Does High Rep Bodyweight Training Build A Lot Of Muscle? 18 Essential Tips For Success

L J Kudos

Does High Rep Bodyweight Training Build A Lot Of Muscle? 18 Essential Tips For Success

You may have decided to begin your fitness journey recently by doing bodyweight exercises at home.

Maybe you want a change from the regular type of weight lifting at the gym, or maybe you can’t get to the gym for whatever reason.

A question that gets asked often and splits opinion right down the middle is “does high rep bodyweight training build a lot of muscle”.

As ever, this isn’t a simple question to answer, as there are a few factors to consider…

Does high rep bodyweight training build a lot of muscle?

Bodyweight training is a great way to build muscle, but it isn’t the only way. If you’re looking to build a lot of muscle, you’ll need to focus on other types of training as well. However, bodyweight training can be a great addition to your routine if you’re looking to improve your overall strength and muscularity. If you are looking to only build muscle with bodyweight exercises, you can but you must realise you won’t get that bodybuilder look. You can build great strength with callisthenics, but as you will know, the majority of these people are leaner and ridiculously strong! The other thing to consider when building a lot of muscle is that your genetics play a key role too, so don’t get too discouraged if you’re not seeing the results you want right away. After the initial “shock to the body” doing something new, gains will be difficult unless you train more advanced variations of bodyweight exercises to make them harder. Just keep working hard and be patient!

Why train with body weight?

Body weight training has a lot of benefits. For one, it’s a great way to increase your strength and muscularity without having to lift weights.

This is perfect for people who don’t have access to a gym, or for those who want to focus on other types of training (such as cardio or HIIT).

You will see an increase in your endurance levels as the high rep count of bodyweight training will really test your muscular endurance.

Another great benefit of bodyweight training is that it has a very low risk of injury. This is because your body is providing the resistance, as opposed to weights which can often cause injuries if not used correctly.

However, there is a bit of a downside to bodyweight training in that it can be quite repetitive. You might find yourself doing the same exercises over and over again, which can lead to boredom.

This is why it’s important to mix up your routine and include other types of training as well.

Bodyweight training also has a steep learning curve. This means that it can be tough to get started and see results quickly.

If you’re looking to build a lot of muscle, bodyweight training is a great addition to your routine, but won’t specifically get you “thick” doing so.

If you are only looking to build muscle with bodyweight training, you’ll likely be disappointed as you won’t see results as quickly as you would with other types of training.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t solely train using body weight exercises, just don’t expect to see rapid results, to begin with.

How do you build muscle?

The muscle-building process is a slow one, regardless of the type of training you’re doing.

You won’t see results overnight, and it’ll take a lot of hard work and dedication to see the gains you’re after.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to maximise your results.

Firstly, make sure you’re eating enough calories. You need to be in a calorie surplus in order to gain muscle. This means eating more calories than your body needs to maintain its weight.

A good rule of thumb is to eat around 500 calories more than your maintenance level. This will help your body to have the extra energy it needs to build muscle.

Secondly, make sure you’re getting enough protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth, so you need to make sure you’re eating enough of it.

A good rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be eating 150 grams of protein per day.

Thirdly, make sure the bodyweight exercises are challenging for you. If you’re not pushing yourself, you won’t see results.

Lifting heavy weights is essential for muscle growth. If you’re new to bodyweight training, start with an easier variation of the exercise and work your way up.

Fourthly, make sure you’re getting enough rest. When you sleep, your body repairs and recovers from your workouts. This is when muscle growth occurs.

So, make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

Lastly, be patient. Muscle growth takes time, so don’t expect to see results overnight. Stick with it and you’ll eventually see the gains you’re after.

How to make bodyweight training harder?

If you’re finding that this type of training isn’t challenging you enough, there are a few things you can do to make it harder.

Firstly, you can add weight to the exercises, this can be done by wearing a weighted vest or backpack.

Secondly, you can increase the reps. Instead of doing 10 reps, try doing 15 or 20. This will really tax your muscles and help you to see results.

Thirdly, you can decrease the rest period. This will make the workouts more intense and help you to see results quicker.

Lastly, you can add sets. Instead of doing one set of 10 reps, try doing three sets of 10 reps. This will really help to build muscle.

Also, think about the intensity of your workouts, if you really want to see results, make sure you’re working hard.

Remember, the key to seeing results is to challenge yourself. If you’re not challenging yourself, you won’t see results.

So, if you’re finding bodyweight training too easy, make sure you’re doing the things listed above to make it harder.

Does high rep bodyweight training build a lot of muscle?

How to get the most out of your body

One thing that’s worth mentioning here is those people who do callisthenics.

Now, some of the people who do callisthenics have ridiculous amounts of strength and can do some amazing things on a bar or off the floor, but don’t be fooled into thinking this comes easy.

Having the strength to pull off some of the moves they do can take a long time to master and also the risk of injury increases trying to get to that level.

However, if you persist and can build your strength up doing callisthenics, then you will possess great strength and satisfaction knowing you can do things a lot of people can’t.

If this is the type of bodyweight strength you are looking for, then go for it. 

First things first though…

You may need to change your training methods if you only rely on bodyweight exercises to develop muscle mass.

Let’s look at ways of doing so below…

High reps with short rest periods

High-repetition workouts with little rest between sets are one approach to get the most out of bodyweight exercise.

This will help to fatigue your muscles and force them to adapt.

A good rep range to aim for is 15-20 reps per set. Then, rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

Doing this will help to build muscle as well as improve your cardiovascular endurance.

If you are new to this type of training, you will find that certain exercises seem easier than others. Figure out what you find easy and difficult, then taylor your routine around that.

