Strength training without weights
December 19th 2018
Looking to do strength training without weights? No problem. There are plenty of great movements to do without using weights.
Are you trying to start exercising but you do not have time to go to the gym? Find yourself too far away but you need to get a workout in? Is it possible to strength train without weights?
I will be 100% honest with you.
If you are looking to lift heavy or even dream about breaking world records, it will be in your best interest to invest into finding a gym to strength train. In order to be the best in your sport, whether it is strength training or powerlifting, you will need to have access to equipment. And one of the cheapest ways to do so is to have a gym membership.
Having a gym membership is a lot cheaper than owning your own equipment. It is cost friendly and space saving.
If you are looking to just get active and see where it takes you, strength training without weights can be a great transition for you. You can definitely do it for the short term and see whether or not you want to continue to push your body to the next level or if you want to just exercise your body for maintenance.
For strength training beginners out there, strength training without weights is possible! Your body does a great job to set you up to have a great workout without even using any equipment. Body weight training exercises, movements that encourage you to push or pull your own body weight, can stimulate muscle growth. It will do a wonderful job to prepare you for physical activities in everyday life, from lifting your kids to carrying heavy grocery bags.
Now, I have been strength training for nearly six year now. I have ran many workout programs that incorporate strength training without weights. It would be a sin NOT to utilize all the tools and strategies out there to maximize my own growth. Simply put, there are many exercises that are too damn good to ignore. They are critical in order to develop as a strength athlete.
So, to even those strength training athletes that do go to the gym, if you have not included some of these movements in your routine, I invite you to give these exercises a try.
1. Push ups
Push ups are a compound exercise, meaning that it uses several muscle groups at once. It is one of the greatest strength training exercises that do not use any weight.
It engages your abdominals, chest, triceps, and deltoids. So, it makes perfect sense that doing push-ups will also help train your muscles to support proper posture. By doing this movement correctly, it can prevent and guard against potential injuries.
In the past, there were several training blocks where I included push ups in my routine. I would aim to do a certain number of push ups for the day, no matter how many sets it took. I remembered the number used to be 40 push ups. So, I would do two sets of twenty push ups. Eventually, 40 push ups got too easy and I increased it up to 50 push ups. You can see the domino effect already.
Though planks look deceiving simple, they are not. In fact, planks engage the entire core. It also works on your back and shoulder stability. By learning how to engage your abs, you also learn how to relax your back. As a result, doing planks can help you improve your posture.
I also incorporated planks in my past training blocks. I would do them after my workout to have an exercise that specifically targeted my core. I would train to do my planks for longer periods of time and eventually, I even added weights to make my planks harder.
If you have any railing overhead or a park nearby your home, this is a must-do exercise if you are looking to strength training without weights.
There is no secret that pull-ups are a compound movement, that targets your shoulders, back, and arms. There is also no secret that some of the greatest strength athletes now are incorporating pull-ups in their workout routine.
Do not believe me? Check out one of the five tips 900+ lbs deadlifter Cailer Woolam shared with the community.
I even incorporated pull-ups in my program currently. I do two sets of pull-ups to failure. While I did used to do weighted pull-ups in the past, I am currently doing body weight pull-ups to failure so that I can gain better control of the movement.
If your park has the benches to support doing dips, I would highly recommend doing them. If not, you can focus on just doing more sets of push-ups. Try different variations to keep your training challenging.
Dips work on your chest, triceps and shoulders. They are incredibly challenging especially if you are unable to do a few push-ups. So, I would definitely recommend people to focus on their push-ups first before adding dips in their program.
I have used dips in my past programs. In fact, I did weights when I was doing Greyskull LP. It was an accessory movement to get bigger arms. I definitely agree that after a few months of doing dips, my arms did grow.
Strength training without weights can work
Without trying to overload you with too many exercises, these are four exercises that I find people can do without weights. These four exercises will set you up to have a good base for strength training without weights.
How long should I strength training without weights?
I hate to use this phrase, but it really depends on your goals. As a general recommendation, I would say that you should try to strength train without weights for at least 90 days.
This will be a good challenge to see if you really want to continue or if you are just testing the waters. Remember that results from strength training will differ for different lifters. But it is an excellent way of getting started to living a very healthy and fulfilled life.
What should my program be to strength train without weights?
Since you are strength training without weights, you have the luxury of exercising anywhere, This is a huge benefit since you can save time and money.
In terms of how frequent you should do the lifts, I would recommend that you do all four of these movements three to fives times a week.
You can do them three times a week if you are active in other sports. You can do them up to five times a week if this is your only form of exercise.
This is only the beginning
Strength training comes in many forms. For right now, it starts without weights. You will decide, eventually, how your strength training journey will continue.
Lets get stronger together. We will meet up at the crossroads of strength.