T Nation

Blending Martial Arts Training & Working Out


Sup everyone. So here is the deal with me. I'm 16 years old and I practice Karate. I compete and I feel the need to get more power and speed but I do not have any equipment yet. If I had equipment I would had started powerlifting. So my only option is to go for body weight exercises. I need some tips on how to train with bodyweight to be honest. On a general note I know what to do but I need advice from someone with more experience than me. My problem is that I don't really know how to use the basic knowledge I know on bodyweight.

I want to train power and speed but I care not at all for hypertrophy, so what rep and set range do I use per exercise? I've been using 5 reps of 5 sets so far. On one basic exercise I go for PR. Also how many exercises should I use? Lastly how should I split my work out? I already have a program, it nothing more than something the average guy does, so I want to get more detailed in this stuff. I know that these are like things that are really basic but I want to get started with those first. Thank you for your time :slightly_smiling:


Before I answer, I would just like to clarify that you are doing 5 sets of 5 reps with bodyweight exercises?


On plyometric exercises I go for 5x5 and the last set is until failure. On exercises like Squats, Pushups , Pullups I do 5x10 and the last set to failure.


Ok, gotcha.

In my opinion, you would probably get the best results if you were to do the bodyweight exercises in a circuit. Start with a plyometric move like squat jump high knees and then move on to your standard bodyweight movements such as push ups, pull ups, pistol squats, etc...If you would like to build more power and strength then you will eventually need to invest in a gym membership or some heavy implements of some sort. You can't really build strength without exhibiting strength and to do that you need something heavy.

Since you are young I am assuming that you don't have a lot of money to spend so I would recommend collecting some large stones, a tough bag that you can fill with sand, sections of logs, etc... A lot of the time you can find stuff like this for free on Craigslist or being disgarded at logging sites, construction sites, demolition sites, etc... When I was training for strongman I acquired a lot of good training implements this way.

You can use odd implements to do pretty much any movement that you would do with a barbell and they are convenient for using during weighted carries and weighted drags which I definitely recommend you use in your training.