After going through my Bodyweight Bodybuilding course for some edits, reviews and updates, I changed up
some programming for the athletes at The Underground Strength Gym.
1 of those updates was organizing their extra days with more volume of bodyweight squats. Yes, the simple bodyweight squat!
I will post a photo below with that sample "extra day" along with some video footage. So make sure you read the entire article....
Now, almost 20 years ago I recall studying Indian Wrestling and Physical Culture and a common exercise
was the high rep hindu squats.
The Great Gama was known for the his insane volume of bodyweight squats to build his tree trunk legs. He would perform thousands of reps each day and often times his squats were done with a 200 lb stone that layed around his neck and upper back.
Gama also did very high volume in his hindu push ups, several thousand a day.
It had me thinking.....
Who else did high rep bodyweight training for their performance?
- Mike Tyson
- Bruce Lee
- Dan Gable
So yesterday when the athletes had a circuit of Squats, Push Ups & Pull Ups (something so simple).....
I saw they struggled to get full depth on bodyweight squats. I have seen this struggle at ALL levels, not just with middle and high school athletes, but also at The D1 level.
I did not let them count ANY reps that were not full range. The first few reps had to be pause bodyweight squats to get them to FEEL the bottom position of the squat. NOT the mid way position, the BOTTOM position.
Here's yesterday's sample extra session for the athletes who had already trained on Monday (This photo was taken on a Tuesday from The Underground Strength Gym).
If you're wondering what Nordic Leg Curls are, here is a Video:
This is exactly why I am never a fan of testing 1RM on a Squat. If the bodyweight squat is NOT perfect, why are we testing 1 RM? It is not necessary!
The athletes AND adults of today who struggle with hip mobility and flexibility is mind boggling 🙁
I'll be programming MORE squats at my gym and inside Gladiator STRONG.
I am reminded and inspired once again to make the bodyweight basics the very thing we never stray away from.
I have never been one to program this VS that, aka Kettlebells Only, Barbell Only, Bodyweight Only, etc. I am not so close minded or uneducated to think there is only one way. What you must always do is find the best methods that yield the best results.
I always say, If it gets you better, than THAT is what we will do.
Never discriminate against the many ways you can get stronger.
My own warm ups are tough. The older I get, the more I push the volume on my warm ups and worry less about "Oh this will get me too tired for my squats or deadlifts."
I love implementing the High Rep Calisthenics, Sleds, Bands and volume work into my warm up.
It works the body AND the mind.
The rep work builds muscle and tendon strength.
In a nut shell, it builds ALL Kinds of STRONG.
Here is my warm up prior to a session focused on getting in my heavy Box Squats:
3 Rounds of:
1A) Sleds x 100 ft
1B) Back Extensions x 15
1C) Band Pull Aparts x 15 / 15 (overhand / underhand)
2A) Light Bell Swings outside legs + between legs 2 x 8 - 10 each
2B) Light Belt Squats with 3 Stances x 10 reps each, 2 Rounds: Athletic Stance, Close Stance, Sumo Stance
3A) Back Extension 2 x 15
3B) Walking Lunges x 50 ft
3C) Standing Leg Curls 3 x 10 / 10
After 2 - 3 warm up rounds of the above, the Belt Squats got heavy as did the Bell Swings. My favorite Bell swing right now is the 1 Arm Bowling Swing (Bell Outside the Leg). You can read more about these Bells & why I am inspired by them HERE.
Here's some footage from the above training session:
The point is, it's time to attack the bodyweight work to another level.
Here's a few resources for you that focus on Bodyweight Training:
If you want to see videos / recorded seminars on bodyweight training, they are ALL inside The Underground Strength Academy here:
Until the next time.....
Live The Code 365,
PS: Are you a Strength Coach or an aspiring Strength Coach?
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Attack mode, brother!
Leading by example as always!
Zach Even - Esh says
I am with you, Frank!!!