About the Start Bodyweight program

‘Start Bodyweight’ is a free strength training program based on a tried-and-tested system of bodyweight progressions.

It can be used successfully for a variety of goals and purposes, from weight loss to building muscles, from increasing strength, mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination to preserving functional movement.

‘Start Bodyweight’ uses a simple and proven model of basic-sets strength training and progressive overload, and it emphasizes compound functional movements.
It targets all the main muscle groups and, thanks to its progressive incremental structure, it works equally well for newcomers to bodyweight training and intermediate practitioners alike...

The progressions are derived from standard gymnastics progressions which have been fine-tuned, and extensively tested.

The program and its protocols have been used successfully from people from all walks of life, and have received constant praise throughout their development. The methods it follows are nothing new and they are based on sound, well-established scientific protocols which I have merely refined until the progressions have become as seamless, balanced, and incremental as can be.

The 'Start Bodyweight' program requires a minimal amount of equipment, and can be easily followed at home, in a park or in a gym: with a little imagination, a tree branch, a bench, a staircase or a door can all be substituted to the equipment required. It is both simple and minimalist in its approach.


Structure of a workout (basic routine):

The program itself is deceptively simple, though there is a lot of subtlety in its numerous variations. Each workout takes the same format:

-          A quick 5 min warm up followed by dynamic stretches.
-          3 sets of between 4 and 8 repetitions, for 6 basic exercises, with periods of between 1 and 2 min of rest between each set.
-          A static strength exercise lasting for approx. 1 min (plank).
-          10 min of static stretching.

Depending on the number of repetitions performed, and the amount of rest taken between each exercise, a workout typically lasts between fifty minutes and one hour.

It is recommended that you perform at least 3 workouts weekly.

Testimonials:

Thank you so much. I really can't say enough here about the low intimidation factor of your progressions, the readily understandable descriptions, and generally straight forward and encouraging nature you seem to possess. I'd likely still be a couch potato dreaming of someday taking control of my physical health instead of actively pursuing my goals. Again: thank you and keep up the good work, you are helping people change their lives!
Purpl3_Dr4nk, on the reddit Start Bodyweight page

"Hey man, just wanted to take the time to sincerely thank you for the graphic chart you put together for bodyweight exercises. I've followed it for three weeks now and already feel like a beast. It's been my inspiration to quit smoking, eat more quality foods (and a hell of a lot more quantity, dem gainz and all), and cut back on alcohol. Just wanted to let you know that I've never felt better in my entire life, and it's all your fault. I really appreciate the effort to teach."
pnkrzero, on the reddit Start Bodyweight page

"I do not know what is special with this program, I did increase my push up count from 10 to 50 push ups per set in only a span of 1 month. Not bad. I have attempted to increase it for so long, I didn't know it was easy. I didn't have changes with regard to my diet and anything else. Just the routine."
 Posted by an anonymous user as a comment, on the website.

 "I spent yesterday looking around on the web for a body weight system I could and would follow. Today, I did my first basic routine from your web-site. I love it... I like how you have leveled body weight training routines to make them accessible and easy to follow. I used the side bar and the pictures to navigate myself through three circuits. Thanks for the work you've put it. I appreciate it. On my way to improved fitness..."
Don, California

"First of all, thank you so much for this website. I am a 26 years old fella leaving in Germany and I have never looked as great as I do now and each time I see myself in the mirror I am proud of the accomplishment, and all of it because of you. I had tried thousands of training programs but it was either too hard or too easy, fancy equipments... but yours fits my lifestyle and my needs perfectly.

I started mid November last year and I train 3 times a week. I finish the squat progression (any suggestions?), pull ups (bit stuck at 877 with neutral grip though should I just be patient on this one and keep on trying?), wall hand stand push ups, hanging bent leg V raises (kind of feeling my shoulders sometimes...), one arm push ups, legs forward dips , tuck knees front lever row (took me a while after finishing the one leg elevated to be able to do tuck knees so I just kept on doing the inverted row leg elevated adding 15 kg weight on my chest) and since yesterday dragon flags, L sit (but struggling with tuck knees). and I usually do then 15 minutes of different abs exercises.

thanks again and keep up the good job, your spreading happiness."

Posted by an anonymous user from Germany as a comment, on the website.

"Hey Nick, I'm from Brazil and have found very little material about bodyweight and calisthenics in Portuguese. Your website have a wonderful systematic approach to bodyweight exercises and I'm very grateful for it. You make it look easy. Thanks!"
Elder Martins, Brazil

"Hi Nick, even though I only had 5 sessions so far, I'd like to thank you for this program. I'm having fun again and I feel like I'm getting stronger again, instead of plateau'ing or even declining. I love how you split the horizontal and vertical pull ups and I feel really good about the other additional exercises I never used to do, as well as the dynamic warm up and stretches. Also, the less intimidating rep amounts feel much better and enable me to concentrate on perfect form much more. I'll definately spread the word about your website!"
Posted by Frank, on the website.

"This website so far is the best I've seen. Been looking for this all my life." 
Posted by an anonymous user as a comment, on the website. 

