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Is This Bodyweight Routine Any Good?

OK. I’m only performing bodyweight exercises and I’m hoping to build strength in my legs, arms and abs. So, will this workout plan help me with my goals or am I just wasting my time?
Strength (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays)
Warm up: 20 burpees, 20 jumping jacks, stretches.
5 sets: 20 jackknives, 20 twisting sit-ups and 30 crunches.
5 sets: 15 push ups on my palms, 10 clapping push ups and 15 knuckle push ups.
5 sets: 40 squats, 20 jumping jacks (or burpees if I’m feeling really good)
Cool down: 2 sets of 10 reps of each exercise, stretches

Cardio(Wednesdays and Saturdays, as well as cycling around my area on weekends and swimming Thursdays and Tae Kwon Do Tuesdays)
3 sets of this (just to use a few calories before I burn them with the cardio): Squats (20), knuckle push ups (15), crunches (20) and air bike (30 seconds).
6x6 sets of 30 seconds of burpees and 30 seconds of shadow boxing, until a 3 minute mark has been reached. Start another set after one minute rest.

What do you all reckon?

That program is going to do very little to improve strength. It looks to be more focused on fitness and endurance rather than strength.

You might get some benefit out of it at first, but you’ll adapt to it so quickly that it will soon become too easy.

It would be a better idea to look at something like Ian King’s Death by Bodyweight:

Also, Mike Mahler wrote an article on Combat Conditioning which should be useful:

If you want to build strength, you need resistance - increasing resistance. If you have no dumbbells or kettlebells, look into making some?

While I agree resistance training is second to none, I would also argue that your bodyweight routine listed above WILL produce results.

If you are unable to make it to the gym for whatever reason, yes… you should absolutely commit to your routine, or take a look at the links Roybot posted.

If anything, you will build a nice base of fitness for when you do start resistance training.

[quote]Dissonance wrote:
While I agree resistance training is second to none, I would also argue that your bodyweight routine listed above WILL produce results.

no doubt about that, but my point is that he still needs to somehow add more weight to his current weight

OP, you could also add weight (generic) to a backpack

I’m not convinced that the OP’s routine is going to give him significant strength gains, which is his focus.
It’s not going to take him very long at all to progress past 5 sets of pushups (a month at most, if he’s lucky), and any benefit he gets after that is going to be mainly aerobic.
If you notice his cardio workouts are similar to his strength workouts, the main difference being that the strength workouts have more volume.

I honestly can’t see anybody gaining much strength from his program as written (unless they are very weak or have been inactive), because the exercises don’t have enough resistance and there is hardly any room for long term progression.
The material in the links would serve him far better than the program in his initial post.
I agree with TheDudeAbides that using some sort of external load would be the OP’s best option. I only focused on the bodyweight side of things because he said that he was only performing bodyweight exercises.
The OP might also want to look into sandbag training, as that is another excellent, inexpensive way to develop strength.

If you really want to challenge yourself with bodyweight only exercises, it would definitely be worth looking into Charles Staley’s Escalating Density Training (EDT):

This article is a good starting point:


Thanks for that guys. Those articles are a fair eye opener.

@TheDudeAbides- I do use a home gym, I was seing how far bdyweight only could take me.

Thanks all.

Also what you did has no pulling excercises. Even with body weight programs you need a antagonistic-balanced selection of excercises.
You might want to look at doing handstands for core training and shoulders, and also look at doing pull ups and chin ups.

i think its great

it wont slap on 20lbs of muscle… but damn, it’ll keep you agile.