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Picture this, you have decided to take a break out of your busy life schedule and go on holiday for the week.
You arrive at your destination, the suns out, your accommodation is great and beach is pristine. But there is a problem. There isn't a single gym within 30 miles.

 

Step in Bodyweight Training. Bodyweight Training (or Calisthenics/Gymnastic Strength Training) has been around long before the first Weight Training machine was ever conceived, dating back to the days of the Spartans of ancient Greece some 1500 years ago. This type of training has been, and is still implemented today in a number of disciplines to produce some of the strongest human beings to have ever walked the earth. Elite gymnasts are often looked at as glitches in the Matrix for being able to achieve some of the amazing bodyweight feats that they can. Ever tried to perform a Maltese? Even world record holding Weightlifter Lu Xiaojun has been seen performing bodyweight exercises such as the Flag Press/Side Lever in training. Coincidence? I think not.

Bodyweight Training's trump card though has to be the fact that the vast majority of it can be performed using minimal or zero equipment. As long as Gravity itself is present, along with a floor then you better believe you have enough equipment to train! (If you're reading this from a space shuttle unlucky bro). For example, let's look into the "Push Up".

 

Everybody has at some point in their life either tried or seen a Push Up/Press Up. Even my friend's baby who isn't even born yet knows what a Push Up is. For this reason I am not going to teach granny how to suck eggs and talk about the full technicalities of this movement. A Push Up is essentially lowering your body down until your chest touches the floor, then extending the arms to push your body back up into the starting position (hands under shoulders/feet together etc). Push Ups can be performed in a gym, in the park, on the beach and so on.

Now the humble Push Up is merely a gateway exercise to numerous Bodyweight movements that have been forged to dramatically increase the strength of your "Pushing" abilities. So you can perform a set of 30 Push Ups? Awesome work, now try and perform a set of 30 with your feet raised on a park bench or a sun lounger. A little tougher? Ok Hercules now I want you to attempt a set of 10 Full Form Chest to Floor Planche Push Ups... can you see where I am going? Just as with Weightlifting, the load that we apply onto our musculature can be easily regulated by the choice of exercise or progression. Say your aim for your session is to perform 4 sets of 10 on Flat Bench, great! You add plates until you hit your working weight. You're on the beach and you want to mimic what you would on a normal Monday evening session (Monday is still international chest day right?), so you perform 4 sets of 10 Feet Raised Diamond Push Ups.

 

Bodyweight Routine

A1. Shoulder Mobilisation

A2. Wrist Mobilisation

B. Wall Facing Handstand Holds 5 x 60seconds

C. Strict Wall Handstand Push Ups 5 x 5

D. Planche Lean Push Ups 5 x 5

E1. Feet Raised Push Ups 3 rounds

E2. Regular Push Ups

E3. Hands Raised Push Ups

+ Perform E1 for 12 reps, E2 for 10, then E3 to failure (should be around 8). Rest, repeat.

 

 

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