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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dhartnet
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by dhartnet » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:45 pm

Funny, when we were in FLA a couple weeks back, I did some training like this. Mainly push ups, sit ups, stretches, body weight squats, and some handstand push ups (feet against the wall of course).

I did that for 2 days, and took Ubers (taxi's for those who may not know) to a cool little (serious) gym in Kissimmee FLA called Kissimmee Muscle. Excellent gym...
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~Dave

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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:07 pm

Hi Dave,
thanks for this, nice to see you posting again. Did you know about this gym before hand or did you just take a chance on it and were pleasantly surprised?
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by 28kgKB » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:28 pm

peter yates wrote: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.
That's an award winning combo right there for sure! I wish I could still do dips but they bother my shoulders and sternum. I used to be quite adept at them years ago when I was much younger.

J

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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by David Gentle » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:55 pm

Just to back Gils message, we have parallel lives i think. re training without weights, somewhere on the site, or it might be with my selective stuff,, i wrote an article WAITING FOR THE WEIGHTS. Interested today reading how many of the guys kept at her majestys pleasure do training especially press ups. No kidding, i had a former training partner, who got caught( no ones innocent, its just some get caught) anyway, he used to do 500 press ups every day in sets and when he came out after three years of porridge, he certainly had great pecs.they were not too keen on him trying bar bending. on this note, for a while the us government stopped prisoners doing weight training/power lifting as it was making them s tronger than the screws, but i think its all back with the weights now. I know the prisons have more member of power lifting associations in the nick than out. David Gentle
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by Gil Waldron » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:19 pm

I made recommendations for books on free exercise in an earlier post. I would now like to add to them by recommending David's excellent article Waiting For The Weights. Sorry David it was one of your articles I hadn't read. one of Britain's most notorious prisoners, Charles Bronson (He changed his name) was reputed to be doing over 100 press ups at a time, but I tend to believe this was probably "False News."

Anyone reading The Encyclopedia of Physical Culture by the aforementioned Bernarr Macfadden will find that exercises later seen in the in the Atlas and Liederman courses are illustrated and described in its pages. Macfadden not only wrote about Physical Culture. But also lived it. As Dumbells and Carrot Strips written by one of his wives relates. He was one of the early advocates of free exercise, and a prolific writer of books giving advice on anything health related.

Body and strength building is not just the preserve weight trainers. Excellent results can be gained by body weight exercises. Give it a try. either solely or in conjunction with equipment

Good training
Gil
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:19 pm

David Gentle wrote:Just to back Gils message, we have parallel lives i think. re training without weights, somewhere on the site, or it might be with my selective stuff,, i wrote an article WAITING FOR THE WEIGHTS. Interested today reading how many of the guys kept at her majestys pleasure do training especially press ups. No kidding, i had a former training partner, who got caught( no ones innocent, its just some get caught) anyway, he used to do 500 press ups every day in sets and when he came out after three years of porridge, he certainly had great pecs.they were not too keen on him trying bar bending. on this note, for a while the us government stopped prisoners doing weight training/power lifting as it was making them s tronger than the screws, but i think its all back with the weights now. I know the prisons have more member of power lifting associations in the nick than out. David Gentle
Hi David, the whole thing with weights in prisons depends on just where the prison is located. From what i know of prisons in the USA [thankfully never been in one] from talking to those who know it varies radically State to State. Some of the reasons are 1.Financial, no extra money to buy equipment or just not a priority.2.Safety, in the past prisoners have used weights as weapons against correction officers [screws to you David] or in gang fights, so have been removed.3.Some prisons have weights that are fixed so no plates can be used as weapons or weight can be added and the bars are chained to the floor or benches, this means that a person may have to make jumps of 20 or more lbs to the next weight up. Then there are those prisons where good equipment is available, and as you mention David, there are some top level lifters. In fact i remember reading in old Ironman mags quite a few article by high ranking powerlifters who were incarcerated,[doing porridge David.] In some 1940s Strength and health mags i have there are several articles about the lifting teams in Alcatraz, and some of the York gang actually visited there.So given the wide variation in availability it only makes sense that those not able to have access to equipment would lean toward body weight calisthenics and take them to an extreme level.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:35 pm

Gil Waldron wrote:I made recommendations for books on free exercise in an earlier post. I would now like to add to them by recommending David's excellent article Waiting For The Weights. Sorry David it was one of your articles I hadn't read. one of Britain's most notorious prisoners, Charles Bronson (He changed his name) was reputed to be doing over 100 press ups at a time, but I tend to believe this was probably "False News."

Anyone reading The Encyclopedia of Physical Culture by the aforementioned Bernarr Macfadden will find that exercises later seen in the in the Atlas and Liederman courses are illustrated and described in its pages. Macfadden not only wrote about Physical Culture. But also lived it. As Dumbells and Carrot Strips written by one of his wives relates. He was one of the early advocates of free exercise, and a prolific writer of books giving advice on anything health related.

