T Nation

Bodyweight Routines

I am currently supersetting pull-ups, push-ups, and squats (just bodyweight).  I am looking for different approaches to increase my pull-up strength.

I find I am progressing this way through my superset – with no rest:

10 pull-ups followed by push-ups, squats
5 pull-ups (same as above)
3 pull-ups (same as above)
2 pull-ups (same as above)
1 pull-ups (same as above)

My goal is to sustain 10 reps for all five sets.

Anybody have any approaches to build up the endurance to sustain my strength? I am not trying to gain size or cut right now. I just want more strength endurance over longer periods of time.

I am currently thinking an x-vest or pyramids, but that might be over kill right now.

i guess in terms of endurance that once you are able to reach your goal of 10 reps of all of that for each set, you could try for 12 reps of everything, than 14, than 16…or just get an x-vest and add weight with the same amount of volume.

[quote]tweaker wrote:
I am currently supersetting pull-ups, push-ups, and squats (just bodyweight). I am looking for different approaches to increase my pull-up strength.

I find I am progressing this way through my superset – with no rest:

10 pull-ups followed by push-ups, squats
5 pull-ups (same as above)
3 pull-ups (same as above)
2 pull-ups (same as above)
1 pull-ups (same as above)

My goal is to sustain 10 reps for all five sets.

Anybody have any approaches to build up the endurance to sustain my strength? I am not trying to gain size or cut right now. I just want more strength endurance over longer periods of time.

I am currently thinking an x-vest or pyramids, but that might be over kill right now.
[/quote]

Pyramids are the way to go. I used a similar pyramid, with 1 x pullup, 2 x pushup, 3 x squats up to level 10 and back down.

The best way to attack this is to complete this pyramid using as much rest as needed. Then work to reduce the rest periods. I had a little pad next to my pullup bar and wrote down the rest period for each step, then worked to knock off 5-10 seconds each time. If you can only manage 7 pullups on lvl 10, drop off the bar and do 3 singles quickly as possible, then start your rest period.

I tried it the other way, starting with no rest and working towards reps, but I didn’t progress as fast.

[quote]uberswank wrote:

Pyramids are the way to go. I used a similar pyramid, with 1 x pullup, 2 x pushup, 3 x squats up to level 10 and back down.

The best way to attack this is to complete this pyramid using as much rest as needed. Then work to reduce the rest periods. I had a little pad next to my pullup bar and wrote down the rest period for each step, then worked to knock off 5-10 seconds each time. If you can only manage 7 pullups on lvl 10, drop off the bar and do 3 singles quickly as possible, then start your rest period.

I tried it the other way, starting with no rest and working towards reps, but I didn’t progress as fast.

[/quote]

I’ll start doing the pyramids today. I have been doing the superset way for about 2 months now, so I am due to change up anyway.

Thanks.

[quote]tweaker wrote:
I am currently supersetting pull-ups, push-ups, and squats (just bodyweight). I am looking for different approaches to increase my pull-up strength.

I find I am progressing this way through my superset – with no rest:

10 pull-ups followed by push-ups, squats
5 pull-ups (same as above)
3 pull-ups (same as above)
2 pull-ups (same as above)
1 pull-ups (same as above)

My goal is to sustain 10 reps for all five sets.

Anybody have any approaches to build up the endurance to sustain my strength? I am not trying to gain size or cut right now. I just want more strength endurance over longer periods of time.

I am currently thinking an x-vest or pyramids, but that might be over kill right now.
[/quote]

I think there’s a site that deals with bodyweight only exercise. I can’t think of the name of it right now. But when I go over there they always have photos of really skinny guys who can do lots of pushups. They also talk about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world.

What site am I thinking of anyone?

[quote]Edders wrote:

I think there’s a site that deals with bodyweight only exercise. I can’t think of the name of it right now. But when I go over there they always have photos of really skinny guys who can do lots of pushups. They also talk about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world.

What site am I thinking of anyone?
[/quote]

Well, I am not skinny. I am 170 lbs and 5’9". But I want to have lotsa of endurance to go along with my strength.

I want to be able to kick ass at this event in 2008:

http://www.sealtrainingadventures.com/html/seal_adventure_challenge.html

[quote]tweaker wrote:
Edders wrote:

I think there’s a site that deals with bodyweight only exercise. I can’t think of the name of it right now. But when I go over there they always have photos of really skinny guys who can do lots of pushups. They also talk about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world.

What site am I thinking of anyone?

Well, I am not skinny. I am 170 lbs and 5’9". [/quote]

No, I never said you were did I?

But what would you consider skinny for 5" 9’?

[quote]Edders wrote:
tweaker wrote:

No, I never said you were did I?

But what would you consider skinny for 5" 9’?

[/quote]

140 lbs is pretty damn thin at 5’9". Even 150 lbs is thin as hell.

I would like to get to 180 lbs, but that’s not my focus right now even though I do end up gaining around a pound a month.

I do think 190 lbs will be too big for me to be able to handle run times under 8 minute miles. Maybe a very lean 190, but I am not sure how many months I would be able to maintain that once I start running 6 miles a day.

[quote]Edders wrote:
What site am I thinking of anyone?
[/quote]

www.BodyWeightCulture.com

[quote]tweaker wrote:
I want to be able to kick ass at this event in 2008:

http://www.sealtrainingadventures.com/html/seal_adventure_challenge.html[/quote]
[/quote]

Looks interesting, but I hate running more than anything in the world.

