can stop lifting weights altogether for months and months and only do body weight movements and not lose an ounce of muscle or strength
     
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  7. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Here is what I think at the moment:

    I'm not a pro, so lifting heavy free weights is a bit awkward for me. Bodyweight, not awkward and not scary. I can chinup and dip my 220lbs. I can do these conveniently any time. Curling or pressing the same amount with free weights is impossible for the curls and takes a bunch of equipment and a spotter for the bench press.

    If I didn't do judo I'd have a different opinion, but since I'm doing other kinds of resistance training movements at judo, I think the bodyweight stuff covers pretty much all I need for heavy strength (S&S is not heavy strength).
     
  8. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    I strongly agree with @Kozushi

    This is a matter of priority: is lifting our main business ? do we do it as an assistance for another sport or for simple health ?

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
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  9. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I'm developed a statement:

    "If you haven't mastered your own bodyweight yet, then you have no business trying to master any other kind of weight!"

    It's kind of rhetorical and hyperbolic, but I think I believe it.

    Unless I can do 20 or so dips and chinups, I don't see the point in trying to lift 500lbs off the floor!
     
    pet' likes this.
  10. the hansenator

    the hansenator More than 500 posts

    Lifting a weight off the floor doesn't really work the body in the same way. And there's no reason it has to be 500lbs.
     
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  11. Glen

    Glen Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    As always I think the question is a lot deeper than a single answer and is situation dependent.

    For instance your comparing dips vs overhead presses or even benches isn't a perfect comparison. For instance someone who can bench 300lbs could probably do dips with bodyweight plus a few hundred (for instance I was benching 140 for a few reps but could do dips with bodyweight plus 80kg - so total of 160kg) - dips are biomechanically easier.

    Similarly the strength needed is important. Doing reps with 100kg might give you strength, however if you need to exert 150kg of force is the tool enough? As always its goal dependent
     
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  12. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    Here is an interesting link on SF blog about the different types of press:
    The Best Press Exercise | StrongFirst

    This is always easier, IMO, to lift something "convenient" which has handles (kettlebell for instance) or which allows a good grip (a bar, etc...). In this regards, I can DL 2x bdw. Nonetheless, a sandbag of my weight, with no handles is another story: it moves, it slips, volume is also different, etc...

    I think what we can consider then is the goal: do we want to bench press heavier, MP heavier, etc... If we do not have specific goal, then we can either train a little bit "all" the presses, or we can simply pick up the one which transfers better to other move (whether it is other regular press moves or daily life moves)

    Maybe we can also mention the consequences of lifting. There is always the endless topic of "heavy weightlifting makes stiff". Depending on how we lift and how we stretch, it can be true though. But this is very goal related. A strongman does not need as much mobility and flexibility as a judoka or a boxer for example.

    I agree. Plus I think we can go even further. In my boxing class there is a guy who is super skinny. When you look at his torso and legs, he is simply "skinny fat": you do not see any muscle, and you can not even say that he is lean (more or less kind of Brad Pitt's physique in Fight Club). However, he oriented his training towards boxing only. He only do sparring, mitt, technique. Considering boxing, this guy is an extremely good striker. Nonetheless pretty sure he is not "strong" in the sense of lifting something / somebody from the ground.

    The reverse is also true. There are a bunch of guy far heavier, far stronger (meaning muscle mass), because they have another background, but they are not really good boxer [yet !]

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
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  13. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    To me, exercise selection comes first, subject to availability of means. If a bodyweight exercise hits a particular movement pattern, fine. If it doesn't then it doesn't get considered.

    My latest inclusion is sandbag loaded pushups. Am digging these as a perhaps better alternative to benching for the additional anterior core work.

    To me, beyond a very superficial level a lot of BW work is more challenging to manage than exterior modes. Give me a rock or log first.
     
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  14. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    It's a conundrum.

    One thing I've learned is that specificity rules. No, indeed bench press is not a dip, and it is helpful to hear from y'all that a good bench press tends to translate into even better dips!

    I don't believe my statement above is an absolute truth, but I think it's a valid approach to the conundrum.

    I can do 8-9 ring dips now and a similar number of chinups, but hilariously I tried pullups today and could do... one! (Was at a real gym today.) Specificity thrown right in my face!

    When I was focussing on deadlifts, I could do a near lever on the chinup bar! Amazing! Can't do such a move any more.

