If your fitness goal is to build muscle and strengthen your body, you might be under the impression that you need to get to your local gym and pile on the weights. But these days, bodyweight-based workouts are skyrocketing into popularity -- and for good reason! Even the pro athletes are beginning to swap out their gym sessions for workouts without equipment or ones that they can do from home.
Interested in learning more? Read on to learn everything you need to know about bodyweight training and building muscle.
But First, Let’s Quickly Go Over What It Takes To Build Muscle
Building muscle primarily comes down to three factors:
Factor #1: Mechanical Tension
This is primarily what happens when you lift heavy things. If you’ve ever attempted to lift a heavy barbell off the floor that weighs more than you do, this is mechanical tension at work. You’re working your hardest to keep your core tight and spine neutral.
So, what happens when muscles are exposed to lots of mechanical tension, you ask?
Factor #2: Metabolic Stress
That burning sensation you experience when you’re pulsing through banded squats, holding the bottom of a deep lunge, or on that final rep of sit-ups is a result of metabolic stress.
Metabolic stress takes place when metabolites (a.k.a. waste products that form as a result of exercise) build up in the muscle tissue. This causes cellular, hormonal, and growth factor reactions, offering another way to pump up your muscles. It can increase anabolic hormone release, lead to cell swelling, and result in an increase in growth factors, proteins that can stimulate muscle tissue growth by promoting cell reproduction.
Factor #3: Muscle Damage
And finally, muscle damage -- this is when you get small tears in muscle tissue thanks to exercising. Your body then works to repair that damage which ultimately jumpstarts muscle growth.
Can A Bodyweight Workout Plan Build Muscle?
If you’re a newbie to exercise or have very limited exposure to resistance training, then YES -- bodyweight training will most definitely build muscle! Unfortunately, for the rest of you, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Of course, it’s certainly possible, but you’ll have to get a little creative with your fitness plan and implement the rule of progressive overload. Simply put, that means making exercises more challenging over time.
The issue with bodyweight exercises for muscle building is that it’s often very difficult to create enough mechanical tension to stimulate your muscles to grow. That’s why we love performing bodyweight exercises with HYGEAR’s GEAR 1 -- a smart resistance fitness system that offers an intensive, full-body workout and real-time tracking of workout data and intelligence to help you achieve your goals faster with personalized workouts.
With state-of-the-art sensor technology, GEAR 1 combines accelerometer readings with an analysis of band tension, calorie burn, and other critical measurements to track your exercise progress. The unique tension cord design combines strength training and aerobic exercises, providing a versatile personal gym in a lightweight, portable system that you can use anytime, anywhere.
Looking to build muscle? Check. Burn fat? Yes. Boost strength? You bet! With GEAR 1, you will constantly challenge your muscles to help them grow both in size and in strength. What’s not to love?
What Are The Benefits Of A Bodyweight Workout Plan?
There are a ton of incredible benefits to a bodyweight workout plan that encompasses much more than just the gains you’ll get. Here are some of them:
Benefit #1: Convenience
Think about all the time you spend getting ready to work out at the gym. From getting dressed in gym-friendly attire and packing a bag to actually driving across town to get there, with traffic and parking, going to the gym wastes a lot of your valuable time.
With bodyweight exercises -- since they use little to no equipment, you only really need to change into your gym clothes, find an open space in your living room, garage, office, or backyard, and you’re good to go. A bodyweight workout plan is truly a convenient way to exercise, helping you to maximize your time and get the most out of your busy day.
Benefit #2: More Variety Of Movement
So many of us spend our days sitting at a desk in front of a computer -- and the last thing we should do when we’re ready to exercise is to plop down on a piece of gym equipment. Bodyweight workouts require a much wider variety of movement, challenging your body from head to toe to work muscles that you simply can’t target sitting down.
Plus, many bodyweight workout programs combine strength and cardio elements, so you get a very efficient and effective workout done in a much shorter period of time.
Benefit #3: Prevents Injury
If you do any other kind of sports activity -- and even if you don’t -- a bodyweight workout plan is critical to injury prevention. How? Well, for starters, bodyweight workouts can help you to build a more stable torso through core and back exercises, while increasing your overall flexibility -- two key components of long-term injury prevention!
Plus, with bodyweight training, the stress on your joints is much lower than if you were to use heavy weights, so you’re less likely to succumb to a pesky injury that could hamper your long-term training.
Of course, if bodyweight workouts are completely new to you, you should ease yourself into it and be mindful that your body is learning how to move in a new way. Go slow and take your time perfecting proper technique.
Benefit #4: Suits All Fitness Levels
Bodyweight workouts are typically seen as beginner-friendly, but with the changes and variations you can implement, you can really make them much more difficult for you -- even if you’re an advanced lifter or long-time bodybuilder! There’s something for everyone so it won’t ever be boring or monotonous. Possibilities are endless.
A Final Word
So, can a bodyweight workout plan build muscle effectively?
Bodyweight workouts constantly challenge your body in new ways, boost your endurance, and can be done anytime, anywhere, without ever needing any additional weights or equipment. All you need is a little patience, but trust us, as long as you stick to your bodyweight workout plan, the muscle gains are sure to follow suit.
And the best part? When you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, you can easily add resistance with GEAR 1 from HYGEAR to your bodyweight workouts to make them more challenging.
Here at HYGEAR, we believe that everyone has the power to change. Whether it’s about building stronger bodies, a healthier environment, or a better future -- every step matters. It’s about making the decision to start and the decision to keep going every single day.
If you’re ready to change your body to improve your overall health -- bodyweight exercises with GEAR 1 are sure to help!