Thursday, 10 April 2014

The outdoor gym project

 Ever wondered where you can find a free outdoor gym near you? Now you can with this outdoor gym/jungle gym locator.

The Outdoor Gym Project is a collaborative, global list of outdoor gyms and public spaces where you can exercise.

For the purpose of this list, will be considered as an outdoor gym:
- any free public space that can be used by adults to exercise, and designed for that purpose.
- that space should include exercise stations such as outdoor pull up bars, dip bars, etc.
- that space should be currently in use by a small community of adults interested in calisthenics.


View The outdoor gym project in a larger map

To add your local gym to the map:

- you will need to be logged in to google or google+ to edit the map.
- click on 'view The outdoor gym project in a larger map' link above.
- click on 'edit' to add your own landmark to the map.
- click on the blue placemark in the top left corner, and drag it to the location of your local outdoor gym.
- Under the heading 'title', write the location, city, and country of your gym.
- Write a short description, and when finished, click save.

If you do not have a google+ account and would like to add your local outdoor gym to the map, email me at nick.janvier@yahoo.com with a postcode and  the city and country of your gym, and I will add it to the map for you.

* Please note that I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on this map. This outdoor gym locator is the result of a collaborative effort, and some landmarks may not have been placed correctly.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weights vs bodyweight exercises

Here are a few questions I see cropping up time and time again, and I hope this article will help settle them once and for all:
  • - How does weight training compare to bodyweight exercises? 
  • - Is bodyweight training effective for muscle building?
  • - Can you get stronger without lifting? 
  • - Which is better for getting into shape?

Photo credits: Flavio Simonetti, German natual bodybuilder , and Yuri van Gelder, gymnast (source: Raymond Nieuwenburg; transferred from nl.wikipedia)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Start Bodyweight on reddit

I have been finding it increasingly difficult to answer all the questions asked through this website, as well as the facebook group and my personal messages.
I decided to create a subreddit, as a forum of sorts to support the Start Bodyweight routine.
The forum format is more appropriate to questions and answers than a blog, and it will give followers of the program a chance to interact and support each other.
Feel free to post about your progress, to share your thoughts and suggestions about the program, and make sure to support new users.
http://www.reddit.com/r/startbodyweight/

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Embodied knowledge and bodyweight training


Long Jump, 1887, Eadweard Muybridge

As I walked down the street, the stranger nodded at me almost at the same time as I nodded back. There was a moment of instant recognition, the way riders usually acknowledge each other when they come across another motorbike on the road; a shared experience.

I am no great fighter, but I have trained in boxing and a few other martial arts, and I can usually recognise a fighter, less by the distinctive marks their face sometimes carry, but rather by the way they move, and look at other people and gauge and assess them… This particular guy was clearly a boxer.

Similarly, a dancer will move in a particular, almost inexpressible way that makes them easy to spot: a certain poise and grace. Long distance runners, sprinters, gymnasts, climbers… all have distinctive movement patterns honed through countless hours of drilling the same motions. A tacit knowledge that is carried within the body, and constantly accessed even in the ordinary movements of daily life.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Get lean with bodyweight exercises



This is the story of this site’s banner: the story of an article that was never written. And it all started with my cat!

I must confess, I have limited amounts of energy: I let work get the better of me quite easily, and when I get busy, my whole life seems to collapse. Winter and springtime are always a busy time for me.

Around this time last year, I realized the winter months had taken their toll: I’d fallen into a slump, my training had virtually become non-existent, and I’d piled on a few pounds. At 80 kg (176lbs or 12 ½ stones) I was the heaviest I’d been since I could remember.

It was then that I decided I could actually make the best of a bad situation: I could use this opportunity to write an article on how bodyweight strength training could be used for weight loss. I would put together a 12 week program, and I would document my progress with weekly pictures. No fake before and after pictures here, no photoshopping: just clear weekly photos, from the same angle, illustrating my progress.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Twelve principles of bodyweight training

1. Master your body
It’s not about how much you can lift, but whether you can move and control your own bodyweight in the first place.

2. Progressive overload does not discriminate.
It does not matter if you lift iron or your own bodyweight ; for the same weight lifted (or equivalent mechanical disadvantage) your strength gains will be the same!


3. Stay out of the comfort zone
Work on your weaknesses: chances are, you’ve been avoiding certain movements and patterns all your life simply because you weren’t very good at them. This will create imbalances in the long run, and stall your progress. Venture out of your comfort zone: it’s the only way to grow and improve!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Basic routine infographic poster


 StartBodyweight poster

To download the Start Bodyweight basic routine infographic, with all 8 bodyweight progressions and an overview of the routine, click here.

You can also download the  PDF version here.

Finally, you can also purchase this infographic via Zazzle, as a high quality poster.
Please note: due to the amount of information packed in the infographic, the legibility is not optimal on the small size poster. It is recommended you purchase the medium size one.

US and international:

UK:

For other countries, change the country domain name in the address bar to the country of your choice. For instance, for Canada, change www.zazzle.com/start_bodyweight... to www.zazzle.ca/start_bodyweight...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Handstands

One of the main aims of many of those who come to bodyweight training is to learn how to do a handstand.
A solid freestanding handstand is by no means an easy feat however, and it will require many hours of practice before you can hold the position for any length of time.

This progression will suggests some steps towards building a strong handstand.
There are many different methodologies to train this skill however, and this is only one of many.

Prerequisites: Wall handstand push ups


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Ab wheel rollouts

Ab wheel rollouts provide a great core workout with the use of a simple device: the ab wheel. Though the exercise may look deceptively easy, performing ab wheel rollouts from your feet is a challenge that should not be underestimated.

Prerequisites (for standing versions):
Wall plank ; hanging straight leg V-raises



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Muscle up progression

I am not very naturally explosive at all, and it took me a long time to manage my first bar muscle up.
Though deceptively simple, the muscle up is quite a complex skill, involving two main compound movements, the linking of which requires not only strength, but fine timing.
 The basic movement involves performing a pull up, followed by a single bar dip, in order to get on top of the bar. The difficulty of the move however, resides in the transition from the top of the pull up position to the bottom of the dip position, and being able to do explosive pull ups helps with this!
Consequently this is a progression I really had to break down into small steps, in order to make it as gradual and painless as possible.

I hope the following will offer you a clear pathway to your first muscle up.
You might not have access to the equipment to perform some of the steps on this page, in which case just skip that variation. It will make the transition from the one to the next a little harder, but it should be well manageable nonetheless.

Prerequisites: archer pull ups ; modified russian dips