Franco Columbu was a BEAST when it came to pull ups.
He cranked them from all angles AND added weight to them as well.
High reps AND low reps. Reminds me of my OLD Bodybuilding training partner.... We almost always began our workouts with chins and progressed to weighted chins.
He would build up to chin ups with THREE 45 lb plates strapped to a weight belt.
His back was THICK! It freaked people out! Heavy Chins and HEAVY barbell rows were his ticket.
Back to the legend of Franco Columbu.....
He was also a BEAST when it came to lifting heavy..... NOT just lifting heavy free weights, but also, heavy objects of ALL sorts, like cars (if you recall he moved a small car while in Italy in the film 'Pumping Iron').
When I was a young kid, The World's Strongest Man was televised on national TV (not cable) and I got to see Franco running with a refrigerator on his back (until his knee was dislocated) and saw him bending steel over his head and in his mouth.
I'm NOT gonna tell you can get jacked like Franco on bodyweight training alone, nor am I so ignorant to think he achieved his build naturally. BUT..... this doesn't mean we can't learn from Franco, one of the strongest AND most athletic bodybuilders and strongmen of the Golden Era.
I believe to get jacked you gotta crank a solid foundation of heavy free weights and / or, lifting of heavy objects in some way, shape or form.
You're NOT gonna build the type of muscle density and thickness through bodyweight alone UNLESS you have LOTS of volume of bodyweight training under your belt, as do gymnasts who have been training for hours a day, years on end.
Does this mean you give up and cry?
If you're committed to bodyweight training, there are ways to build muscle with bodyweight only workouts, the problem is, NOT enough people go beyond bodyweight training alone.
They do NOT add weight to their bodyweight exercise via bands, chains, weight belts, etc. - once you're strong enough, it's time to start loading your bodyweight workouts and the muscle building process WILL speed up BIG time.
You can see in this Video how I add intensity to my Bodyweight exercises with added weight / resistance.
BUT, maybe you DON'T wanna get jacked up like Franco and prefer more of an athletic build, less bulk to carry around and less opportunity of getting injured or feeling sore from lifting heavy.
This would be more along the lines of a Herschel Walker type workout.
You can STILL lift heavy with LOW volume, but instead, do these 3 Things:
1) Blend in ONE powerlifting or odd object lift before hitting your bodyweight workouts2 or 3 x week. Hit a 5 x 5 or something similar with a squat or deadlift variation, or a press variation and then crank your bodyweight workout.
I describe this system in full detail along with a detailed training program for you to follow inside Bodyweight Bodybuilding Secrets
Here's an example of 5 x 5 Lift + Bodyweight Workout:
1) Zercher Squat 5 x 5
2A) Weighted Pull Ups 5 x 3 - 6 reps
2B) Plyo Push Ups 5 x 3 - 6 reps
3) Lunge Jumps 3 x 5 / 5 reps each leg
4) 1/2 Mile Run AFAP
5) Ab Work: Leg raise variations x 50 reps total (Hanging Leg Raise, V Ups, Dip Bar Leg Raise)
2) Adjust your caloric intake and limit carbs. Focus on moderate amounts of protein and increase your veggies.
My preference is to have a BIG salad at lunch and / or dinner with some form of meat or fish on top. This will help you lean out.
3) Incorporate sprints of all types 2 - 3 x week: hills, through trails, and varied distances. I also like hitting short runs such as 1 mile runs, these are great and do NOT limit your strength gains or interfere with adding muscle.
Give the workouts above a regular practice for at least 4 weeks and let me know how it went for you, post your comments below, I love hearing from you.
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