I know I said that I was going to continue with the TT Hardcore Fat Loss program for four weeks, but I’ve decided to switch things up for a little while and use the TT 6-Month Bodyweight manual for at least 12 weeks. I’ve been feeling a little burned out on my usual free weights and intervals routine (it has been over three years now since my first BFL challenge, after all) and want to return to my boot camp roots with a program that only uses my own bodyweight for resistance. The rugged survivalist and innate cheapskate parts of me are oddly fascinated with the whole “you don’t need anything but your own weight” and Alwyn Cosgrove’s “Your Body is a Barbell” schools of thought that emphasizes functional fitness over purely aesthetic goals and imply that an individual who can’t manage an unweighted 1-leg squat or pistol has no business messing around with weighted squats.
I’ve also been wondering what my natural set point for muscle mass is. I define this as the amount of lean mass my body would have if I were transported back to hunter-gatherer or dawn of agriculture times when food was unprocessed (and less plentiful) and “exercise” wasn’t something one had to set aside time for but something that was an integral part of daily existence. My ancestors certainly weren’t devoting 45-60 minutes a day to running nowhere on a treadmill or lifting heavy chunks of iron for no practical purpose. I can’t quite emulate those conditions given my current line of work, but I *can* restrict myself to functional exercises that only utilize my own bodyweight for resistance and take my cardio intervals out of the gym and outside to the sidewalks and pool to answer the question:
Is it really possible to achieve and sustain an above average level of fitness without a gym membership and all of the external equipment that modern society and the burgeoning sporting goods industry have made us believe are essential?
I and any other person who has been through the physical wringer of military basic training already know that the answer to this question is “yes,” at least when one is stranded in the middle of a military training post with no access to money, phones, or the outside world and has a full staff of mean drill sergeants pushing one to run faster, squeeze out more push-ups, and break through that wussy civilian mindset. And an “above average” level of fitness these days can be claimed by anyone who can run a single mile without resting it seems.
So I suppose I should restate my question as follows: Is it really possible for a busy, non-military adult working out on her own to achieve and sustain an ADVANCED level of fitness using only bodyweight exercises?
I’m also finally committing to regular yoga workouts to improve my truly horrible flexibility and tossing in some fun home workouts for variety. If Forza starts to get tedious, I’ll sub in swimming, Plyo X, Kempo X, or a dance-based workout.
Here is my game plan for the next 12 weeks (combined with my Favorite Foods nutrition plan):
Monday – TT Bodyweight workout and intervals (60 min)
Tuesday – Yourself Fitness Flexibility (30 min); Forza (30 min)
Wednesday – TT Bodyweight workout and intervals (60 min)
Thursday – Yourself Fitness Flexibility (30 min); Forza (30 min)
Friday – TT Bodyweight workout and intervals (60 min)
Saturday – Yourself Fitness Flexibility (30 min); Forza (30 min)
Sunday – Yoga for Athletes DVD or P90X Yoga X (45 min)
My compliance log will be viewable at Google Docs here in case anyone is curious: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p_r6Vb5JpgH2I8z5L0TOnVw