Is it or is it not possible to build a good mass of muscle with body weight exercise?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by JustOnce, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. JustOnce

    JustOnce Brown Belt

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    It sounds like it's mostly said online that it's not possible to build a good mass of muscle without using weight s after coming to a sort of limit to which you can grow a muscle with only body weight exercises, however it does seem like there are voices who suggests that it may be possible...I guess if you listen to hershel walker, didn't he say he just do bodyweight exercises or something too? Not everyone can afford to go to a gym regularly, whether it is financial reasons or others....

    Thoughts?
     
  2. herra

    herra Green Belt

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    What is your ideal mass of muscle such as which MMA fighter has good mass of muscle?
     
  3. JustOnce

    JustOnce Brown Belt

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    Just let's say more than what people say would be the maximum your body can build in general with body weight exercises
     
  4. kevo1295

    kevo1295 Brown Belt

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    You can build good muscle mass doing only bw. Look at gymmasts and calisthenics. It is also dependent on diet and genetics.
     
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  5. BOWHUNTER

    BOWHUNTER Gender: Attack Chopper Yellow Card

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  6. KotovSyndrome

    KotovSyndrome Blue Belt

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    Looks quite like it...
     
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  7. herra

    herra Green Belt

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    Yes it's possible. I think genetics play a huge factor, and the only way to know if to try it for yourself.
     
  8. TheeFaulted

    TheeFaulted Inzer Belt

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    It's possible for some, but those some are typically genetic outliers, and their results are not going to be typical or expected at all.
     
  9. wufabufa

    wufabufa Brown Belt

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    For your upper body calisthenics and gymnastic/climbing movements can be great. Your legs may lag in size if you're looking get a bit bigger.....but you can absolutely build some good explosive power with plyometrics and sprints.

    Hard to find a good body weight substitute for deadlifts and heavy squats though. Just realize there are going to be a few limitations.
     
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  10. gspieler

    gspieler Red Belt

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    Pistol squats
    Muscle-ups
    Levers
    Push-up variations
    Dips/pull-ups
    Jump training/plyos
    Sprinting
     
  11. LatFlare

    LatFlare EADC

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    if your ideal "muscle mass" is more than you can build using bodyweight exercises, as you have just stipulated, then by definition you could not develop it using bodyweight exercises. congratulations for answering your own question.
     
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  12. Badger67

    Badger67 Taxidea taxus

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    You would have to go the gymnast route and find ways of adding new challenges. Some tricks become weight dependent so it can limit your ability to do them so tje progressions can stall for your specific goals. Not impossible but more difficult than weights
     
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  13. Kirra

    Kirra Orange Belt

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    You absolutely can, it's just more convenient to build mass with weights. Easier to find a good amount of resistance, etc
     
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  14. High Altitude

    High Altitude Brown Belt

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    Upper body-no problem

    Lower body-harder and can be limiting

    The real issue is in order to do it you have to get into training the hardest static holds and most people get injured. It takes great genetics to do it.
     
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  15. vladimilaz

    vladimilaz White Belt

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    Gymnasts also do a lot of weight training on top of their skill training, and while skill training contributes to their mass, so does weight training. You can find pics of old gymnasts from 60s and 70s where they were only sticking with skill work and bw, and they are considerably smaller than today's gymnasts. You also have to take into consideration that they typically start to train at the age of 5-6, so yeah...

    Yeah, you can build some size using bw only, but the bigger calisthenic guys use a lot of weighted calisthenics, like weighted pull ups, dips, and so on. However, for bigger legs you'll definitely need to hit the weights, as pistol squats can only take you so far.
     
  16. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Ebony Belt Platinum Member

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    It's possible, but it's far more efficient to build muscle and strength with free weights. Barbells are much easier to load, and offer far more resistance for lower body exercises. As others have said, it's difficult to find lower body calisthenics that are as effective as Deads and Squats.
     
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  17. sfblue

    sfblue Blue Belt

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    You can get jacked for sure.
     
  18. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    fixed
     
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  19. AshiharaFan

    AshiharaFan Brown Belt

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    I'm going to very respectfully disagree with your response. He's essentially asking if it's possible to build MORE muscle mass with BW exercises than people say you can. And I say that the answer is YES. It just takes longer than weight training and one would have to do upwards of 3x the volume of BW exercises to get the same results that he would get from hittin' the weights. My two favorite examples of people who are jakked from BW training are some of the male Olympic Gymnasts and Zef Zakaveli from the Bar-Barians. Especially Zef. His upper body is amazing but he has no legs though. :D
     

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