Zach Even-Esh

3 Ways To Use Bodyweight Bodybuilding

I’m often asked if Bodyweight Bodybuilding can be incorporated WITH an existing program that the person is already following. To be clear, this program is not so easy that you will need an added program or a variation of it.

But, I KNOW how many people are when it comes to actually following a training program as prescribed. They buy a program and then they want to change the program to something else, I guess this is human nature. But, those who follow the program to the T are the dudes who get best results.

Knowing what I knew would happen,  I added the 5 x 5 + Bodyweight Bodybuilding course as a Bonus, to help soothe your “fix” for heavy lifting and making some form of a change to the program.

But, let’s say you refuse to let go of your current program or perhaps you want to experiment on yourself and see how it works when combining another program. I completely understand the desire to be your own Mad Scientist :)

So, here are 3 ways you can take Bodyweight Bodybuilding and combine with an existing program or modification:

1) Perform your own program one day followed by Bodyweight Bodybuilding the next day OR after a rest day. Then, the 3rd workout return to your existing program, the 4th day back to Bodyweight Bodybuilding. I often times train like this. Hitting a modification of 5 3 1 or a full blown Underground Workout, the next day, going ALL bodyweight and a 3rd day is a rest day.

2) Perform a BIG movement FIRST, then jump into a Bodyweight Bodybuilding workout. Examples could be starting with a powerlifting, strongman / odd object or Kettlebell movement. Hit that main lift hard and heavy as you normally would. Roll out a bit, then, jump into a Bodyweight Bodybuilding Workout.

Here’s a sample workout:

– Tire Flip 4 hard sets x 10 seconds of MAX reps.

– Foam Roller / Soft Tissue Work

– Bodyweight Bodybuilding Workout as prescribed, do NOT shorten or modify the workout. Follow exactly as prescribed.

3) I’ve had a LOT of CrossFit fanatics snag Bodyweight Bodybuilding. Many have said they were injured and beat up from their workouts and needed a program to challenge them yet alleviate the joint aches and pains. Other CrossFitters wanted to 2 a day workouts.

BOTH options work. If you’re feeling beat up and banged up, follow Phase 1 of Bodyweight Bodybuilding for a month and then go back to your normal training. When you feel the need to get away from the heavy lifting, return to Bodyweight Bodybuilding and perform Phase 2, etc.

If you want to use Bodyweight Bodybuilding with CrossFit, then it does NOT matter if you do your workouts first or second in your day. The goal of CrossFit is to have your training constantly varied so I suggest alternating workout by workout regarding Bodyweight Bodybuilding first in the day and the next day last in your day.

What’s my favorite way to use Bodyweight Bodybuilding?

Now that I’ve gotten rid of my injuries, aches and pains I am mostly in line with follow Jim Wendler’s 5 3 1 or a 5 x 5 lift FIRST, then hitting a Bodyweight Bodybuilding Workout.

I also follow the version of performing one of our workouts from my Underground Strength Gym, the next day, crank Bodyweight only followed by a 3rd day of rest. This 2 on 1 off seems to work very well for me.

If you have started testing various options with Bodyweight Bodybuilding, please drop a comment below and let us know how you modified the program with your own.

Thanks for reading and please share this article with your friends on facebook and twitter. I always appreciate you showing the luv! Thank YOU!



Category: Articles, muscle building, Q & A, Zach's Workouts Tags: , , , , , , .

9 Responses to 3 Ways To Use Bodyweight Bodybuilding

  1. manu says:

    Thanks Zach you are an inspiration always. Your words are mostly pearls of wisdom from an elder brother. 2 things wanna know ? 1.what are your thoughts on crossfit?
    2. Do you have any plans of coming to India ?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Shayne says:

    Good thoughts Zach. Thanks for the simple common (or not so common) sense stuff. This post validates what I have been doing – heavy day with kbells, followed by a mostly body weight, rest, then a more grinding kbell day. Or I’ll mix up a workout smoking a muscle group, then do some body weight before going back to the muscle group.

