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TOPIC: More ways to train strength than weights

 
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November 2, 2012 2:17 PM
First let me say, I am in no way against weight training for strength. I have in past years really enjoyed weightlifting and met some great buddies. But time has passed, I have let the grass grow beneath my feet but I also have different goals for my physique and where I want to go with it.

No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!

Rather than weights, I am looking at bodyweight resistance, maybe kettlebells. Anything that can help me along the way to a high strength but low weight ratio. I suppose I am looking for that lean skinny but strong look that is a bit of a joke among big lifters!

My other reason for not weightlifting for this is I know I will need to attend a free-weight lifting gym eventually and I don't look forward to joining the only free-weights gym in my area which attracts some of the worst members of our town who want to look stacked for more shady reasons. for this reason alone I am looking to more home-based things I can do but will not outgrow before too long.

What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.
November 2, 2012 2:28 PM
QUOTE:



What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Yes. The key to weight loss is going to be your diet, but for the strength and physique you're looking for your plan seems solid to me. That said, an all bodyweight regimen can easily be harder than regular gym stuff. Don't think it's a shortcut or a workaround.

Bonus tip: doing your bicep curls in the squat rack IS a shortcut to success. That's why they be hatin
November 2, 2012 2:32 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:



What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Yes. The key to weight loss is going to be your diet, but for the strength and physique you're looking for your plan seems solid to me. That said, an all bodyweight regimen can easily be harder than regular gym stuff. Don't think it's a shortcut or a workaround.

Bonus tip: doing your bicep curls in the squat rack IS a shortcut to success. That's why they be hatin


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  18358448
November 2, 2012 2:36 PM
QUOTE:


No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!



Bulking has less to do with lifting weights and everything to do with food. You will look bulky if you don't have your diet in order regardless of what exercise routine you choose.
Edited by IronPlayground On November 2, 2012 2:36 PM
November 2, 2012 2:37 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:



What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Yes. The key to weight loss is going to be your diet, but for the strength and physique you're looking for your plan seems solid to me. That said, an all bodyweight regimen can easily be harder than regular gym stuff. Don't think it's a shortcut or a workaround.

Bonus tip: doing your bicep curls in the squat rack IS a shortcut to success. That's why they be hatin


Thanks DavPul - no I don't expect a shortcut or workaround - I'm in this for the long haul.

I've seen some weird stuff going on in the Squat Rack but Bicep Curls is not one of 'em. They were usually done by the cardio stuff where you (well - THEY) could pose in your hard earned sweat by the cardio-bunnies!

Ahh such times ....
November 2, 2012 2:40 PM
Thanks IronPlayground. I am losing about 1lb BF per week and maintaining muscle according to the fat/muscle scales I am checking in with so progress is good but got two more stone to go.
November 2, 2012 2:41 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:



What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Yes. The key to weight loss is going to be your diet, but for the strength and physique you're looking for your plan seems solid to me. That said, an all bodyweight regimen can easily be harder than regular gym stuff. Don't think it's a shortcut or a workaround.

Bonus tip: doing your bicep curls in the squat rack IS a shortcut to success. That's why they be hatin


Image not displayed



Best meme EVAH!!
November 2, 2012 2:46 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!



Bulking has less to do with lifting weights and everything to do with food. You will look bulky if you don't have your diet in order regardless of what exercise routine you choose.


This. Lifting weight by itself isn't going to make you bigger.
November 2, 2012 3:17 PM
QUOTE:

First let me say, I am in no way against weight training for strength. I have in past years really enjoyed weightlifting and met some great buddies. But time has passed, I have let the grass grow beneath my feet but I also have different goals for my physique and where I want to go with it.

No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!

Rather than weights, I am looking at bodyweight resistance, maybe kettlebells. Anything that can help me along the way to a high strength but low weight ratio. I suppose I am looking for that lean skinny but strong look that is a bit of a joke among big lifters!

My other reason for not weightlifting for this is I know I will need to attend a free-weight lifting gym eventually and I don't look forward to joining the only free-weights gym in my area which attracts some of the worst members of our town who want to look stacked for more shady reasons. for this reason alone I am looking to more home-based things I can do but will not outgrow before too long.

What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Training effects are specific. So you will get results based on the type of training that you do.

Different forms of resistance training will yield different results. Doing a pushup that has a resistance of, say, 100lbs is not going to have the same effect as bench pressing 150lbs.

Doing bodyweight and kettlebell exercises are not going to have the same effect as doing squats, deadlifts, etc.

That does not mean that bodyweight, kettlebell, functional exercises cannot result in substantial increases in strength and conditioning. It just isn't the same.

Basically, you just need to tailor the exercise to your goals, and/or make sure you understand what effect each type of exercise will have. Even though they can all be effective in their own way, all resistance exercises are not equal.
November 2, 2012 3:28 PM
Given your objectives and as a counter balance to yoga, have you looked at plyometrics? Speed and power are the focus.
  26854327
November 2, 2012 3:35 PM
If you want to get strong without a lot of bulk you could also do weight training in the 3-5 rep range.
November 2, 2012 3:37 PM
QUOTE:

What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


You can acheive pretty much anything you like with bodyweight. DavPul is spot on about the diet though.

