Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weighty Matters: Combining Weights and Calisthenics II

About four years ago, I wrote one of my favorite blog entries about adding weight to common BW movements.  It's turned out to be one of my more popular entries.  While I'm opinionated I'm not dogmatic or without a sense of compromise. So, I imagine that my audience is much the same.  That might explain why an entry like that one, with its compromising tone, went over so well. 

As my training has given more into weights and strongman, I haven't forgotten the effectiveness of BW stuff.  Often times,  I weigh them down with heavy stuff.  Very recently, I finally got off my ass and showed off how I used a sandbag for heavy push-up work in lieu of both not having a place to bench press and despising the bench even if I did.  You can find that here.   Although ambition got the better of me momentarily by posting that video, laziness struck when I noted that I liked adding chain to one arm-push-ups but failed to post proof that I am awesomely clever enough to undertake such a movement. 
video
 
Such maneuvers are excellent ways to bring up questions of validity in training.  As I've stated in the past, I don't care to enslave myself to practicality when training.  If it's fun, I'll do it.  Still, there are methods to the madness.  One arm push-ups are a great way to hit those muscles that nobody gives a shit about because girls and gym bros don't tend to admire them.  You know, the serratus and all those lower shoulder blade chunks of meat that make you care about them via injury from lack of training.  In case your overpaid online coach never told you, working these muscles are why you do face pulls.
 
The next merger of iron and bodyweight that I've adored lately is double rope climbing with some junk chain that someone inexplicably stretched the piss out of (which should have taken tens of thousands of lbs to do) at work.  

video
 
Rope climbing kicks all kind of ass.  At the moment, I'm trying to goose my bodyweight up to the 215 lbs territory.   Doing BW during such attempts has served me well.  Things like this 30 lbs o' chain rope climb require a good strength to bodyweight ratio.  That's generally obtained by having a lower bodyfat percentage.  In other words, doing these while bulk generally keep getting too fat in check.  That may be brocience as fuck, I admit, but it's worked for me in the past. 
 
Note that on both of these, I've gone out of my way to use other methods to increase the difficulty.  Rings and two ropes will go a long way to making less weight more difficult.  I may be doing weighted BW but I'm not going to fall on the sword of only using adding weight to make stuff harder.  Plus, these aren't BW movements that often get the weighted treatment.  Take this as friendly reminder to not be afraid to take a different road that's slightly less traveled.