Two Body Weight Exercise Techniques To Help You Grow Muscle Faster

Getting to the gym can be a time consuming endeavor. Wouldn’t it be great if we could build muscle from the comfort of our own homes, and with no equipment? In the following guest post, Todd Kuslikis will show us exactly how to do that.

Have you ever heard this statement?bodyweight training for men

If you want to get lean do body weight exercises. If you want to build muscle you have to use weights.”

While I was in High School I heard this all the time from my friends. We would hit the weights at the local YMCA and be in awe of some of the dudes in the gym.

They could curl 75’s, 85’s, sometimes even 95’s! I was blown away. And of course they had muscle too.

I remember one time I walked into the gym and went to the dumbbell station to grab my 45’s (Yeah, I know. I used to be one of those guys that never really warmed up.) and I looked in the mirror and saw something that about made me drop my weight. Twenty feet away from me on the squat rack was none other than WWF promoter Vince McMahon! That night a WWF event was going on at the local arena of Grand Rapids, Michigan and apparently Vince was getting his workout in.

Do you know what? Vince was HUUUUGGGEEE!! His arms were about the size of both of my legs put together. I was so shocked at how big this guy was. Sure, he looks pretty big on TV but some of the other guys dwarf him so I was surprised at how abnormal he looked in my gym.

I saw how much weight he was squatting and was even more blown away. I literally thought that the bar was going to snap.

I think we all have had experiences like this. We go to the gym and see bigger guys lifting heavier weights and think, “I guess I have to lift heavier and heavier weights to get bigger.”

But is this true?

Well… yes and no. You DO need to put a greater and greater amount of force on a muscle which weights are most commonly used.

The truth is, however, that from a solely physiological perspective your muscle doesn’t know if the force that’s being exerted on it is from a dumbbell you are holding or a body weight exercise. Force is force. Muscle tissue torn is still muscle tissue torn.

The goal of this article is to give you two body weight muscle building techniques that you can incorporate into your current routine to help you build muscle faster.

You may be like my friend and pro bodybuilder Lee Labrada. I interviewed him awhile back and asked him if he uses calisthenics exercises ( in his routines. He said yes, but usually after a super set to fatigue the muscle the rest of the way. I would bet most body builders think of body weight exercises this way. My goal is to reshape your thinking and teach you that body weight exercises are a bit more versatile than tagging it at the end of a super set… or certainly more than using it just for toning.

2 Body weight Exercises That Help You Build Muscle

1. Angular Training

I want you to try something. Get in a normal push up position. Make sure your hands are below your shoulders, back straight, etc. (good posture). Start cranking out push ups. Pretty easy, right? Nothing new here.

With angular training you adjust the angle of how your body is positioned so that you make the exercise either easier or more difficult depending on your objective. Say for instance you want to make it harder. With the normal push up you can place your feet on a chair so that they are about 12 inches off of the ground. A bit more difficult?

Still too easy? Place your feet on the back of the chair so they are about 3-4 feet off the ground. More difficult now? I’d say so. You can see in the picture below that the angle puts more force on the chest and shoulder muscle groups because they are supporting more weight.

bodyweight exercise

That’s the power of Angular Training and it can be applied to pretty much any exercise. It just takes some imagination. Continue to Page 2

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  • Nate Johnson

    With a 22 month old and a 3 month old at home I don’t get to the gym much and have been stuck with bodyweight exercises for the most part. I’ve tried Chad’s recommendations of slowing it down with some success. I think some of these techniques will take it to the next level. Please post more on this topic!


    • Chad Howse

      I’ll be dedicating next week to bodyweight training so you’re in luck Nate.

      • Nate Johnson

        Sorry for the delay on my reply… just getting my disqus set up properly but wanted to let you know that so far your emails have been nothing short of phenomenal. I’ve managed to gain 10lbs of muscle mass since first taking your advice.

      • Chad Howse

        Nate that’s incredible. Hook me up with a quote/or a testimonial? Fire me an email –

  • Michael Alan Lockery

    Great post again! I notice that when I switched from standard palm down push ups to knuckle push ups last week that I was not distributing my weight evenly. Just kinda leaned over to my right side, whoa there…. I do 25 to 30 (ish), three to five sets. i agree with Nate, post more on this topic. Thank you, Mike in AK.

  • Spence

    I love body weight training, and your right, too many people dont know how to make it harder and therefore dont progress. In all reality, it is not that hard to make body weight training harder, much harder. I have seen great gains in overall fitness, strength and size as well as endurance because of body weight training – it plays a big role in my workouts.

    Just take a look at the masters – bar athletes, street trainers, and guys like prophecy and Hannibal They are living proof that body weight exercises are extremely effective. I do weight lifting in addition to body weight training, but overall I find that they complement each other very well. Watch some videos, use your imagination, and push yourself hard, and you will see how good body weight training is.

  • Lance Howell

    I’d just add that a person ought to be careful about who they envy at the gym. You may not realize how hard they work to get the results. Or what they may or may not be putting into their body for results. Or both!

  • Jesse

    Hey Chad,

    What is your morning bodyweight routine that you use to prime your muscles?

  • Jeremy

    I have always thought that I really ought to warm up before I work out and I usually do some cardio before I work out, but I wondered if you could do a post about proper ways to warm your body up well for a workout. Thanks!