Are Bodyweight Exercises Enough To Build Muscle?
We have all heard it before – “I don’t want to lift heavy weights because I don’t want to get big, I just want to tone what muscle I have.” Usually, the person saying this is small, overweight, and doesn’t look like they have the willpower to achieve the physique they want.
But, hearing this again got me thinking…Is it possible to build a solid base of muscle just on bodyweight exercises, what most people would call “toning” exercises.
Well, the answer to his really depends on what you call a solid base of muscle. If you think Arnold’s Olympia winning physique was a nice “base” that you would want to build off of, well, this article is probably not for you. But, if you think celebrities like Brad Pitt in Fight Club and Snatch have nice base physiques, than the following advice applies.
There is no doubt that you won’t be able to build enough muscle to achieve a 300 pound bench press doing just pushups and dips, but it is possible to build a pretty good looking physique doing just these types of exercises.
The way people build muscle is by damaging the pre-existing muscles in their body, and when these muscles repair themselves, they get bigger and stronger. So, as long as you find a way to break down these muscle fibers, you will be building muscle.
But, there will come a point where bodyweight exercises alone will no longer yield noticeable muscle growth. You will need added resistance to continue significantly damaging your muscles.
If you are a relative newcomer to the weightlifting world, including multiple bodyweight exercises in your workout routine might not be a bad idea. But, as you progress, and your ideal physique gets bigger and sculpted, you will have to start including some heavy resistance to meet your goals.
What’s your perspective on bodyweight exercises? Have you pushed yourself to the limit with them and looking to now use resistance training?