T Nation

Body Weight Routine

[quote]Braccini wrote:
Oh, and don’t buy that crap that high repetition stuff doesn’t get you stronger. It may no enable you progress in the big barbell lifts, but it definitely gives you real life strength, and keeps you injury free. [/quote]

I both agree and disagree. There’s a useful amount of strength that can come from it, but there’s a limit to that strength.

If your work involves heavy manual labor – e.g., stacking and/or unloading pallets of gravel, quickrete, sand by hand – it will help to have a stronger base than only bodyweight work.

Unless lifting is an end in itself for you, I think it’s best to scale your training to your real life goals. Bodyweight training may be enough for you; it wasn’t for me.

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
If someone wants to do a purely bodyweight routine but is too fat to do a single pull-up, dip or chin-up and can only manage about 6 press ups what sort of setup would you encourage them to do.[/quote]
If a grown adult can’t manage more than a handful of push-ups (nevermind the dips or chin-ups), then they’re either completely new to exercise, they’re tremendously out of shape/deconditioned/fat, they’re dealing with an injury, or some combination of those. In that case, I’d say that limiting themselves to a bodyweight-only program is inappropriate and inefficient.

If it’s a simple case of being too fat, either focus on fat loss for the time being or be open to using every tool/method available in order to have a more complete and effective training plan.

Basic bodyweight exercises can always be regressed, either to an easier version or using implements like bands to decrease the load lifted, to accommodate almost any strength level in order to allow the desired sets/reps. If that’s the way you want to go, it should be doable.

Also, as was mentioned, lower body training is essential. As always. Bodyweight-only training is not an excuse to skip leg work.

[quote]mat_angus wrote:
Do you read French, Germany or Italian ?

If so :

déf the best BW training, IMO…

Mat’
[/quote]

Thanks Mat, i just reserved it at the librairy.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
If someone wants to do a purely bodyweight routine but is too fat to do a single pull-up, dip or chin-up and can only manage about 6 press ups what sort of setup would you encourage them to do.[/quote]
If a grown adult can’t manage more than a handful of push-ups (nevermind the dips or chin-ups), then they’re either completely new to exercise, they’re tremendously out of shape/deconditioned/fat, they’re dealing with an injury, or some combination of those. In that case, I’d say that limiting themselves to a bodyweight-only program is inappropriate and inefficient.

If it’s a simple case of being too fat, either focus on fat loss for the time being or be open to using every tool/method available in order to have a more complete and effective training plan.

Basic bodyweight exercises can always be regressed, either to an easier version or using implements like bands to decrease the load lifted, to accommodate almost any strength level in order to allow the desired sets/reps. If that’s the way you want to go, it should be doable.

Also, as was mentioned, lower body training is essential. As always. Bodyweight-only training is not an excuse to skip leg work.[/quote]

I understand and respect your point of view, Mr. Colucci. But let me just explain that I’m not saying “You don’t need to work your legs”. Being a Jiu Jitsu athlete, I adopt a hollistic approach to fitness, inspired by Rickson Gracie, in wich I train what I feel that needs to be trained, and I know my legs are exactly as they need to be, for me to be the best I can in my sport. And since I do a lot of mat time daily, wich is by itself pretty draining, letting my legs alone for a while also allows me to save energy for the mats.
With all the respect, there are no “Needs” and “Always” and real life. These strength and conditioning “rules” only work for people only interested in only strength and conditioning. Real successfull athletes are not afraid to break some rules to be better…

[quote]Braccini wrote:
I understand and respect your point of view, Mr. Colucci. But let me just explain that I’m not saying “You don’t need to work your legs”. Being a Jiu Jitsu athlete, I adopt a hollistic approach to fitness, inspired by Rickson Gracie, in wich I train what I feel that needs to be trained, and I know my legs are exactly as they need to be, for me to be the best I can in my sport. And since I do a lot of mat time daily, wich is by itself pretty draining, letting my legs alone for a while also allows me to save energy for the mats.
With all the respect, there are no “Needs” and “Always” and real life. These strength and conditioning “rules” only work for people only interested in only strength and conditioning. Real successfull athletes are not afraid to break some rules to be better…[/quote]

Unless you’re smashing everyone at the mundials, I find what you say incredibly arrogant.

