No Gym? No Problem!: Maximizing Bodyweight Training During the Quarantine

Josh talks about mindset and bodyweight training on the Art of Manliness Podcast HERE.

Behind bars, everyone is always watching and waiting to figure out who are the predators and who are the prey. The average con is not looking for a challenge, but for easy pickings. He may be looking to take your life or your manhood. And the easiest way to avoid being six feet deep or getting punked in the shower is to build a no-nonsense physique.

While I’d never advise you to go see for yourself, the big house no longer houses weights, but still houses scores of jailhouse denizens that could easily win a natural bodybuilding show – built with nothing more than bodyweight.

“The Great Gama”, the legendary Indian wrestler, built a 56-in chest during his 50-year, undefeated wrestling career and was considered to be one of the strongest men in the world in his prime.

He trained solely with his bodyweight. Point is, you are never too strong for this kind of training. The following five strategies are aimed at how advanced strength trainees can make bodyweight movements more challenging.

 Focus on Tempo

Slowly lowering yourself increases intensity with prolonged tension and ups the mind-muscle link. And if you really want to crank things up, execute bodyweight exercises with maximum speed on the concentric in a compensatory acceleration style, hell , even get airborne! 

Move from the Midline

More distance between muscles and what you are trying to lift lowers mechanical advantage.  Case in point, lunges with your hands above your head are more difficult than with your hands by your side.

Use Paused Reps

A one-second pause eliminates nearly half of all assisting elastic-like energy stored on the negative. Next time you do prison squats, hold the the rep for a second or two at the bottom—boom you will see the intensity increase.

Increase Range of Motion

This forces you to do more work while it emphasizes the stretch. Drop lunges off a block are a great example of this principle in action.

Go Single Limbed

This builds better balance and core stability, exploits the bilateral deficit and simply is much more difficult because increased strength and coordination demands. Still in doubt? Bust out a prison squat then give a pistol squat a shot.

For in-depth programs, grab Jailhouse Strong, the Bodyweight Bible.