AJAC Guide to Bodyweight Training
This is a straightforward guide to answer a very persistent series of questions
“Can you build muscle with only bodyweight?”
“What do you think of bodyweight training?”
“How do I get started bodyweight training?”
Let’s cut to the chase on this one and make some concrete points, while dispelling possible misconceptions.
YES, you can definitely build muscle with bodyweight. In fact, relative bodyweight strength (how strong you are at basic BW exercises) is the most direct indicator that you’ve built muscle, strength, and improved bodycomposition. Bodyweight exercises need to be part of your program if you want to be bigger, leaner, stronger, faster, and more athletic.
NO, just because you watched the Olympics and the preselected elite level Olympic gymnasts were really jacked does NOT mean you are EVER going to look like that simply from using your bodyweight. Comparing yourself to a 5’4 Chinese man who's been training since age 6 is stupid.
Still, you can achieve significant results with only bodyweight training, but bodyweight training STILL requires some usage of equipment.
Lastly, bodyweight strength and free weight strength are not mutually exclusive. Both complement each other, and you can do both of them at the same time.