Brief high intensity bodyweight workout at home without equipment

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Frederick Foresight, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. I came across this video and found it interesting:

    Interesting because I do almost every exercise in the video plus a few more, although I do mine at the gym. I'd like to think I do a few of them with better form. I guessing that the guy can do more reps for each exercise than he lets on, even at the slow cadence, since I certainly can.

    Two things I found of particular interest. First, his leg exercise n this video is just dumbbell squats. I tried just a few reps, but at a slower cadence of 10 seconds positive and 10 negative, and I went somewhat lower than 90 degrees. Just to see what it felt like. I started to feel it after just a few reps and think this could be a good leg exercise to follow my weighted pistol squats. I haven't yet decided whether I'll do them with the dumbbells I use for the pistols, or if I'll do these slow-motion squats unweighted at my next workout. I'll possibly try it both ways in consecutive workouts to see which better suits.

    The other thing I found interesting is that he presently works out 3 times every 2 weeks using a 3-way split. So each muscle group gets worked directly only once every two weeks. And this with only one set to failure for a very few exercises for each muscle group. For example, his leg day comprises only 3 exercises: dumbbell squats, leg extensions and leg curls. However, he said he was going to eliminate the leg curls from his routine because he doesn't believe he is getting anything from it. For chest, he reportedly uses a decline press and dumbbell pullovers. I didn't listen to the entire interview because it's over an hour long and I find I can't listen to the interviewer for any length of time; he talks way too much for a guy who's supposed to be asking questions:
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    LacesOut likes this.
  2. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Those are air squats. No dumbbell is involved from what I can see.

    Speaking of air squats. Last week, I did 100 reps of air squats holding a medicine ball. I didn't focus on doing them slow, but I didn't bang them out super fast either. Just a nice even tempo. What I did focus on was going down as low as I could go, so I was trying to get my butt to the floor and then I made sure I never locked my knees at the top to keep constant tension on the muscles. I did 40 reps, took a 30-second break, then did 20 more, took another break, 20 more, another break, and then the final 20. The last few reps were hard, and the last rep felt like I might not make it but I did.

    That workout probably took 6 or 7 minutes total and that was 5 days ago. Let me tell you... my legs are still extremely sore. I actually had to take some Advil last night before bed because I knew I wouldn't sleep good feeling that sore.

    If you want to shock your legs, try the above routine and let me know how it goes. It deceptively short and simple but it works.
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  3. I'm doing Romanian Deadlifts and I also do 10 air squats between sets, starting with ten squats, followed by RD. Two minute rest between sets(I'm trying for three Freddie :D), for 5 sets increasing RD weight with each set. Then I go do 5 sets/10reps calf raises, followed by 5 sets/12 reps of pile squats with dumbbell, all increasing weight with each set. Finish it off with one set to failure of hex bar deadlift. Once per week and I have found the glorious house of GAINZ.
  4. You're right of course. I don't know what I was thinking, and am obviously in holiday mode. It is just that I saw him do the squats with dumbbells in another video, and in a recent podcast interview, he said he normally does squats with dumbbells. I believe I was "conflating." Big word these days. It's all the rage. :D

    I have no doubt the workout is challenging, but I don't want to do squats at such high reps, apart when I am doing them for cardio with speed intervals. The reason for not wanting to do too many reps for a resistance routine is because of something I read in Doug McGuff's Body By Science book, which Clarence Bass encapsulates nicely in one of his articles:

    Body by Science, an important book by Doug McGuff, MD, and John Little (2009), explains the problem: “If you use a weight that is too light….you will recruit the slow-twitch fibers into service, but because they fatigue so slowly, by the time you have started to recruit the intermediate fibers, some of the same slow-twitch motor units will have started to recover. They will then recycle back into the contraction process, thus preventing you from ever engaging the higher-order muscle fibers.”

    So, rightly or wrongly, I'd rather do fewer reps slowly than too many at a "normal" clip. For all I know it's just six of one, half dozen of the other, so to speak, when lighter resistance is used, but I'm beginning to appreciate slower cadences more now than I have in the past. If, when I do the air squats at a tempo of 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down during my next workout after weighted pistols, and I find it to feel "wrong," then in the following workout I will use dumbbells with a 5/5 cadence. It's up in the air right now, since I have yet to try either to failure.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  6. LacesOut


    I did squats on holiday last week.
    Maybe was poor form or too much weight but my knee was FUCKED for 3 days. Didn’t affect my tennis playing but i swore off any leg work for the rest of the trip.
  7. Do you raise your heels off the ground at the bottom of the movement? Doing so causes your knees to protrude beyond your toes at the bottom of the movement, which can cause undue stress to the knees.

    A lower weight with better form and slower cadence is more effective and safer. If you do barbell squats, consider dumbbells instead:

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  8. The thing I found most interesting was not the similarity of workout, save for a few differences, but that, when I looked into his workouts a bit further, I learned he actually only works each muscle group once every 2 weeks, as I noted in the first post. When I first read McGuff's Body By Science, recommending a full body once-a-week workout, I thought it was interesting but not for me. It took me a couple of years to commit to that frequency for any length of time, and it continues to be my present frequency. I don't expect that I will go 2 weeks between muscle groups, but if I were ever to try doing so, I'd have to go back to a split routine, which I had not done in years.

    Arjan, the guy in the videos posted above, isn't the only guy claiming good results with such low frequency (and volume). You may recall that, some time ago, I posted an exchange from another website on workout frequency between the owner of the site, also an HIT enthusiast, and a guy who claimed to get better results from a frequency of about once every two weeks per muscle group, and even less:

    And this isn't an old or frail guy with impaired recovery ability:

    Also, you will recall that I started a thread a while back about a book I had read, Training For Mass, by Gordon LaVelle:

    LaVelle, who was obviously on steroids, said in an interview about 10 years ago, when he was in his early 40s, that he was down to training each muscle group about 3 times a month at that time:

    And, finally, McGuff, himself, wrote in the Body By Science Q&A Book that he was at his biggest and strongest when he did an abbreviated split routine every 12 days. (That claim continues to sound far-fetched.) That book was also written about 10 years ago when McGuff was in his 40s. I'm pretty sure he doesn't take steroids.

    So while I have no intention of reducing my frequency per muscle group to less than once a week, my conscience is at least somewhat alleviated whenever I think maybe I should be doing more. :)

    Have any of you folks been experimenting with frequency and volume? If so, please share your experience and outcome. Thanks.

    And Happy New Year!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  9. Ric Flair used to do 500 air squats EVERYDAY during the height of his career.
    Anyone who knew him said he was by far the best conditioned wrestler on the circuit despite not looking nearly as jacked as some of the others.
    I want to puke just thinking about 500 in one day. I might not get out of bed for a few days after
    Baron likes this.
  10. LacesOut


    i find when i try to watch my form in the mirror i Hurt myself...
    I usually use this square bar that i walk into a use for squatting but also barbells...
    will try out dumbbells this week...
    #10     Jan 1, 2019
    Clubber Lang likes this.