If you are wondering which is the best bodyweight exercise program to follow without a doubt the best starting point is the 10 x 10 circuit. However, before you begin training there are a number of factors to take into consideration.
The first thing to do is have an honest evaluation of your present health and fitness taking into account your age, weight, body fat percentage, diet, lifestyle, illness or injuries and how long since you last exercised regularly, if ever.
Once you have finished your evaluation you will be armed with a good indication of the level of fitness you are at and what you are capable of doing at the present time.
Next, decide on the goals you want to achieve with your bodyweight exercise program and the more specific you make them the better. For instance you will make far more progress if you have an exact goal like losing a certain amount of weight within a given time, building up your stamina to do hundred press ups in one set or improving your kicking ability in Karate than you will make with vague targets like getting fitter.
Once you are armed with this information you are ready to begin the 10 x 10 circuit and you will find it perfect for building a great foundation in bodyweight strength, stamina and fitness. However, as you become more experienced in training you might want to consider devising your own bodyweight exercise program because bodyweight exercises have to follow certain fundamental rules.
For muscle size and strength
If your goal is to build strength and muscle size then do bodyweight exercises that are demanding enough to allow you to only 6 to 10 repetitions of 3 to 4 sets for each exercise. Once you can do the required number of exercise repetitions and sets then to progress further you should either make the exercise more difficult by including an isometric hold for 3 seconds at the top, middle and bottom of the repetition. Or change to a more demanding exercise like for instance progressing from the horizontal pull up to the standard pull up or from the standard press up to the planche.
For muscular endurance and fitness
For this goal the repetitions used for strength and muscle are to low to build any worthwhile stamina and you will get far better results if you do exercises that allow you to do 15 to 25 repetitions for general muscular endurance or even as many as 50 to 100 if your sport requires such extreme stamina or you have a specific goal such as the ability to do 100 press ups in one go.
For improved sporting performance
For this goal the bodyweight exercises have to match exactly the specific movement within that particular sport. So for example, if you wanted to improve the explosive power of your kicks you would include exercises such as jump squats, one leg squats and squat thrusts into your training.
Conversely for something like improvement in both punching power and punching endurance a mixture of high intensity low rep exercises like hip and planche press ups and low intensity high repetition exercises such as bench dips and incline press ups would be used.
However, for anyone who is starting out and wants a good level of strength, stamina, definition, weight loss and overall fitness the 10 x 10 bodyweight exercise circuit is the place to begin.
The reason this bodyweight exercise program is so effective for weight loss or a combination of strength, stamina, definition and fitness is because unlike most other forms of training which only build stamina or strength or fitness the 10 x 10 builds all three at the same time. This unique characteristic in-turn offers 3 benefits, burning calories during training, increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR) to burn up more calories when you are resting and building strength and muscle size.
To do the the 10 x 10 circuit choose 10 basic bodyweight exercise such as the press up, pull up, dip, crunch, free squat, squat thrust, horizontal chin up, seated tuck, double crunch and triceps press up. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise, one immediately after the other and then rest for 30 seconds.
For the next circuit do 9 repetitions of each exercise and again rest for 30 seconds before doing 8 repetitions and so on until you are doing only one repetition of each exercise. Once you get to the low rep stages such as 4 or 3 reps for each exercise you can cut down the rest period from 30 seconds to little or even none between each circuit.
Once you have finished the 10 circuits of 10 exercises you can if you want start again and work back down for as many times as you want.
In only 4 – 6 weeks of doing the 10 x 10 circuit you will notice a dramatic increase in your stamina, general fitness and muscular definition. It is true that you will not build as much strength for lifting heavy weights as you would doing weight training but for lifting your own body with speed and power this bodyweight exercise program is unsurpassed.
Therefore, if your are looking for the best bodyweight exercise program the best starting point is to follow the 10 x 10 circuit and then tailor your training to meet your specific needs using the platform of experience and improved fitness the 10 x 10 circuit has given you.
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