Is This Program For You?
Bodyweight training can be quite challenging especially for heavy people and people who haven’t previously done any kind of strength exercise in their life. For this reason, I have included progressions for every exercise in order to help you gradually ease into them. There are multiple easier progressions to start from until you are strong enough to perform the basic form of the exercise. Plus, I also have extra advanced variations for when you grow even stronger. So, regardless of your sex, current physical condition and your weight, if you stick to the guidelines in this book you won’t have any problems.
What If I’m Too Heavy?
Just to be realistic and not BS you, keep in mind that excessive fat can get in the way of this program if you want to get the most out of it. Think about it, if you weigh 300 pounds and you are trying to perform a handstand push-up it would be the equivalent of trying to push more than 330 pounds on an overhead shoulder-press machine. No matter how strong you become, it will be pretty difficult to attain such a high level of strength and you will be stuck in the simple progressions of some exercises probably forever.
My advice to overweight people is to combine HomeMade Muscle workouts with a proper diet in order to lose as much excessive fat as possible. Besides being more efficient at bodyweight exercises, losing weight and getting closer to a 12% body fat (for men) will help your physiology to maximize muscle hypertrophy and decrease fat storage. In simple words, your body will be able to build muscle and burn off fat faster.
What If I’m Too Strong For It?
Moving to the other end of the spectrum, if you believe you are too strong for bodyweight exercises don’t rush too quickly to such a conclusion before you can perform all the advanced variations of the exercises with perfect form. Personally, I’m not at that point either. Just trying to perfect your form can have a major impact on increasing the difficulty of an exercise. So set your ego aside and focus on good form before you think you are too good for bodyweight exercise.
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What you need to know about strength training
In order to become stronger, your body needs three things: Stress, Recovery and Adaptation. This means that your muscles should be stressed enough in order to understand that next time the same stress occurs they must be stronger to handle it more efficiently. Once stress is applied to our neuromuscular system, an appropriate amount of time is required in order for our body to recover. If stress is re-applied too soon, strength development will happen at a slower rate. Therefore, thanks to the ability of the human body to adapt and become stronger in order to survive, we can manipulate stress (in our case, stress provided by bodyweight exercises) in order to become stronger and develop a more aesthetic physique. In fact, the main reason our species has survived till this point in time, is mainly thanks to how gifted we are in this whole process of adaptation.
Of course, there are limitations and different rates in which adaptation occurs. For example, if you’re a complete novice in strength training you will build muscle and strength a lot faster than someone who has been training for two years. So even though a beginner might add one or two pull ups every week , this doesn’t mean that this will continue to happen at the same rate. Think about it, if you begin doing 3 pull ups and add just one pull up every week, within a year, which is about 52 weeks, you will be able to do 55 pull ups. In two years you will be able to do more than 200 pull ups. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s not how it works (if only).
As obvious as this is, a lot of people, and especially beginners, tend to ignore this point. So did I when I started lifting weights at the age of 15. Man, I thought, if I continue adding 10 kilos to my bench press every month I’ll be a beast before I’m even 18!
As a forewarning, the rest of this chapter may be somewhat technical and clinical in nature. So, those of you who don’t have a background in exercise science or haven’t read any other strength related books might get a tiny bit bored by learning words like eccentric and isometric contraction. Still, I need you to have a basic understanding of these concepts so that we can communicate more efficiently throughout the remainder of the book and so that you can get the best value and results out of it.
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