When someone spends more than half of their life on weightlifting teams, first being in it and then coaching it, they would know thing or two about how to build muscles. This is what i did – I spent most of my high school years (well” all of them actually) on the weightlifting team. Working for maximal strength was the order of the day trying to limit our repetitions to five or less. This provided a wealth of benefits as my static strength also improved tremendously along with my maximal strength. It was all fun, the excitement of outdoing others and trying your best to excel. One key was being part of the team. We were a group of like minded people who worked and travel in pacs.
Later in my life however I found it hard to find a constant training partner and so I began doing weight training workouts that I can do on my own. Everything was going fine until I was forbidden to do weightlifting for fear that I’d bulk up and gain weight.
Of course strength training doesn’t bulk you up I just gained weight naturally due to my misunderstanding of mid range repetitions which caused my muscles to swell similar to the way that bodybuilders build their muscles. Training for a one rep max became my focus once again and I liked to work out several times a day. As time became constraint and need for still keeping my body fit, i ventured on to bodyweight exercises, spending lots of time, looking at the benefit of each. There were some exercises, which i removed from my list due to different reasons. To make it easier for you guys. I have compiled a few bodyweight exercises for all skill levels that you can use to build maximum strength. Many of these workouts require full body tension and lots of tensing of the core so abdominal exercises aren’t included.
1. The one armed pushup:
King of all pushups. This will impress your friends make sure to keep your shoulders parallel to the ground feet just slightly wider than shoulder width and bring your chest down until it almost touches the floor. Form is important if you can’t do one legit do them on an incline with your hand on a box or chair.
2. Pushups from the hip:
I include these because they’re much more difficult than regular pushups and usually can only be done in reps under five (which is the goal here). If they get too easy put your feet up higher and higher.
3. Static strength exercises:
I’m putting these all together because they all depend on the persons preexisting static strength. For those of us who are weaker try planches with feet on a chair gradually putting more weight on the arms. Aim for holding it about 2 to 3 minutes total time. More advanced (or lighter) people might try frog stances knee tucks full planches headstands (against a wall these are good for larger people too) and hollows.
4. Handstand pushups:
Do em against a wall if you’re not able to do a handstand they’re tough stuff and require full body tension so flex those abs!
5. Pull ups:
If you cant do more than 5 two handed is fine. As you get stronger progress to uneven pull ups (by draping a towel over the bar and gripping it with one hand while the other is on the bar) and one armed pull ups.
6. Rafter Pull ups:
Super strong manly men need only apply! Pinching a rafter with both hands and pulling yourself up. Requires huge grip strength.
7. One legged squats:
Kick that front leg in front of you and squat down on one leg. Bet you can’t do to many! Heavier athletes might want to consider holding a weight in front of them to help balance it does help! An easier variation is bending one leg behind you and going down on until your knee hits the ground.
8. Static strength for legs:
Good ol’ horse stance is the way to go. With legs wider than shoulder width bend down low and stick your arms either at your sides or straight out in front of you. When it starts to hurt go lower!
These workouts will keep the strongest among us satisfied so have fun making life miserable for yourself!