The two systems of training are so different that when used together the athlete has more capacity for strength rather than using one of them alone. A complete and balanced routine cannot be created with weight-lifting alone since the major pressure applied is on the muscle tissue itself—lacking in real joint strength for serious weight smashing. Body-weight training focuses on a full range of motion, putting pressure on joint mobility and tendon flexibility—lacking in targeting hypertrophy in muscle tissue due to your bodyweight never changing drastically.
The main component in increasing difficulty for body-weight movements is leverage, but the average trainee will be unable to move quickly enough to more advanced positions to create hypertrophy compared to a simple weight-lifting program that adds weight to the exercise every set. But, the bodyweight trainee is setting his joint strength up for future heavy loads and safer lifting in the future.
The blend of weight-lifting and body-weight training has withstood the test of time for athletes of a variety of sports and they continue to be the strategy for modern-day coaches and olympic athletes. Let’s go over the most basic routines for both, creating a foundational knowledge that can later build to much more complex routines. However, at the core level of training hides a profound truth: a simple routine is going to outperform any complex or sudo-advanced techniques. Over time the greatest in the gym have simply either added more weight to the same exercise or decreased the leverage making a simple pushup into a full planche.
A Note on Machines and Isolation Movements
Get rid of any machine or isolation training unless you are either carb depleting for a physique contest or so plateaued that you can’t add any more weight to your sets and you need a change (in that case you messed up already by not adding a deloading cycle). The principle behind that idea is based on testosterone recruitment needing large amounts of pressure placed on the muscles. The less strain and stress on your biceps, the less testosterone recruitment will be needed in the body.
Machines have been created for the carb-depleted athlete in order to prevent injury in a weakened state. More mass and more efficiency in general will be supplied from multi-joint compound movements from free weights. You will get a better pump in the gym and more potential for hypertrophy if you perform barbell curls instead of one-arm dumbbell curls.
The Last Weight-Lifting Routine You Need
Thanks to Casey Butt, Ph.D., you never have to worry about a complex strategy for gains in the gym—he’s already done the work for you.
• Squats • Bench Press • Bent Over Barbell Rows • Overhead Barbell Press • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts • Barbell Curls • Donkey Calf Raises • Reverse Crunch, subbed with any ab work that uses the entire body.
That is it. Anything else will not be as effective for a basic goal of mass and strength. The beginners use less weight and sets, the advanced just increase weight and sets with a slight change in movements. Dr. Casey outlines his 3-month program on his website. You can thank me in 3 months, but you will probably see results in 1.
When you get near the last month of the routine, Casey subs the old routine for some new work:
- Front Squats
- Incline Presses
- Upright Rows
- Tricep Extensions
- Wrist Curls
- Ab Work
Body-weight training is simple, but advertising for programs and overall BS has made it all confusing for the beginner. The foundation for all body-weight training are in the following movements:
Within each of those exercises lay hundreds of more complex and demanding leverages and ranges of motion—they all stem from those 4 exercises. Every man should be able to perform the following routine:
- Pushups: 5 sets of 10 reps
- Pull-ups/Chin-ups: 3 sets of 8
- Dips: 5 sets of 5
- V-ups: 3 sets of 12
I consider this routine a warm-up for myself and those that I train. I have also encountered people in the past who could not actually do one pull up or one pushup. You can imagine how shocked I was to see that for the first time, having believed my entire life that not being able to perform such basic tasks would be impossible (surely everyone can do a pushup), not so. Every man should know exactly how many pushups he could perform spur of the moment. Pulling up your own bodyweight should be a basic task for regular, everyday life.
A Word on Cardio:
30 minutes of sweat, 3 times a week: Cardiovascular performance is one of the easiest exercises to perform. If you can walk then you can do cardio. Do not underestimate fast walking. Olympian, drug free bodybuilders throughout history have been known to employ fast walking for 30 minutes everyday before contests.
Shreddedness, Vascularity and the Six-Pack
Nutrition, plain and simple. If your diet is not on point then chances are you will have a subcutaneous layer of fat and water, possibly excess glycogen stores as well, giving you a fuller but fluffier plumpy look instead of being vascular and ripped. Sorry, but if you are not one with your macros you won’t be getting too lean.
You have to understand macros to really tone down and get the last of the fat gone. The veins coming up to your belly button and the bicep ropes climbing down to your forearms all pop out from low fat and water underneath the skin. To get there you have to get rid of the chin and lower abdomen fat stores, while maintaining a regular cardio schedule to constantly look dry.
Intuitive eaters can get close, but you have better chances of tracking macros. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Those with high metabolism and are born skinny and dry looking, well, you are a hard gainer so sucks for you in that area.
Ok you saucy beautiful bastards, good luck.