Body Weight and Free Exercise

Topics that focus on building strength and muscle using old school and modern training techniques. Post questions, share training tips and programs.

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Gil Waldron
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by Gil Waldron » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:47 pm

I mentioned in my previous post I was using Qi gong or Chi Kung. I use the system Zhan Zhuang following Lam Kam Chuen's book, The Way of Energy. The book which I highly recommend is set out as an easy to follow course. At first when reading of the benefits that could be obtained by standing postures, I admit I was, as most westerners I believe would be, a little sceptical. But I was willing to give it a try. The first thing I noticed as an Asthmatic, was my breathing was improving. This wasn't an imaginative improvement but a measured one. I blew 500 on the Peak Flow Meter, well up on my last test of 350. One of the main results though was the utter feeling of calmness I experienced whilst holding the postures, in fact I found myself nearly falling asleep. I think this is called a Meditative State, this had the knock on effect of lowering my blood pressure by a good few points. Allowing your body to attain this state, I found prepares you for more physical exercises. It teaches you to be in your body, feeling each muscle, able to put the mind into the muscle being worked, so increasing the benefits of the exercise. This is where East meets West, where two opposing systems can be brought together to make a system which creates a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body
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Internalfitness
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by Internalfitness » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:53 pm

Gil Waldron wrote:I mentioned in my previous post I was using Qi gong or Chi Kung. I use the system Zhan Zhuang following Lam Kam Chuen's book, The Way of Energy. The book which I highly recommend is set out as an easy to follow course.
I second that book - and I might add the course is available as a series of youtube videos, here is the first 'day':


youtu.be/y07FauHYlmg

Just popped it on the TV myself and followed along, dead easy & highly recommended.

Richie.

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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:56 pm

Thanks Richie.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by 28kgKB » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:34 pm

Well, in my own training, I will say that I do occasionally enjoy bodyweight training exercises, but I do not do them to the exclusion of anything else. I really only do body weight pullups and reverse grip push ups on a bar now (for the triceps). I was a gymnastic ring fanatic for a few years, but found that as I got older I just didn't have the flexibility that I once had when I was younger and I wasn't as strong on the movements either as I once was.SO I resigned myself to hanging my rings off my power rack and doing pushups on them.

I believe bodyweight and/or free exercise has its place in training, I just prefer not to rely on it to the exclusion of weight training as I think one has to at least include a few basic barbell exercises for mass.

Since my neck and back injury decades ago and now a hernia repaired with mesh, I simply cannot and will not do the types of exercises I previously did - the ones the got me hurt to begin with. At 56, my competition days are long behind me and I have no desire anymore to do much past training to stay as strong as possible and to stay in shape into old age.

In the past month my focus has shifted to more cardio type work and as of late I'm training three days a week and running three days a week. I've dropped all weight related leg work in favor of simple running, mainly because I don't have equipment such as a leg press, leg extension or leg curl machines which I would use for leg work given my neck and back injuries. I'm not interested in going to a gym for those movements right now but will either buy that equipment for my home gym or simply join a gym that has them in the future.

I basically do all my upper body work on one day now, and run the next day for leg and cardio work. Works like a champ! My upper body work in the past week has consisted of bench pressing three times a week, heavy, medium and light and the rest of the workout is a mix of dumb bell work and exercises on the Total Gym a la Chuck Norris.

That machine has its uses for sure! I get a terrific pump from it. I pretty much do three exercises for one or maybe two sets each, but only for a total of 3-4 sets PER bodypart, so while I may use three exercises for the shoulders say one workout, I might only use one exercise for the next workout, but do it for three sets.

I've found that this machine is gentle on my body and does not cause any pain while working out. Its a nice piece of equipment. I have the top of the line model so that helps.

I may at some point buy a Trap Bar to use for squat/deadlifts, but I'd be just as happy getting a leg press machine, too. I'm enjoying the running for now as it makes my body very hard. Everything is tight after running. I need to lose weight anyway so the running is two fold.....leg work and cardio. My calves and thighs are tight and muscular from running. No need to squat anymore. Can't anyway with this patch in my gut as its just too uncomfortable to do.

Bodyweight though works if you put in enough volume. One only has to look at convicts, the military and gymnasts to see that.

