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How To Build Muscle Without Weights
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Big O's Ghetto Workout Guide

Too poor to afford free weights and equipment at home or for a membership at the local gym? No problem this guide will help you train without weights. While I strongly believe you can get a excellent workout using he exercises below, nothing beats a good hard workout at a gym or at home using weights.


One of the greatest (or most hated) exercises of all time is the push-up. It's been around for ages and you probably have been doing them since you were a little kid in grade school. However that doesn't mean there obsolete, as they are great for developing your chest and endurance. In fact many law enforcement agencies, certain employers (FedEx is one I know for sure) and the military have examinations on how many push-ups you can do in a certain time. If you do not know how to do a push-up, well then um, ask a friend. Besides the basic push up, there are hundreds of variations that you can do them; here are a few.

Clappers - For this you do a normal push up but when you push up, you explode up so you get in the air enough for you to clap your hands and then return to the push-up position. This is great on working the explosion needed for certain sports such as football for blocking. Also if you are strong enough to push you in the air higher or quick enough it is possible to do two claps instead of one.

Finger Tips - This sounds extremely painful but is not hard as it seems. Basically you do your push ups on the your finger tips instead of the palm of your hands. This not only builds chest but also strengthen your hand and it's grip.

2 Down, 1 Up - This is a normal push up except going down you will break it into 2 steps and pause both times. So you will go down half way, you pause, then go down all the way, you pause and then you go up all in one step.

2 Up, 1 Down - The same as above except you break the top motion down to 2 parks and the bottom motion is only one part.

Wall Push-Ups -Stand facing a wall and place palms flat against the wall. Step back approximately 4-6 inches. Slowly “fall” forward toward the wall and catch yourself and execute a push-up (or push-back), against the wall. Push away from the wall until you are standing straight up, and repeat. As you get stronger, gradually stand further and further away from the wall.

Resistance Push Ups - What I've had a lot of success with in increasing the difficulty of my pushups is strapping on a backpack and loading up some books or whatever heavy items I have on hand use that as extra resistance. Just be careful when loading the weights so it is somewhat even and not too uncomfortable on your back.

Biceps and Triceps

Pull Ups - You want to do these so that your palms are facing you and not the wall. That way it works more of your biceps then your back.

Towel Curl - For this you will need a small to medium sized towel and a partner. You will hold the towel in the middle while your friend lays on the ground under you and grabs the ends of the towel and you simply curl him up while he provides the resistance.

Towel Triceps Extensions - Once again you will need a small to medium sized towel and a partner for this exercise. You will lie down on your stomach and your partner will be behind you. You will hold the ends of the towel while your partner holds the middle, and you bring the towel in front of your head, this stimulates the triceps sort of like skull crushers.

Close Grip Push Ups - For this type of push-up you want your hands very close together, so close that you can form a diamond with thumb and index finger. You then do the pushup, this is similar to a close grip bench press.

Dips - Find some parallel bars and then do dips, pretty basic exercise, but this is a great workout and I've found it has help increase my bench tremendously.


Click Here for the abs workout, most of these do not require weight but it is optional.


Wall Sits

Stand with your back flat against the wall and slowly begin to “sit down” moving your feet away from you one foot at a time, until you are “sitting” against the wall. The goal is to be in a perfect sitting position without a chair to support you. Your back should remain flat against the wall and your thighs should be parallel to the ground. When someone looks at you it should appear that you are sitting in a chair with your arms not supporting you. Hold this position until for thirty seconds then stand up and repeat the exercise. Try to “sit” for longer and longer periods of time, such as 45 seconds, a minute etc.

Jump Squats - Excellent for improve explosiveness and speed. Keeping your arms straight in front of you for balance slowly lower your self so that your thighs are parallel and then jump up as high as you can exploding up, then as you land slowly lower your self again and explode up again. Repeat. I like 3 sets of 15 or so.

One leg jump squats / lunges - A variant of the jump squats as above, instead you will now be doing stationary jumping lunges. Drive the top of your knees to your chest.

Donkey Calf Raises - Get a friend to mount you as if you are giving him a piggy back ride, then proceed to do calf raises, you can also jog lightly to work you hamstrings as well.

Leg Raises - Lie on your side and then left your leg that is on top several feet, this should be really easy and thus you can add ankle weights if they are available. Do as many reps till failure and then switch sides and repeat.

A lot of the exercises found here can also work your leg while improving speed and endurance.

For more information on body weight training go to The Muscle Experiment


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