Top 5 Bodyweight Exercise MISTAKES – (STOP Doing These – Build Muscle!!)

Where bodyweight training equals beast training –

People that say you can't build muscle with bodyweight exercises are either not using the right exercises or are using the wrong bodyweight workout. In this video, I'll show you 5 of the biggest mistakes you can make with bodyweight training and exercises and more importantly, how you can fix them.

In order for a bodyweight exercise to be effective at building muscle it has to be able to create an overload on the muscles that are being worked. All too often, people will do insanity or other body weight exercises for high reps and get nothing more than a good burn out of them. That said, in order to put on muscle mass you need to follow the principle of muscle overload. Just like when using equipment and weights, you need to push yourself both to and through failure.

Also, people often think that the only way to put on muscle is by using weights for resistance. That is simply not true. In fact, your muscles do not know whether you are using barbells, dumbbells, cables, bands or just your own bodyweight. All they know is resistance! Bodyweight is resistance, and used properly can be way more than an adequate stimulus for building muscle.

Next, guys forget that the amount of work done in a bodyweight workout is determined by the weight that you are using and the distance that it moves! Realizing that your bodyweight won't change during a workout, the only thing you can do to make the exercise harder is to make the distance longer. You can do this through things like one and a half reps, as shown in this video.

You can also put on more muscle with bodyweight exercises and workouts by eliminating the momentum from your movements. By simply pausing at the bottom of each rep, you force your muscles to have to generate all the force required to move your own bodyweight without relying on the elastic momentum you would normally get through weighted exercises.

As you can see, it's definitely possible to build muscle with bodyweight workouts and exercises. In this video, I just showed you how to build muscle with bodyweight exercises that you can now apply to any of the best body weight exercises. For a complete workout program to get you athletic, ripped muscle be sure to head to and get either the ATHLEAN-X workout program or the ATHLEAN Xero bodyweight only program.

For more exercise and workout videos using bodyweight exercises and weighted exercises as well as videos dealing with nutrition and supplementation, be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel at

53 thoughts on “Top 5 Bodyweight Exercise MISTAKES – (STOP Doing These – Build Muscle!!)

  1. stanley robinson says:

    Ive just started body weight training,at the age of 75,after years of training with weights,i find it exciting to start this type of training,the days of doing a 300lb bench press have long gone,now im looking forward to a new lease of life.Keep the vidios coming and ignore the comments from idiots

  2. Jason Nida says:

    @ATHLEAN-X™ Hey ya’ll.  I just watched your video and I wanted to add a couple of things.  #1, Bodyweight exercises vs. dumbbell exercises differ not only in weight but also in fluidity.  What I mean is that your body is full of water so when you workout those muscle groups you have to fight against the water trying to move back and forth while your working out.  #2, I have found that counting reps is bad.  All it does is psych you out when you workout.  Let’s say you know you can do 10 pushups.  Well as soon as you get to 8, 9, 10.  Your mind is already telling you that you have reached your limit and you need to stop even though you can probably still keep going.  Counting time is a much better workout method.  Trying to get as much in a certain amount of time works MUCH better.

    • Vince says:

      I disagree with counting reps. As long as you know how much you can do, counting reps is an effective way of adjusting the intensity of a workout. I progress my workout by adding 1-2 reps every 1-3 days to make sure that I’m always inproving. You can also benchmark your strength by counting how much you can do until failure, then basing your workout on those stats.

    • Moose92411 says:

      Jason Nida Counting time is only better off you maintain your form. If you max before the time is up, people tend to cheat the last reps. Really, either one can work, but for higher resistance, reps is better.

    • ProFlex Stretching & Flexibility says:

      It’s impossible to maximize potential without quantification (counting). Not my opinion. Google Lord Kelvin, father of modern physics. Form must be the constant no matter what mode of measuring is being used. The most hurtful mindset to ever impact strength training is when people say 8 to 12 reps. Nobody should ever target a final number of reps; MMF (momentary muscular failure) is the objective, the number on which you failed on determines what you do to your load (add weight, subtract weight or maintain the same weight). When someone says do three sets of 12, I want to puke! I like what Jeff says, even working through failure with adeptations or if you have a partner, forced reps letting the guy training do the eccentric work solo.

  3. Christopher Nye says:

    While your definition of work (weight times distance) may be satisfactory for explaining basic physics to people of a non-physics background, it’s not at all accurate. Work is actually defined as Force (dot) Displacement; that is, the dot product between F and D. This is similar to multiplication but it’s not the same. The dot product describes how much of the given force is applied through the direction (and the magnitude) of the displacement (this is captured in another definition of work involving the product of the magnitude of the force and the cosine of the angle between the force and path). This has serious implications for exercise and your example. The pushup doesn’t become harder because you weigh more when you move you arms into the pancake position (as your definition of work would imply), it becomes harder because you change the angle between the thing generating the force (your muscles, more specifically your chest and triceps) and the path (your arm into the ground). The angle is closer to parallel (180°) which means less force is applied along the path, which means less work is done. To lift the same weight (more accurately, to create a net force that will accelerate your body against gravity to a desired height) more force must be generated, which is why the pancake pushup is harder.

  4. dark wolf says:

    I love this video. I always wonder why gym goers get triggered when they hear the word calisthenics or bodyweight exercises lol. Gyms are good, but they are not the only way to see results.

  5. Adam Colbert says:

    I just recently started watching your channel, and it’s amazing how much good content you have from over the years that I can finally start catching up to! 🙂

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