The Body Weight Workout

The Body Weight Workout

Whenever someone asks me about body-weight training, I tell them a story: A farm kid tells his dad he wants a weight set. Dad says, “OK, but first you have to do something.” Dad ties a rope to the high rafters in their barn. He tells his son, “When you can climb to the top and back down 10 times, I’ll buy you a weight set.” By the time the kid is able to do it 10 times, he’s in such amazing shape that he no longer wants (or needs) the weights. Body-weight training builds strength and muscle as well or better than lifting. Your body was designed to run, jump, crawl, and climb. Train with these four types of movement, and—like the kid in the story—you can build the body you’ve always wanted, too.



Perform each workout once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

Workout 1

Perform 40 reps of each exercise, taking as many sets as you need to reach that total. (If you find that you can perform more than 20 reps per set, make the exercise harder.) When you can perform 40 reps in two sets, increase the resistance or move on to a harder variation of the exercise, as described on the following pages. Alternate sets of chinups and pushups until you’ve completed all your reps, then alternate the leg curls and squat jumps. Afterward, perform the wheel rollouts. Rest 60–90 seconds between sets.

Workout 2

Perform three sets for each exercise, completing as many reps as you can each set. Establish a goal of 30 or more total reps for exercises 1 and 2, and 45 reps for 3 and 4. Alternate sets of exercises 1 and 2 until you’ve completed all your reps and then alternate sets of 3 and 4.

Workout 3

Perform 60 reps on each exercise, using as many sets as needed. Again, alternate exercises 1 and 2, and then alternate sets of 3 and 4 until
all reps are finished.


Many of these exercises require equipment (suspension apparatus, resistance band, and ab wheel) you may not find at your gym. They can all be purchased at many department stores or at

The Workouts:

Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3

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