    I appreciate your challenging and holistic view – warrior for/in life, every aspect of it.

    Thanks again.

  3. Adam says:

    I was also in the banged up crowd so I have been hitting just body weight. I have really liked doing BB on day 1 than doing a light bodyweight circuit the day after. Depending on how I feel I might do this all week for a 6 day a week workout or on a week I am feeling like it too much I drop the circuits and stick to BB so I still have a great week. This has worked out REALLY well for me. I have been able to rehab my wrist and I actually have put on some muscle weight AND have lost some body fat.

  4. Dustin W. says:

    I go for the big steel on Monday and Fridays. Pushing for maximal effort, and in the words of the Warrior, “Leaving big piles of guts on the floor.” Wednesday and Saturday are all odd lift movements (tires, stones, log etc). Pushing the body hard, but increasing repetitions or sets. As I start to increase sets I will switch to main exercises, or exercises that prepare me for strongman events. Tuesday and Thursday are strictly bodyweight movements. Circuit of seven exercises, no weights (chains/bands) increasing intensity with reps/sets.
    I love doing bodyweight because it makes me feel stronger than pulling 500# from the floor. Since my boys(6&4yo) watch me train I really value the bodyweight days because that is a way to show them that I can pull over 500# from the floor, and do 20 pullups for 5 sets. Pushup and dips with ease. The other day I did skin the cat (legs through) with my ropes in the basement. I was a little apprehensive when the legs went through and I was going to full stretch. “Come On Grip! Don’t fail me know!” But I did it to a cheering crowd (my boys and wife). The look on their faces was priceless!

  5. Declan says:

    Has anyone had any issues implementing body weight movements targeting the same muscle groups the day after a ME/Repetition day e.g. doing multiple pushups the day after max effort bench or lunges/body squats after deads and barbell squats? Obviously its fine within the same session after your main movements.

    Should you leave some in the tank on bodyweight days if you are doing them alongside a 4 day split? Thanks

    • Dustin W. says:

      I personally have no problem going bodyweight after heavy weight the day before. Example: On Monday I will perform 5×5 with 140#dumbbells flat bench press. On Tuesday I will do 100 reps of both dips and pushups. For me the key is to set up a circuit of six or seven bodyweight exercises and not exceed 15 reps for any one exercise. I am sure if I tried to hit 100 reps of dips/pushups in one shot I would overtrain. By keeping the reps low, and having time between sets to recover I am able to prevent any problems, get a good workout, and still be able to go heavy on weight days. For me it is a form of active recovery. My shoulder, back and knees feel better, and any stiffness I had is gone. Just have to be smart.

  6. Frank DiMeo says:

    Last year I was training way to often and ended up “beat up” like Z was talking about, in fact I partially tore my bicep tendon last May, right before the Underground Strength Coach Certification in Ft. Lauderdale.
    Z’s training strategies have helped a lot to injury-proof me and my athletes.

  7. Brandon Cook says:

    Great tips Zach! One way I do this is by starting with a warm up (foam rolling, mobility, etc.) then moving into 5 X 5 rackpulls/deadlifts. After that I’ll do upper body stuff on the rings or bars. I love bodyweight training and I think it is one of the most underated forms of training. part of the reason is because people don’t understand how to progress the exercises. Once you know how, you can keep getting stronger by utilizing harder progressions that reduce the leverage!

  8. Vince says:

    I like to do full body one day. Rest next day followed with one
    Day full upper and next day all lower.
    Rest next day,if I have time for a fourth day I would do a major lift and go all out.
    My exercises are in constant change.

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Zach Even-Esh is an Author, Founder of The Underground Strength Gym & Creator of The Underground Strength Coach Certification.

Zach's inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach's Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It's Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it's Your Turn!

Zach Even-Esh