Body weight training sessions are often overlooked, because they are perceived as “too easy” or “just for beginners.” Over the last four weeks, I have started integrating two body weight training sessions into my week. I had been lifting a heavy cycle for eight weeks prior to that, and I wanted to mix it up and crank up my conditioning and my mobility.
Body weight training is essentially as hard as you make it. If you select isolating exercises and take a longer rest period, it will most definitely feel easy. If you use compound movements, circuits and short rest, you can create an extreme fat burning training session that hits your energy systems in a different way than even weight training can.
Some of my favorite body weight exercises are:
• Jump Squats
• Jump Lunges
• Push Ups
• Pull Ups
• Ring or TRX Rows
• Box Jumps
• Sprinter Sit Ups
Each of those exercises can also have 2-3 variations (or more) that you can use to create a great full body training session.
Today, I want to apply the Tabata principles to body weight training for a 15-minute, hard-hitting body weight training session. I wrote an article on Tabata training a few weeks ago where I outline exactly how to train in that fashion. You may want to read that over real quick before you continue here.
THE BODY WEIGHT TABATA WORKOUT
Perform each movement for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that cycle for 8 total rounds, giving you 4 minutes of work.
Rest 1 minute and move to the next exercise. Perform the 8 total rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. After the 8 rounds, rest 1 minute and move to the last exercise.
Focus on hard and fast work. The goal is to get in as many reps as during each set.
Here are the exercises*:
Prisoner Squats: This is a body weight squat with your hands resting behind your head. Make sure you are getting to parallel in your squats.
Push-ups: Perform as many as you can in the traditional position on your toes. When you can no longer perform them in that manner, perform the push-ups on your knees.
Alternating Reverse Lunges: Standing with your feet together, step backward with one leg into a lunge position. Return that leg to the starting position and lunge backward with the opposite leg. To make this more challenging, perform Alternating Jump Lunges (Start in a lunge position and then jump in the air and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward).
HOW TO INCORPORATE BODY WEIGHT TRAINING
You can easily incorporate body weight training every week, as it can be done anywhere, anytime. If you would like to change up your usual training split, try this Total Body Training Week, which incorporates the body weight training circuit:
• Monday- full body strength
• Tuesday- body weight circuit
• Wednesday- off
• Thursday- full body strength
• Friday- sprints
• Saturday- full body strength
• Sunday- off
*If you are unclear how to perform these exercises, check out this quick video.