I just wanted to say thanks! I completed several pullovers for the first time today thanks to StartBodyweight. This was something I attempted (to just do one) and failed about five months ago, and on a whim decided to try again today while doing warm-ups before a run. The improvement I've made following StartBodyweight helped me to nail this without any specific training beyond the pull ups and leg raises in the program. This is definitely a strength increase as my body weight has remained constant.
Posted by RemoWilliams, on the Start Bodyweight page on Fitocracy.

NEXT: The Start Bodyweight Basic Routine

20 comments:

  1. I loved your program on http://www.fitness666.com and I look forward to this program and the changes you made (such as often using 3 instead of 6 sets etc). Your old website had that neat PDF, where I could mark where I stand in each progression. It would be great if you could again provide something like that!

    Generally however, thanks for that great page, it is highly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2oknZg-EI8xMXp0Qkx2aEN1Q2s/edit?usp=sharing

      Delete
  2. How about the more advanced sessions in 666, do you intend to post it here too?

    The crow stand (a.k.a. the frog stand)
    The side crow
    Handstands
    Dragon flag
    Muscle ups
    Floor L-sits
    One arm pull-up progression

    I´m worried that, when I reach them, the old site would not exist any more...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old site is staying so far, but I intend to include some of these progressions on here, then some on a more advanced site I'll be working on when I'm done with this one.

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  3. What are some of the benefits of this program over Bodyweight666?

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    Replies
    1. It's simpler to balance pushing and pulling exercises without having to alternate days. The rep ranges work a bit better (bodyweight666 was a bit constricted by the gimmicky 666 format). The progressions have been further tweaked and the transitions are a little smoother. The horizontal pulls progression has a direct carry over to front levers. The sessions are a little shorter without the warm up sets which -on second thought- I didn't feel were necessary. And finally the routine is easier to customize.

      Delete
  4. I spent yesterday looking around on the web for a body weight system I could and would follow. Today, I did my first basic routine from your web-site. I love it. I've explored 5BX some time ago, but I like how you have leveled body weight training routines to make them accessible and easy to follow. I used the side bar and the pictures to navigate myself through three circuits. Thanks for the work you've put it. I appreciate it. On my way to improved fitness... Don

    ReplyDelete
  5. First of all, thanks for this website, this information is looking really good and concise. I'm wondering how you feel about the book Convict Conditioning and how your program relates to it. I've been following CC for quite some time but I've been strandend on a platform with no progress for a while now. It's quite frustrating, and the high number of required reps in CC start to get the best of me.. For some steps it just seems unattainable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not for me to criticize another program... CC was one of the first book to introduce bodyweight progressions (which were commonly used in gymnastics), and in that sense it deserves it success. The rep ranges are not ideal for strength training in my opinion.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, I understand that and I appreciate the fact you'd rather not talk other programs down. I'm building a plan based on your program right now and I can't wait to get started.

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    3. Hi Nick, even though I only had 5 sessions so far, I'd like to thank you for this program. I'm having fun again and I feel like I'm getting stronger again, instead of plateau'ing or even declining. I love how you split the horizontal and vertical pull ups and I feel really good about the other additional exercises I never used to do, as well as the dynamic warm up and stretches. Also, the less intimidating rep amounts feel much better and enable me to concentrate on perfect form much more. I'll definately spread the word about your website!

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the kind words Frank

      Delete
  6. Hey, i just started a week ago, but I feel very weak on the bodyweight exercises..would you recommend doing the workout everyday? it's not like I am a fitness newbie and I know I should take rest days, but i don't feel exhausted or anything after the training

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try using the reddit Start Bodyweight group for your questions: http://www.reddit.com/r/startbodyweight/
      But in answer to your question: it's possible (and I've done it), but it's not recommended for most, and you'll soon begin stalling if you do that. Just choose harder variations if the ones you've picked are too easy.

      Delete
  7. At the moment you will publish your book, will this website still be active and will continue to develop or it would just be a book version of the website?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The website will remain active, as it is now.

      Delete
  8. Hey there, Nick.

    I wish to understand something that has been bugging me, first of all are negatives more important than positives in terms of tempo during a rep?.You clearly emphasized on the guide that in the pull-up by saying that going up should be between 1-2 seconds while lowering yourself should be 3 seconds with 1 sec pause at the top position.

    In addition. I do understand more or less that resting time and number of rests decide together whether I go full strength or like in your program I mix in terms of resting period a little of endurance some hypotrophy and strength, but what about the 5-6 seconds it takes you to do one single rep and a total of 40-45 seconds per one set?

    In the gym most guys including me ( when I used to go to the gym) do a set of 8-10 reps in 15 seconds at the most going really fast, so what I'm trying to understand here is whether I work slow on each rep to make it equal to a weighted training in terms of difficulty and hence making it a strength set or going slow just give's you control and endurance because you got to maintain the set itself for longer. I just never saw guys going that slow at the gym So I'm interested.

    Hope you understood my 2 questions.

    p.s=Love your site!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just a question. I am currently doing the startbodyweight program and am making awesome progress, but I want to do the 100 pushups program alongside it.
    Is it advisable to do this on the same days as the start bodyweight workout, do it on the off days or postpone it until after the start bodyweight program is completed, or perhaps take a completely different approach to achieving a single set of 100 good form pushups?

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  10. I don't know if you're still answering questions but if you are, what are your thoughts on bridges and bridge progressions?

    ReplyDelete