If you’ve read the myworkouts.io Foundational Training Series, you know there are many factors to consider when training for maximum muscle growth. Only the optimal amounts of intensity, volume, frequency, exercise choice, exercise order, exercise technique, periodization, and progressive overload will help you to grow muscle as quickly as possible.
This 3 day bodyweight workout takes all of those factors into consideration so that you don’t have to worry about whether you are doing what it takes to reach your muscle growth potential! This workout plan is organized into one Push/Pull/Leg cycle, leaving you with either 4 days of the week to recover, or just one if you want to run through the cycle twice per week. Either way, this program will give any beginner a great foundation for any resistance training program later on, and will hit all major muscle groups.
From personal experience, I can guarantee that with the right nutrition and sleep, this workout will bring serious results.
How much weight should I use?
For each exercise, you want to pick a level of resistance that ensures you reach failure within the rep range indicated. So for the first exercise, pick a weight that you will fail in the 10-12 rep range for the first 2 sets, and within the 8-10 rep range on the last set
How can I Increase the resistance using only bodyweight?
While you may not be able to just stack on another plate or grab a heavier dumbbell like you usually would, there are plenty of other ways to add resistance. Taking heavier weights out the equation is an opportunity to focus on the other aspects of an exercise. The easiest way to increase resistance is to slow down your reps- this will help you in two different ways.
First, making your reps slow will most definitely make the exercise more difficult and add that extra difficulty you usually only find with heavier weights. Second, slowing down your reps will force you to perform them in a smoother, more engaged manner that will improve your mind/muscle connection. If you master the exercises with a ultra slow technique, your technique and strength at normal speed will improve exponentially.
So for example, if you want to max out at 6 reps, pick a tempo that only allows you to perform that many. Even ultra slow tempos like 10 seconds are fair game!
How should I perform each exercise?
Regardless of the tempo or the rep range, you want to make sure you are in complete control of the motion at all times. This means you want to perform each rep smoothly and under control. This is a workout that prioritized muscle growth, not strength, so if this means using a lighter weight than you usually do, so be it!
In general, you want to spend 2-3 seconds in both the concentric and eccentric motion for each repetition.
How Should I Adjust the rep range/weight used over time?
In order to continuously challenge your muscles and periodize your program, you’ll want to change the rep range and intensity in phases:
Phase 1: Weeks 1 through 4, you’ll perform 10-12 reps per set, with 8-10 reps on the final set for each exercise
Phase 2: Weeks 5 through 8, you’ll perform 8-10 reps per set, with 6-8 reps on the final set for each exercise
Phase 3: Weeks 9 and 10, you’ll perform 8-10 reps per set, with 6-8 reps on the final set for each exercise
Phase 4: Weeks 11 and 12, you’ll perform 8-10 reps per set, with 6-8 reps on the final set for each exercise
Deload Week: On week 13, you’ll take a rest week. This will give your body a chance to recharge, after which you’ll start again on phase 1!
Can you get ripped with just bodyweight exercises?
Yes, you can definitely get ripped with just bodyweight exercises. Being "ripped" is just a combination of having low body fat with noticeable muscle mass. You can build muscle and burn fat with bodyweight exercises, as they both burn calories and provide a stimulus for muscle growth. For more info, be sure to check out our journeys on How to Build Muscle and How to Lose Fat.
Is push up bodyweight exercise?
Yes, pushups are a bodyweight exercise that mainly work the chest muscles, but also work other areas of your upper body.
Is a bodyweight workout effective?
Yes, bodyweight training can be very effective. A bodyweight workout routine is a great way to stay fit with little equipment and no gym membership.
What is a push day workout?
A push workout is a workout that focuses on pushing movements, and typically focuses on your chest, shoulders and triceps muscles.
How many pushups should I do a day?
You can do as many pushups a day as you want, but aim for at least 30-50 reps per workout if your aim is to stimulate muscle growth in your chest, front deltoids, and triceps.
Is bodyweight better than weights?
Bodyweight training and weight training are both effective when it comes to building muscle or losing fat, and which is better just depends on what you have available to work out with. Bodyweight workouts will require you to be more creative on adding resistance, but we write more about that in our article on building muscle with bodyweight workouts!