Posted by on Jan 7, 2015

Ben Hessel graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Science while earning his personal training certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). In 2011, he began his own personal training business. Want to train with Ben? We can hook you up.

The secret to transforming your body isn’t just about a certain rep scheme or a specific lifting tempo. What matters just as much is finding something that’s engaging, challenging, and that you can do when all odds (time, work, Netflix) are stacked against you.

Over time, one thing I’ve found works best (and that produces some serious results) is bodyweight training like an athlete. Now, you may be used to hearing typical war cries for the bodybuilding regime: “you can’t replace 3 sets of bench with pushups!” And while in many ways they’re right, athletic bodyweight training is way more thoughtful than hitting the bench for 3 sets, doing pull-downs for 3 sets, doing curls for 3 sets, etc., and that’s just one reason why it’s so successful.  I’ll share some videos and tricks below.

So how much can you really challenge your shape with bodyweight workouts?

Check out three new ways to OVERLOAD your muscles for maximum results – and, best of all, you can try them right now!

1. Density Drop Sets

I’ll give you two versions of this.  One for people who are able to do plyometric (jump) work, and one version that avoids that.

In these programs, everything can be modified!  Using smart planning, we’re able to prevent members from being trapped into a mold.

Version 1:  Plyo-Regular-Kneeling Pushups

In this video I go from beginning to advanced, but if you reverse that order, you’re able to recruit all of your muscle fibers for power, strength and endurance.

Version 2:  Decline-Regular-Incline

Don’t expect to get many of the latter two, but start with decline pushups, and bump down to the next versions in the sequence as your muscles burn out.

Here are two Density Drop Sets for legs:

  1. Lunge Jumps into bodyweight squats

  2. Skier Jumps into Crossover Lunges

2. Calisthenic Combos

These are basically two exercises in one to incorporate even more muscles in a shorter time.

One of my favorites is Atomic Pushups, which can be done with no equipment, sliders, or TRX bands.

You can also check out this guy doing a pull-up/leg raise combo!

3. Progressive Strength

“Push-ups are easy” – yeah, I’ve heard that before.  Pretty good at some plyo push-ups too?

Time to give one-armed push-ups a shot!  This version is a lot more doable for most, and frankly a little more effective:

Want to put the fun back in your next bodyweight training program?  Join Bodyweight Bodybuilding today!

Featured image courtesy of Oliver Peng.

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