One of the major questions I continue to receive on a consistent basis is, “can you build muscle while using body weight exercises?”

The answer is YES! 

The key to bodyweight training is that you use it blended up with your heavier lifting routines.  Bodyweight should serve as your foundation to everything else you do.

There should never be a time where you’re not training bodyweight in some way shape or form.

Question – Now, what do you do when all you have is bodyweight to gain mass?? 

Easy, make the movements more DIFFICULT and increase your overall VOLUME!

Let me explain a bit more…

When it comes to building muscle, the only way to progress is to OVERLOAD the muscle to force it to grow bigger.

This shouldn’t be anything new…

Muscle growth through overload happens through steady and progressive forced resistance as well as getting in enough volume to force your muscles to grow larger.

What I’ve discovered overtime with training athletes and most people is that when you add VOLUME and PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD together within bodyweight training, you CAN and WILL gain mass.

I’m about to show you a sample workout that you can use for your UPPER BODY that will definitely add more mass and strength to your frame in a athletic way.

This type of training is what I like to call a mixture of all types in that you use power training, volume training, and strength training all in one.

All of those specific types of training are different in their own ways.

With POWER you use pure speed and explosiveness.  Great for waking up a ton of your muscles.  I typically put POWER movements at the very beginning when I’m the freshest and most explosive.

For strength movements, these are lower reps but with HIGHER difficulty.

bodyweight training - l-sitBodyweight Strength movements will be different for everyone.  For instance, say person A can only do 5 ring dips while person B can do 20 ring dips.  Ring dips for person A will work more strength while for person B, the dips will be more volume training.

The second person would want to increase the difficulty of the movement in some way to make it more about strength. Something person B could do to make the ring dips harder is either wear a weighted vest OR add in a modification to increase the difficulty such as an L-Sit or reach while doing the dip.

Strength work is more about skill than anything.  The more you “practice” the better (i.e. STRONGER) you’ll get.

The 3rd type of training within the mix is VOLUME training.

This is where we start to pump reps out with different movements.  But, make sure to understand that we want lots of QUALITY reps!   Just because we’re hammering out reps doesn’t mean we start to get sloppy.

When it comes to bodyweight training, especially when focusing on using bodyweight training for more size and strength, you must focus in on performing solid reps with great QUALITY.

So, now that you know the 3 different types of training to focus in on, here’s a sample workout from my IRON MUSCLE program that’s specifically uses bodyweight training to build bigger, stronger, and more athletic muscles! 


1A) Plyo Push Ups onto Box 4 x 5-10

2A) Bodyweight Dips 5 x 10-20 reps NO MORE

***If getting over 20 reps, INCREASE difficulty of movement

2B) Band Pull Aparts 4 x 25

3A) Jungle Gym XT Recline Row – Feet Elevated 4 x Submax

3B) Power Wheel Or Barbell Rollouts 4 x 10-15

4A) Jungle Gym Chest Fly 3 x 15

4B) Jungle Gym Curls 3 x 15

4C) Jungle Gym Skull Crushers 3 x 15

4D) Jungle Gym Reverse Y Raise 3 x 15

***Take NO rest between exercises

***Rest 60 secs and repeat the circuit

5A) Med Ball Diamond Push Ups x max reps in 3 mins

***Only do QUALITY reps – when you get close to failure, REST for a few secs then hammer out some more reps until your 3 mins is up.

This is a sample UPPER BODY Bodyweight routine from the 12 Week Athletic Muscle Iron Muscle BuildingBuilding program IRON MUSCLE.  I just released it to the public today and I will have it open for a limited time ONLY!

If you a serious lifter and you want to add more lean mass to your frame without sacrificing your athletic abilities, I would highly recommend checking out IRON MUSCLE.

Click here to get IRON MUSCLE ==> Only for bad mo fo’s! 

Live Aggressive and Get Strong! 

QUESTION – What are your BEST 3 UPPER BODY movements for building strength and muscle???  Share in the comments below!