Day 230 (R, 110818) — The Potential of Bodyweight Exercises; Max Capacity Training Day 29 Redux

The Potential of Bodyweight Exercises.  Bodyweight Training (BWT) can do wonders; take a look at this guy: D3Hundred.

A commenter once told me that Herschel Walker claims to have never lifted a weight in his life.  I’ve heard the same claim for Bo Jackson and a few other pro athletes.

But I wonder what BWT can do it all for us Regular Joes . . . .

  • D3Hundred was a serious weightlifter prior to starting his bodyweight training.  Not to belittle what D3Hundred can do, but if you start big, it just might not be as difficult to make BWT do wonders.
  • Walker and Jackson were elite athletes with a drive (and resources) many of us will never achieve.  Plus they have the advantage of incredible genetic potential which we don’t have, either.
  • How many of these tales are apocryphal to being with, setting up a false hope?

If one does nothing but sit ups, push ups, pull ups, dips, and squats . . . would that make you big?

It would certainly make you fit — especially if you incorporated all the variations in the movements like MCT workouts do or the D3Hundred video above shows — which is what most of us (I think) are shooting for.

But would normal people see anything like the results these athletes (supposedly) achieved using BWT alone?

Anybody want to point me to some evidence that BWT alone, without freakish genetics and prior years of weight training, will pump you up?

Putting Off Until Today. Speaking of BWT . . . I didn’t do my MCT workout last night.  Things got busy, I let myself get distracted, and by the time I thought about it, it was too late.  I’m not worried, however: I’ve done this before and, as my saving grace, I have always made it up the following day.

It means I’ll have to do MCT workouts two days in a row but that’s not a problem this week since these workouts use a 50-10 protocol.  I don’t know about you, but I find 50-10 much easier than Tabata.

Max Capacity Training, Do-Over. In keeping with this weeks 50-10 theme, MCT Day 29 is the following exercises in a 50-10 timing protocol.

  1. Staggered Push-ups: 25
  2. Sprinter’s Squats: 14
  3. Air Force Crunches: 16
  4. Lalanne Elbows Plank: 10

This seems like it is going to a balanced workout, hitting chest, legs, and core pretty evenly.

UPDATE – Review.  I found I couldn’t do the Lalanne plank and so I did a plank with my elbows on the ground. It still kicked my butt.

Notes for this workout:

  1. I got carpet burn on my elbows from the plank.  If you do the exercise right, you won’t have to worry about this. If you can’t do the Lalanne plank like me, be careful.
  2. If your balance sucks like mine does, do the squats near a wall so you can use it for support and not fall over.
  3. Doing the staggered push ups gave me an extra bunch of respect for what D3Hundred does in that video up top.


Plan for Week 33.

Day Fast? SCD? Run? MCT?
Sunday No No No No
Monday Yes Yes No Yes
Tuesday Yes No Yes No No
Wednesday Yes Yes No Yes No
Thursday Yes Yes No No Yes
Friday Yes Yes No Yes
Saturday No No Yes No

I skipped my MCT workout on Wednesday and will do it tonight, come Hell, high water, or twins. 😉


I just did25 staggered push-ups, 14 sprinter squats, 16 air force crunches and 5 seconds of Lalanne plank on Day 29, Round 1…

Actually, I found I couldn’t do the Lelanne plank and so I did a plank with my elbows on the ground. Still kicked my butt.


2 responses to “Day 230 (R, 110818) — The Potential of Bodyweight Exercises; Max Capacity Training Day 29 Redux

  1. BW stuff seems to work depending on what you want it to work for. Gymnasts are the classic bw types.

    TUT seems to relate to growth (which is what I’d consider “getting pumped up”) and I can say that doing more volume on pushups, personally, made my man bewbiez look bigger than doing heavy bench press.

    I think all the standard personal trainer things can be done, increasing intensity, speed strength, endurance, etc, all the basic performance characteristics folks care about, can be trained using nothing but those. And obvs you can facilitate weight loss using them.

    So I think, per usual, the question is always: What is your goal?

    Once you’ve got the goal selecting methods to attain it are moderately easy. If you don’t have a goal….who really cares what you’re doing?

    If you have to work out at home, can’t afford a gym, etc, bw stuff might be helpful. If you want to work specific forms of muscular strength endurance for martial arts\physical competition bw stuff might be helpful. If the sole (or primary, or A primary..) goal is muscular size I don’t think they’d be as economical as a more traditional weight lifting type set up, but at the same time no reason they can’t work for that either.

    Similarly if you’ve got guys who are already big, trained or untrained, you can likely use appropriate intensity to maintain existing strength and if they are born strong and train correctly they can certainly increase their strength using nothing but bw stuff (again, see gymnasts).

    Finally the question is when you say “the results these athletes achieved” well…what are those results? D3Hundred for instance, how big was he prior to doing any weight training at all? I’m guessing “not small”. So could he have done nothing but his bw stuff and THEN gone in to weight training at the same level? And if so would that be the same results?

    A lot of lifting, or bw training, after a point, I think, is less physical capacity than it is sport specific training.

    If you’ve got a guy that never squats (weighted squats) but is very strong his squat would be pretty strong to start, but it would improve rapidly as he gets the form\neural conditioning.
    Sorta like martial arts, you can show somebody “how to hit hard” in…10 minutes. They won’t be able to do it, but if they learn the skill, even if they don’t get stronger, they’ll hit harder. Same here, you can learn to lift more, or do bw movements, simply by improving coordination.

    So as with all personal training related stuff, I say: Define the goal, select the appropriate methods to accomplish that efficiently.

  2. Awesome video. That guy is amazing. He looks like a break dancer when he’s doing those pushups. If you watch his interview videos, you see how hard he works every day to be able to do that. Up at 2 a.m. and in the gym from 4 to 6. I’ll have to watch this video now for inspiration before my next workout, LOL.

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