Yes. You can gain a significant amount of muscular mass using only bodyweight training.
To better understand how to optimize muscular growth, it is important to understand the process of simple weight gain.
Gaining weight is as simple as increasing your calorie intake beyond the amount you expend. Using the Total Daily Energy Expenditure equation (TDEE) you can calculate the approximate amount of calories you burn off a day. Any additional calories consumed will be added as weight.
Now it is important to understand that this is a calculation for pure weight loss, maintenance or gain, not muscle vs. fat.
To be sure you are adding the optimal amount of muscle and minimal amount of fat during your weight gain process, it is recommended that you consume about 300-500 surplus calories a day. That is 300-500 calories over the amount you expend. For example if I expend 2500 calories a day, then I would consume 2800-3000 calories in order to put on about 1lb a week.
Where does bodyweight training come into play?
Bodyweight training vs. weight training for muscle mass
Weight training is great and has its place. However, a significant amount of muscular mass can be added without ever touching weights.
Here are the top 3 reasons Bodyweight Training can be superior for gaining muscular mass:
1. The positive loophole bodyweight training provides for gaining muscularity.
When increasing strength and muscular mass in the gym you increase the amount of weight you load on the barbell. When increasing muscular mass using bodyweight, your own body is the resistance. So as your weight goes up so does your resistance. It is a positive loop hole. d
2. Compound movements and muscle building hormones
Almost all bodyweight workouts consist of compound movements. Compound movements have been associated with increased testosterone levels after training compared to those who have trained isometrics. Increased testosterone = increased muscular mass and strength.
3. More efficient
You can hit way more zones way more intensely with bodyweight training. Tucking your knees on a pull-up will not only build the arm and the back but it will target the core, abs, and hip flexors. Greater efficiency means less time in a catabolic (muscle wasting) state.
Bodyweight training can have all the positive effects for building muscle as well as allowing yourself to stay agile.
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