Let’s increase muscle mass by doing body weight workouts.
We are all finding new ways to workout at home during this Covid-19 isolation time. The majority of us aren’t fortunate enough to have home gyms in our garage, much less the equipment we have used in the past. That doesn’t mean we can’t put on muscle mass or get stronger.
Time Under Tension
The biggest key we need to remember is “time under tension”. Lactate is produced as a byproduct of metabolism during strenuous activity, such as body weight or weight training. You must keep the muscle under stress for a particular length of time – long enough to provide enough metabolic stress (raised lactate levels) to stimulate growth. A good example would be 8 sets of failure. Each rep under tension is to be longer than the previous rep. Try adding one second for each rep and take this to failure. There is a big difference from max reps fast and doing slow controlled reps. Slow reps build mass!
Drop sets with body weight
The more stress we put on the muscles the more growth we achieve. The best way to achieve this is from a super set/drop set. Let’s pick out three chest movements. We will start with the hardest movement to the easiest. First we perform max controlled sets at a decline push-up. Immediately followed by pushups, and then into knee pushups. There is no rest until all three supersets are completed. Another example for legs would be pistols, into controlled squats, max wall sit.
One of the easiest ways to increase the results you see from doing bodyweight exercises is by increasing the volume of the exercises you perform. Each week add another set, this can recreate adding weights to our barbell. However, by increasing the volume of the exercises you perform, you will be able to fatigue your muscles more with each set that you perform. The more sets you perform, the more you fatigue your muscle, and the more fibers it needs to recruit to complete the exercise
If you’re working to build muscle mass, or for hypertrophy, the last thing you want to do is give your body lots of time to recover in between sets. This is because when you allow your body to recover for more than about 90 seconds, the focus will shift to strength instead of mass. By decreasing your rest period, you force your muscles to recruit different muscle fibers in your later sets, because the ones you used for the earlier sets have not yet recovered.
This process does work but it’s not the conventional way we normally workout to build mass. Then again nothing we are doing right now is the norm. This a good change of pace for our bodies, buy into the new way of working out. Stay positive and challenge yourself mentally and physically every day.
Written by: Wes Steel