T Nation

Creating a Bodyweight-Excerise Program.

Here we go;
A friend recently asked me for help, withmaking him a bodyweight training program, he doesn’t have a gym available, so he must train at home.
I need help with this, since I’m not sure on how to put it all togheter.
A bit of his background, he’s 19, 195cm tall, and a skinny bastard, whose pretty much never trained anything… Always been so addicted to the computers…
Any suggestions, on how to put the rep-schemes togheter?
I could use the excersises described in Ian Kings article (Death by bodyweight).
Thanks alot for any help, and just for the record I have used the search feature, and I realize that there are other similar posts…

I guess it depends on what equipment he has access to?


Then can do push ups

High bar

Then can do pull-ups and hanging leg raises

Dip bars

Can do dips

Simple program

Workout A

A Push ups
B Hanging leg raises

Maybe sets of 10 to start with. Do as many sets of each exercise until no longer able to do “perfect” reps.

Workout B

A Dips
B Pull ups

Maybe sets of 5 to start with (even 3). If can’t do one dip or pull-up just do the lowering (i.e. one set five eccentric phases). This is how I learnt to do dips.

I doubt that he has any place to do dips on, but I guess I could get him to do, super sets of Pull ups, and Push ups.
Then one legged squats, and for example one legged good mornings, or similar… Then something for the abs.
I guess anything will work for him, as he is a beginner.
I’ll figure something out, but a rep-scheme of, hmm, 5 x 8 - max, on each super set, should be fine, right?
With 1 - 2 minutes between Supersets?

Ok , here i will try to put all the bodyweight i can think off.
1 - push ups (variety, two arm , one arm)

1 - push ups with hands close tother
2 - behind back dips. (using a chair and something to put your feet on)

Pull bar
1 - hands very close together , palms facing u

1 - hands far apart facing away
2 - hands closer and palms facing u.

variety of excercises

one leg squat,
bodyweight lunges

one leg calve raise

if any one can think ofsomething else that would be most helpful.


Thanks alot so far guys!

Here’s a good bodyweight program for beginners, or for someone that travels a lot:

Workout A:

Done as a circuit, with 30 seconds rest between exercises (4-7 circuits total, depending on conditioning level). Also, reps are determined by current strength level of trainee
A1. Push-ups
A2. Walking Lunges
A3. Bodyweight Tricep Extensions (can substitute chair dips)
A4. Towel Curls (402) – hold two ends of a towel, and step on the towel, using your leg for resistance
A5. One-leg Romanian Deadlift (402)
A6. One-leg Calf Raise

Following done for 3 sets of 12:
B1. Russian Twists
B2. V-ups (or substitute with an easier ab exercise if these are two difficult)

Workout B:

Same as above, circuit style w/ 30 sec. rest between exercises.
A1. Plyometric Push-ups (30x)
A2. Bulgarian Split Squats (412)
A3. External Rotation – like a Cuban press, for rotator cuffs, using a book or soup can for resistance
A4. Jump Squats (31x) – done with bodyweight
A5. “T” Push-ups – or substitute chair dips if too difficult
A6. Side Lunges

30 second isometric hold, with 1 minute between each round (3 rounds each).
B1. Bridge
B2. Side Bridge

I’m sure you have read Chris Shugart’s blog Killing Steve. Well, I was part of the group trying to kill Steve. I thought I would through in a exercise he forgot to mention that we did once in awhile. Get several books 1.5 to 3 inches thick. Stack them up at various heights depending on your strength. Space them with about a foot of space between them and about six inch out form a clear wall. May want to use rubber bands to keep them from sliding off each other. Do a hand stand starting at either end of the books then walk down the books with your hands with your feet up against the wall. First step should be on the books then slide the other hand up next to the books. Then step off the books and on the books with other hand, and so on. When you get to the end of the books reverse and go back the other direction. Caution!!! when you start to fatigue your may possibly give out and you will end you on the top of your head if not careful. Old college books or encyclopedias work well for this.

Ever hear of tigers…

this is a cross between a push up and
and a headstand press.

Put yourself in a prone position with your feet flat on the wall so that only the tip of your toes are touching the floor. Next place your hands as you would in a push-up position, but move your hands down towards your feet (hands aprox. 3-4’ away from your feet) so that you are forced to bend at the hip. The palm of you hand should be slightly internally rotated and your legs must be kept straight.

This exercise requires both strength and flexibility. Often used in Kung-fu.

Dips can be done between two bar stools or on the corner of your verandah rail.
Done any searches here or elsewhere yet? Scott Sonnon and Dragondoor.com are mad on this sort of thing.