Tag Archives: bodyweight

The Universal Training System

Did you know that there is one simply training system that pretty much everyone can do.
Squats & Push Ups 🦵💪
Taking away all the movement options, calisthenic skills such as hand balancing and the almost endless options for training with next to nothing except your own body and some floor space.
Squats & Push Ups are what essentially everyone has.
(Unfortunate medical conditions/accidents will be the exceptions to this, sadly)
Narrowing things down suddenly people will complain it’s too simple, too boring etc 🦵💪
Ironically these are the same people that won’t willing to do some of their own investigation into training and want it all handed to them on a plate, they’re ‘training entitled snobs’.
Basically they want it all for nothing, same goes for magical results with no effort too, they’re an odd breed.
Anyway, the two basic human movements above can be very fruitful in training when done correctly 🦵💪
Believe it or not you can get in full body training with these two movements (to a point).
The keys to achieving that would be to PULL yourself down into the bottom of each movement, and creating total body tension (braced abs through each movement)
In the press up this means scapula retraction, lat engagement and really pulling yourself towards the floor to feel all the muscles int our back working.
Plus also keeping your glutes squeezed as tight as humanly possible too, not sagging here please.
Same applies to squats, using the hip flexors & hamstrings to pull yourself down feeling them creating as much tension as possible.
Simple yet very effective 🦵💪
You’ll find that in limiting oneself to these suddenly all the other options for training with nothing other than the floor and yourself start to find their way into your head.
Many will say “Can I do XYZ as well?”
Of course you can, yet you didn’t do them before so why should it be believed that you’re going to do them now?
We shall look at some options to train the two above 🦵💪
Option 1 – 30/30/30
30 seconds of Press Ups (5-10 reps)
30 seconds of squats (10-20 reps
Repeat for 30min
Option 2 – 10×10 + 6-0-X-0 Tempo
10 sets of 10 reps, simple enough.
The tempo is what makes things interesting because int he eccentric you won’t simply be lowering yourself for 6 seconds, you’ll be PULLING yourself down for 6 second.
Ideally creating max tension on the eccentric each rep, then explosively coming out of the bottom position.
Rest 60 seconds between sets & alternate Squats & Press Ups (meaning you’ll do 20 total sets).
Option 3 – Climbing the Ladder
Perform 1 Press up
Perform 2 Squats
Perform 2 Press ups
Perform 4 Squats
Keep adding 1 press up and 2 squats each set for one of these time periods – 20-30-40min.
You’ll wonder how the toilet ever go so low to the ground the next day.
There you have it, the universal training system for everyone.
Of course there are a plethora of variations of the two movements above, meaning you’ve got an almost endless amount of variation.
I’d suggest repeating the same sessions for 2-3weeks, then chaining something up, be that the movement variation, the tempo, the rep schemes, etc.

Often time when people complain of not knowing what to do, stripping things back to the bare essentials suddenly has them remembering they know more than they let on. 

Now there really is no excuse not to train productively.

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Book Recommendation

You know I’m a fan of minimalistic training.

Why do more when it can be done with less?

A great book that is worth reading not only for it’s pearls of wisdom training wise, yet also it’s science is ‘The Naked Warrior’ by Pavel Tsatsouline.

It’s a great investment, and the best part is you’ll be able to understand and appreciate ow to use just your bodyweight.


You’ll find the link below –

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I guess that was a Press Up, kinda….

The humble Press Up truly is a skill many don’t have.

It is one of the most butchered movements you’ll seem a great many people perform.

Truly a shame because this simple movement can offer a lot of benefits, not to mention the variations it has can help you build some decent mass and strength in your upper body.
Here is a list of common flaws in the form:
  • No core bracing
  • Underused lats for stability
  • Collapsed shoulders
  • Poor alignment (weak neckline especially)
  • Hips sagging
  • Excessive elbow flare
  • Poor ROM
  • A general look of someone having a fit on the floor
The list could go on, however, you get the idea.
Most people will be quick to jump up and down defending their form, or why they are doing it a certain way, often saying a super-wide arm press-up is a basic form and one where your elbows stay close is more advanced (military style, or as some say – tricep press up).
It’s understandable to feel attacked when your form is poor.
Especially on what many consider a beginners movement.
It’s ironic though, with the number of press-ups people do in classes or group training you’d think that eventually, they’d be able to actually perform them well.
Sadly we are left wanting.
What is the correct form?