Body and strength building is not just the preserve weight trainers. Excellent results can be gained by body weight exercises. Give it a try. either solely or in conjunction with equipment

Good training
Gil
Yes Gil, David's article is a good read and in the library. I was given Bronson's book about training in prison and it was a fun read and i picked up a few things. The thing that most people do not understand about body weight training is that just like weight training it is and must be progressive. With weights we can just increase a small amount at a time but with free exercise we need to make the exercise more difficult. Others fail to see the variety of training available with body weight. Take the push up for instance, from the basic PU we have push ups on knuckles, finger tips, feat elevated at various heights, on rings, between chairs, close hands, single arm, Anderson style , handstand against a wall, free handstand,tiger bends. All of the above have multiple progressions, so no one will ever outgrow push ups, and that is just one exercise.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by David Gentle » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:05 pm

Pete certainly knows his stuff, as he says, press ups can carry on getting tougher and tougher, raising legs, single arm push ups etc. I read way back in a Willoughby book that quote "Sandow could do 200 concecitive push ups..almost any time." again long long ago, the Health and Strength magazine ran a press contest i think the winner did around 200 reps. My best concecutive, with legs like bird, was 82 reps, nor could i ever do a single arm push up. In my next Muscleanous to come out in Health and Strength, there should show, taken from the sports pages, of some gymnast almost floating up to a metre, due to the power of his thrust up, you know how we used to clap our hands on the upward push, then drop to the floor for the next rep. Handstand or tiger dips are a whole lot harder, an old favourite of the York gang, I think Jack La Lanne was good at this. I have seen Jack do the tough hold out type of floor dips when he was well into his eightees. Like our founder Gil says, there is a whole lot of good in so called bodyweight exercises/self resistance/Maxalding exercises not to be overlooked for some gimmik , so old thats for some its new. eg.kettle bells and the contrived exercises for the old fashioned medicin ball. Now i know i am getting old as everything is coming around again, wish that army bromide they gave me would start to wear off. David Gentle
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 pm

Hi David,
they slipped that stuff in your tea without telling you didn't they? Had to keep you lads under control somehow. ;)
My old trainer Maurice would not let me do any weights until i had done several months of Body weight training and he did this with everyone for various lengths of time depending on their physical abilities. He did this for several reasons.First of all he noted that the vast majority of early PC guys and bodybuilders started this way and often engaged in gymnastics, tumbling etc. even after starting weights.He felt that one should be able to control his/her body in various planes of motion before trying to control an external object [barbell] and to learn some muscle control to be aware of the muscles the body was using in any particular exercise. He said the body was better conditioned to use weights after this type of training. Another reason he did this was very interesting and something i never heard mentioned anywhere else, although you may have David. He said after a couple of months or so one basic B/W training he could tell if someone had the potential to develop a higher level physique. I have found this to true time and time again. You see if you have 3 or 4 lads all about the same age, say 14 and around the same build, the ones that have the best potential will be literally sprouting muscles in the two months or so of B/W training while the others will be somewhat stronger and doing more reps etc but not look too much different. I remember one lad called Franco who was a normal 13 year old but in 3 months looked so different. By the time he was 15 he looked like a man and was benching 300lb.Anyway after 3 months on the B/W program i was one of the latter group. As far as the tiger bends go i believe Sig Klein is reported to have done 16 in a row and our very own Bill Hunt is recorded as having done the same, as far as i know that has not been beaten.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Body Weight and Free Exercise

Post by peter yates » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:04 am

One area people have questioned me about body weight training is how to build the grip without weight or grippers.Of course the answer should be why not use weight/gripers/other tools to build the grip?It could also be "Have you ever climbed a rope hand over hand without aid from the feet?" Yes i know a question answered with a question, but hits the nail home. However let us look at this from the point of view of someone with very limited resources. First an exercise that will make the fingers like iron spikes and the whole hands and wrist very strong if done progressively, finger tip push ups. Now some out there say that these should be done on the pads of the fingers but i tend to respectfully disagree and recommend that only the tips be used as done in traditional martial arts training.Start with just holding the position for time then gradually move into reps building slowly until 20 can be done smoothly. Then add resistance, raise the feet or omit digits for progression.Hanging from a pull up bar for time is a great grip builder and also stretches out the back and shoulders as an added bonus. build up to a couple of minutes then place some foam around the bar to make it thicker. In time weight can be added to the body to increase difficulty. No weights? A back pack with bricks will do the job.Another is hanging by the fingers from a ledge and the same things apply, of course pull ups can also be done this way. A simple exercise done by old time boxers and wrestlers was to take a sheet of newspaper by the corner and fold into the hand into a tight ball,do this several times until the hand aches and the muscles in the forearm burn. Progression can be made by adding one more sheet then another.This is good to do when traveling without access to other equipment.Another simple exercise when traveling is to soak a towel in water then ring it out as dry as you can,repeat. When i was living in the countryside in Japan this is how i had to wash my canvas karate suit, hits the whole hand and arm right up the the shoulder.The brick lift was taught to me by Bill Hunt and was a favorite stunt of his, one of Bill's last students Mick Bolton built up to 8 X 8 lb building bricks and as far as i know no one has ever done better. It is tops as an exercise though, just lay one brick on edge and another flat across one half of the brick forming a T shape. Grasp the brick at the free end and lift from the ground on to a bench and back again, repeat for a number of reps but not to failure. Pretty much everyone can do one brick but add another and try that. Build up to 12 Reps with whatever amount you can do before adding another brick,then build up again. Warm up well for the harder sets, as the bricks mount up the balance factor becomes much harder. Take your time with this as i hurt my elbow going to gung ho on it. The bricks can also be held for time, you can start with lighter bricks and change to heavier ones over time.Look around for rocks of various weight and sizes to pinch lift and piece of rod can make a nice leverage exerciser by tying a brick on one end. To work the extensors bury the hand in a bucket of sand and open it against the resistance, or loop rubber bands around the fingers and open them. Just a few ways to build the grip with the most simple of tools available most anywhere.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

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