Fitness, Health

How To Build Muscle WITHOUT Using Weights

You’re on holiday, you’re too skint for a gym membership or you simply just don’t like being surrounded by borderline neanderthals. There’s times in life where you don’t have access to weights, but that really doesn’t matter. You don’t need to wait for the bench press while you lose your precious gains, no longer do you have to get annoyed at people interrupting your deadlifts to ask how many sets you have left. My friends, bodyweight training is here to set you free.

From getting better core strength, to losing fat faster with circuit training, to the fact that it won’t cost you anything and can be done basically anywhere, bodyweight training is the key to getting a hassle-free, great physique. So if you’re keen in getting involved in this traditional form of strength training, we’ve recruited fitness influencer Adi Gillespie to show you a few exercises in the latest activewear from Champion Sport.

Photos by Jonny Wilson


how to build muscle without weights - pistol squat

Muscles worked:quads, glutes, core

The pistol squat is an advanced lower body exercise, developing strength, balance and mobility. This is a great progression to further increase work on the lower body once you’ve mastered the bodyweight squat.

1) Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart.
2) Lift one leg off the ground and elevate it slightly in front of you, then begin to lower your hips to the floor in a single leg squat position. Extend arms in front of the body to assist with balance. Lower your hips as low as possible, keeping front leg lifted & back heel on the floor. Push back to starting position.

If balance is the reason why you cant make it all the way down and back up, try tying a resistance band around something stationary and using that for assistance. To make this exercise even harder (because you might be a sadomasochist), try wearing a weighted vest.

how to do a handstand push up

Muscles worked: shoulders, triceps

The handstand push up – or HSPU – is an advanced calisthenic exercise for building upper body strength and size. To complete the exercise with perfect form, it takes strong shoulders, hand balance and a tight core throughout.

1) Start in the handstand position, facing a wall.
2) Lower your head towards the floor whilst keeping your core tight and elbows in.
3) When your head is just above the floor, reverse the movement until your elbows are fully locked out.

Too hard? Try the pike push or elevated feet pike push up. If being inverted or hand balance is the issue, practice handstands against a wall for 5 sets of maximum time. Too easy? Try a free standing HSPU on the floor or using parraletes.

how to build muscle - pull up

Muscles worked: back, biceps

The pull up, an old and trusted compound exercise and for good reason. Done correctly, this is a powerful strength and size building exercise for both the back and arms.

1) Start in a ‘dead hang’ (fully hang) position with your hands facing away from you, your thumbs around the bar, and your hands more than shoulder width apart.
2) Pull until the bar reaches chin level and then pause. Repeat.

Too hard? Try tying a resistance band around the bar and placing your feet inside for assistance. Work your way down to using the band with least resistance.

how to do diamond push ups

Muscles worked: triceps, chest, core

Diamond push ups, as a result of the hands placed closer together you work mainly the triceps. These are great tricep builders when pushed to failure, go hard on these and all the way to burnout!

1) Start in a press up position with your hands in a diamond shape beneath you.
2) Lower yourself to just off the ground keeping your elbows in and core tight.
3) Push back to the start, again keeping your elbows in. Repeat.

Too hard or too easy? Play around with incline and decline.

If you want to shop his workout gear, it’s all available at Topman.


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