Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training


Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

You might think that your only option is to start lifting weights but you would be wrong – in fact, there are a number of ways you can build big muscle using bodyweight alone and it’s probably a lot easier than you suspect.
In this chapter, we’re going to be looking at how building muscle works and we’re going to look at how you can do it using bodyweight. This is all about theory.

Towards the end of the book we’ll be looking at the individual bodyweight moves you can use and providing a kind of glossary of exercises for you to dip in and out of. So read this and then apply it to those moves. Although to be honest, you can do most of this with just the regular few bodyweight exercises you probably already know.

So let’s take a look at how to Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

The Science of Hypertrophy

Muscle growth in response to training is technically known as ‘hypertrophy’. Hypertrophy is what bodybuilding is all about and if you’re trying to look big and bulky, it’s what you need to be all about as well. So the question is: how does hypertrophy work? How can you stimulate your body to produce more muscle?

And the answer is that you need to provide the body with volume. Volume is what defines the intensity of your training and it can come either from increasing the weight or from increasing the number of repetitions. Or both. This then triggers changes in the muscle that causes it to grow and there is widely believed to be two different mechanisms through which this can occur:

– Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
– Myofibrillar hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the type of hypertrophy that is caused when you increase the number of repetitions. This is the kind of muscle growth that you get when you train with rep-ranges of around 12-15 or even higher. It’s also increased when you increase your ‘time under tension’ which is the amount of time you spend actually straining under the weight (rather than setting it down to rest between sets).

When you increase the number of repetitions you perform and when you hold the weight in position, you are calling on your muscle’s endurance. This, in turn, relies on the amount of fluid and the amount of energy (ATP) stored in the muscle cells – the sarcoplasm.

When you use this kind of training, it means that the muscle is constantly tensed and working. In turn, this causes the blood to ‘occlude’. In other words, it gets sent to the muscle and it stays there. This is also what causes us to get the feeling of ‘pump’ when we’re working out.

As this happens, you also get a build-up of metabolites – muscle-building products that are found in the blood and that end up flooding the muscles. Metabolites include the likes of testosterone, growth hormone and IGF1. You also get a lot of nutrients in here.

As a result, the muscle responds by growing and specifically by swelling and taking on more water mass. This gives the muscles a bigger, bloated look. They may be quite ‘soft’ but it’s a great way to get big fast and to increase your ability to perform large sets of exercise.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

Another thing that occurs as you train is that you create tiny tears in the muscle fibre. These are called ‘microtears’ and they’re so small as to not be damaging in any way or that painful (although this can lead to ‘DOMS’ the next day – delayed onset muscle soreness).

What these microtears can do though, is to cause the muscle to appear damaged to the body and that means it needs to get repaired. When you’re resting later on then, the body will use protein from your diet in order to rebuild the muscle and each of those muscle fibres will come back slightly thicker and slightly stronger than before.

This increases size and strength and the best way to trigger this kind of hypertrophy is by training with heavy weights. This is how ‘power lifters’ will train and it’s how they manage to get very strong lifting a weight only a few times.

What you also need to know about is the different types of muscle fibre. Your muscles have a number of different ‘kinds’ of muscle fibres that make them up and each has a slightly different role. In general, though, we can split these muscle fibres into two categories which are ‘fast
twitch’ and ‘slow twitch’.

Fast twitch fibres are capable of creating greater acceleration and greater force – and that means that they are the most useful kinds for lifting heavy weights. Your body will use these first when you move heavy weight and once they’ve become fatigued/torn, it will move on to the slow twitch fibres.

Eventually, you don’t have enough power to move the weight – but some slow twitch fibres will remain which will mean you’re still able to move your arms!

Building Strength – Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

There’s something else that occurs here too though and that’s that you are also strengthening your ‘mind-muscle connection’. This is the ability of your brain to actually use the muscle you’ve got in order to exert force and the more you train, the greater that ability becomes.

Each time you contract a muscle, you do so by sending signals from your brain through your central nervous system. When that signal reaches the end of the nerve, acetylcholine is released across the ‘neuromuscular junction’ and this causes the muscle cells to fire.

As you do this repeatedly, you are actually able to increase the number of nuclei in your muscle cells (called myonuclei) which means that more of your muscle fibres can fire in response to that signal. This also contributes to extra muscle growth, because the number of nuclei is directly related to protein synthesis – the ability of the muscles to use the protein in your diet to build muscle!

Making Sense of the Science

That’s a lot of science to take on board but don’t worry if you don’t follow it all.
All you really need to know is that lifting weights creates tears in the muscle fibre and builds up the number of fluids in the muscle cells and that both these processes contribute to muscle growth and strength increases.

Both these processes also hurt slightly. No matter what anyone tells you (and some people try to deny this), working out to build muscle should be uncomfortable.

It’s a very specific type of pain and you shouldn’t push it too far. But building up lactic acid (which accumulates along with the metabolites) and tearing the muscle both cause the muscle to burn during your training and the next day. Ask any bodybuilder or athlete and they’ll say the same thing.

No pain, no gain’.

Now the trouble we face is going to be trying to get the muscle to grow using only our own bodyweight.
If you’re training with weights this is easy. All you have to do is add an extra 10kg to your bar and you’ve made it more difficult.
But if you’re training with your body, then things get significantly harder. Once you can do 100 press ups, how can you make it more difficult?

Fortunately, there are a number of tricks and methods we can use…The good news is that your body doesn’t care whether you’re lifting a heavy weight or not. As far as your body is concerned, the amount of force is all that matters. So we can keep the weight the same (our bodies) as long as we increase the amount of force we’re using.

Changing the Angle

One way to make training more difficult is simply to change the angle of the exercise. This is called ‘extending the lever arm’ which basically means that we’re moving the weight (our body) further away from the point where we’re applying force. This then makes the exercise more difficult because the amount of force generated has to be greater.