This site has a lot of “SEAL” workouts:

http://www.thesealquest.com/tsqchallenges.htm

I think the above poster is trying to poke fun of Crossfit. Which is funny but this is not the appropriate forum to discuss it.

[quote]skirmish wrote:
I think the above poster is trying to poke fun of Crossfit. [/quote]

false.

[quote]skirmish wrote:
I think the above poster is trying to poke fun of Crossfit. Which is funny but this is not the appropriate forum to discuss it.[/quote]

What is crossfit?

I still do some work with weights, but that work is mainly rotator cuff related. Or I am doing squats with a plate extended arms length out to hit my core.

I do intend to integrate one legged deadlifts into my routine, but I have a twist in my spine that I am trying to fix with stretches given to me by my physical therapist. The left side of my spine is pushed forward and the right side is pushed back. When I do deadlifts, I end up pulling the muscle on the left side. I need to fix this before I can go heavy with deadlifts.

[quote]skirmish wrote:
I think the above poster is trying to poke fun of Crossfit. Which is funny but this is not the appropriate forum to discuss it.[/quote]

I have no idea what the name of the place is. All I know is that they run around talking about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world and most of them are skinny.

[quote]Edders wrote:

I have no idea what the name of the place is. All I know is that they run around talking about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world and most of them are skinny.[/quote]

I think you can be lean and fit, but bony thin and fit just doesn’t seem healthy. Of course, look at some marathon runners. I guess if you want to run constant 7 minute miles for 26 miles then thin is the way to go.

I want to be strong and cardio fit. The two kinda work against each other, so I’m trying for a good blend of the two. I will never be huge, but I don’t plan on being skinny either.

[quote]Edders wrote:
skirmish wrote:
I think the above poster is trying to poke fun of Crossfit. Which is funny but this is not the appropriate forum to discuss it.

I have no idea what the name of the place is. All I know is that they run around talking about how they’re the greatest athletes in the world and most of them are skinny.[/quote]

what does bodyweight alone have to do with it? I’m sure they are referring to their strength to weight ratio and general fitness levels which i would bet is much higher than your average bodybuilder. Greatest athletes in the world, no probably not, better than most, probably.

Hi Tweaker,

I have a question for you.

How close to failure are you coming on the first set of pull-ups/push-ups/squats?

If you are coming close to failure, or worse yet having to give it everything you’ve got to finish the first 10 pull-ups, then it is going to be very difficult to get 10 pull-ups in the following sets.

I might suggest trying an EDT inspired workout. Basically, from my understanding, the idea is to do the same amount of work in the same amount of time, but in shorter less exhausting sets.

So, since your goal is to do 50 total pull-ups, push-ups and squats, then you would split those reps into smaller, less exhausting sets (perhaps 3 reps would be a good starting point). This means however that the rest time between sets must be kept to a minimum.

When you can do all of the sets/reps in the desired amount of time/or perhaps with the desired amount of rest in between, then increase the reps/decrease the sets. Eventually you should be able to work up to doing five sets of ten.

You could also try doing some maximal strength work. Yes, I know you mentioned that your goal is strength endurance, but maximal strength is a component of strength endurance.

For instance, I’ve been training with Captains of Crush grippers for a while now. When I first got the #1 I was unable to close it. But, I could close the Trainer several times. I thought that if I worked to improve the number of times that I could close the Trainer it would help me in closing the #1.

Well, I eventually worked up to being able to close the Trainer 12 times with my right hand and 11 times with my left, but I was still unable to close the #1. So, I decided to work strictly on trying to close the #1.

When I eventually achieved the ability to close the #1 I thought I’d try for a max rep set on the Trainer. Low and behold I was able to close the Trainer 25 times with either hand.

Anyways, hope that helps and good luck.

Sentoguy

I take myself to about two reps before failure.

I tried the pyramid yesterday, and here is where I ended up:

1: 1 pull-up
2: 2 pull-up
3: 3 pull-up
4: 4 pull-up
5: 5 pull-up
6: 6 pull-up
7: 6 pull-up

I wasn’t able to hit the 7th pull-up. And even with rest, I ended up going down hitting 3 each time down. Once I hit that sticking point, I end up only being able to do half as much. I might just pyramid up to 6 and back down. But I need to pull 5 the next set, not 3.

I am also doing push-ups and bodyweight squats, but I don’t feel any really impact from them. I start to feel the squats toward the top of the pyramid, where I am doing between 15-21.

Any ideas?

Be carefull.

Just because it’s bodyweight doesn’t mean it’s inherently safe on the joints.

Gack in October, I did an insane workout where I was determined to finish 100 pullups, 100 dips and 150 pushups for time (it was a modified crossfit workout). Since then, I couldn’t do a pushup without extreme pain. Turns out, I tore a rotator cuff and will be getting surgery.

I used to 100 puulups per workout a couple of years ago. It would take a while, but I’d get it done. It resulted in elbow tendonitis.

High rep bodyweight stuff is awesome, but keep your head and don’t overdo it. alternate the extreme high rep stuff by adding weight and lowering reps.

overdoing extreme hight reps = joint overuse.

Rest longer.