Bodyweight Strength

Bodyweight strength is incredibly important for any athlete ... whether you are an athlete in sport, or an athlete in life. Being able to control, move and stabilize your own weight is much more impressive (in my opinion) than loading up a barbell. Sure, lifting a lot of weight is great and all, but its not so cool when you can't perform 10 perfect push-ups.

Now, I am not perfect either - bodyweight movements are something I'm constantly working on because I feel like it benefits me immensely in my major lifts, and I find a lot of them still challenging. You'd be surprised at how difficult a complete bodyweight workout can be, if done correctly.

During the summer months, I coach at the Athlete Training Centre located in Mississauga, Ontario. This summer, we've shifted our focus slightly to improve overall bodyweight strength, as opposed to loading up every exercise. This is something I am very happy with because I feel like our core strength gets lost when we are constantly under load - we forget how to move without it! Our athletes have been doing plenty of push-ups, planks, pull-ups, inverted rows, and other strict bodyweight movements.

Another benefit to bodyweight movements is, once you have mastered one, its easy to progress it or increase the difficulty. For example, you can go from a standard push-up, to a decline push-up, or a plyometric push-up. Because you have a solid foundation already built, you will be performing the exercise soundly and reaping the benefits.

Let me be clear, I am not saying every workout has to be strictly bodyweight; there are a ton of benefits to strength training with external resistance, but incorporating bodyweight movements can be very beneficial to complimenting those other lifts. In the grand scheme of things, as athletes, we don't perform with barbells loaded on our backs, or dumbbells in our hands, so its important for us to be comfortable, stable and strong moving without them.

Focus on your technique, time under tension, and "perfect" reps before piling on a bunch of weight. Its one thing to say you can bench 200 lbs., but if you can't do a push-up ... whats the point?