Just out of curiosity, how much did you squat when did train your lower body?

[quote]Braccini wrote:
I understand and respect your point of view, Mr. Colucci. But let me just explain that I’m not saying “You don’t need to work your legs”.[/quote]
Maybe it wasn’t clear, but I was actually referring to the OP, who didn’t mention any lower body training in his first post. In his follow-up post, he included air squats.

Rickson Gracie is a legend in BJJ. That’s obvious. But last I knew, even he was using Chad Waterbury as a Strength and Conditioning coach for his school, or at least he did for several years recently. So maybe that’s not the best example you could’ve used.

If you base your training just on feel, you’re more prone to overlook weaknesses and overfocus on strengths. It’s human nature and it takes an objective perspective and a fair amount of self-discipline to design an effective program with still using that kind of instinctive training.

3 sets of Max Rep pull-ups, push-ups, abs, and low back is not what any coach would call a well-rounded program designed for optimal performance. If that’s what you feel needs to be trained, no offense, but that means you don’t know what really needs to be trained.

About how many reps per set are you knocking out on those exercises?

If you’re training BJJ 12 times a week, I’m guessing you compete at a very high level. If you’re currently successful, that’s great. But a year and a half ago, when you were 19 years old, you were already talking about your “very genetically gifted legs” and said you were avoiding training them too much.


Call me a skeptic, but… I’m skeptical.

Also, it’s probably worth you telling people that you’ve only been doing this “sweet spot” bodyweight-only training for less than 3 or 4 months. As recently as this past July you were lifting "6 times a week, sometimes 2 a day Broz style."

I have no problem discussing training, but please make sure you’re up front about your past experience, or lack thereof.

False.

There are a definitely a handful of “needs” and “musts” that successful coaches will all agree on. For example, you always need an advantage over your opponent. It can be skill, strength, speed, or endurance, but you need to be better than him at some part of the game. By choosing a less-than-efficient strength and conditioning program, you’re setting yourself at a disadvantage in several of those qualities.

BJJ isn’t exactly a strength-based sport, but I’ve muscled out of enough Americanas and Kimuras (applied by higher belts) to know that being strong is useful. If I had the choice, I’d rather be armbarred by the guy who does 50 pull-ups and 30 pistols than the guy who benches 300 and squats 450.

And remember that not all weight training leads to bigger muscles. It’s entirely possible to lift heavy weights without building size. Weight class athletes (powerlifters, Olympic lifters, fighters, etc.) completely rely on it. “Strong” is definitely possible without “big”. If you automatically think weight training means building big muscles, that’s your fault.

Real successful athletes are not afraid to follow proven methods of training, even if it contradicts what they initially thought was “the best way.” Bottom-line is that, in the 21st Century, any athlete who disregards the effectiveness of a well-designed training program is giving their competition an unnecessary opportunity for success.

Michael Phelps lifts weights. Usain Bolt lifts weights. Frankie Edgar lifts weights. Female figure skaters lift weights. But BJJ fighters shouldn’t follow a smart lifting program, why?

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Braccini wrote:
I understand and respect your point of view, Mr. Colucci. But let me just explain that I’m not saying “You don’t need to work your legs”.[/quote]
Maybe it wasn’t clear, but I was actually referring to the OP, who didn’t mention any lower body training in his first post. In his follow-up post, he included air squats.

Rickson Gracie is a legend in BJJ. That’s obvious. But last I knew, even he was using Chad Waterbury as a Strength and Conditioning coach for his school, or at least he did for several years recently. So maybe that’s not the best example you could’ve used.

If you base your training just on feel, you’re more prone to overlook weaknesses and overfocus on strengths. It’s human nature and it takes an objective perspective and a fair amount of self-discipline to design an effective program with still using that kind of instinctive training.

