T Nation

Beginner, Need Opinions Please


Hi guys, I've been body weight training for about 6 months now, on a workout I created myself using my own equipment. Just wanted some other people's opinions of if I should keep doing my training style or switch it up? I don't use any weights this is just creative workout I made up.

My workout 4x a week-

20 push-ups
30 squats
20 dips
20 leg raises ( parallel bars)
20 L-sits (parallel bars)
20 inverted push-ups
1min skipping

I feel I could be achieving better results so if anyone has any advice I'm happy to hear it.

lastly..I eat healthy food since I was a baby, don't drink or smoke at all.

Cheers Luke


side shot.


What kind of results are you looking for?


I would just like to be more toned, I don't seem to have any definition. by the way i'm 70kg (roughly 140pound) and 178cm tall.


First step then is to put on more muscle.

Do you want to stick with bodyweight workouts? There are ways to get more out of the workouts you're doing.

It will be easier to get that with weights though. What do you have to work with? Do you have a home gym? Do you want to join a gym?


I'd like to keep doing body weight yes. Tried gym and it's not really for me, I enjoy gymnastics, body weight & martial arts though. Equipment I have to work with is Parallel bars, climbing rope, boxing bag, kettlebell & dumb bells, skipping rope, stretching mat & gymnastic rings .

And my only supplements are Omega 3 & Gotu Kola. Supported by healthy food.

My goals are to be healthy but, I would like to, as you said gain a bit more muscle & become more toned if that's possible with what i'm doing at the moment.


The main "problem" with what you're doing right now is that there's no progressive overload. Simply put, if you don't increase the weight you're moving, and/or the reps you're doing over time, you're not really going to improve from where you are. You will get more out of 30 dips than you will out of 20. You will get more out of 20 dips with your bodyweight + 10lbs than you will out of just 20 dips with your bodyweight.

However, if a gym isn't really for you, there's a lot you can do with gymnastic-style exercises: dips, pullups, pushups, and horizontal/rack pulls are all excellent for building up the upper body... as long as you keep increasing the resistance over time. For instance, you can hold a dumbbell between your legs for the dips and pullups. I'd suggest buying or making a dip belt; it'll make it easier to add weight later on.

For the lower body, you can use lunges, goblet squats, and one-legged squats and get some decent development. Barbell exercises are usually better for lower body development though.


Okay man, you are at a great point to start lifting some weights and getting stronger while looking better.

You have a relatively low body-fat percentage, which is great. However, you also have a significant lack of muscles.

The only way you will get "toned" is if you gain muscle, so that muscle protrudes out of your skin, giving you a "toned" look.

You will not able to look toned without increasing the size of your muscle, having that said, don't worry about looking bulky or becoming bulky.

Every single person on this website(besides you), wants to become bulky, and it takes 8 years to become bulky.

The only way to increase the size of your muscle is to add resistance progressively(consistently, each week). A gym is a great place for that. I recommend you find 6-8 exercises that you would like to improve on, look at at least 2-3 videos on each exercise, then do a trial at a gym for 1 month. Take exact note of what weight and repetitions you could complete on your first day of the gym, and then take note of what those numbers look at 30 days later.

I guarantee you will be excited and impressed with yourself.


For the record, 70kg is 154lbs.

I would suggest you switch to weights OR start doing advanced calisthenics. The best resource I've found is 'never gymless' by Ross Enamait. You have a nice arsenal (ropes, rings, kettlebells), so it's doable. What you need to do, no matter what you choose to do, is become better at movements that are hard. Like, "I can't do more than ten in a row" hard. That means you'll either have to transition from press ups to bench presses or work up to one arm press ups. You will not build muscle from doing 20 press ups unless you couldn't do twenty a few weeks ago - and even then it's probably not tough enough to elicit growth.

Concerning your 'toned' request - basically, you would like to have a bit more muscle and a bit less fat. PLEASE start with the first. Do not try to diet down at this point, your body won't look or feel good.


Yes, this.

And I'll have to look into that book, thanks for the heads up.


Are you opposed to using resistance bands? If you were to buy a bunch of different resistance bands, say from elitefts, you could get a lot more out of your bodyweight workouts. You could also use things like a dip belt to add weight to pull ups and dips. Speaking of which, why are you not doing pull ups?


Thanks for the replies guys, it's very kind of you to show some interest.

I have to say, Since i started doing my training, I have definitely seen improvements in my fat %. I do realise it would be easier if I went to the gym and trained with weights to get my results, but I really enjoy this style of training, I feel a lot more free. (however I don't mind incorporating kettlebell & dumb bell weights if need be). This is all set-up in a big shed my brother and I put together.

I think it's time to increase my reps, I can definitely do more then what I'm doing, I'm just kind of hesitating I guess.

Those are great ideas, dip belt and resistance bands.

@ flipcollar at the moment I don't have a pull-up bar but that could change soon.

Can this all be achieved without having to adjust my food intake? Or should I aim to eat more protein based foods?

I will take a photo next time before I train, and a month later I'll take another photo on my improved workout. - will upload to this thread.

Thanks heaps guys I really appreciate it,



If you want to actually build muscle mass, you need to give your body the nutrients required to build it. That happens to be protein and other foods.

Do your push-ups really, really slowly.

Hell, do everything really really slowly.


Do 1000 push ups, 1000, squats. And 100-200 dips and pull ups