Let me share my results (and the full workout I acheived them with).

First the before and after:

Image not displayed

This is THREE months, and 40lbs. No crash diet, eating 2000-2500 a day (I'm 5'7" tall, and at the time was 36yrs old).

And then the routine:

QUOTE:

This is your basic 5 x 5 template. (To clarify, 5x5 is 5 reps x 5 sets. The idea is to work at a difficulty level where you could only do maybe 7-8 reps on the first set, and are struggling to finish 5 reps on the last set). You would do strength training 3 times a week, say Monday-Wednesday-Friday with the weekends off. These are done "lazy circuits" style, with about 1 minute rest between each set (I use a FT7 HRM and keep my heart rate over 140). The explanations of the exercises you'll use for each group are farther below.

Workout A
1A. Knee dominant - 5 x 5
1B. Horizontal push - 5 x 5
1C. Horizontal pull - 5 x 5
2A. Ab - flexion - 3 x 5
2B. Ab - static 3 x 30 seconds

Workout B
1A. Knee dominant - 5 x 5
1B. Vertical push - 5 x 5
1C. Hip dominant - 5 x 5
1D. Vertical pull - 5 x 5
2A. Ab - rotation - 3 x 5
2B. Grip and neck training - 3 x varies

Exercise Progressions - with regular weight training you can just add weight to the bar. With bodyweight progression is mostly about changing your leverage. These are just a few examples, I'm sure we could come up with dozens more if needed. You can always add resistance in the form of a weighted vest or backpack or resistance bands.

Explanations of exercise in order of difficulty (easy-hard)
1. Knee Dominant -- squats, lunges, step-ups, bulgarian split squats, unilateral bent leg deadlift, partial one leg squat, one leg squat, box or stair pistols, full pistols.
2. Horizontal Push -- pushups, decline pushups, resistance pushups, side to side pushups, stair one arm pushups, negative one arm pushups, full one arm pushups.
3. Horizontal Pull -- body row, resistance body row, negative one hand row, incline one hand row, full one hand row.
4. Ab - flexion -- crunches, situps, resistance or incline situps, reverse situp, resistance or incline reverse situps, hanging knee or leg raise, hanging pikes, rollout from knees, rollout from feet, dragon flag. Also included are oblique moves like side lying crunches with or without resistance and side lying two leg raise.
5. Abs- static -- 4 point prone bridge, 3 point prone bridge, 2 point prone bridge, 4 point supine bridge, 3 point supine bridge.
6. Vertical Push -- pike pushup, hindu pushup, divebomber pushup, decline pike pushup, decline hindu pushup, decline divebomber pushup, one arm pike pushup, negative handstand pushup, handstand pushup with head touching floor, full handstand pushup.
7. Hip Dominant -- supine hip extension, good morning, one leg stiff leg deadlift, split one leg good morning, one leg supine hip extension, hyperextension, one leg hyperextension, natural glute-ham raise.
8. Vertical Pull -- jumping or assisted pullups, pullups, resistance pullups, side to side pullups, negative one hand pullups, one hand pullups. All these can refer to chinups or neutral grip pullups as well.
9. Ab - rotation -- twist crunches or situps, resistance or incline twist crunches or situps, russian twists, lying windshield wipers, standing rope rotations, hanging windshield wipers.
10. Grip and Neck Training -- for grip you can use handgrippers, deadhangs from a pullup bar (especially a fatbar or gripping a towel). For neck nothing beats wrestlers bridges. If you are involved in a striking martial art or sport, finger and fist pushups are very important also.

None of these lists have to end here. If you get strong enough you can always add resistance to your full range of motion one limb exercise. Or if you can do more than 5 one hand pushups do decline one hand pushups, or start working on one hand hindu and then eventually one hand dive bombers, and so on.

The nice thing about this routine is it scales dramatically depending on your fitness level. If you can't do even ONE regular pull up, you can scale it down and do assisted pull ups (legs on a chair), or ballistic pullups (where you jump to provide the initial momentum). It's actually easier to do properly when you're very unfit...because once you're healthy and strong...you're going to be searching for challenging enough exercises to only allow you 5 reps max by the finish of the 5 sets.


I promise you...if you put 100% into this, you'll get 100% out.
Edited by crisanderson27 On November 2, 2012 3:47 PM
  7434194
November 2, 2012 3:42 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

First let me say, I am in no way against weight training for strength. I have in past years really enjoyed weightlifting and met some great buddies. But time has passed, I have let the grass grow beneath my feet but I also have different goals for my physique and where I want to go with it.

No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!

Rather than weights, I am looking at bodyweight resistance, maybe kettlebells. Anything that can help me along the way to a high strength but low weight ratio. I suppose I am looking for that lean skinny but strong look that is a bit of a joke among big lifters!

