The Number of the Beast
If you want to become a bodyweight beast, this is the exact number of exercises you are going to need to focus on in the basic part of every training session – six basic movements. While developing this program, I only had one thing on my mind – how to get the best out of the minimum. Thinking in terms of anatomy and kinesiology, these were also the best bodyweight exercises to strengthen the body to its greatest potential while keeping it in balance.
This is how the main part of your workout should look by the end of the year:
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1. Handstand Push-ups
2. Pistol Squats
3. Pull-ups (chest to bar)
4. One arm-push-ups
5. Dragon Flags
6. One arm dead hangs
Don’t worry if you’re not yet at the point were you can do one-arm push-ups and dragon flags. Neither could I when I started working on this program. Follow this program to the letter, lose the extra weight that is weighing you down and by the end of the year you will be a mean one arm push-up machine training abs Bruce Lee style.
A new exercise that is added in this level is Dead-hangs. Forearms and grip strength are quite neglected in most of today’s training programs. If you are a beginner, then just doing simple pull-ups is enough for developing this area. But if you go past the point of a beginner, you will need to include specialized training in order to further develop these muscles. It might surprise you how difficult it can be to just hang with one arm on a pull up bar. Think about it; if you compare it to a simple two-arm dead-hang, which you are used to doing, you are now adding twice the intensity.
Grip Strength Importance: Unless you’re genetically gifted with thick forearms, they can be quite resistant to growth. A pair of muscular forearms is quite impressive visually but that is not the only reason you should strengthen them. Grip strength adds strength to all pulling exercises, it can help you overcome pull-up plateaus, and in general they allow better stability and control during most pulling related bodyweight exercises. The main reason this happens can be described by the principle of Irradiation. This principle states that you can contract a muscle harder if you also contract the muscles surrounding it.