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Jared Bass
Jared Bass

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy


Increase strength, build mass, burn fat, and define your muscles. With full-color anatomical illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and training advice, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is the authoritative resource for sculpting your physique without free weights, machines, or expensive equipment.




Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy



"Bret Contreras is hands down one of the top fitness professionals. If you want to learn the science and art of bodyweight training, there is no better resource than Bret's book, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy."


Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is an illustrated book with over 150 exercise descriptions (and pictures) and a chapter that teaches you how to write your own bodyweight strength training programs.


Increase strength, build mass, burn fat, and define your muscles. With full-color anatomical illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and training advice, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is the authoritative resource for sculpting your physique without free weights, machines, or expensive equipment.


"Bret Contreras is hands down one of the top fitness professionals. If you want to learn the science and art of bodyweight training, there is no better resource than Bret's book, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy."


People choose to exercise for many reasons. Some want to improve their general health, some want to build larger muscles, some want to shed fat, some seek to get stronger, some hope to improve their functional strength and athleticism, and some strive to eliminate joint dysfunction and prevent injury. Bodybuilders seek maximum hypertrophy (muscularity), powerlifters seek maximum strength, weightlifters seek maximum power, and sprinters seek maximum speed. It should come as no surprise that their training methods differ substantially because training for a particular purpose affects the way a person trains.


In general, there is too much hype surrounding the topic of sport-specific training. While it is true that athletes from different sports require unique types of strength and energy system development, ideally every athlete should display sound movement patterns and athleticism. This is why it's essential to master the basics as you lay the foundation for subsequent adaptations. You want to make sure that you analyze your sport and perform exercises that use the same muscles and mimic the movement patterns and directions found in the sport, but don't get too carried away to the point that you lose sight of the basics. All athletes should possess balanced strength and mobility. Single-leg exercises such as Bulgarian split squats and single-leg hip thrusts and core-stability exercises such as RKC planks and side planks are great exercises for all athletes.


When you train for maximal strength you want to perform multijoint movements, stay in lower repetition ranges, and rest more between sets. With bodyweight training, this is not always feasible. For example, the squat, bench press, and deadlift are three of the most popular exercises in resistance training because they use a lot of muscles and allow you to lift large loads. However, in bodyweight training, although you can tweak exercises to make them easier or more challenging according to your level of strength, the most resistance you'll ever use is equal to your body weight. For this reason it can be difficult to develop maximal strength solely through bodyweight training.


The best approach to developing maximal strength through bodyweight training is to lay down an excellent foundation of flexibility, stability, and motor control. This provides a base for future gains and advancement to more challenging exercise variations. I read an interview with a U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who said that although his gymnasts never performed resistance training and solely performed bodyweight exercises, many of them could bench press double their bodyweight and deadlift triple their bodyweight. Clearly a person who performs advanced variations of bodyweight exercises can develop impressive levels of strength. Master the basics and then progress to single-limb exercises, plyometrics, and other advanced methods.


When training for maximum muscularity make sure you add sets of higher repetitions and training that targets certain regions of the body, along with resting less between sets. While strength is paramount for hypertrophy, the relationship isn't linear. Always feel the intended muscles working and use controlled form through a full range of motion. A variety of repetition ranges is ideal for muscle growth as is a large variety of exercises to stimulate all of the regions of the muscles.


When focusing on weight loss, retain as much muscle as possible to ensure that the pounds shed are composed of fat rather than muscle mass. This is the key to a quality physique. Remember that what builds muscle keeps muscle, so your training doesn't have to change much. Train for strength and simply add a couple of MRT circuits or HIIT sessions (see chapter 10) during your training week and focus on your diet. I'll expound on this later in this chapter.


Many folks absolutely love the prospect of being able to train efficiently in the convenience of their own home. Most fitness enthusiasts have gym memberships and have become highly dependent on machines and free weights to work their muscles. While I'm a huge proponent of using all types of resistance, bodyweight training is without a doubt the most convenient type of resistance. All you need is your own physical being, and you'll never be without equipment or a facility and you'll never need a spotter. In other words, if you learn to use your body as a barbell then you'll always have the ability to obtain a great workout. You can gain tremendous functional fitness in terms of strength, power, balance, and endurance from progressive bodyweight training, and recent research shows that you can enhance your flexibility to the same or even a greater degree through resistance training than from a stretching routine.


I like to watch all types of athletes train. As a strength coach I've watched thousands of athletes lift weights. Two types of athletes have always stood out to me in terms of superior muscular control: gymnasts and bodybuilders. In awe, I watch the gymnast on the rings or the pommel horse maneuvering his body around the apparatus with precision. I watch the bodybuilder contract his or her muscles against the resistance with total concentration. When training with body weight, you want to learn from these athletes and develop a tremendous mind-muscle connection, which will allow you to achieve an amazing workout anywhere you go.


You will never fear having subpar training sessions when you go on vacation because you'll be able to perform an effective workout from the comfort of your hotel room. You'll realize that you don't need barbells, dumbbells, or elastic resistance bands. With sound knowledge of the biomechanics of bodyweight training, you can learn to create just as much force in the muscles as if performing heavy resistance training.


Bodyweight exercises can build the glutes very well, but it's important to first learn proper form during basic exercises before advancing to more difficult variations. Many people fail to properly activate their glutes or use movement strategies to take advantage of the strong and powerful gluteus maximus. By mastering proper activation and using excellent technical form, you will rely on the gluteus maximus for many primal movement patterns, including squatting, bending, lunging, twisting, walking, and running. It is often said that abs are made in the kitchen. I'm here to tell you that glutes are made during strength training exercise. 041b061a72


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