3 sets of Max Rep pull-ups, push-ups, abs, and low back is not what any coach would call a well-rounded program designed for optimal performance. If that’s what you feel needs to be trained, no offense, but that means you don’t know what really needs to be trained.

About how many reps per set are you knocking out on those exercises?

If you’re training BJJ 12 times a week, I’m guessing you compete at a very high level. If you’re currently successful, that’s great. But a year and a half ago, when you were 19 years old, you were already talking about your “very genetically gifted legs” and said you were avoiding training them too much.


Call me a skeptic, but… I’m skeptical.

Also, it’s probably worth you telling people that you’ve only been doing this “sweet spot” bodyweight-only training for less than 3 or 4 months. As recently as this past July you were lifting "6 times a week, sometimes 2 a day Broz style."

I have no problem discussing training, but please make sure you’re up front about your past experience, or lack thereof.

False.

There are a definitely a handful of “needs” and “musts” that successful coaches will all agree on. For example, you always need an advantage over your opponent. It can be skill, strength, speed, or endurance, but you need to be better than him at some part of the game. By choosing a less-than-efficient strength and conditioning program, you’re setting yourself at a disadvantage in several of those qualities.

BJJ isn’t exactly a strength-based sport, but I’ve muscled out of enough Americanas and Kimuras (applied by higher belts) to know that being strong is useful. If I had the choice, I’d rather be armbarred by the guy who does 50 pull-ups and 30 pistols than the guy who benches 300 and squats 450.

And remember that not all weight training leads to bigger muscles. It’s entirely possible to lift heavy weights without building size. Weight class athletes (powerlifters, Olympic lifters, fighters, etc.) completely rely on it. “Strong” is definitely possible without “big”. If you automatically think weight training means building big muscles, that’s your fault.

Real successful athletes are not afraid to follow proven methods of training, even if it contradicts what they initially thought was “the best way.” Bottom-line is that, in the 21st Century, any athlete who disregards the effectiveness of a well-designed training program is giving their competition an unnecessary opportunity for success.

Michael Phelps lifts weights. Usain Bolt lifts weights. Frankie Edgar lifts weights. Female figure skaters lift weights. But BJJ fighters shouldn’t follow a smart lifting program, why?[/quote]

I’m not at all against lifting weights. I just do bodyweight because I enjoy more, but it’s just a personal thing. And while I’m not in World Class Level (yet, I hope), I train a lot and compete a lot, and the training that I do is the one that has made me feel the best I ever been, when I was in the routine ou linked, of heavy weights, I was getting more injured and drained than anything else.
What happened with me is that, until I worked up to a 2.5 bodyweght deadlift, and a 1.5 bodyweight bench press, each pound I put on the bar seemed to make better on the mats. After that point, it really didn’t matter and I started to feel more and more tired, drained and injured while training, thats when I starded on the bodyweight only routine, concentrading on adding reps, and things started to feel right again.
I’m sorry if I don’t follow the right way to do strength and conditioning, I just do what is the best for me at the moment, if I ever feel that I need to be back on training my legs directely, wich I’m sure will happen in the future, I will definetly do it.
My whole intention was to share some experience with with de dude about bodyweight training, I have nothing but respect for you Mr. Colucci, and I have read all your artricles here in Tnation, and have done a lot of things you reccomend, and with great success. I’m just still deffending my point of view because I have a strong belief that in everything in life, we have to absorb what is useful and reject what is not, as Bruce Lee said, and leg training and heavy lifting RIGHT NOW is not useful to me.
P.S: Your article about those Forgotten Lifts really kicks ass.

Oh, and before I forget, it’s great to muscle out kimuras and americanas, but that’s not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it might work sometimes at training but try that in a competition, after you have fought several fights and are rally tired, and let me know… There are much better ways to defend Kimuras and Americanas, just by re-positioning your body, while staying pretty relaxed and controlling your breathing. And I can tell you, Pull Ups and Push Ups for higher repetitions helps much more in this controled relaxation than any heavy lifting…

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
If someone wants to do a purely bodyweight routine but is too fat to do a single pull-up, dip or chin-up and can only manage about 6 press ups what sort of setup would you encourage them to do.

