T Nation

Strength Training Without Weights, Advice?


I just started MMA training this very week, and I'd like to perform a strength workout that will help supplement my MMA training.
However, I don't have access to any weight and so I can only do body weight.
I do have access to a chin up bar, and a dips bar.
Here is what I had in mind, feel free to help by offering changes or additions:

Chin ups - 4 x 10
Wide arm width Push ups - 3 x 20
Regular arm width - 3 x 25
Dips - 3 x 10
Hand on hand push ups - 3 x 15
Jacksons - 3 x 30
Sit ups - 3 x 60
Body weight squats - 3 x 20

*number of reps will go higher in time

I was thinking about doing this twice a week, Sunday and Wendsday, while my MMA lessons are on Monday and Thursday.

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!


progressive overload, but you will soon stall with only bw.

try searching for ross enamait stuff


Doing sets of 20-25 reps isn't going to increase your "strength" (your muscles' ability to exert force), but instead your endurance. Which by the way is a very beneficial attribute to have for MMA, so I'm certainly not suggesting you stop trying to build muscular endurance.

But, if you really want to build high levels of strength, then you've got to find ways to make exercises difficult enough that you're more in the 3-6 rep range.

With bodyweight exercises this is possible, but you really need to have a very deep understanding of proper progressions which seek to decrease leverage and/or stability. This is essentially what gymnasts do. There are some good articles out there on the web about gymnastics exercises, I'd suggest doing a google search for them and seeing what you can do with what you find.

Your other option is partner resisted exercises. Either just have a partner resist you while you do one of your bodyweight exercises (like pushing down on/standing on your back while you attempt to do push-ups, or pulling down on your shoulders/legs while you do chin-ups), or do exercises like resisted wheelbarrow walks or resisted bear crawls which are less specific and more total body in nature than things like push-ups. You can get pretty creative with these, and they can also be pretty great for building muscular endurance as well.

Hope that helps.


Thanks alot guys!


What Sentoguy said.

I'd just find some weights...


yeah, it mustn't be that difficult to find.


I actually had some good luck with doing the 60 day PLP program that is here on T-Nation in the articles

I also added situps in with it and I started with 20 reps of pushups on the first day instead of 10.

I also go to a local community center gym to do weights now using a simple 5x5 plan. I normally train MMA on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays and sometimes Saturday if possible.

You could purchase some weights from Wal Mart that you could use at home like a barbell and some dumbells that you can configure different weights on. also could get a medicine ball for pretty cheap which you could do situps, floor sweeper and tons of other excersises with.


Will try, thanks guys


Will try, thanks guys


If you have a heavy bag, pick it up and shoulder it repeatedly. It will kick your butt.

If you have a wavemaster, you can use it as a prowler subsitute.

Burpees till you cannot do them any more.

Sprint, flats and hills

Pistol squats

Natural glute ham raises

squat jumps

Jump lunges



Handstand-pushups! for me they worked well in the 3-5 rep-range


Where are you in Italy?


Good suggestions already. You could also try some unilateral stuff (one arm pushups, pistols etc). A weight vest may also be useful, and is fairly inexpensive. Sandbags are also good, cheap resistance tools. Get a duffel from army surplus, then load it up with bags of playground sand from the hardware store (if you leave the sand in the bags it comes in it's tidier). You can use this for cleans, slams, Turkish get ups etc. A big rock or an old tire can be a decent training aid as well, and costs nothing. Get creative, but stay structured enough that you can build in some sort of progression. Good luck.


That's an alright routine for once or twice a week, but I think you would stagnate pretty quick if that was all you did. It's a bit conventional for my tastes, and really fucking boring. I hate counting reps past 15 and am in a near coma like state by the 25th rep.

I spent December, January, and February in bumfuck North Dakota. I had no weights and could hardly do anything outside as it was generally -10 to -30 degrees F with winds ranging from 20-50mph. So I learned to make the best of a shitty situation. If you wish to make yourself stronger then you have to make things harder on yourself.

I would break workouts into two categories Rep Based and Time Based. Rep Based workouts would focus on building up strength and efficiency of given exercise or technique. The Time Based workouts would focus on total effort over the course of a given time allotment.

I would focus on explosive movements. You can build some serious muscle on your arms, shoulders, chest, and back with just push ups. Explosive push ups. Start by building up your total single set pushup reps. 50 pushups in a single set is good number. Then start with some simple explosive/plyo work like clapping pushups. 25 is a good number for a single set of clapping pushups. Then work on clapping behind the back pushups. The king of the hill will be going from the leaning rest, perform a pushup and push off the ground with enough force to reach a fully erect standing posture. You can apply this idea to other exercises like Squats/Squat Jumps.

Instead of straight sets I would do more alternating sets to time over rep number. For instance select 3 exercises and perform each one for 30 seconds for a total of say 3 minutes.

For more ideas check out these sites:
http://www.beastskills.com/ - A lot of gymnastics based stuff here
http://rosstraining.com/blog/ - You can't go wrong with Ross Enamait
http://www.bodyrock.tv/ - Don't let the hot chick who runs the site fool you. She does some serious shit, and her exercise combinations are ingenious. I dig the Prisoner Getups, Ninja Jumps, Commando Pushups, etc...


Ross Enemait- Never Gymless
Pavel Tsatsouline- The Naked Warrior
Once you get some basic kit, Ross Enemait- Infinite Intensity.

All really good stuff.


Oh sweet lord that is fantastic.


Ain't she.


1) Make your own Bulgarian Bag. It`ll cost you $15 max.

2) Find dumbbells