^^ This is essentially identical to how I teach the movement so it fits my bias 😂

To teach people this is the progress I personally tend to follow:
1 – PUPP – push up position plank hold
2 – High Incline Press Up (lowered over time)
2a – Suspension Kit if available
3 – Negatives
3a – Negatives with multiple pauses
4 – Full Push Up
There may be some other bits for individuals that need some extra help, however, this is the typical path.
You will notice none performed on the knees and the reason for that is because in my experience it doesn’t yield any real progress in a respectable time frame.
^^ This can also be used to learn a single arm push up.
Ture enough, we have plenty of press-up variations, however, if you can’t do these following arbitrary numbers (below) you’ve got no reason to any other variation until you master the basic one first.
  • Ladies – 10 Strict
  • Gentlemen – 20 strict

    ^^ As a beginner those are reasonable numbers to aim for.

When you’ve nailed down your form and the strict reps are climbing towards 30 for ladies and 50+ for the gents then exploring explosive variations or even extended ROM options become very useful.
You will find a lot of benefit in this movement.
Racking up volume becomes easy because it’s the kind of thing you could do daily, much like Pull Up variations and Pistols, add in some sprints/bounding/jump training and you’d build quite the impressive physique.
How often do you do Earth Downs and what are your thoughts on progressions/regressions and the overall level of the form you see?



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Master your own body

Morning All,
Need a new goal?
Want to become the best version of you?
Well to do that you might as well start with mastering your own body.
Try achieving these.
10 Pistol Squats (each leg)
5 Single Arm Push Ups (each arm)
1 Single Arm Chin Up (each arm)
Two can be achieved with some sensible planning, one will require grit, determination and heart.
All three will help improve your body awareness, ability to generate tension, stability and build tremendous strength, plus it’s quite fun training for them as well.
Are you up for the challenge?

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Weightless Gains

I’m sure you’re aware that you can build an impressive upper body without the need to lift weights.

If not then in this post you’ll learn how.

Training your upper body is something that’s quite easy to do without any equipment, the same can’t be said for lower body so you’ll need at minimum a barbell and plates for total body development, no one likes chicken legs after all.

20 rep breathing squats, heavy low rep front squats, fat grip deadlifts, snatch grip deadlifts and cleans or snatches will be ample for lower body development.

Back to the point of the post.

Bodyweight mastery can provide you with a most impressive upper body if you give it your all in these handful of exercises:

  • Plyo push ups
  • Dips
  • Handstand push ups (supported, working to wards free standing)
  • Chin Ups
  • Pull Ups

Those 5 will enable you to workout essentially anywhere, here is the suggested rep/set schemes for your consideration:

  • Ladder sets – pick 2 exercises, start at 1 rep for each & add a rep until you hit 10 or more if you choose. If you lose form or break set start again at one.
  • Multiple singles, doubles or triples
  • Sets to momentary muscular failure

Those three options will get you started, you’ll find that aiming for 50-100 reps per session on 1-2 of those movements will help you build the upper body you desire.

This approach to training is very simple but very effective.




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2 Moves You Need To Do

Are you missing out?

A lot of people certainly are, but are you one of them?

There are two upper body exercises that will not only help you fill out a t-shirt but also build some impressive strength too.

The best part about these exercises is they work brilliantly for the ladies too. They will help you achieve those lean looking arms and sculpted back you desire.

What exercises do I mean?

The Dip & The Pull/Chin Up (pull ups hit more back, chin ups hit more biceps)

These are the upper body equivalent to the Squat & the Deadlift, or so some people say anyway.

Being able to perform a strict set of 25 dips & 12 pull ups (woman) and 50 dips with 25 pull ups (men) won’t just make you impressively strong, it will also help build your confidence and add some sought after lean muscle to your frame.

It is true that people will add weight to these exercises to help overload but personally I would advise hitting the numbers above with good form before you venture in to the realms of adding weight to the exercise.

For both men and woman focusing on mastering these bodyweight movements and increasing the reps until they have hit the desired numbers is the first and most important goal.

But what if you can’t do more than a few of each?

Fear not. There is a great method that will help you build up your reps and get stronger, the best part is because of the volume loading it can be done daily.

What is this miraculous method?

Ladder Training.

You simply do one rep of each exercise. The two, followed by 3, basically adding a rep for each successfully completed set of reps for each exercise. Once you fail start again at one.

This style of training has been proven over the years as a great way of adding strength and building lean muscle.

If you can take your ladder from 1 to 10 then you’re not he right path, you might then want to start working for unbroken ladder reps up to 15 or even 20! By doing this you will find you ability to crank out 25-50 dips in one set isn’t an issue. the same is true for pull/chin ups.

Now go and get practising.

*Please note that if you can’t do one of either then the use of resistance bands to assist you or an assistance machine is permitted.


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