[/quote]

a bodyweight only routine would be a poor choice for this situation, something like this would be a much better option…

[quote]Braccini wrote:
I’m not at all against lifting weights. I just do bodyweight because I enjoy more, but it’s just a personal thing … the training that I do is the one that has made me feel the best I ever been, when I was in the routine ou linked, of heavy weights, I was getting more injured and drained than anything else.[/quote]
If you say so, fair enough. But there were 3 or 4 threads where you discussed your training and seemed nothing but happy with how things were going.

This is a trap that tons of athletes fall into - overprioritizing the gym instead of remembering that weight training is supposed to supplement your sport. There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the weight room for athletes, though it’s pretty tough for most to get there. But this was definitely a case where the blame should fall on the lifter or whoever designed the training program, not the program itself.

Waterbury wrote about it in his Hammer Down series. Dan John has written about it. Thibaudeau personally answered your question about it and literally told you “Do not drop strength work though, you want to at least maintain the levels you have right now”, but a month or so later, you dropped the strength work for bodyweight stuff.

Try not to think of it as “right or wrong”. If you’re winning matches and aren’t getting hurt, then what you’re doing is “right” to an extent. Think of it as “good, better, best.” A well-designed free weight-based training program is absolutely better than high-rep bodyweight-only, upper body-only training program when it comes to improving athletic performance.

That’s your call. No problem. It’s just that I see that mindset as “I’ll skip some stuff until it becomes a major disadvantage, and then I’ll spend time catching up to even things out.”

But dude, I saw that last year you said your chest was your best bodypart and it was so overwhelming that you were avoiding all chest work for a while. You’re just stocked up on super genetics I guess. Or you could be a young dude who’d happy doing his own thing, rationalizing it like most young dudes do. Like I said, your call. No problem.

That’s a very useful philosophy and one I actually do agree with. Also, thanks for the kind words. I don’t mean to come off as attacking or whatever. Just trying to explain what I believe is another way of approaching things.

And thanks for trying to tell me that the thing I did as a white belt to avoid being tapped by a blue belt wasn’t “real BJJ”, but you completely, completely missed the point of what I was actually saying.

So I tried doing an assisted bodyweight routine. With no machines just one assistance band, I am still too heavy to do a real workout with bodyweight exercises.

I am considering ws4sb or wendler 5/3/1

I wish I wasn’t a complete fat cunt, but I goota work with what I have got.

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
I am considering ws4sb or wendler 5/3/1

I wish I wasn’t a complete fat cunt, but I goota work with what I have got. [/quote]
Sounds like a plan, although I’m not sure Westside for Skinny Bastards is an appropriate program either.

And understand that, as long as it’s done with smart training and eating, dropping bodyfat will pretty much automatically increase your strength, endurance, and mobility. It’s definitely worth setting as a priority, at least for the short-term.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Braccini wrote:
I’m not at all against lifting weights. I just do bodyweight because I enjoy more, but it’s just a personal thing … the training that I do is the one that has made me feel the best I ever been, when I was in the routine ou linked, of heavy weights, I was getting more injured and drained than anything else.[/quote]
If you say so, fair enough. But there were 3 or 4 threads where you discussed your training and seemed nothing but happy with how things were going.

This is a trap that tons of athletes fall into - overprioritizing the gym instead of remembering that weight training is supposed to supplement your sport. There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the weight room for athletes, though it’s pretty tough for most to get there. But this was definitely a case where the blame should fall on the lifter or whoever designed the training program, not the program itself.

Waterbury wrote about it in his Hammer Down series. Dan John has written about it. Thibaudeau personally answered your question about it and literally told you “Do not drop strength work though, you want to at least maintain the levels you have right now”, but a month or so later, you dropped the strength work for bodyweight stuff.