J

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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:07 pm

Hi John,
thanks for updating us on your training. Glad to see you are working things out to allow you train post injury/surgery. Seems like you have found a winning combination for you at this stage in your life. The great thing about PC is that there are so many ways to get the job done that we never need be stuck to come up with something to fit our own particular needs. Personally i love the feel of using weights and in my opinion are the best and surest way to build density and power into the muscular system.However free exercise, expanders, devises such as the total gym etc. stimulate the body in unusual and beneficial ways not always possible with weights. End of the day it never needs to be an either or situation. We can each choose from the various methods as it suits our needs. I really enjoy people posting their real world training rather than the fantasy stuff in the muscle comics as i always pick up some good ideas to explore. For instance it was reading a previous post from you that reminded me what a neat tool the TG is and i have started doing some work with it again. As far as the trap bar V the leg press, for myself the TB works better as i find the LP does put strain on my back. I would try both out though to see what works best for you as that is what is most important. With the TB though you can still train at home and save a few bucks. Look like the running is hitting the legs and tightening things up so probably all you need for now.Good training.
Regards,Peter.
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Gil Waldron
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by Gil Waldron » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:31 pm

When looking on the internet for free exercise, you will find plenty of on line muscle pedlars trying to sell you wonder courses. Usually copied, filched, or stolen from sites like HOPC, at prices that will make your eyes water and your wallets much lighter. I must admit I've waded through the bumf and the more I've read the less impressed I've been. Weights and resistance m/c are good and the preference of a great many trainers. I admit during a period of my own training no one would have persuaded me to swap my bench press for press ups. But it does come to a time in a guys life where, because of past health problems weights are not an option, and you want to still use resistance exercise.
If this is what you want, plan your routine. This is the way you can get great results, consider every muscle group and its purpose, e.g The triceps straighten the arm, the biceps bend the arm etc. Then find out what movement is best for you, and remember the old adage. "One Mans Meat is Another Mans Poison" Get to know your own body. there is some good books out there on free exercise. Two I can recommend (1) Mr Tough by Anthony Greenbank. I believe this one was reissued as Build a New Body. (2) You are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren.
Keep training
Gil
Gil Waldron
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peter yates
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:50 pm

Just had a great all body weight session although i did use a weight vest as added resistance for some of it. What i have found by adding this B/W session with higher reps and volume after my heavier BB session earlier in the week is elimination of any nagging aches, improved conditioning, fuller look to the muscles. I can get a lot of work done in a short time too by alternating exercises or even super setting them. Plenty of ways to progress too. Thanks Gil for the book recommendations. Others i have that i like are Dinosaur Body Weight Training by Brooks Kubik and Never Gymless by Ross Enamait.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:42 pm

Gil Waldron wrote:When looking on the internet for free exercise, you will find plenty of on line muscle pedlars trying to sell you wonder courses. Usually copied, filched, or stolen from sites like HOPC, at prices that will make your eyes water and your wallets much lighter. I must admit I've waded through the bumf and the more I've read the less impressed I've been. Weights and resistance m/c are good and the preference of a great many trainers. I admit during a period of my own training no one would have persuaded me to swap my bench press for press ups. But it does come to a time in a guys life where, because of past health problems weights are not an option, and you want to still use resistance exercise.
If this is what you want, plan your routine. This is the way you can get great results, consider every muscle group and its purpose, e.g The triceps straighten the arm, the biceps bend the arm etc. Then find out what movement is best for you, and remember the old adage. "One Mans Meat is Another Mans Poison" Get to know your own body. there is some good books out there on free exercise. Two I can recommend (1) Mr Tough by Anthony Greenbank. I believe this one was reissued as Build a New Body. (2) You are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren.
Keep training
Gil
Hey Gil, you are certainly right about the rip off merchants out there. Taking a bit of this and a bit of that from established sources then claiming to have the created the ultimate system, often based on some secret Russian manuscript. For a fraction of the price these guys are charging you can have membership to the library with all of the information straight from the originators of the systems. Cannot get better than that.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by 28kgKB » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:07 pm

One of my favorite bodyweight combos for upper body training was this:

I had a doorway chin bar that fit over the molding of the door way. I was fortunate to have lived in an apartment at that time that was built in 1910 so there were these super wide moldings made of oak around the door. I trained in my kitchen, between the kitchen and dining room. I also would attach my rings from the chin up bar and simply alternate a set of pullups or chins with ring pushups.

I pretty much did 10 sets of each, using three or four sets of wide grip pullups, three or four sets of medium shoulder width grip pullups, and/or three to four sets of chin ups. I supersetted with pushups on the rings and got an amazing pump out of that. It made my body hard and I added size to my upper body. When all was said and done, I'd performed over hundred push ups on the rings in the workout and since my pullups weren't that strong I ended up hovering at around 50-60 of those per workout.

At that time, I had no weights other than some kettlebells so on one day I would do swings and snatches and the next day the pullup/pushup combo and it worked like a champ.

Its amazing what a simple workout will do.

John

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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:29 pm

Hey John,
i am with you there.One of the best combo there is for whole upper body development. In my weekly B/W session i am doing parallel grip pull ups alternated with dips and close grip chins alternated with ring push ups.Great stuff.
Regards,Peter.
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