Remember to focus on form first and foremost. Once you have the hang of the exercise, then you can start to increase the intensity.

Slow and controlled movements

Another way to get the most out of bodyweight training is to focus on slow and controlled movements.

This will help to build muscle as well as improve your joint stability.

A good rep range to aim for is 6-10 reps per set. Then, rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.

Doing this will help to build muscle as well as improve your joint stability.

Doing this type of workout will make your muscles feel on fire, so make sure you are mentally prepared for it.

Remember to focus on form first and foremost. Once you have the hang of the exercise, then you can start to increase the intensity.

Mixing it up

Changing your routine is essential if you want to get the most out of bodyweight training.

Your body adapts quickly to new stimuli, so you need to keep it guessing.

One way to do this is to change the exercises you are doing every 4-6 weeks.

Another way to mix things up is to change the rep ranges you are working in.

For example, you could do 3 sets of 10 reps one week, then 2 sets of 15 reps the next week.

Remember to start by concentrating on form. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you may gradually increase the intensity.

Does high rep bodyweight training build a lot of muscle?

Full body routines

Another way to get the most out of bodyweight training is to do full-body routines.

This means that you will be working all of your major muscle groups in each workout.

Doing this type of workout will help to build muscle as well as improve your cardiovascular endurance.

If you are new to this type of training, you may want to start with 2-3 sets per exercise. Once you have the hang of it, you can gradually increase the number of sets.

Time under tension

Time under tension is the amount of time your muscles are under stress during a set.

The longer the time under tension, the more muscle you will build.

Doing this type of workout will help to build muscle as well as improve your cardiovascular endurance.

newcomers to this method of training should start with 2-3 sets per exercise so they can adapt. Eventually, you will be able to increase the number of sets as your progress.

Related: Do You Squeeze Your Muscles Whenever You Exercise? 12 Crucial Factors To Maximise Gains 

Exercise variations 

You should concentrate on exercise variants if you want to get the most out of bodyweight training.

This means that you’ll be performing various versions of the same activity.

For example, if you are doing a push-up, you could do a regular push-up, a wide push-up, or a clap push-up.

If body squats become a little too easy for you, try doing a single-leg body squat or a pistol squat.

The key is to keep your muscles guessing so they don’t adapt.

Train to failure

Training to failure means that you will be working your muscles to the point where they can’t do any more reps.

This type of training works well with bodyweight routines because there is always the option to make the exercises harder.

For example, if you are doing a bodyweight squat, you could add a jump at the end of the movement.

You could also add weight to the exercise by wearing a weight vest or by filling a backpack with all the Harry Potter volumes.

Doing this type of workout will help to build muscle as well as improve your cardiovascular endurance.

Progressive overload

Progressive overload is a method of training where you gradually increase the amount of stress you’re putting on your muscles.

This type of training works well with bodyweight routines because there is always the option to make the exercises harder.

If you’re performing a shoulder tap push-up, you could progress to archer push-ups.

Maybe even increase the time under tension by holding the push-up position for a second or two longer.

This also ties into doing more advanced variations of the standard exercises you are doing.

As your body adapts, you will need to increase the difficulty of the exercises to continue making gains.

Negative reps

Negative reps are when you take a muscle group through a range of motion in the opposite direction of what it’s used to.

For example, if you’re doing a chin-up, the negative rep would be the lowering yourself down from the chin-up position.

Negative reps help to build muscle because they force your muscles to work harder.

They also help to improve your range of motion and can be a great addition to any bodyweight routine.

Does high rep bodyweight training build a lot of muscle?

Isometrics

Isometrics are when you hold a muscle in a static position.

For example, if you’re doing a wall sit, you would be holding your body in the squat position even though you’re not moving.

Isometrics help to build muscle because they force your muscles to work harder.

They also help to improve your range of motion and can be a great addition to any bodyweight routine.

Related: Why Am I Weaker Than My Last Workout? All You Need To Know To Get Back On Track Fast

Frequency

How often you train is just as important as what you’re doing when you train.

If you’re looking to build muscle, you should be training at least 3 times per week.

This will give your muscles enough time to recover and grow.

If you’re just starting out, you can train every other day.

As you get more experienced, you can increase the frequency of your training.

Increase intensity 

The intensity of your workouts is another important factor in building muscle.

You should be looking to increase the intensity of your workouts as you progress.

One way to do this is by adding advanced variations to the exercises you’re doing.

Another way to increase intensity is by doing more sets or reps.

I like to keep my heart rate around the 150-190bpm mark when I’m doing bodyweight workouts.

I’ll sometimes do a set of an exercise and then move on to the next exercise with minimal rest in between.

Doing this type of workout will help to build muscle as well as improve your cardiovascular endurance.

Maintaining a level of intensity is crucial when trying to build muscle with bodyweight training.

Other factors to consider

There are some factors which you always need to be aware of when you are looking to build muscle.

Diet is always going to be a key factor in muscle growth. You need to make sure you’re eating enough calories and getting enough protein.

Protein is important because it’s the building block of muscle.

Genetics also play a role in how much muscle you can build. Some people are just naturally more muscular than others.

If you have trouble building muscle, don’t get too discouraged. Just keep working hard and focus on the other factors that are within your control.

Final thoughts…

Building muscle with bodyweight training is possible, but it’s not going to be easy.

You need to focus on other factors such as diet, intensity, and frequency.

You also need to be aware of your genetics and how they play a role in muscle growth.

If you’re willing to work hard and be patient, you can build muscle with bodyweight training.

Do you do high volume reps to build muscle? Let us know in the comments below.

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Lee

Founder – Sport CBDs

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