By Brad Borland, MA, CSCS

Normally seen as reserved for the “light-hearted fitness enthusiast” bodyweight training can be a surprisingly effective and efficient tool regarding your physique goals. Bodyweight training will not only add to your development, but can also be utilized as a fat-burning circuit in place of machine-driven cardio. Additionally, it can give your body overall strength and performance that some isolated resistance training can lack at times.

Another great benefit is psychological. Throwing in one of these circuits for a break from the norm can rejuvenate certain areas of your physique and get gains moving again. Done at the gym or at home these circuits can many times spawn new muscle strength and growth in lagging areas in less time. Still not convinced?

Do not underestimate a sound bodyweight circuit – give these routines an honest try and find out yourself – no weights necessary.

Beginner upper body circuit:

to be performed non-stop for 3-5 rounds (rest one minute after each round)

- Push-ups
- Wide-grip pull-ups
- Parallel dips
- Reverse-grip biceps chin-ups
- Leg lift off bench
- Lying crunch
- Plank for 20-30 seconds

Advanced upper body circuit:

to be performed non-stop for 3-5 rounds (rest one minute after each round)


- 3-way push-up (feet on bench, feet on floor, and hands elevated – one set of each)
- Rack chins (wide, shoulder and close grip – one set of each)
- Bench dips
- Rack biceps curls (like the rack chins, but with a reverse grip)
- Hanging leg raises
- Crunches on exercise ball
- 3-way plank for 20-30 seconds

Beginner lower body circuit:

to be performed non-stop for 3-5 rounds (rest one minute after each round)

- Squat
- Stationary lunge
- Side lunge
- Sumo squat
- One-legged calf raise off of floor
- Incline crunch

Advanced upper body circuit:

to be performed non-stop for 3-5 rounds (rest one minute after each round)

- Jump squat
- Step-up
- Walking lunge
- One-legged Bulgarian split squat
- One-legged calf raise off of block
- 3-way crunch on exercise ball

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This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - July 8th, 2010

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