If you’re looking to put on muscle, you don’t need to have weight machines at your disposal. As personal trainer Ilija Jahura explains, simple bodyweight exercises are extremely effective for weight training.
If you don’t have access to a gym either inside or outside your home, you can still grow muscle. Here are five tips for how you can add muscle using bodyweight training exercises.
1. Constantly Step It Up
If you want to add muscle, you need to constantly push the limits of what your body can do. In terms of bodyweight exercises, this means increasing the volume of your reps, giving yourself shorter periods of rest or even adding weight to your body.
As you do bodyweight exercises more and more, your body is eventually going to get used to the amount of weight it’s being asked to lift, the number of reps it’s being asked to do and the amount of rest you’re giving it.
A great way to add muscle is to constantly push the envelope when it comes to these three things.
2. Monitor Your Reps
If you’re looking to get healthier, then doing a constant number of reps is what’s important — not necessarily how many reps you do or whether you ever change it. If you’re looking to build muscle, though, you should constantly monitor your reps to see if you’re pushing yourself.
It will take some experimentation to figure out the right number of reps for you. Generally speaking, you should aim for about 25 reps for each group of muscles every week. The intensity should also be sufficient to challenge yourself.
3. Increase Tension
Your body builds muscle the more time it spends under tension. In other words, the more strain you put on muscles, the more they’re likely to grow.
You can achieve this through bodyweight exercises by slowing your movements down. People have a tendency to try to power through exercises as quickly as possible to get them done. When you’re trying to build muscle, it’s best to slow that down, thereby increasing the amount of time your muscles are under tension.
4. Don’t Stop
Another great way to build muscle is to follow the AMRAP strategy, which stands for as many reps as possible. Instead of doing an exercise for a set number of reps, you’ll simply do as many reps as you possibly can, until you can’t do any more.
If you’re going to take this strategy, pay extra attention to your form. You don’t want to compromise form and put yourself at risk of injury just to pump out as an extra rep or two.
5. Compound Exercises
A big part of building muscle is having multiple muscle groups work in conjunction to complete an exercise. Bodyweight exercises are great for this by default, as Ilija Jahura says it’s often difficult to isolate only one muscle group when you’re doing them.
When multiple muscle groups are forced to work together, it’s much easier to build muscle. So, come up with multiple bodyweight exercises to do, and create a plan for yourself.
About Ilija Jahura
Ilija Jahura is a fitness and health expert based out of Kelowna, British Columbia. His main focuses include diet planning, cardiovascular development, as well as hypertrophy training and muscle-building. But at the end of the day, Ilija is committed to helping his clients become the best possible version of themselves — not only in the gym but also in life — by helping them achieve their dreams and goals.