The easiest way to demonstrate this is by doing a press up. Get into push up position as you normally would but now, instead of performing the press up like that, you’re going to move your arms down slightly (so that they’re level with the bottoms of your pecs) and you’re going to turn your hands to face slightly outward.

What you have just done is to extend the lever. You are now lifting more weight because your body is hanging over the top and the force needs to travel further along your arm and at an angle. Although the amount of weight hasn’t changed, the amount of force has. This is called a ‘maltese press-ups’ by the way.

Increasing the Acceleration

As far as your muscle fibre is concerned, acceleration and strength are the same things. In other words, to contract your muscle quickly is the exact same thing as to contract your muscle hard. This then means that we can now use something called ‘plyometrics’ in order to train the same explosive ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres that we would with a heavy weight. The perfect example?

Clapping press ups! Simply perform press-ups as normal but launch yourself up into the air as high as you can and clap once or twice. In doing this, you are still performing press-ups with the same amount of weight but now you are launching yourself into the air through the sheer acceleration. You’ll find you fatigue a lot more quickly as a result!

How to Double the Weight – Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

Want to quickly double the amount of weight that you’re using to lift yourself during a pull-up? The very simple solution is to remove one arm from the bar. This way, you are now lifting the same amount of weight but with just one bicep, one lat and one side of your body. The same applies to press ups and tricep dips and numerous other types of exercise.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you ever get to the point where you can perform pull-ups with one hand. And the simple answer is to transition gradually! In other words, you can start by putting 70% of your weight on one hand and 30% on the other. This requires you to
manipulate the amount of force you exert on each side too and in doing that, you’re improving your mind-muscle connection and also your agility and body control! Very cool.

So, perform a pull up leaning slightly more to one side, then move more toward the other side on the next rep and continue to alternate like that. This way, you are going to be able to gradually build up the strength to lift yourself entirely on just one side eventually!

Using Intensity Techniques to Build Muscle With Bodyweight Moves

As you can see then, there are plenty of ways you can make bodyweight training hard. Can you do a handstand push up with one hand yet? Can you hold planche (arms on the Maltese push-up position, legs hovering behind you)? If not, then you haven’t exhausted all the possibilities with bodyweight training yet!

The problem is that a lot of people just don’t apply these techniques right when doing bodyweight training to try and build muscle. They do 30 press ups three times and then call it a day for pecs! Either that you have a weak attempt at a Maltese push-up, or at a one-handed push-up and then they give up.

But remember: to accomplish the very most growth you need to increase volume and that means the number of repetitions and the amount of weight.
And you need to find ways to push yourself past failure. If you stop before you’re forced too then you won’t cause those microtears and you won’t trigger that much growth.

This is where we can turn to bodybuilders for inspiration. They will combine a number of different exercises in unique ways in order to push past failure and increase their volume and their time under tension. These techniques are referred to as ‘intensity techniques’ or the ‘Joe Weider principles’.

They include things like drop sets – which involve lowering the weight each time you reach failure and then doing more reps. They also include;

 – supersets (switching quickly from one move to the next),

 – giant sets (performing huge combinations of different exercises with no rest in between),

 – burns (performing as much of the movement as they can once their muscles have tired out and given up),

 – rest-pause (stopping halfway through the movement so that they aren’t able to rely on momentum to help them through),

 – pre-exhaust (exhausting one muscle group before an exercise so that the other muscles have to work on their own),

 – cheats (cheating through the move so they can do just a couple more reps)… and more!

This is how you need to start thinking about your bodyweight training if you want to trigger maximum muscle growth.
That means that you don’t just do ‘three sets of ten’ all the time. Instead you might use something called a ‘mechanical drop set’ which means. That you make the weight lighter each time you fail but changing your position. Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training – For instance, you could do:

 – Clapping press ups to failure

 – Normal press ups to failure

 – Press ups on your knees to failure
 – One handed pull ups to failure

 – Two-handed pull-ups to failure

 – Assisted pulls up to failure

Now you are fatiguing the fast twitch muscle fibers multiple times during the movement and you are pushing yourself far past failure. You’ve increased the weight, the time under tension and more and you should feel this start to burn in the muscle. Really focus on that – listen to your body and try to feel how your muscles are responding.

Can you feel the pump and the burn? Are you getting the same kind of workout from this training as you would do by lifting very heavy weights in the gym?. If it doesn’t feel hard enough, then you need to go back to the drawing board and start making it harder!

You can even use ‘burns’ at the end of these sequences. So once you’ve done as many pull-ups as you can, you simply hang and perform as much of the movement as you can and feel the muscle burning as you do.

Who said that bodyweight workouts had to be easy?
Split for Bodyweight Muscle Building:

– Push, Pull, Legs

Note that for this kind of intense training, you should avoid training the same muscle group more than once a week. This isn’t like the SSE workout because it’s too much to do every body part like this every day.

Instead, split your workouts into three separate days:

 – Push (press ups, dips, shoulder press)
 – Pull (pull-ups, biceps, chin ups)
 – Legs (squats, lunges, calf raises)

Use multiple exercises that are similar and repeatedly push each muscle group to failure. You can perform PPL once or twice a week and then just make sure to rest well and eat lots of protein during your off days.

Bodybuilding – Build Muscle With Bodyweight Training

sponsoredEvlution Nutrition BCAA Energy – High Performance, Energizing Amino Acid Supplement for Muscle Building, Recovery, and Endurance, Blue Raz (30 Servings)

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Privacy Policy

(0), is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information


Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:


Our business partners:


Connected third parties:


We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.


We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as or For more information about cookies, visit

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information


Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the MyDetoxFormula Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the MyDetoxFormula Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?