I have an article I wanted to share with you today from my buddy Travis Stoetzel.
Travis and I share a lot of similarities in our body weight training philosophies … and he’s got some GREAT points on programming your BW workouts for maximum benefit.
Take a moment to check this one out …
5 Keys to a SOLID Body Weight Workout
by Travis Stoetzel
Author, PROJECT: Mobile and Hostile
When it comes to body weight training, there’s a lot of different ways you can approach it.
For me, I’m a huge believer in training like an athlete – no matter if you’re training for a sport, or just trying to lose fat or gain muscle.
Now, before I get into how to train like an athlete a bit more, let me go over what I feel makes an athlete an athlete.
First off, an athlete needs to be strong, explosive, and fast, as well have the ability to move with ease and grace.
All athletes should be able to lift their own body weight multiple times through various planes of motion without much stress.
Before you go off and say, “I’m not an athlete, this doesn’t apply to me”, let me quickly say that ALL humans are “athletes” whether you play a sport or not.
We should all be able to move without pain, as well as possess the minimal amount of strength needed to handle our own body weight relatively easy.
As an athlete, you should be able to Jump, Sprint, Crawl, Hop, Bound, Climb, Rotate, Dive, Roll, Skip, Push, Pull, and Lift with ease. If these tasks are challenging for you, you need to improve your overall athleticism.
If you’re not currently doing these types of movements on a daily basis, you are missing out big time.
A bonus to improving these abilities and performing them daily, I can guarantee you that you’ll become leaner, gain more muscle, and build strength. All of the different movements I mentioned above are essential pieces of overall performance.
Now, if you’re currently training more like robot stuck in machines, what I want to share with you is how you can make your workouts more athletic and performance based in nature so you can start reaping all of the rewards and benefits of a more athletic style of training.
If you’re not already training like an athlete, it’s time to unleash the true athlete within! So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to design your workouts. This will help you build more muscle, burn more fat, and improve your overall ability to perform.
So let’s get into some Mobile and Hostile Workout Design:
The workout design I will share with you below will be composed of 5 different parts:
1) The Mobility Warm Up
2) Explosive Power OR Quickness Movements
3) Strength Movements
4) Conditioning Sets and Circuits
5) Mobility Cool Down and Foam Rolling
Part 1) Prepping For Battle – The Mobility Warm Up
To begin all of your sessions, you will prepare for battle via a dynamic mobility circuit.
This warm up is essential in order for you to not only improve your ability to move freely without pain, but it’s also a critical part in getting you prepared to do battle within your training session.
For the mobility warm up, the main focus is to get the body ready to move through different dynamic variations of stretches and basic bodyweight strength movements. This will help loosen up your muscles as well as get more blood flowing through your whole body. One of the other main goals of the mobility warm up is to increase your overall body temperature to get a nice sweat going.
The old “5 min jog” on the treadmill will be no more. That does ZERO in terms of getting you ready to dominate your training session.
From now on, we’re all about getting Mobile and Hostile!
Part 2) Being Explosive and Moving Fast!
For the second part of your training session, we want to get the body moving at it’s highest speed. Not only will this help you become a better overall athlete, moving explosively and fast will also help your muscles “flip the switch”.
To get your body moving faster, it must use more of it own muscles and in order to do that, you’re body must recruit more muscle fibers. This is a good thing as activating more muscle fibers will help aid in both building up more strength and burning more fat.
The movements you’ll use within this part of the session may include doing some short sprints (20-100 yards), short agility / quickness drills (5-10-5’s), or some explosive type jumps and plyos (box jumps, skips, bounds).
3) Get STRONG!
The third part after we’ve prepped the body for battle and have successfully “flipped the switches” through moving explosively and fast is to now focus on getting STRONGER.
The way we do this is through our bread and butter body weight strength movements and to be up front, is where we put in the “real work”.
There are many different ways we can approach this part of the workout via doing straight sets with a single movement, super-sets with two strength movements, or by doing short three to five movement circuits. The main focus is to zero in on getting in quality reps of different body weight strength movements like push ups, squats, pull ups, lunges, rows, etc.
The best way to set things up is to choose 1 exercise for each movement plane. So, for this you would include an upper and lower body push (squats and push ups), and an upper and lower body pull (pull ups and Romanian deadlifts). Doing this will help you balance out your training session as well as help you hit the whole body.
There are many ways you can set it up, but in order to keep things pretty basic, this is how we’ll set it up (via supersets).
Part 4) Cash Things Out
Now, after the main strength work has been done, it’s time to “cash things out” by hitting either a conditioning finisher or core circuit.
This is what most people try to do first, but in order to get the best gains in overall results; you’ve got to get in your power and strength work first!
Think of the conditioning portion of your workouts as the dessert of your meals. You can’t skip the salad and meat to bypass right to your cake!
For conditioning, we may use a Tabata set circuit to finish things out or choose to hammer out a high intensity interval circuit.
Another option is to do a core finisher by combining together a mix of different core movements such as some knee tucks, v-sits, and plank variations.
The main focus on the 4th part of your training session here is to empty out your tank and “cash things out”. This is where we build up a bigger motor and crank up the metabolism for some serious fat loss!
5) Cool Down
Now after any serious battle we take part in, we need to make sure we properly cool ourselves down.
This part of the workout is just as essential as any other and in terms of improving mobility and increasing recovery, it’s critical you finish off your session with some stretching and foam rolling.
Most people take the easy way out and just call it a day after they train. This will not help you get the best results possible and if you do this, over time you’ll get tighter and lose your overall mobility.
The cool down is also essential in helping you speed up the recovery process via foam rolling and stretching.
Bottom line, think of the cool down as a “de-briefing” session from the hard fought battle that you just went through in your main workout. It’s must be done in order to consistently progress ahead.
So, now you know what the basic set up is like for a “Mobile and Hostile” workout.
Go out and get it!
Travis Stoetzel, Author of PROJECT: Mobile and Hostile
So there you have it – The 5 Keys to getting yourself “Mobile and Hostile”.
Just a quick reminder that Travis is still having a special sale, for my readers only, on his PROJECT: Mobile and Hostile Bodyweight Training program.
Check out all the details HERE.
Thanks, and talk soon –
-Forest Vance, MS, CPT, RKC II