Now settling into week 6 of the stay-at-home order, many gym addicts are having serious withdrawal from the barbell and weights. In our heads, we imagine losing all of our “Gainz”, becoming weak, and starting back from square one. While weight training is extremely valuable not only for our muscles but also for our bones and joints, it is not the only way to stimulate muscle growth.
Think about this, picture Olympic gymnast, Simone Biles. What does she look like? Common answers would be jacked, lean, strong, muscular, beautiful. Now think about what her training or other gymnasts training might look like. Sure they might be performing some resistance training, but the majority of their time is spent moving their bodies freely through space. These common movements might include Handstands, presses, jumps, flips, tucks, holds, etc.
So what does this all mean to you? It means that you don’t need anything besides your own body in order to gain strength and maintain muscle mass. In fact, taking a break from resistance training could minimize stress on your joints and tendons. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning they looked at a group of recreational athletes and assigned them to three groups. One group performed traditional resistance training for 6-weeks, one group performed bodyweight and plyometric movements, and one group performed “complex” training which was a combination of light and heavy loads. The participants were tested for pre, mid, and post-study to assess back squat strength, Romanian dead lift (RDL) strength, standing calf raise (SCR) strength, quadriceps girth, triceps girth, body mass, and body fat percentage. There was a significant increase for squat strength, RDL strength, and SCR strength for all groups pre to post, with no differences between groups. There girth measurements and body fat percentages also revealed no significant differences.
This is just one example of how being at home with no equipment isn’t an excuse to stop reaching your goals. A well thought out, customized bodyweight exercise routine can deliver major results if done right. Struggling with the motivation or knowledge to start? We’re here to help! Click here to set up a free zoom call with one of our coaches!