With your daily movements providing the resistance,
and using common objects or your own body parts as weights,
your body becomes its own weight-resistance home gym.

Body Weight-Resistance Home Gym


Have you been lifting weights instead of resisting them? Weight-resistance training is an art, and the resistance is more important than the weight, or the lifting of it. Little or no weight is required for resistance. The importance of resistance is explained below in “Muscle Contraction”. Before attempting any type of weight-resistance training, be aware that chronic muscle spasm can seriously interfere (see “Spasm, Spasm, Spasm”).

Weight-resistance training—done properly—feels good. By repairing posture (getting into shape), it leads to a reduction in the aches and pains that many believe they just have to live with, and contradicts the notion of No pain, no gain. Another popular notion that is false is that once you begin lifting weights, you have to do it regularly for the rest of your life, at the risk of turning to flab—worse off than if you had never started.

When lowering a weight, what is most important is to resist it, which requires a movement that is much like the controlled action required to release the clutch pedal of a car. I still see experienced weight lifters with hard bodies (despite their bad form) mindlessly returning the weight twice as quickly as they lifted it.

Muscle Contraction

A muscle contraction has two phases: concentric (effort) and eccentric (resistance). The resistance of weight-resistance training takes place during the (eccentric) return (not during the lift). To fully understand the contraction cycle and its use, read both this topic and “Swimming Frog”. Most of our daily activities (lifting, carrying, getting up out of a chair…) can be done consciously using a two-part contraction, which is what turns daily activities into weight-resistance training.

Muscles tighten (contract) during the concentric phase. Resistance during the eccentric (decontraction) phase is the most important and mostly ignored part of the movement. The eccentric phase is like the vitally important off-beat in music (the “and” in “one and two and three and four and”). During any activity that has a defined contraction cycle, exhale with the effort (‘E’ for Exhale; ‘E’ for Effort), and inhale on the return (eccentric phase).

Muscle-building motor-unit recruitment (fibre-unit recruitment) takes place during the eccentric phase (see “Mind Builds Muscle”). When correctly working the eccentric phase, you may feel slight tremors that indicate motor unit recruitment—rebuilding weak muscles at a ‘sticking point’. Relax and let it happen (breathe through it). For an exercise that identifies sticking points, see “Shaking”.

Everyday Weight-Resistance Training

Everyday Weight-Resistance Training with Grocery Bags 2Everyday Weight-Resistance Training with Grocery Bags Closeup

Everyday Weight-Resistance Training with Grocery BagsAfter a few months of weight-resistance training, you will have mastered the technique (it gets into your bones, and can be felt without weights). You can then turn every move you make into everyday weight-resistance training, using common objects or your own body parts. You will not turn to flab.

For example, instead of carrying grocery bags with locked elbows, shoulders dragged down by the weight (photo, left), you can carry them as if they were weights (photos, right), get a biceps workout, and improve your grip. Every time you bend, you have an opportunity to use your body as a weight-resistance gym. See “Heel-Buttocks Connection”.

While working out, remember “Helper Area and Meridians”—everything you do affects other areas of your body, starting with the helper area of the part that you have isolated to work (training your biceps works your quads, and vice versa). Because all of our individual body parts are inseparably connected, the effects of our efforts—good or bad—are carried throughout the body on the muscle chain. Work towards a synergy of muscle groups functioning as one unit.

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Body Weight-Resistance Home Gym
Article Name
Body Weight-Resistance Home Gym
With your daily movements providing the resistance, and using common objects or your own body parts as weights, your body becomes its own weight-resistance home gym.