Today I was inspired by a very technical post on Instagram from Project Invictus.
Bodyweight can grow muscle mass by combining a specific protein diet (protein powders and BCAAs) with high intensity training in which body weight is used as leverage instead of the commonly understood weights.
In certain positions, lifting or keeping your body in balance is equivalent to managing 50- 60- 80 kg depending on the positions. To give an example, few are able to lift their body on their hands, despite having exercised abs.
For this reason, those who practice Calistenics (a discipline that uses bars, rings, both outdoors and indoors) acrobatic gymnastics (for example rings), crossfit (high intensity fitness discipline) or those who practice yoga acrobatic (at the highest levels) can have a well-defined and sculpted body.
An excellent strategy to achieve this is to use ankle and wrist weights to increase the leverage effect, while performing simple bending exercises.
From a bio-mechanical point of view, the movements that lead to the increase of the muscle are those of contraction, called eccentric, which can be performed both in series of short repetitions, and in slow resistance sessions of 20 – 30 seconds . In the first case the superficial musculature is specifically activated and the metabolism is stimulated almost aerobically, while in the second case the deep muscles are involved and the metabolism is committed in terms of resistance, balance, mental concentration. For this reason, the second type of training is more demanding and can be done at a later time, with the body already trained. Particularly demanding positions are those called “handstand” on the hands, as well as push-ups with wide arms or on one arm.
Although eccentric movements are to be preferred for muscle growth, it is good to alternate with compensatory isometric movements, which keep the body elastic, positively affect complementary aspects such as the sense of balance, agility, hormonal balance.
It should be remembered that in free-body activity, unlike that assisted by gym machines, since there are no support and discharge points, the muscle is not isolated, therefore in doing an exercise for a certain part of the body, it is it is inevitable to also involve neighboring and antagonistic parties. In free-body activity, the body always leans with all its weight on the feet, hands and back. For this reason, if on the one hand there is distribution of energy in multiple muscle groups, on the other hand there is a greater effort of concentration to maintain balance.
In free-body activity there are no forces to repel, as with machines, there are rather levers to lift or keep in balance. To give an example, in doing push-ups you don’t push the ground, but you lift your body off the ground. You don’t push a weight / force, but you take on the whole weight of your body to lift yourself and not only biceps, but also backs are involved.
For this reason, more stamina and balance are developed. Also for this reason it can happen that an apparently less muscular person is more capable than a hypertrophic one in doing series of lifts of his body on the bar.
So what you can’t achieve free body is only hypertrophy. Muscle grows to a certain extent considered natural by the body.
Given these premises, it is essential that both activities are carried out with the logic of the functional circuit, to keep the metabolism high and make the most, in the shortest possible time, of the elasticity of the muscles from one movement to another.
An important advise is to end a functional training session with one minute rest on the ground in the well known “savasana” yoga position to balance blood pressure and all that has been moved under pressure.