    I think it's safer to train bodyweight at higher weights. I can do all these dips and chinups with my 220lbs body. If it were a barbell, I could do deadlifts with 220lbs for high reps, but that is all. I cannot do curls nor presses with it (training alone I mean). I'm going to suggest that it's the safety of bodyweight moves at higher weights that makes them so useful, and yet the strength still transfers to free weights to a decent degree. It's a compromise where the accessibility and safety benefits of bodyweight training allow you to go heavier and thus get stronger. It's like judo which is a compromise between physical fitness and self-defence skills. It is not as deadly as a lot of stuff out there (Krav Maga, Karate etc) but the fact you can train at full power and full impact even though you are limited to less deadly moves means you're strong, fit, mentally violent and aggressive, and perfectly able to apply those limited "safe" moves. It's a compromise that is sold on me as a civilian (and I can add more deadly training to it if I were to wish to - I don't as I'm not involved in a war zone, hahaha! It'll do for self-defence in suburbia I hope!) I think the analogy works for bodyweight moves. Sure, lifting a heavy foreign object is indeed different, but if I'm pumping dips and chinups with my 220lbs over and over, I'll be in a good position to pick up things around that weight even if the movement pattern is a bit different. I'm sure I can bench press that much and more, for instance! ... this kind of stuff... Bodyweight seems like a good, sensible, good enough training skill for most/many of us.
     
  15. the hansenator

    the hansenator More than 500 posts

    Chinups and dips are great exercises but they won't necessarily help your sprint speed or vertical jump or build up your leg muscles.
     
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  16. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Not just "not necessarily" - they won't help at all. Guys who only do dips and chinups (and there are those types out there) neglect their legs which become puny little things and all the upper body stuff is a waste. But running or walking will keep your legs strong, again, particularly if you're a heavier guy to start with - in my case 100kg.
     
  17. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    The regular push /pull / leg can also be "easily" done using bodyweight:
    - push: any variation of push ups (from the regular to the handstand or OA version)
    - pull: pull up (it can be spiced up using different variation, such as typewriter, archer, etc... and looking toward OA version (even assisted OA), as described in convict conditioning)
    - leg: pistols, Cossacks, etc...

    For core work, plenty of options: L-Sit, plank, etc...

    With this, even if it can sound "basic", there are plenty of room to build insane strength !

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
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  18. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Yes, I started with bodyweight as a kid and I think I'm coming full circle back to it now. It isn't just about insane strength but about the movements. Being able to climb out of trouble is important, for one! Being able to move myself around in a sport is another!

    The one hole in bodyweight I've been afraid of is the lower back strength to pick heavy stuff up, but I'm starting to doubt that this is a problem unless we're talking some kind of ridiculous amount of weight.

    My current bodyweight plan is to focus on the dip as my priority (ring dips in fact), with the L-sit, lever and chinups on the bar being my secondary pulling moves, and hiking, running etc taking care of my legs. If I had to choose two, it's the dip and the lever. The dip builds everything in the upper body, and the lever connects the strength through the hips to the legs, and fills in the pulling muscles. As a younger guy I focussed on chinups and pullups over dips, but dips frankly make your upper body wider, shoulders broader, back thicker, and the movement is more useful - think about pushing on an opponent or pushing away, or getting up off the ground, or doing a cartwheel - all pushing. Developing the pecs is good - better than a hollow chest! I've had a "freak out" moment against pullups/chinups before on these forums, hahaha, since I felt that they were leaving me with a kind of strength-movement of limited use for judo. I still have to say that pulling straight down is not a movement pattern of much use in judo. However, pushing off is a hugely important movement!

    Like someone wrote above, there just seems to be more stuff activated inside my body while doing bodyweight exercises, and for me their accessibility and how heavy I can go safely, are huge selling points!

    Just want to add that I have always done dips and chinups, since long before starting S&S, and I never stopped doing them entirely, so I'm not "all over the place" here. I'm continuing S&S, and judo (of course) but with renewed vigour for bodyweight.
     
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  19. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

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  20. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    So the "tactical" pullup is an L-sit pullup - interesting! Now I know.

    I think kettlebells are great and barbells allow you to lift heavier than with your own body alone, but bodyweight training by itself can be much heavier than kettlebell lifting, and can train you do to things you can't learn to do with only barbells.
     
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