Try not to think of it as “right or wrong”. If you’re winning matches and aren’t getting hurt, then what you’re doing is “right” to an extent. Think of it as “good, better, best.” A well-designed free weight-based training program is absolutely better than high-rep bodyweight-only, upper body-only training program when it comes to improving athletic performance.

That’s your call. No problem. It’s just that I see that mindset as “I’ll skip some stuff until it becomes a major disadvantage, and then I’ll spend time catching up to even things out.”

But dude, I saw that last year you said your chest was your best bodypart and it was so overwhelming that you were avoiding all chest work for a while. You’re just stocked up on super genetics I guess. Or you could be a young dude who’d happy doing his own thing, rationalizing it like most young dudes do. Like I said, your call. No problem.

That’s a very useful philosophy and one I actually do agree with. Also, thanks for the kind words. I don’t mean to come off as attacking or whatever. Just trying to explain what I believe is another way of approaching things.

And thanks for trying to tell me that the thing I did as a white belt to avoid being tapped by a blue belt wasn’t “real BJJ”, but you completely, completely missed the point of what I was actually saying.[/quote]

" completely missed the point of what I was actually saying "

Well Chris i will be the jerk to say it.
You are well on your way to over 50K posts.
You really sound like you have way too much time on your hands and trying to convince many how terribly wrong they are for some months.
Get a life and help some if you wish but your answering point by point was fine before but in my modest opinion it just got over board.
You know there was a poster many were reading for laughs more than to learn from her/him.
Well . . .
All the best !

Used the main lifts on a 5/3/1 template and then used a lot of the ws4sb superset idea fr the accessory work.

Don’t want to do the main lifts as accessories as I will be starting light and getting high reps on the final sets on the main lifts.

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
Used the main lifts on a 5/3/1 template and then used a lot of the ws4sb superset idea fr the accessory work.

Don’t want to do the main lifts as accessories as I will be starting light and getting high reps on the final sets on the main lifts.[/quote]

That looks fine, apart from rack pulls stick to the higher end of the rep range for accessories to maximize fatloss ie 15 even 20 reps

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
Used the main lifts on a 5/3/1 template and then used a lot of the ws4sb superset idea fr the accessory work.

Don’t want to do the main lifts as accessories as I will be starting light and getting high reps on the final sets on the main lifts.[/quote]

On the rack pulls specifically or 15-20 reps on all accessory lifts?

Well, I’m 21 years old, I have a naturally buff chest and strong legs. I’ven been training for a few years and did lots of heavy lifting, and loved it, until it started being not so good for me, then I changed to bodyweight only. My whole intention when I posted on this thread was to help the dude who also wanted to do bodyweight only and tell him to do balance pushing with pulling.

I will not post on this thread anymore, neither in Tnation, I will just keep doing my thing… I believe things started to get a little off control once Chris researched my older posts to backup his ideas, nothing wrong with, that, but, in life, things change. So, I’ve done Broz Style for a while, liked it for a while, and now I’m more experienced and don’t believe it’s the best anymore for me.

Well, it was a pleasure to share my brief expercience with you, but I’m out of here, gotta do some push ups…

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
Used the main lifts on a 5/3/1 template and then used a lot of the ws4sb superset idea fr the accessory work.

Don’t want to do the main lifts as accessories as I will be starting light and getting high reps on the final sets on the main lifts.[/quote]

On the rack pulls specifically or 15-20 reps on all accessory lifts?[/quote]

on the rack pulls just do 5-8 reps as high rep deadlift variations often lead to sloppy form/pissed off back. Everything else shoot for 15-20.

[quote]NoGi1 wrote:
Used the main lifts on a 5/3/1 template and then used a lot of the ws4sb superset idea fr the accessory work.[/quote]

You might be better off, for the meantime, looking into the “5/3/1 for bodybuilding” template and use the conditioning/cardio for added fat loss.

There is a 5/3/1 bodyweight assistance option, at least in the first edition which is the only one I have. Might be worth looking into.