My other reason for not weightlifting for this is I know I will need to attend a free-weight lifting gym eventually and I don't look forward to joining the only free-weights gym in my area which attracts some of the worst members of our town who want to look stacked for more shady reasons. for this reason alone I am looking to more home-based things I can do but will not outgrow before too long.

What do you think? Can I achieve what I need with a pull-up bar, bodyweight exercises and kettlebell programs? I also have dumbells up to 40K total and could ramp them up by another 4 x 5K plates. As I say, I am not totally against using weights.


Training effects are specific. So you will get results based on the type of training that you do.

Different forms of resistance training will yield different results. Doing a pushup that has a resistance of, say, 100lbs is not going to have the same effect as bench pressing 150lbs.

Doing bodyweight and kettlebell exercises are not going to have the same effect as doing squats, deadlifts, etc.

That does not mean that bodyweight, kettlebell, functional exercises cannot result in substantial increases in strength and conditioning. It just isn't the same.

Basically, you just need to tailor the exercise to your goals, and/or make sure you understand what effect each type of exercise will have. Even though they can all be effective in their own way, all resistance exercises are not equal.


Thanks for this. Thinking this through, you could ask - if you want to improve your body for yoga, why not do more yoga? Largely that's true, but there are movements in Yoga which I could benefit from being stronger in - Plank to Chaturanga (high to low push-up) and slow bodyweight pushups help to increase strength for this specifically. Bench Press would be less specific as it doesn't demand the same amount of core or leg isometrics.

Another reason for doing supplementary training is where the main activity shows weaknesses - Yoga does very little to develop the pullng side of the body, so this is where I would want to incorporate Pullups, Let-me-ups etc so I know I am developing my physique in a balanced way.

Zyntx - yes, there are also plyometrics in yoga - for example jumping to feet between hands from a plank position and vice versa; a bit like a squat thrust (burpees).

Fascinating - I can see I will need to spend some time working out where I want to go with this.

Thanks for your posts; really appreciated.

FulOfWin: thanks for this. I have had good returns from the 3 x 5 range, but that can be expensive at home (more weights needed, bench, racks etc) and the local free weights gym is one baad (in the wrong way) place!

CrisAnderson2: thanks for this. I'll give it a good read. You have done sterling work and I think I am currently at where you were. Well done!
Edited by Yogi_Carl On November 2, 2012 3:47 PM
November 2, 2012 3:44 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!



Bulking has less to do with lifting weights and everything to do with food. You will look bulky if you don't have your diet in order regardless of what exercise routine you choose.


THIS^^^

You can do some awesome stuff with weights at home with some dumbbells and a bench. Extra bulk is fat (or steroids). I looked bulky and hefty when I was fat, then muscly when I was lean (although I was not big by any means, my lean body mass is only 104 lbs), then a little more soft and tone as I allowed more fat to come back. Girls just don't get big if they stay all natural, and even when they do build muscle it takes years. I've been lifting for over 30 years, heavy, light, and I change it up a lot and I'm by no means big, still only 104 lbs of lean body mass, that is really tiny.

Body weight exercises are absolutely awesome, the only problem is that as you get stronger your only option is more reps and that can lead to over use injuries if that is all you do. Body weight exercises in conjunction with weight lifting and cardio is an awesome combination. Oh yeah and your kettlebells. Sounds like you are all set, you just might need a few more dumbbells if you want to work your legs enough.
Edited by californiagirl2012 On November 2, 2012 3:46 PM
  16440072
November 3, 2012 9:12 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:


No secret that my first love is yoga, but a challenging strength focused yoga so I feel the need to supplement with what I would call functional strength. I am looking for the strongest I can be without bulking up too much. Even muscle mass can get in the way of holding some yoga poses, though body fat is my problem at present!



Bulking has less to do with lifting weights and everything to do with food. You will look bulky if you don't have your diet in order regardless of what exercise routine you choose.


THIS^^^

You can do some awesome stuff with weights at home with some dumbbells and a bench. Extra bulk is fat (or steroids). I looked bulky and hefty when I was fat, then muscly when I was lean (although I was not big by any means, my lean body mass is only 104 lbs), then a little more soft and tone as I allowed more fat to come back. Girls just don't get big if they stay all natural, and even when they do build muscle it takes years. I've been lifting for over 30 years, heavy, light, and I change it up a lot and I'm by no means big, still only 104 lbs of lean body mass, that is really tiny.

Body weight exercises are absolutely awesome, the only problem is that as you get stronger your only option is more reps and that can lead to over use injuries if that is all you do. Body weight exercises in conjunction with weight lifting and cardio is an awesome combination. Oh yeah and your kettlebells. Sounds like you are all set, you just might need a few more dumbbells if you want to work your legs enough.


Just want to say how much more I enjoy your posts when you address the topic and leave out the wall of text, pictures and links.

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